Author Topic: Ginger Ale in Dough?  (Read 1938 times)

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Offline myxsix

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Ginger Ale in Dough?
« on: March 02, 2006, 12:32:37 AM »
Someone posted elsewhere in this forum the habit of adding ginger ale or 7-Up to the dough - Does anyone have any theories on why?

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 06:50:26 PM »
myxsix,

I have never tried using ginger ale or any other soda in pizza dough but your question is an interesting one.

From what Canadianbacon and other Canadian forum members say, the use of ginger ale, 7Up and similar sodas in dough appears to be a Canadian innovation. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search to learn what is in Canada Dry ginger ale and especially how much sugar (whether corn syrup or sucrose). What I found as the ingredients are the following, for a 12-ounce U.S. can: Carbonated water, high fructose syrup and/or sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color. One can includes 33 grams of syrup/sugar, or 1.16 ounces. That converts to roughly 8.3 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose).

To have a bit of fun, I wondered how the Canada Dry ginger ale might be incorporated into a typical dough recipe using 16 ounces of flour and calling for a typical hydration of 63%. That would mean about 10 ounces of liquid. If I assume that one fluid ounce weighs one avoirdupois ounce, then we would need essentially the whole can of soda to get to 63% hydration. (To do this accurately, one would have to weigh the contents of the can of soda and apportion between the water and sugar.) I estimate that the amount of sugar in the amount of soda needed to get to 63% hydration translates into a bit over 7.25 teaspoons, or about 6.5% on a baker's percent basis. Once you get above about 4-5% sugar in a dough, it is detectable by most people as sweetness in the finished crust. Also, above about 5%, sugar can degrade the performance of the yeast. One way to get around this problem is to just add more yeast to be sure that there is enough to perform its usual functions even in a degraded environment.

If I had to guess, I would say that at around 6.5% sugar, the finished crust using the ginger ale would be tender and have a lot of browning, and that color might even be augmented further by the caramel color in the ginger ale itself. At 6.5% sugar, it might also be wise to use a pizza screen or disk to bake the pizza, and not bake it on a deck because of the likelihood of premature or excessive browning due to the high levels of sugar. Maybe Canadianbacon or one of our other Canadian members can describe the crust for the pizzas they have bought from pizza operators who use ginger ale (or similar sodas) in their doughs. I'd be especially interested in the color of the crust, its sweetness level, and the size of the rim and the nature of the crumb. I'd also be interested in knowing how the pizzas are baked, i.e., on a screen, disk, conveyor or deck. The answers to these questions might even tell us whether the ginger ale is diluted with water to keep the sugar levels down.

Peter

Offline carl333

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 09:45:29 PM »
myxsix,

I have never tried using ginger ale or any other soda in pizza dough but your question is an interesting one.

From what Canadianbacon and other Canadian forum members say, the use of ginger ale, 7Up and similar sodas in dough appears to be a Canadian innovation. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search to learn what is in Canada Dry ginger ale and especially how much sugar (whether corn syrup or sucrose). What I found as the ingredients are the following, for a 12-ounce U.S. can: Carbonated water, high fructose syrup and/or sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color. One can includes 33 grams of syrup/sugar, or 1.16 ounces. That converts to roughly 8.3 teaspoons of table sugar (sucrose).

To have a bit of fun, I wondered how the Canada Dry ginger ale might be incorporated into a typical dough recipe using 16 ounces of flour and calling for a typical hydration of 63%. That would mean about 10 ounces of liquid. If I assume that one fluid ounce weighs one avoirdupois ounce, then we would need essentially the whole can of soda to get to 63% hydration. (To do this accurately, one would have to weigh the contents of the can of soda and apportion between the water and sugar.) I estimate that the amount of sugar in the amount of soda needed to get to 63% hydration translates into a bit over 7.25 teaspoons, or about 6.5% on a baker's percent basis. Once you get above about 4-5% sugar in a dough, it is detectable by most people as sweetness in the finished crust. Also, above about 5%, sugar can degrade the performance of the yeast. One way to get around this problem is to just add more yeast to be sure that there is enough to perform its usual functions even in a degraded environment.

If I had to guess, I would say that at around 6.5% sugar, the finished crust using the ginger ale would be tender and have a lot of browning, and that color might even be augmented further by the caramel color in the ginger ale itself. At 6.5% sugar, it might also be wise to use a pizza screen or disk to bake the pizza, and not bake it on a deck because of the likelihood of premature or excessive browning due to the high levels of sugar. Maybe Canadianbacon or one of our other Canadian members can describe the crust for the pizzas they have bought from pizza operators who use ginger ale (or similar sodas) in their doughs. I'd be especially interested in the color of the crust, its sweetness level, and the size of the rim and the nature of the crumb. I'd also be interested in knowing how the pizzas are baked, i.e., on a screen, disk, conveyor or deck. The answers to these questions might even tell us whether the ginger ale is diluted with water to keep the sugar levels down.

Peter

Hi Peter, I talked with a lot of  family operated pizza joints here and actually have never heard of any using soda in their pizza dough. Actually I was startled to read that this practiced was being used. I rather try beer! cheers.
Carl

Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 09:31:16 AM »
That's really interesting, Peter. What are your thoughts on the impact of the carbonation. I read somewhere that the CO2 lowers the pH of the water. The citric acid would help too. Maybe that ends up like adding vinegar to a pie crust for tenderness.

Hopefully that isn't dumb. I'm at the very beginning of my education on the science of pizza  dough.

Edit: as I'm going through the forum, I see this is being discussed both on Norma's thread and in older posts. Doesn't look like pH is changed in Norma's test.
« Last Edit: Today at 09:47:04 AM by Jon in Albany »

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #4 on: Today at 10:19:41 AM »
Peter;
One way we have looked at using various liquids in dough (wine, beer, soda, etc.) is to look at the total solids content of the liquid in question and divide the weight of those solids by the total weight of the liquid portion then multiply by 100, this gives us the percent (true) of solids, with this number we can adjust the liquid to provide any amount of liquid or solids needed for the dough. In this case, looking at sugar we have 12-ounces X 28.4 = 340-ml/grams (close enough for making dough). Since we know the sugar content is 33-grams we divide 33 by 340 X 100 = 9.7%, or for every 100-grams of soda that we add we will also be adding 9.7-grams of sugar (again, close enough for dough), so if we want to limit our sugar contribution to 5% based on 16-ounces of flour (22.72-grams) we would need to add 234.22-g/ml of the soda to the dough with the remainder of the dough absorption coming from tap water.
Just another way of looking at it.
BTW: the easy way to find the amount of soda needed to provide a specific amount of sugar (in this case 22.72-grams) is to divide the weight of sugar needed by 9.7 (grams of sugar provided by 100-grams of soda) and multiply that number by 100 (22.72 divided by 9.7 = 2.342 X 100 = 234.22). To test that answer (I'm old school) simply find 9.7% of 234.22 (234.22 X 9.7 (press the percent key) and read 22.719 (the amount of sugar we want to add to the dough)
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #5 on: Today at 10:44:35 AM »
Tom,

Thank you for the analysis.

When I typically work on these kinds of matters, I go to the SelfNutritionData website and look for the item in question. For example, for Sprite, I found this entry: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beverages/3870/2. For a generic ginger ale, I found this entry: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beverages/3863/2.

I read somewhere that some pizza makers replaced all water in a dough formula with soda. That seemed to me to be an excessive amount of sugar, not to mention the greatly increased cost. I concluded that it was unlikely that all of the formula water was replaced by soda.

Peter

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #6 on: Today at 10:48:18 AM »
That's really interesting, Peter. What are your thoughts on the impact of the carbonation. I read somewhere that the CO2 lowers the pH of the water. The citric acid would help too. Maybe that ends up like adding vinegar to a pie crust for tenderness.
Jon in Albany,

I really don't have any thoughts on carbonation other than to say that some time ago I tried using carbonated water in pizza dough and I did not detect any major difference in the results. Citric acid is an acidulant that is often used in foods to give them a bit of a tang. It is also used in some chemical leavening systems. So it might have some effect on the dough but I never tested it even though I have some dry citric acid in my pantry.

Peter

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #7 on: Today at 11:18:13 AM »


I read somewhere that some pizza makers replaced all water in a dough formula with soda. That seemed to me to be an excessive amount of sugar, not to mention the greatly increased cost. I concluded that it was unlikely that all of the formula water was replaced by soda.

Peter

Aloha Peter,

I can't speak to whether pizza makers use soda, but I can say from experience in the restaurant industry that using soda probably would not change the cost much if at any.  Most operators are using bag-in-box or cornelius kegs of syrup mixed with water thru a carbonator.  Costs are usually in the 3-4 cent range for a 16 ounce glass.

Tom
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Offline Jon in Albany

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Re: Ginger Ale in Dough?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 01:00:57 PM »
Interesting, Peter. Thanks for the response.


 

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