Author Topic: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic  (Read 1196 times)

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Online bradtri

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Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« on: May 16, 2013, 11:07:45 AM »
I got talked into making some pizzas for our company picnic and I'm trying to work out how to manage the dough.

My setup is using a Big Steel Keg that I get to about 650 and cook pizzas for about 4 minutes.

My dough is 62% hydration and I make 400 g balls for 15 inch pizzas.

Typically, I knead the dough for 6 minutes in Bosch Universal then ball and place in round Gladware containers to go in the fridge for 2-10 days. 

On baking day, I remove dough balls from fridge, let warm at room temp for an hour then reball and let rest for another 2-3 hours.

My question is how to make and transport 20 dough balls for this picnic?  I don't have enough cooler room to store 20 of the Gladware containers, so I'm thinking of going the plastic bag route.  With my two coolers, I think I could get 20 dough balls in at only one layer deep.  I'm pretty certain to want to use coolers as the weather would likely be in the 80's.

So plan would be:

- Make my dough as normal then ball and place in plastic bags in fridge 2 days before picnic
- Morning of picnic, remove dough from fridge at 6 a.m. and let rest 1 hour then reball, oil and place back in plastic bags in coolers
- Picnic starts at 11 and I'll be cooking from 11 - 1.

Also looking for a good source for bags.  Do these look reasonable?  http://www.amazon.com/Roll-Natural-HDPE-Grade-Rolls/dp/B009KOY0O4/?tag=pizzamaking-20


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 12:08:32 PM »
Brad;
I think you might be over complicating things a bit. How about something like this:
Prepare, bag, refrigerate you dough in your normal manner, Then, about 2-hours before you transport the dough balls place them into a freezer to super cool them, even if they start to freeze it really won't hurt them as you will be using them soon. Do not re ball the dough when you get to the site, instead, plan to have the dough balls out of the insulated box about 90-minutes before you plan to begin opening the dough balls into pizza skins. Be sure to oil the dough balls before you drop them into the bags so they will just drop out when ready to use. Drop the dough ball out of the bag into a container of 50% flour and 50% cornmeal, and begin opening the dough ball into a pizza skin. TIP: Drop and flour several dough balls before you begin opening them into skins as this will speed things up quite a bit.
Those bags should work well. After dropping the oiled dough ball into the bag, twist the open end to close it, forming a pony tail, then tuck the pony tail under the dough ball as you place it into the cooler, this will allow for some expansion without tearing the bag(s). As you transfer the bags to the freezer, close each bag using a twist tie. Sounds like a fun day!
If you will send me your mailing address today or tomorrow I will be glad to send you a handfull of bread bags and twist ties at not cost.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 01:53:44 PM »
Thanks Tom, that's quite generous of you and I'll be sending you an email.

I'm a bit nervous about the dip in the freezer.  If I don't get the timing right, I could end up with some cold, stiff dough balls that aren't ready to open.  Is the primary reason for recommending freezing to make them stiff enough that they can be stacked in the cooler?   

I'm also confuse about the timeline.  You say to put them in the freezer about 2 hours before transporting and then have them out of the cooler 90 minutes before opening.  How long were you thinking they should be in the freezer as that only gives 30 minutes of combined freezing and transporting time?  20 minutes freezing?

Also, I've tried making pizzas without reballing after coming out of the fridge and I've always felt that I didn't get as much spring.  Perhaps I was resting the dough too long as I was still doing 2-3 hours at room temp?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 12:19:45 PM »
Brad;
The reason for running the dough balls through the freezer for only 2-hours before transporting them is to super cool them, not to thoroughly freeze them. I've done this many times with good success in places where we transport refrigerated dough balls. The dough balls will begin warming as soon as you remove them from the freezer. I do not recommend leaving the dough balls in the freezer any longer than 2-hours at the most unless you want to have frozen dough balls. The type of freezer that works well in this application is a chest freezer, if you have a reach in or walk in freezer, which operates much more efficiently, the time in the freezer will only be about an hour. Remember, we are only super cooling the dough balls, they might be slightly frozen on the outer edge but not more than that.
With the suggested dough management procedure you will not need to re ball the dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 10:33:41 PM »
Hey Tom,
   Thanks for the clarification and my bad for reading through your first post a bit too quickly.  I'm thinking the super-cooled dough balls would keep at a relatively stable temperature in the cooler for several hours, so my plan would look something like this:

6:00 a.m.  -  place dough balls in freezer
7:30 a.m.  -  place dough balls in cooler and drive to work
9:30 a.m   -  remove dough balls from cooler
10:00 a.m. - start my grill for the 1 hour preheat
11:00 a.m. - start cooking!!

I'll try this timeline out at home but this definitely sounds like a nice, straightforward approach.

thanks again

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 08:05:43 AM »
Great topic, many of of the members will benefit from it.

Brad, have you baked 20 pies on your BSK before?
Bert,

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 10:28:34 AM »
The most that I have done on the BSK is 12, but it seems to work pretty well to add more lump coal every 5 pies or so and it seems I could almost go indefinitely. After revisiting the number of people that will be attending the picnic and the other food available, I think I'll be adjusting downward to around 15 pies.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2013, 10:37:49 AM »
How much lump do you start with? do you allow it to turn fully grey (also when you add more lump) before you place your stone / cover?

Thanks
Bert,

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2013, 12:06:24 PM »
I start with a fair amount ... maybe in volume terms it would be about 1 - 1.5 gallons.  (about one full ice cream bucket). 

Light the coals with a mapp torch and leave lid open for a few minutes.

Then, place grate, diffuser and stone in grill and let preheat for 45-60 minutes or until stone is to temp (650).

If I'm cooking more than just a couple pizzas, I'll go ahead and add about 1/2 again as much coal at the 45 minute mark.

I've discovered that I'm having a bit of an airflow problem as the amount of coal that I use ends up covering the vent holes on the bottom.  I'm considering a couple different options for improving that, ranging from adding a piece of 6"x1.5" cast iron pipe to the bottom coal grate to act as a chimney to allow air to flow into the burn chamber or even some sort of forced air from the bottom.  I like the chimney approach as it is the simpler.

For now, I've just been propping the lid of the BSK open by about 1/2" and that lets plenty of air in and the coals burn super-hot.  Often, I will do this about 5 minutes before cooking as that's getting me much higher air temps above the pizza.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 03:29:34 PM »
Thanks Brad... Did you consider making a side opening instead? like a small sliding door so you can control amount of air coming in
Bert,


Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2013, 06:03:14 PM »
Yes, that's an option that I'm considering, too.  The bsk already has a lower air control just like that.  I could put one higher up on the body of the grill that would feed air directly to the charcoal.  The one disadvantage of that is that I'd have to cut into the grill, which I'm not anxious to do.  I'll likely start with the "chimney approach" and see if that does the job since it is the least intrusive. 

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2013, 04:35:35 PM »
Just an update from the picnic, the pizzas were great and thanks for the advice on prepping.  Ended up following this schedule since I worked from home this morning and was able to do a little more with the dough:

7:00 a.m.  Take dough out of fridge
8:00 a.m.  Reball dough and put back in plastic bags and into freezer
8:45 a.m.  Take dough balls out of freezer and into cooler
9:30 a.m.  Take first 5 (of 15) dough balls out at picnic (air temp about 75 degrees)  Took 5 more out every 30 minutes
10:00 am  Start coals in Big Steel Keg
11:00 a.m. Temp up to 700, start cooking

Tom - the bags worked great.  Thanks!!

We had a fair amount of wind today so we manufactured a wind break out of a large piece of cardboard and Gorilla tape.  Otherwise, my flour would have flown all over.

Here's a a couple pics and then a link to the rest:  http://abprice.smugmug.com/Other/2013-06-14-Pizza-at-AIS-Picnic/29986789_Gq3P9D#!i=2575223161&k=8dGmBCn



Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 03:12:43 PM »
Brad;
Your pizzas look GREAT!!
Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's just Brad's pizza dough! Must be time to eat! Nice toss!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Online bradtri

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Re: Need help planning dough handling for company picnic
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 09:30:15 AM »
Thanks Tom and again thanks for your help in dough management for pulling the event off.

As a rule, I don't toss my dough as it is so soft that it stretches itself just with gravity.  But, I was under some peer pressure from coworkers to do a couple tosses.  Fortunately, it did not end up on the ground.