Author Topic: The dark horse that is gluten development  (Read 1657 times)

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Offline jamieg

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The dark horse that is gluten development
« on: June 02, 2013, 05:31:47 PM »
Iím struggling to give clear instructions to my employees about the purpose of kneading - and how to know when to stop kneading - in terms of the goal of developing gluten.

Over a period of time - weíve moved from a short fermentation period - a few hours at room temperature - to a 2 day / 50 hour bulk fermentation period in a fridge.

Yet, our kneading technique - stretching and folding by hand until the dough is soft like a babyís bum - has remained the same.

Generally, since doing 50 hour ferments - the quality of the dough is much better - and since using the fridge - the level of fermentation is much more consistent.

However, we still have days where - ideally the dough would have fermented a little bit more - or a little bit less - and similarly - the corresponding dough balls - sometimes rise too quickly or too slowly (I realise the current room temperature has a big impact on how the dough balls rise as well).

My hunch is that -  sometimes we knead too much - and sometimes not enough - and that since starting a 50 hour ferment - thereís barely any reason to knead the dough - and rules of thumb like - make sure the dough is silky and smooth before you stop kneading - or that itís almost impossible to over knead the dough if kneading by hand - simply donít apply to long ferments.


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 06:12:50 PM »
Kneading by hand - do you mean actual kneading for an extended period of time, or do you just do stretch and folds?

Second question: are you measuring the water temperature and do you strive for a dough temp before the cold fermentation?

John
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 06:15:40 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 06:40:52 PM »
Actually, it's a combination of kneading - as in gently massaging the dough for a period of time - combined with stretch and folds. About 10 minutes in total without stopping.

No, we use tap water - it is the temperature that it is. Nor do we measure the temp of the dough.

Do you think these are bigger factors than the amount of gluten developed as a result of inconsistent gluten techniques?

I suspect the kneading technique - because we often have 3 or 4 different employees making dough at exactly the same time - same water and dough temp - yet occassionaly some of the batches of dough rise more than others. I used to worry about them being lazy and not kneading enough - now I'm thinking that a bigger problem could be kneading too much.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 09:12:52 PM »
At 50 hours, you need minimal mixing and no kneading as long as you have enough hydration (65% +/-).

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 12:40:05 AM »
Hydration is 67%

So, you are saying we can mix just enough to have a good distribution of the ingredients... and make sure there are no lumps of flour and that's it...

We mix by hand - so the dough will certainly not be smooth.

So, why do people knead... sounds like a waste of time and energy - if all you have to do is wait 2 days.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 11:54:08 AM »
The only kneading needed is to ball it, although I usually do a couple (7 to be exact) stretch and folds, but that is mainly to entrap some air.    It is not smooth in bulk, it looks like cottage cheese, it smooths out while being balled.

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 10:20:07 PM »
Indeed... seems like this is another breakthrough for me.

We've be doing tests since Monday - mixing everything except the salt - waiting 25 minutes - briefly mixing the salt in - and that's it.

So, far I would say the dough is better than the dough that we have been kneading. It seems lighter - though I'll need another week to be sure.

I really can't understand why this isn't the standard method - just wait 50 hours and bingo.

Thanks.

jamie

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 10:47:23 PM »
Indeed... seems like this is another breakthrough for me.

We've be doing tests since Monday - mixing everything except the salt - waiting 25 minutes - briefly mixing the salt in - and that's it.

So, far I would say the dough is better than the dough that we have been kneading. It seems lighter - though I'll need another week to be sure.

I really can't understand why this isn't the standard method - just wait 50 hours and bingo.

Thanks.

jamie
Your experiments sound great jamie. Would you say that kneading is necessary for shorter,24 hour, doughs?
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 08:06:09 AM »
jamie,

I think that you will find that just about any rest period in the preparation of the dough will make the dough softer and easier to work with. That is the theory behind the concept of autolyse. In your case, by leaving out the salt during the rest period and adding it later, you in effect used an autolyse except that you included the yeast in the autolysed dough (in the classic autolyse as Prof. Calvel advocated, the yeast is also added later). I remember having a discussion with Evelyne Slomon over at the PMQ Think Tank on why professionals did not as a matter of course use rest periods during the preparation of the dough (although a few, mostly in Italy, used a riposo at the end of the knead). She agreed with me that it was very uncommon in the professional ranks in the U.S. but was being adopted by a few professionals who were trying to make a more artisan product.

Peter

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 09:40:00 AM »
Hi Peter,

The rest period is nothing new. We've been resting for 25 mins for over a year.

The new change I made was to not knead the dough after the rest period. We simply mix in the salt and store the dough for 50 hours. No kneading. The reason we experimented with the no knead - is because I was curious to know if it's possible to make the dough too tough by over kneading - as sometimes, the dough is less soft and airy - and my hunch was that this depended on the person who was working the dough that day.

I thought maybe the dough would be too weak - without at least a little kneading - but not so.

As a result - my workflow is now slightly odd - that is - 25 min rest period - add salt - 50 hour rest period. The only reason for the first rest period seems to be that when I previously tried to add the salt upfront - there was a hugh impact on fermentation, i.e. the dough didn't rise at all.

;-)


Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 09:49:17 AM »
Your experiments sound great jamie. Would you say that kneading is necessary for shorter,24 hour, doughs?

I have no idea. My question is, why do 24 hours if 48 hours is much better?

A year ago we closed the restaurant for 2 days over christmas - and so we were forced to make the dough 48 hours in advance at a colder temperature. When we re-opened we were astonished by the difference in the dough. It just seemed lighter with more oven spring. So, we made that standard practice.

Since then, I've been tweaking the recepie and fridge temperature endlessly - and the latest tweak is no knead. Sometimes, there are set backs - but all things considered - the current workflow is the best we've had. The combination of the controlled temperature of a fridge - and no knead - has removed two variables which previously meant that everyday the dough was slightly different.

jamie

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2013, 09:52:40 AM »
Perhaps, the next variable to control - as dellavecchia pointed out - would be the temp of the water and dough before the cold ferment. Although - I don't see how - the water yes - but we can't control the room temperature/temperature of the kitchen which fluctuates a lot.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2013, 10:13:37 AM »
Perhaps, the next variable to control - as dellavecchia pointed out - would be the temp of the water and dough before the cold ferment. Although - I don't see how - the water yes - but we can't control the room temperature/temperature of the kitchen which fluctuates a lot.

jamie,

Maybe this Tom Lehmann PMQ article using the following Wayback Machine link will help in terms of understanding the factors that go into finished dough temperature: http://web.archive.org/web/20070502014430/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml. Of course, if you are hand kneading, the friction factor most likely will be much lower than if you were using a machine. Also, the rest period will affect the finished dough temperature because of the dough's exposure to the ambient temperature during that time. In your case, you might conduct a trial run to determine the friction factor for your application and then use that number for subsequent experiments to see if you can zero in on a number that works reasonably well and reasonably consistently for your particular setting. Even then, some adjustments are typically needed to adapt to seasonal changes. The advantage you have in a commercial setting (unless your work setting is exposed to the elements) is that there are far fewer variations than in a home setting. In a home setting, people use all kinds of mixers and mixer speeds and durations, all kinds of dough formulations, all kinds of batch sizes, all kinds of dough making methods, etc.

Peter

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2013, 02:03:27 PM »
The advantage you have in a commercial setting (unless your work setting is exposed to the elements) is that there are far fewer variations than in a home setting. In a home setting, people use all kinds of mixers and mixer speeds and durations, all kinds of dough formulations, all kinds of batch sizes, all kinds of dough making methods, etc.

Peter
Will this no nead method work in a NY style of dough and if so why is there always much discussion about how long to knead...noobs in particular are always asking about this.
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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2013, 02:24:36 PM »
Perhaps, the next variable to control - as dellavecchia pointed out - would be the temp of the water and dough before the cold ferment. Although - I don't see how - the water yes - but we can't control the room temperature/temperature of the kitchen which fluctuates a lot.

If you calculate the DDT each time you make dough by measuring the general room temp, use the water temp required, then you will have a dough with the same temp every time. Google how to calculate the DDT, or "desired dough temperature". This will help with your fermentation being consistent.

John

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2013, 02:39:19 PM »
The article referenced in Reply 12 above shows how to do the calculation.

Peter

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2013, 02:49:06 PM »
The article referenced in Reply 12 above shows how to do the calculation.

Peter

Ah, yes. A very comprehensive tutorial.

One of the questions I have pondered a bit is how do you determine with the desired dough temp should be? If it is, for instance, 80 degrees, why?

John

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2013, 07:17:41 PM »
One of the questions I have pondered a bit is how do you determine with the desired dough temp should be? If it is, for instance, 80 degrees, why?

John,

The best explanation that I can offer up is the one in the second paragraph of the post at Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23979.msg243776/topicseen.html#msg243776. In short, the desired dough temperature is 75-80 degrees F for a commercial application where a commercial cooler is used, and 70-75 degrees F for a home application using a standard home refrigerator.

Peter

Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2013, 10:41:02 PM »
Thanks people - I had no idea about DDT, etc. Does anybody on the forum actually do this? I'm about to switch from IDY to a Ischia culture - so it's probably better to make that switch first - but it's now on my to do list.


Offline jamieg

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Re: The dark horse that is gluten development
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 10:46:32 PM »
Will this no nead method work in a NY style of dough and if so why is there always much discussion about how long to knead...noobs in particular are always asking about this.

In my humble opinion... yes. It's made it much easier for us to get crunch on the borders - because the dough is lighter - the exterior shell gets crispy much faster.

I would love somebody to explain why you would be better off doing a short ferment with kneading as opposed to just long ferment - unless of course you just can't wait 2 days.


 

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