Author Topic: Ball opening methods  (Read 733 times)

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Offline Iowamcnabb

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Ball opening methods
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:20:35 PM »
I'd like to know everyone's preferred ball opening method and why.  A lot of the better known pizzaiolos seem to use some variation of the slap while others stretch in a circular motion directly on the table.

  I personally do the initial press on both sides followed by a few stretches over the knuckles.  The knuckles method is the easiest to master and is probably the most gentle.  Why don't more professionals use this method?  Am I missing something by not slapping? 


Offline mkevenson

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 04:33:25 PM »
I am no pro, so if this thread is directed at pro's sorry. For the best texture, ie most tender, I gently press the ball from near center with the flat part of my fingertips, pushing towards the outer edge, or what is eventually going to be the outer edge. I gently turn the more flattened dough with a easy stretching turning combo motion, never lifting the dough off the prep table. I proceed until I achieve approx 14" round shape. I take care not to push in the direct center of the dough ball, it flattens by itself, and I also take care to not touch the cornice or outer edge of the flattened dough. This method is relatively new to me as I never had a prep surface before the allowed such easy turning and stretching without lifting off the table. I think I will stick with it untill I find a better way.

Mark
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 04:35:24 PM by mkevenson »
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Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 04:58:13 PM »
Mark, have you noticed a tenderness difference over other methods?  What type of prep counter do you use?  I use granite and the dough doesn't  slide as easily as I would like

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 05:42:49 PM »
Mark, have you noticed a tenderness difference over other methods?  What type of prep counter do you use?  I use granite and the dough doesn't  slide as easily as I would like
I also am using granite now. I bought a granite cleaner and polish. 2 steps. Makes the dough slide!!! Food safe also.
I had been using a single piece of tile counter top material prior. Picked the dough up and did a similar method as you describe. I think that the less you touch the dough ball the more tender the crust will be. I am working on teaching my dough balls to respond to verbal commands. :o

Mark
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Offline Mario D

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 06:07:37 PM »
I use both methods being careful not to let too much air out of the ball. Check out the video below.


Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 06:16:14 PM »
I am working on teaching my dough balls to respond to verbal commands. :o

Mark





Great tip on the granite cleaner I'll check it out!

Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2014, 06:19:45 PM »
I use both methods being careful not to let too much air out of the ball. Check out the video below.





That video looks great Mario!  Technique looks very solid. 

Offline fagilia

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 12:25:07 AM »
Looks to me many pizzerias in naples has more strong dough than many have here in the forum. A stronger dough is not so easy to do over nuckles. Also many here have round shape balls from containers. In naples balls are not round. More square so you have to manipulate more and then slap is easier.
if i used craigs exact method i would probably do knuckles but my balls are more square and probably stronger.
These are my observations.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2014, 10:34:59 AM »
I don't think it's necessarily a matter of the dough being stronger but rather less relaxed. Opening my dough literally takes zero effort. Notwithstanding, it's very strong, you could easily open it up into a 4 foot diameter skin so thin that you could see through it.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline fagilia

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2014, 10:40:44 AM »
Yes Craig true that is what i did mean.
My defenitions are off if what your saying is correct.
Off topic Craig if you see this:
I had this idea that i Naples they have less relaxed dough so that it would be possible to prepare many disks at once. I mean the price is so cheap compared to the us you have to make them fast.
Often when my dough is very relaxed tomatoe sauce can penetrate through the skin and make holes faster than with a not so relaxed dough.
Is this your experience too with your dough?
Thanks sorry for off topic  Iowamcnabb
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 10:47:18 AM by fagilia »


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2014, 10:57:19 AM »
That may be part of the reason. It may also be that they don't have the space to store that much dough in balls for the time it would take to become more relaxed.

I have to be careful that I don't open my balls too thin in the center or they become easy to tear in the oven.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline fagilia

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 11:20:20 AM »
Okok true that also.
Thank you for answere as well.

Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2014, 01:37:48 PM »
Looks to me many pizzerias in naples has more strong dough than many have here in the forum. A stronger dough is not so easy to do over nuckles. Also many here have round shape balls from containers. In naples balls are not round. More square so you have to manipulate more and then slap is easier.
if i used craigs exact method i would probably do knuckles but my balls are more square and probably stronger.
These are my observations.


Agreed.  My dough is so soft when it comes out I'm not even sure I could do a slap.  I've been doing higher hydration lately tho. 

Offline theppgcowboy

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2014, 08:47:30 PM »
Slap for my Neo's. If your dough is slack, or you have a high hydration, if you knuckle it you will get thin spots.

Offline Iowamcnabb

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2014, 09:33:06 PM »
Slap for my Neo's. If your dough is slack, or you have a high hydration, if you knuckle it you will get thin spots.

I have noticed an occasional thin spot with the knuckle method

Offline fagilia

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2014, 03:30:07 AM »
My dough is probably realatively slack and i alwayd use the starita slap so i can control thickness of the disk at all times.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ball opening methods
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2014, 10:25:38 AM »
I don't need to slap, knuckle, or otherwise stretch my dough at all unless it's really cold. Typically, I gently press top to bottom (protecting the cornicione), flip and rotate 90 degrees,  gently press top to bottom, flip and rotate 90 degrees, press gently to to bottom, then lift and place it where I will top it. When the lifting, the weight of the dough stretches it a bit. At that point, it will be about a 10" diameter. After I load it onto the peel, I will stretch the cornicione out to 13". This way, you have complete control over the center thickness. Of course, this does not work if your dough is tight.
Pizza is not bread.


 

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