Author Topic: OK WTH am I doing wrong?  (Read 1363 times)

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Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« on: August 06, 2013, 04:34:11 PM »
I've talked to people about this before and have reworked things to fix it. I still keep having something of a glue layer. I'm thinking perhaps something I could do now is mess with dough fermentation times more. The things I have done is: put oil on the crust, parbake, use flour without malt, not use bench flour before baking, use less wet ingredients, and use different level racks or temperatures. I hate being still in noob-land. I have been making pizzas since I was a kid with the frozen dough, but making my own dough for some reason has been my biggest challenge. :-[

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 05:03:25 PM »
PAJ;
What you have is what we like to call the "dreaded gum line" which appears directly under the sauce as a gray colored, raw dough textured area. The first thing to do is to confirm that you really do have a gum line. This is done by cutting the pizza into slices, then turning a slice over and using an Exacto knife or box knife with a new blade, carefully cut the bottom crust from heel to point, then separate the two pieces, look to see if you can see a gum line about 1/8-inch thick you have confirmed your suspicions. Another quick test is to tear a slice apart, again from the heel to the point observing the way the crust separates. If it cleaves cleanly, you don't have a gum line, but if it feathers as you pull it apart (forms a film) congratulations, you have a gum line. In home baking, the most common causes are 1) Forming the pizza skin too thin. 2) Baking the pizza at an excessively high temperature. Occasionally, we find that the cause can also be due to an excessively low yeast level. If you can share your dough formula and dough management through forming technique I might be able to better ascertain just what the causative factor is.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 05:20:45 PM »
I'm sure I have one. I can SEE it and feel it. It's so nasty eew. The yeast may not be getting activated enough. I don't have a thermometer yet so I can never know for sure what the temperature is.  Usually I put the yeast in with warm water that is slightly uncomfortable to touch with a tablespoon of honey and let sit about 3-5 minutes until it foams some, but not too much. I used to get it to foam about 1/4 of an inch and all to the edge of the bowl. Lately that is not the case. Then I put it in the flour (lately it's been Gold Mill Organic All Purpose which doesn't have malted barley.) I mix and form it. Often I knead it there and then, but I found out some people knead it after a 20 minute autolyze. (Seems like some people don't heat their water and mix it with the yeast all at once.) I have tried the keyhole technique, but it seems like it doesn't work too well for me. Perhaps I am not getting a good skin after all. Then after 1-2 hours sometimes much longer like 6 I will spread it out and let it rise for 20 minutes at least then top it. Sometimes I use fresh mozzarella sometimes I use low moisture. It seems the higher temperatures are necessary for the fresh kind. I cook usually on a stone and now have a stone on the rack above. I'm generally heating 425-500 these days. Honestly just the first step (dough making) is the main thing I need to focus on now I think.

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 01:36:13 AM »
Also I used a sixty percent hydration rate last time which was my first time using a digital scale. (I know:noob.)

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 08:04:55 AM »
PAJ;
If you are putting the yeast into water that is uncomfortably warm the water is wwaayy too hot. Think of it like this, ideal yeast hydration temperature is 100 to 105F, body temperature is 98.6F, the water temperature in which you hydrate your yeast should feel only very slightly warm (only about 7F warmer than your finger). You are right, you might be cooking your yeast rather than hydrating it. Do you see any activation foam forming in the  yeast water after about 10-minutes?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 01:16:28 PM »
Ok. Yes I see foam start. I used to be able to get it to grow more so I probably am going a bit harsh on it.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 09:01:09 AM »
Since you have confirmed yeast activity, we can probably safely take that off of the table for now, so the next most likely caused are either stretching the dough skin too thin, or incorrect baking.
Another thing to look at is use of an excessive amount of sauce, pre-saucing the dough skins, or excessive amount of toppings. These are pretty easy to test by just barely using sauce, sauce only when you are ready to dress and bake the skins, and reduce the amount of toppings used.
Stretching the dough skin too thin is a very common cause of a gum line. To test this, leave the dough thicker for one pizza and see if things improve any. As for baking, you can test that by reducing the oven temperature by about 25F and baking for a slightly longer time.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2013, 12:36:27 AM »
This sauce aspect and stretching seem to be a major part. I have corrected a lot of that, and it seems to be working well. Thanks. We'll see. Not exactly there yet, but a lot closer.

Offline PizzaAlaJoey

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 07:16:29 PM »
Tom, I just recently looked at this article on no-knead. One guy redid the original recipe in an amateur way by putting four times the yeast in it. The chef said that would eat up all the sugars and starches basically. The original recipe called for 1/4 tsp of IDY and 3 cups of AP or BF. I have been going by what the yeast container says which is 1/2 tsp. per cup of flour. Now, even though they are letting it sit out for 12 hours and I'm now cold fermenting for 36 hours to 4 days I still am wondering if maybe this is somehow affecting the crust's ability to grow properly. I have gotten MUCH better, but I still have a ways to go. Granted I'm doing more of a Neopolitan style lately, I should figure out how to avoid this in general. So my question is this: does too much yeast cause a problem with the ability of dough to cook properly under sauce and cheese?

P.S. I have been using honey with warm water to start my yeast. Is it better to just put some of the flour in with the yeast/water mixture or maybe mix some flour into a well of flour?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: OK WTH am I doing wrong?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 09:44:46 AM »
PAJ;
You will probably be best off by just adding the ADY to the warm water with just a pinch of sucrose (regular table sugar) to help get it started. There is no need to add any flour or anything else.
If you have too much yeast for the length of time you are fermenting the dough the dough can become over fermented, thus weakening the dough to the extent that it can't support the weight of the toppings, so it now collapses, and readily allows heat to pass through the dough/crust into the toppings where the heat is dissipated in the form of steam, hence the dough never becomes baked to the point of being very crispy or firm. If you see both of these in your pizza, the dough might be over fermented. If you just see the gum line you might also be stretching the dough too thin, or if you are making your own sauce, you might be adding too much water to it, or an excessive amount of toppings. To test for this, try brushing on a VERY THIN layer of oil on the skin, then add thin slices of blotted, fresh tomato (one average tomato is about right for a 12-inch pizza), now apply your cheese and see if the problem has been addressed. If it has, this is an indication that you just need to work on dressing the skin. In some cases the gum line can also result if the pizza isn't baked long enough. To test for this, reduce the baking temperature by 50F and bake to color. If this addresses the problem you may need to make an adjustment to your baking time and temperature.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


 

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