Author Topic: how can I improve my dough?  (Read 821 times)

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Offline chasenpse

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how can I improve my dough?
« on: September 13, 2013, 08:28:37 AM »
I'd love to get any feedback regarding my dough recipe and hear any improvements I can make to it, I've been trying to perfect the home pizza and feel that by standards I'm really close! Here's my recipe:

260g KA bread flour or caputo 00 (depending on cooking method)
130g water
98g starter @ 100% hydration
4-6g sea salt

I'll usually mix the ingredients on a low speed then divide them into about 245g balls and cold ferment for at least 24 hours, but ideally I like to use them after about 48 hours. With a high enough temperature the crust blisters up beautifully and the bottom of the pie is cooked nicely, but I find more times than not I'm not getting the rise I'd like to see - especially out of my home oven that maxes out at about 550F. I listed caputo as an occasional ingredient because when I have the opportunity I try to cook these pies on a very hot grill with a stone at around 750F. I don't get the characteristic leopard spotting on top, although the bottom of the pies come out nicely colored and the dough is nice and soft.

According to this hydration calculator I found online http://joshuacronemeyer.github.io/Flour-and-Water/ my recipe is at 58% hydration, but on paper it looks like it is 50%. Could this be my culprit?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 08:34:41 AM by chasenpse »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 08:40:04 AM »
chasenpse,

The 58% figure is correct because it takes into account the flour and water used in the starter. If the 96 grams of starter comprises equal weights of flour and water (100% hydration), then the hydration calculation is as follows:

[(96/2) + 130]/[(96/2) + 260] = 178/308 = 57.79. or approx. 58%

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 09:49:24 AM »
Chase;
What is your starter comprised of? What are the amounts that go into making the 98-grams?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline chasenpse

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 12:41:34 PM »
Thanks for explaining that one to me Pete-zza, it always confused me.

Chase;
What is your starter comprised of? What are the amounts that go into making the 98-grams?
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

My culture is just AP flour and water, I followed a youtube video of Nancy Silverton's grape starter to create it and feed it equal parts water/flour, roughly 70-80g of each every time I feed it. Another thing to note is that I started to keep my starter in the fridge since the beginning of summer but I don't feel it's affected it's ability, they're a tough bunch of bacteria :) I do let it come to room temp and feed it at least once prior to use.

Offline adm

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 04:53:21 PM »
That just seems like a massive amount of starter to me. It's about 20%. I would cut it back significantly.

If it's even halfway active and you ferment it for 24 hours, even fairly cold it will probably be pretty far gone.

Have a look at Craig's Neo dough thread - he used less than 2% starter for a 48 hour dough at room temp (65F), but if you want a 24 hour dough you could adjust accordingly.

However - if it works for you, then keep at it!  :)

Offline chasenpse

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 05:53:04 PM »
That just seems like a massive amount of starter to me. It's about 20%. I would cut it back significantly.

If it's even halfway active and you ferment it for 24 hours, even fairly cold it will probably be pretty far gone.

Have a look at Craig's Neo dough thread - he used less than 2% starter for a 48 hour dough at room temp (65F), but if you want a 24 hour dough you could adjust accordingly.

However - if it works for you, then keep at it!  :)

I had a feeling I was using too much, excuse my newbieness i'm fairly new to baking in general. I'm going to experiment and see what happens. Since i've been doing cold ferments I can't really tell when the dough is past it's peak but from my bread making adventures I found after about 12 hours the dough was overproofed and wouldn't rise as much. Then again that could be because I was using so much starter that it proofed too fast, is that possible?

Anyways, here's a shot of the bottom of some dough I made earlier this week.

Offline chasenpse

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Re: how can I improve my dough?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 09:12:28 PM »
That just seems like a massive amount of starter to me. It's about 20%. I would cut it back significantly.

If it's even halfway active and you ferment it for 24 hours, even fairly cold it will probably be pretty far gone.

Have a look at Craig's Neo dough thread - he used less than 2% starter for a 48 hour dough at room temp (65F), but if you want a 24 hour dough you could adjust accordingly.

However - if it works for you, then keep at it!  :)

This has gotten me thinking, I'd like to continue doing cold ferments since I don't bake all too often and it gives me time to plan accordingly. What would be a good percent of starter to use? Would 10% still be too much for a 48-72hr cold ferment, or should I go lower, perhaps 5%? I guess what I'm really trying to figure out is what is the deciding factor on how much starter to use?