Author Topic: A few questions about dough  (Read 1630 times)

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Offline mkbaxley

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A few questions about dough
« on: October 25, 2013, 02:34:53 PM »
Hello!

I have slowly gotten more and more into pizza making, and I'm hoping to get some of my questions answered with regards to how to make my pizza dough:

1.  So in almost every recipe I've tried to follow, my dough always ends up far too sticky than is really usable.  I understand that the answer should probably be just "add more flour", but I then become afraid that I'm adding far too much (generally a cup or more of flour goes into my dough beyond what a recipe may call for).  I recently tried to use the Lehmann Pizza Dough Calculator thinking maybe it might provide the correct proportions I'm looking for, but it turned out even stickier than most  :(.  Is it expected that all dough recipes will need much much more flour added to them?  Am I maybe using the wrong kind of flour?

2.  With regards to the flour, I understand what type of dough you want depends a fair amount on what kind of flour you're using.  If I went into a grocery store to buy flour for pizza, what should I be looking for on the package to know what kind of dough I might expect.  I also understand that there is no good answer as to what to expect, since it varies so much with yeast, fermentation time, etc.  But I didn't know if there were any rules of thumb.

Thanks for your answers, and please excuse my ignorance, I'm trying to get better!


Offline tombiasi

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 03:01:55 PM »
Welcome,
I'm sure that you will get many good answers from the pros but since I am here now I can start.
What kind of pizza are you making? I use a high gluten flour like Better for Bread or King Arthur's Bread Flour for my NY style pies.
Could you post your recipe and how you handle the dough?
This will help seeing why your dough is too sticky.
If you are always adding much more flour than the recipe calls for may it's the way you are measuring.
Regards,
Tom

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 06:17:08 PM »
Are you measuring by weight (grams / ounces) or by volume (cups / Liters)?   Or should I say, do you use a scale to measure your ingredients or a measuring cup?

What are you trying to do that your dough is sticky? Is it when you first take it out of the mixer, or when you try and form a pizza crust? 

If its when you a forming the dough balls right out of the mixer, put a little bit of oil on your hands to keep it from sticking to your fingers.


Offline mkbaxley

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 07:00:57 PM »
I've been using better for bread flour as well.  Honestly I haven't used recipes in a while because I just kinda gave up on them giving me dough with good proportions.  My most recent "recipe" is just using the calculator I mentioned, while basically using all the "suggested" parameters.

I've been measuring in volume, although I would use a scale if I had one.  When measuring in volume is one supposed to tamp down the flour tight within the measuring cup?  My dough will basically be sticky from the time I mix it to the time I roll it if I don't add more flour.  I'll generally coat my fingers in flour/oil, which definitely helps, but doesn't help as much with actually getting it to stay rolled out.

Offline tombiasi

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 08:51:10 PM »
I've been using better for bread flour as well.  Honestly I haven't used recipes in a while because I just kinda gave up on them giving me dough with good proportions.  My most recent "recipe" is just using the calculator I mentioned, while basically using all the "suggested" parameters.

I've been measuring in volume, although I would use a scale if I had one.  When measuring in volume is one supposed to tamp down the flour tight within the measuring cup?  My dough will basically be sticky from the time I mix it to the time I roll it if I don't add more flour.  I'll generally coat my fingers in flour/oil, which definitely helps, but doesn't help as much with actually getting it to stay rolled out.
The problem with measuring flour in volume is that it's very erratic. No you don't tamp it down. Most recipes that give volumes expect a loose measure. Water is a little closer with volume and sugar, salt, yeast can be OK by volume. If you really wantto improve this situation, get a scale and you can be helped here.

Tom

Offline SolidSurfer

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 08:57:55 PM »
I use a dough hook in the mixer, mix until it smooths out, and tends to be a less sticky. Oil my hands, oil the container to rise in. You don't want your dough to dry, it should be a bit sticky.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 01:05:23 AM »
As a couple people have already implied (but didn't actually say), an ounce of flour measured by volume is not the same thing as an ounce of flour measured by weight. In fact, it's not even close. Two cups of flour (or 16 oz, by volume) is not the same thing as a pound of flour (or 16 oz, by weight). Two cups of flour is generally something like 9 oz by weight. No matter how you measure it, 2 cups of flour will never be anywhere near a pound of flour. 2 cups of flour will always be in the neighborhood of 9 oz.

Your dough is much stickier than you think it should be because you're only using about 55-60% as much flour as you're supposed to use.

If you're using the dough calculator or bakers' percents, you have to weigh the flour.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2013, 01:28:05 AM »
As I reread your original post, I think it's pretty clear that you're using a recipe that calls for either exactly 16 oz of flour or really close to 16 oz of flour, which you've interpreted as meaning two cups of flour. If so, when you add the extra cup of flour (or more) that you've said you always have to add, you're bringing your flour total up to ABOUT 13.5 oz of flour. And I'm guessing you still end up with a very soft, sticky dough, right?

Offline mkevenson

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2013, 09:48:21 AM »
I also use the dough calculator. My suggestion is for you to purchase a gram scale, cheap, weigh everything , and enjoy. I never get sticky dough.


Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline IA Mark

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 10:47:53 PM »
Newbie here too...... Where do I find the dough calculator? Does it work for other doughs? like breads etc?

Thanks,
Mark


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 06:44:08 AM »
Mark,

All of the dough calculating tools can be accessed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html . The tool that I use the most is the expanded dough calculating tool because it embraces the largest number of ingredients. And, yes, the tools can be used for bread doughs and anything else where the ingredients are covered by the chosen tool and there are baker's percents.

Peter

Offline stupidhaiku

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 09:04:29 AM »
A scale will indeed make all your formulations easier and more consistent.  Get a digital scale with a tare function, otherwise you can go pretty cheap on them.  I think the one I've been using the last few years was around $20. 
-Mike (one of them, anyway)

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 03:51:36 PM »
A scale will indeed make all your formulations easier and more consistent.  Get a digital scale with a tare function, otherwise you can go pretty cheap on them.  I think the one I've been using the last few years was around $20. 

Yep, Amazon has lots of good options for very reasonable price. I acutally use two different ones, I have a small one that does 1/10 grams for measuring yeast, salt , sugar and etc. and I got a larger capcity scale for measuring water, flour and doughballs. I paid less than 35 dollars for both of them.

Offline mkbaxley

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2013, 09:23:31 AM »
Thank you everyone for your input!  I think you're all definitely right, I need to look into investing in a scale.  I'll definitely be looking around for one soon!

Offline Rinoxxx

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Re: A few questions about dough
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2013, 11:18:43 AM »
Actually Costco is selling a digital scale for 9.99 I picked it up. It works very well. Hope that helps.
Sam