Author Topic: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?  (Read 1787 times)

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Offline susanh0512

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No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« on: March 21, 2006, 11:16:13 AM »
Hiya folks...I'm brand-new here and did post an introduction on the intro thread.

My first question is...my mixer has gone AWOL.  I'd lent it to my mom years ago and after she passed away and I cleaned out her house...well, I never did find it!  ???  So, does anyone have any tips for mixing NY style pizza dough by hand?  I know it won't quite come out the same, but until I buy a new mixer I'm afraid I'm stuck doing it the old-fashioned way.  Any advice is welcome.  Thanks!

Susan


Offline canadianbacon

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2006, 11:21:22 AM »
Hi Susan and welcome to the group  :D

I don't know if there is a special technique to do this type of dough, but you you have 2 hands
and you will get some good exercise making your pizza doughs while you scope out stores and prices
for that new mixer you are going to buy  :P

There are many good videos on the internet for doing dough, and one of my lady friends sent me
a link a few weeks ago, of a lady doing dough for bread, which shows some good steps to making
dough, although it's for bread, you are going to go through these steps to make pizza dough. 

The kneading action will always be the same, but the recipe ingredients will differ.

I'll try and track down the website, and post it in a bit.

Mark
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline susanh0512

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2006, 11:30:08 AM »
Well bless your little heart.... ;)  I'll check back for that link.  Thanks for replying so quick!

Susan

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2006, 11:41:32 AM »
Hi Susan,

Ok I just found the link, I knew I had it in my email somewhere  :P

here it is:

http://www.connieqcooking.com/how-to-bake-bread.html

The reason why I chose these videos is that the lady does everything by hand,
so it may give you some info ..... I watched her do some of the videos a few times
just because I wanted it to sink in more  ::)

Right now my Internet connection seems slow, and I can't get her website to load,
but try it out.

She's got quite a few videos there, and she makes bread with so little effort and the
end results are amazing. 

Have fun and good luck  ;D

Mark in Canada
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline susanh0512

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2006, 12:01:37 PM »
Mark, thank you so much!  I just finished watching the video and she makes it look sooooooo easy.  I've got a 7-month old daughter that I'm always hauling around, so I've got some serious upper body strength...looks like I'll be putting it to the test!   ;)

Thanks again.  I'll let you know how my dough turns out.

Susan

Online Pete-zza

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 12:06:44 PM »
Susan,

Some time ago, I described how to make a hand-kneaded NY style dough at Reply 68 at page 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=576.msg5674#msg5674. At the time, I used 12 inches as the pizza size because I felt that it would be difficult to make a larger size in light of the warning by the folks at King Arthur's that high-gluten doughs be kneaded only by machine and not by hand. Since that time, I have discovered that using a combination of high hydration (a high ratio of water to flour, by weight) and autolyse (or similar rest period) seems to be a good way to hand knead a high-gluten flour dough ball for a larger size pizza. Not too long ago, using such an approach I hand kneaded a dough ball for a 16-inch NY style pizza with ease. I reported on the results at Reply 39 at page 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2175.20.html.

You might also find it useful to read the following thread on making a basic NY style pizza: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.0.html. This thread is based on using a stand mixer, but there are a lot of other helpful tips for making the NY style dough and pizza.

If, after you have read more on the subject of hand kneading, including in relation to other pizza styles featured on the forum, and have decided on a particular NY style recipe or formulation to use, then I am certain we will be able to help you with more detailed instructions.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 12:16:43 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline susanh0512

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006, 12:20:48 PM »
Peter, thanks so much!  Lots of info there.

After all of this rigamarole, you'll never believe this.  I just got off the phone with my husband and was mentioning I was going to try my hand at making homemade pizza and said it would be interesting trying to mix the dough by hand.  Guess what his response was?  "Why don't you use your mixer?"  I explained that I didn't have one.  He said, "Sure you do.  When we cleaned out your parents house I found it."  "So where is it?"  I asked.  "Down in the utility room in the basement," he replied.

Go figure.  Most people would think to put a mixer, um, in the KITCHEN, eh?  He's such a guy.  Apparently, mixer = tool and tools belong in the utility room. :-D  For 2 years that's where the darn thing has been and I've NEVER known about it!!!!

Thought you could use the laugh, anyway.  But in case after sitting for so long it's not working properly, I'll have all this great info you guys gave me on mixing by hand.  Thanks so much for helping me out!

Susan

Offline Danes Dad

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 02:10:13 AM »
Canadianbacon - Thanks for the link.  Great to see video of someone mixing by hand.  For me it is always a leap to go from someone writing instructions for hand kneading to actually doing what the instructions state, if that makes sense.

She mixed 10 cups of flour and her motor never bogged down once  ;D

After seeing this it does bring two questions to mind.  First, I remember Peter getting advice from Tom on mixing a New York style.  Tom stated "Forget about the "window" test. That is appropriate for making breads, but not pizza dough."  That being said, do you think Connie actually achieved a windowpane?  Secondly, as Connie stated in the video punching down the dough after it rises prevents bubbles from forming in the dough.  Now I realize she is making bread, but I have seen this listed somewhere on this site as well.  If I punch down my dough after a cold retardation am I eliminating those voids i've been trying to achieve in my crust for so long?  And if so, why would I want to do that?

Lastly, refering to the Alton Brown segment that was on last night. He showed his windowpane and it's not quite what i've been achieving.  It was very helpful to see this "test" being done as i've seen it written about, but never shown before.  So maybe all along i've thought I passed the windowpane test when in reality i didn't.  Here is a photo of what I thought was a passable windowpane.

Again, thanks for the hand kneading link.

Danes Dad

Offline Lydia

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006, 03:14:36 AM »
Danes Dad

If you are trying to create voids, you would want to gently fold the dough in on itself or just gently invert the dough onto your work surface. You also want to have the dough portioned out before the final proof.

If you use a rolling pin on your dough, it should only be done lightly and mostly in the center which pushes existing air bubbles to the outer edge. If you roll over the edge of the dough you can hear the bubbles escape from the dough.

Unfortunately, this requires a small rolling pin. The most common ones are meant to be used with one hand. I have both. I prefer the single hand roller, I can actually roll around the perimeter of the dough with equalized pressure. I wish I had pictures to show what the heck I'm talking about.

But here is a picture of the rolling pin, this one is professional.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 08:25:28 AM »
Danes Dad,

Most cold fermented doughs I make use so little yeast and the dough doesn't rise that much during the fermentation period that I haven't found a need to punch it down before bringing it to room temperature to warm up in preparation for using. As many of us have learned, at that point in the game it isn't a good idea to punch down the dough and re-knead/re-ball it because of the effect of such actions on tightening the gluten structure and making the dough "bucky" (elastic).

Ordinarily--and especially if the dough has a fair amount of yeast to begin with--it is not a problem to knock down the dough and reshape/re-knead during the fermentation period. I did this recently for a Caputo cold-fermented dough where the recipe instructions called for multiple punchdowns and “stretch and folds” over a fermentation period of a few days. Several things happen when you do this: the yeast is redistributed throughout the dough and is exposed to new sources of food (natural sugars extracted from the flour and any added sweeteners), the "old" carbon dioxide is expelled from the dough, and air is reincorporated into the dough. As a result, more carbon dioxide is produced to enable the dough to rise again, even if not by much (especially for a cold fermented dough). The stretch and fold technique also appears to form a better gluten structure. Most pizza operators don’t do these sorts of things because it is time-consuming and labor-intensive. They rely on biochemical activity to do the bulk of the heavy lifting.

As you might expect, there is a practical limit as to how many times you can let a dough rise and knock it down. There has to be enough yeast and enough food for the yeast to support multiple rises. Otherwise, at some point the yeast runs out of food and the dough starts to go downhill. At that point, there may not be enough carbon dioxide production to provide a good oven spring when the skin (dressed) hits the oven, and the finished product will have diminished volume (and other shortcomings). That’s why is it valuable to have an idea of what shelf life you have programmed into your dough when you make it. Knowing that will also give you a pretty good idea of when to use knockdowns and how many.

Peter


Offline varasano

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Re: No mixer...can I mix the dough by hand?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 10:24:52 AM »
I posted this on another thread:

I have thought about trying to hand knead. Here's what I would recommend: Read through my webpage a little (click the globe under my name) in the section where I talk about mixing. There are several key things there. First, much of the kneading can occur even when a dough is halfway between a batter and a dough. This was a big revelation for me.  Also, kneading works out better if you 'autolyze' which is a fancy term that just means mix the flour and water and let them sit for 20 minutes before kneading.

So I recommend this: Start with the amount of water you need, then mix in about 75% of the flour, until the dough is not quite a full dough, and still a bit of a batter. Wait 20 minutes. Mix in the yeast and salt, then mix for a good while with a wooden spoon. At this point its too wet to knead by hand. Then after say 5 minutes, start adding more and more flour a bit at a time. Once it's too dense to work in the bowl, start kneading by hand. Don't worry if the dough reaches a smooth state. It probably won't if you mix by hand.  Don't mix the dough until it's dry. Keep it as wet as you can, only adding flour when it's too sticky to touch. In the end it should still be very wet.

After a few more minutes, stop, return the dough to the bowl and cover to keep in the moisture, and wait another 20 minutes. Or even longer. If you are using a sourdough culture instead of instant yeast, you can wait hours if you want.   Now dust with flour shape the dough into balls. You will find that now after the wait, the dough is much smoother. The dough should feel soft like a baby's bottom.