Author Topic: Proofing trays  (Read 599 times)

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Offline Steve

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Proofing trays
« on: April 09, 2014, 07:35:29 PM »
I recently purchased a set of artisan dough trays. They're smaller than the commercial size, but they fit perfectly into a standard home refrigerator.

I've used my trays twice. I usually put three dough balls into each tray (staggered, one top left corner, one bottom center, one top right corner). When the dough balls go in, they're perfect. When they're ready to come out, they're a mess... they flatten out and run together... I have to use a knife to cut the seams apart then I have to gently finesse them back in shape. Very frustrating.

But, when I watch videos of professional operations, they lift the lids of their trays and there sits almost perfect dough balls, ready to be pressed into shape.

What gives?

I generally use 60-65% hydration which is pretty typical, so I have no idea why their dough balls look so perfect and mine looks like a flat puddle of dough with seams where the "balls" joined together.

Can someone shed some light on what I'm missing?
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 08:16:49 PM »
Steve,

You would be surprised to see how often what you experienced is common even among professional pizza operators.

What happened to you might be a dough ball spacing issue but more likely is that the dough had a high hydration value for the type of flour used, and/or the dough balls overfermented or experienced breakdown of the gluten matrix due to the action of protease enzymes and acids developed during the fermentation of the dough. It is also possible that the dough was not kneaded enough, or there were insufficient stretch and folds to develop the gluten in the flour. The latter is common for doughs with hydration values considerably in excess of the rated absorption values of the flours used.

Can you post the dough formulation you used and tell us how you made and managed the dough up to the point of use, including the finished dough temperature of the final dough and the duration of the temper of the dough balls at room temperature if you have that information? Also, if you used more than one dough tray, did you cross stack them and then down stack them in the refrigerator?

Peter
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 08:23:00 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 08:47:20 PM »
Steve,  I can tell you there is no way around that with NP formulations.  I think you are seeing commercial operators pictures that are using HG flour in the 55 -60 percent range and do not ferment like we all do here for flavor and texture. What you are seeing just what you are looking for.  The plastic knife included in that tray set is fantastic for working with the dough at that point.  There was a thread about this issue recently.  *Most of the pro NP guys start with square doughs ....  -marc
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 10:59:11 PM by widespreadpizza »

Offline scott123

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 10:47:31 PM »
Nost of the pro NP guys start with square doughs ....  -marc

Da Michele - round
Sorbillo - round
UPN - round
Cane Rosso - round

Keste - square
Franco Manca - square
Salvo - square (ish)

This list is no where near comprehensive (just the ones I could find video/photos for), and I think, at the end of the day, more places probably use square than round, but I don't think it's a clear cut majority/most.

As far as round dough vs. square... I've noticed that square dough tends to make square pizza- which, for Neapolitan, is not the end of the world, but, for NY, is a bigger deal.  With square dough, it's pretty much impossible to get the dough out of the tray without cutting into it slightly, and, even though the end result might be identical to round dough, the idea of cutting into fully fermented dough and letting precious gases escape- even if it's the tiniest amount of gas, goes against everything I believe in.

In a commercial environment, where space might be limited, I can, to a point, understand square dough, but in a home environment, where space is less of a concern, I think round dough is in order.

Steve, you can alter your recipe/process to create less dough ball spread and stop the dough balls from flowing together, but I think that's a fool's errand. Your containers should conform to your recipe/process, not the other way around.  I think those dough mate containers should fit two Neapolitan size dough balls without dough ball contact.

If you do decide that dough ball contact isn't a big deal, then facilitate squareness by going with even numbers- 4 dough balls, not 3. That way you can cut the dough in straight lines.




Offline Steve

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 10:54:20 PM »
I think I'm going to ditch the trays and buy some straight edged proofing pans with lids. No more worries. Thanks for the help!
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Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 11:04:35 PM »
Scott123,  interesting observations about round/square.  I have not tried to pull up pictures of all that you mentioned,  but I have to assume it is mostly a matter of spacing in the tray for the round guys or possibly different levels of maturity.  Either way,  many a dough ball in the pro world touch together agreed?  -marc

Offline scott123

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 11:46:14 PM »
Marc, from the photos I've seen, it's a matter of maturity, hydration/gluten development (slacker/tighter doughs) as well as tray size, as some use custom built trays.

And yes, instead of round/square, if you want to break it down into touching/not touching, then the touching camp clearly has the majority

UPN - not touching

Da Michele - touching
Sorbillo - touching
Cane Rosso - touching
Keste - touching
Franco Manca - touching
Salvo - touching

And the UPN example I'm going with is from Naturally Risen.  For all I know, he could easily be touching now.

Offline scott123

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 12:00:06 AM »
I think I'm going to ditch the trays and buy some straight edged proofing pans with lids. No more worries. Thanks for the help!


Sounds good, Steve. I don't know if you're considering aluminum, but I wouldn't combine aluminum with sourdough.

I don't think it's a safety issue, but I'm not a big fan of the taste of aluminum reacting to acids (such as aluminum foil in contact with tomato sauce). Since the sourdough you're working with produces acid, I think you're better off with plastic or glass.

These are what I use:

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=12232&categoryid=149

Online norma427

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 07:41:47 AM »
Steve,


This is what I posted about the dough at Keste's at Reply 90 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17070.msg166730#msg166730  and a video at Reply 20 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17070.msg166204#msg166204 and the next post at Reply 21 the dough balls  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=17070.msg166205#msg166205 

You can see the variety of plastic containers the Neapolitan pizza master Craig uses at Reply 15 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26074.msg263048#msg263048 Some more photos of Craig's dough balls at Reply 27 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26074.msg263086#msg263086 and Reply 28 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26074.msg263087#msg263087

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Offline Steve

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 09:21:01 AM »
I just ordered some of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M5JRFW/?tag=pizzamaking-20
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001L4POOQ/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Clear, 2-quart capacity, professional-grade. Looks like those will fit the bill nicely.  :)
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Offline Steve

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 07:39:54 PM »
Until my "real" bowls arrive, I bought these at the local store... 2 packs of 3 bowls for $4.00... not a bad price!

Dough balls were made using Craig's recipe (complete with Ischia starter). First 24 hour room-temperature rise is done, now balled and ready for their second 24 hour rise.
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Offline scott123

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 07:57:23 PM »
Steve, this is splitting some pretty serious hairs, and I'm not really sure where I stand on this, but, while we're on the topic of proofing trays, it looks like your dough balls, by the time they fully proof, will contact the walls.

I know that most forum members, myself included, have containers where the dough typically touches the walls, but, I have seen some NP pros (such as Roberto) talk about using the top of the dough ball (as it sits in the tray) as the top of the pizza, since the bottom of the ball is pockmarked and less aesthetically pleasing. When the dough creeps up the walls of the container, you're basically maximizing this pockmarked area.

I know Craig makes flawless pies with dough touching the walls of the container,  and we also have members that don't follow the Roberto approach and make beautiful pizzas as well, but it is something that I think about.

Another advantage to having non touching dough balls in trays, is that, for most doughs, you can get the dough up with a scraper without having to pre-oil the tray.  When you get into individual containers, that typically requires oiling to get the dough out.

Offline Steve

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 08:01:23 PM »
Thanks for that information.

Like I said, those 6-cup disposable containers are temporary... I ordered larger 2-quart containers that should be here next week, they will be a few inches larger in diameter.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2014, 12:16:58 AM »
Da Michele - round
Sorbillo - round
UPN - round
Cane Rosso - round

Keste - square
Franco Manca - square
Salvo - square (ish)

This list is no where near comprehensive (just the ones I could find video/photos for), and I think, at the end of the day, more places probably use square than round, but I don't think it's a clear cut majority/most.

As far as round dough vs. square... I've noticed that square dough tends to make square pizza- which, for Neapolitan, is not the end of the world, but, for NY, is a bigger deal.  With square dough, it's pretty much impossible to get the dough out of the tray without cutting into it slightly, and, even though the end result might be identical to round dough, the idea of cutting into fully fermented dough and letting precious gases escape- even if it's the tiniest amount of gas, goes against everything I believe in.

In a commercial environment, where space might be limited, I can, to a point, understand square dough, but in a home environment, where space is less of a concern, I think round dough is in order.

Steve, you can alter your recipe/process to create less dough ball spread and stop the dough balls from flowing together, but I think that's a fool's errand. Your containers should conform to your recipe/process, not the other way around.  I think those dough mate containers should fit two Neapolitan size dough balls without dough ball contact.

If you do decide that dough ball contact isn't a big deal, then facilitate squareness by going with even numbers- 4 dough balls, not 3. That way you can cut the dough in straight lines.

You left a couple important ones off:

Omid - Square

Craig - Round

 ;D
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Offline Steve

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 04:28:30 PM »
I just ordered some of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000M5JRFW/?tag=pizzamaking-20
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001L4POOQ/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Clear, 2-quart capacity, professional-grade. Looks like those will fit the bill nicely.  :)


Absolutely LOVE these bowls, my proofing trays have been officially retired.  :chef:
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2014, 06:30:09 PM »
JConk square  ( long room temp) but can makea round pie
jConk round ( fridge controlled )  nice to work less texture and finish flavor
jConk  hot mess at 90 degree outside temp for 4 hours do the best I can  :P
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Offline pythonic

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2014, 08:58:30 PM »
Until my "real" bowls arrive, I bought these at the local store... 2 packs of 3 bowls for $4.00... not a bad price!

Dough balls were made using Craig's recipe (complete with Ischia starter). First 24 hour room-temperature rise is done, now balled and ready for their second 24 hour rise.

Steve,

These are the same ones I've been using for 2 years.  I've been happy with them too for the price.

Nate
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Offline wahoo88

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Re: Proofing trays
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2014, 09:53:52 PM »
I find that the container from a 500g greek yogurt works perfectly, and they often come with plastic snap lids.


 

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