Author Topic: When to shape?  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline Gorgonzolla

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When to shape?
« on: June 08, 2006, 08:55:08 AM »
I was wondering what the proper sequence for dough shaping is. I have been making the dough and tossing it whole into the refridgerator in a bowl in a plastic bag, 24 hrs or more later I take it out and cut into 16 oz. pieces, round it and put it back into the fridge for additional hours. I'll take dough out 30 minuites before I make pizza. Am I doing this right? Or should it be shaped right from the start? How long before cooking dhould the dough be brought out of refridgeration? TIA


Online Pete-zza

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Re: When to shape?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 10:09:41 AM »
Gorgonzolla,

I think you will find that it can be done either way but how you intend to use the dough may be a factor. For example, in the professional ranks, some pizza operators will make the dough in bulk and ferment it in a tub or large bag at room temperature, usually (but not always) for same-day use (the dough will usually be held overnight in the cooler for next-day use or used as scrap to make the next-day's dough). Often the dough pieces are run through a roller or press so the shape of the dough cut out from the bulk is not especially critical. Similarly, if the dough is to be pressed into a pan and then allowed to proof (rise) before dressing and baking, the shape again will usually not be a particularly critical factor. For cold-fermented doughs intended to be hand shaped and stretched into skins, the more common approach used by professionals is to divide the prepared dough into the desired number of dough balls--doing this by hand or by using a divider/rounder if the volume is high enough--and place the dough balls into dough boxes or trays and then into the cooler. This approach reasonably guarantees that the dough balls will cool down faster than a bulk dough (because of their smaller size) and retain a nice round (albeit possibly flattened) shape when ready to use, ensuring minimal loss of gases in the dough because of overhandling. From what I have read on the forum on this topic, I believe most of our members who make cold fermented dough balls use the individual dough ball approach rather than the bulk approach.

As far as how much counter time should be used before making the pizzas, you can use either temperature or time as the guide. Generally, if you try to shape a dough ball that has an internal temperature below, say, 50-55 degrees F, there is an increased chance that the finished crust will have a lot of big bubbles. The likelihood of these bubbles occurring can be reduced by docking the skin heavily with a dough docker before dressing and baking, but some bubbles may still appear in the finished crust. Some people actually like big bubbles in their crust, so it is a personal matter to some degree. But, professionals hate bubbles. The more common approach (rather than taking the temperature of the dough) is to allow about 1 1/2 to 2 hours counter time before shaping the dough balls into skins. The actual time will depend on the dough temperature coming out of the cooler/refrigerator and the room temperature. Usually a dough will rise much faster in the summer than in the winter. It isn't critical that you stay within the 1 1/2-2 hour time period mentioned above. In most cases, the dough will be usable for about 3-4 hours or more after that.

Peter


Offline Gorgonzolla

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Re: When to shape?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2006, 08:53:49 AM »
It happened over night! I was wondering when I would be able to form pizza dough by hand without useing a roller. I would try every time I made pizza but would ultimately end up using a rolling pin to streach it out to 16". I would often consider using other devices like rubber mallets or even drive 6 penny nails through the dough into the board to hold it there wile the dough relaxes.
I'm not really sure what happened But I'm highly suspect pf the new "Counter Time" of 1 1/2 hours before forming. Other things I changed this time was I hydrated the flour and let it sit for a while before introducing yeast, And I tossed the dough right into the fridge after it was kneaded instead of letting it rise for at least 6 hours or so at room temp before refridgerating it for 24 hours.  I was able to easily streach 16 onces of dough out to 16 inches achiveing a micro thin crust by hand in the center without tearing. In fact I was hard pressed to get the pie to land entirely on the 16" round stone. I think if I can duplicate this success I would reduce the size of the doughball to 14 oz to make this part easier. I did notice however with out the six hours of fermenting at room temperature the crust lacked taste, But did get better after 48 hours refridgerated. Also The dough lacked any "return elasticity" that I have been wishing to eliminate in the first place. I make my dough by hand with King Authur all purpose flour on a board with no machine.  Perhaps I would increase the knead time to enhance this charicturistic once I get by the "Let's try Nailing it Down" barrier I've been trying to breach.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: When to shape?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2006, 09:58:22 AM »
Gorgonzolla,

It sounds like you are well on your way.

The effect of room fermentation on flavor that you experienced is quite normal. A dough fermented at room temperature will produce more flavor quicker in the finished crust because the yeast and enzymes prefer warmth over cold and work faster at room temperature, thereby speeding up the fermentation process. If you go to the other extreme--freezing--there in zero fermentation and zero flavor contribution because the action of the yeast and other biochemical processes is suspended (freezing actually kills some of the yeast). The refrigerator is in between room temperature fermentation and freezing. The fermentation continues in the refrigerator but at a slower pace. So, to get the equivalent crust flavor as with a room temperature fermented dough, you have to allow quite a bit more time in the refrigerator (usually days versus hours).

I wondered whether you were re-kneading or re-balling or otherwise reshaping the dough balls just before using. That's a no-no and will mess up the gluten structure and make it almost impossible to stretch out the dough, even with a rolling pin. This is not usually fatal but may require a few hours more rest time to allow the gluten to recover.

If you are hand kneading, I would allow ample hydration since that helps the extensibility (stretch) of the dough. Although I am not personally a big fan of autolyse and similar rest periods, I have found that they help when hand kneading a dough, as you did, and even when using a high-gluten flour. Some oil in the dough will also contribute to extensibility in the dough, and also contribute flavor to the finished crust, but if you use too much the crust and crumb can become quite soft. That may be good or bad depending on whether you like or don't like softness in your crust.

If you observe the above principles and concepts, and you otherwise allow the dough to ferment properly and sufficiently, I think you will be able to put your rolling pin back in the drawer.

Peter


 

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