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Offline motownpizzaguy

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Wet dough- hard to handle!
« on: August 15, 2006, 05:30:49 PM »
I'm so happy to have found this site!  Any help or advice here would be mucho appreciated!  I'm in the planning stages of opening an organic pizzeria, thin-crust, NY style. I like a wet dough, I like how tender it comes out.  My problem is that its impossible to handle and shape!  I store it in stainless steel stackable tins given to me by a local pizzeria owner that I worked for.  I let it rise 2-3 days.  Unless I put a LOT of olive oil in the pan the dough sticks to the point that it deflates when I try to take it out.  Then when I put all that oil in it makes a gummy mess when I dip it in flour to allow for shaping.  The final product has a coating of raw flour that is thick enough to really taste.  It tastes fantastic if I don't use as much oil but then it is REALLY hard to shape and would never be feasible in mass production.  HELP!  I'm using about 63% water as a function of flour, I've tried going below that but it starts to lose that tenderness that I like.  I've tried bread and AP flours, and I add oil to the dough formulation(about 2%) but it still is hard to work with.  Thanks in advance   ???


Offline chiguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 08:14:26 PM »
 Hi Motownpizza,
 It is possible that you are experiencing an over fermented dough and the deflation you experience is a blown dough. An overfermented dough can become very difficult too handle and shape, almost impossible..  I can't tell you for sure without seeing you're dough formula and method.  A dough that is left to rise in a cooler( i hope), for 2-3 days calls for using a strict retarded dough formula and method. The finished dough temperature and yeast amount are very important factors for you when holding in the cooler that long. What is you're finished dough temp?? and what % of yeast are you using? Are you using High Gluten flour for a 63% hydration?? We need a little more info here in order to help you with your problems..      Chiguy

Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 10:59:58 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply- I can answer some of your questions, but honestly I don't pay enough attention to finished temp. I'm aware of the concept but I pretty much shoot for using cold tap water every time, so maybe thats one big problem.  Otherwise my formulation is as follows:
63% H2O
2.5 % oil
0.5% instant yeast
2% salt
4% sugar

I mix all ingredients by hand to combine, then 2 minutes on medium low, 20 minutes autolyse, then 2 more minutes on medium low.  Cut, shape and store in tins for 30 minutes at room temp before fridging them.  I've used high-gluten from Gen Mills, King Arthur Bread Flour and King Arthur A-P flour, all with similar results, save a bit more chew with the H-G and Bread flours.  I've also tried using small amounts of whole wheat flour to replace some of the white flour(like 5-10%).  Thanks again for advice

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 11:49:19 AM »
motownpizzaguy,

I tend to agree with chiguy. I think your dough may have overfermented. From what you have said, I would be inclined to do the following:

1) Lower that amount of IDY to about 0.25%. That should result in a slower rate of fermentation.

2) Temperature adjust the formula water to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 75 degrees F. This may mean using ice cold water this time of year. At a minimum you should at least measure the finished dough temperature. If it exceeds 75 degrees F, that will tell you that next time you will have to use even colder water. It will also tell you that your dough will ferment faster and shorten its useful life. Consequently, it may not make it out to 3 days.

3) I would get the dough balls into the proofing/retarding pans and into the cooler as fast as possible. If you are using a 20-minute autolyse-like rest period plus another 30 minutes bench time after scaling and dividing, it is very likely that your dough temperature is above 75 degrees F if you did not temperature adjust the water. In my experience, when an autolyse or autolyse-like rest period is used, especially if it is a long rest period, the dough temperature will rise just during that time. That suggests using even colder water to compensate, which is what I typically do. In my case, I calculate the water temperature to use and lower it by another 5 degrees or so to compensate.

4) I have not used proofing/retarding pans in great numbers such as in your case, but if you can put them in your cooler for about an hour or two before stacking, I would try that. So long as you wipe the dough balls with oil, a crust will not form and moisture won't condense on the dough balls and make a mess of them later when you start to work with them. At some point, you might find it beneficial to switch to using dough trays or boxes instead of individual pans. The dough tray can be cross stacked in your cooler if you have space and prevent condensation from forming on the dough balls. They can then be down stacked in the cooler until you are ready to use the dough balls. I would put this idea on hold for the moment until you see if the problems you have been experiencing go away.

5) I personally would use a different sequencing of the ingredients to make the dough than you did, but for now I would suggest adding the oil last, for example, after all of the other ingredients have been properly combined and the flour has been taken up in the dough. Using this step should result in better hydration of the flour.

If the above suggestions do not solve the problem, please come back and tell us what results you achieved. Maybe we can offer up some additional suggestions. In fact, I would like you to tell us if the problems went away also. That is how we all learn.

Peter


Offline chiguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2006, 03:18:12 PM »
 Hi motownpizza,
 The suggestion Pete-zza should help you control the fermentation process and the overall handeling characteristics of the dough. The most important factor in the retarded dough process is the finished dough temperature!! You need to get a dough thermometer, and the temperature should be taken immediately after mixing. The 75F finished temperture is a good number to shoot for with the amount of time(72hrs) you plan to hold in the cooler.
 The  Autolyse, scaling of the dough and the 30minute rest outside the cooler is well over an hour. This along with improper finished dough temperatures is probably contributing to the fermentation problems. You should Mix dough, check temperature, Scale, Oil, into the dough trays and into the cooler immediately.   
 I would like to point out that getting a 75F dough temperature exact everytime is not always possible. All is not lost if the dough temperature happens to be a few degrees higher, you should still get good results,but still continue to try an achieve 75F. Although as the dough temperture rises, the amount of time it can be held in the cooler will probably decrease a bit. The full three days may not be feasable. 
 As far as adding ice, i use the ice in summer to achieve a lower water temperture, then i strain the ice form the water i will need. Also make sure you're cooler temp is 35-40F, this can contribute to the condensation on the dough ball. Keep those dough trays at the back of the cooler.
 I would like to mention that the amount of sugar you are using(4%) is on the higher end and sugar is a browning agent as well as for flavor and food for the yeast. If you should happen to experience a overly brown crust you may consider cutting it back to 2.5%.I only mention this because as you lower the yeast amount/activity and dough temperature, the amount of residual sugar left upon baking may increase, especially if you decide to bake the skins after only one day. Just a few thoughts,  Chiguy

Offline dinks

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2006, 04:09:08 PM »
MOTOWNPIZZAGUY:
  Good afternoon fellow baker. I have read your post with interest. I would like to help you if I can. First, I will not make any comment on the other posting that you recieved. I will not mention everything that I feel that should be questioned to you because sincerly my friend I question some of things that I have read.

  This is one of my problems that has to do with so-called "OVER-FERMENTED DOUGH". I would like to know how can we attain an over-fermented dough when we have not developed the flours Gluten strand structure fully to it's maximum strength with only 4, minutes of agitation ?????. One more thing the amount of yeast you are employing is not sufficent you can easily increase this by 1/3rd & that my friend I would consider bare mimimum in total..... especially with the amount of sugar that you are using... Sugar is not a requirement in a yeasted lean bread dough, only a option & a poor one at that. (Consider Honey). There is enough sugar in your recipe to choke a horse, furthermore my friend I sincerly believe this amount of sugar is smothering the action & function of the yeast. Let me "SPLAIN YA" NU-YOLK style... Yeast & sugar require an additional ingredient in order to function... that ingredient is H2O. Now then In essence when the sugar overpowers the yeast in relationship to each other they in essence compete for the limited amount of water... limited because much is also going to the flour, right ??? the balance is required between the sugar & yeast. When  competition abounds guess what... SUGAR always out !!!!. That leaves the yeast stranded. Anyway, what I can see is the following, mix for 9 to 10 minutes & omit the sugar & increase the yeast amount.
     Good luck to you in your future pizza bizzz-nizzz & have a nice day.

   ~DINKS. :chef:

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2006, 04:26:42 PM »
DINKS,

Since the original post mentioned hand mixing and no reference was made to batch size, I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that a small test batch was being made, maybe in a home stand mixer. Motownpizzaguy also acknowledged that what he was doing would not be "feasible in mass production", which also led me to believe that he was not in full production at the moment, only in the planning stages.

But you are correct about the sugar. At 4%, it may be too much in relation to the amount of yeast I recommended.

Thanks for bringing clarity to the matter.

Peter

Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2006, 11:36:45 PM »
First let me say I appreciate all of the feedback-  I'm going to do a couple of test-batches this weekend(and yes, I am just doing this in a  kitchenaid, don't actually have a restaurant yet!) and I'm going to shoot for 75 degree final dough temp.  But in addition to the four minutes of agitation I'm also doing the 20 minute autolyse which, as I understand it, also develops gluten.  It seems fully developed(passes baker's window test and also stretches quite thin without tearing).  At any rate, thanks for your responses Pete-zza dinks and chiguy.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Offline bolabola

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2006, 12:24:59 AM »
howdy motown
I'm no expert like these pizzamakers but I just completed a little experiment..
I made a batch of Lehmann dough,enuff for 4 pizzas..
one for 24 hours cold frementation
one for 48  hours and etc..
day one was very easy to work with but by the time I got to the day 4 batch it was a challenge and I couldn't spin it..the dough wasn't over fermented either or deflated just way to soft and elastic..
maybe just try one day old dough and see how it works for you..
I add 2% sugar because I like my crust brown but 4% seems like overkill

good luck on your new venture

 
Pizza Rocks

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2006, 09:51:17 AM »
motown,

Since you are obviously familiar with baker's percents, you might want to check the new pizza dough calculating tool on the forum, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html . Additional details on the tool are provided here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3477.msg29437.html#msg29437.

If you decide to test out the tool, you will note that you have to enter a thickness factor (TF). For a NY style, a typical thickness factor is about 0.10-0.105. However, it can be higher or lower as you wish (there’s more than one NY style). If you are using a particular dough ball weight (DW) for a particular pizza size (with a radius R), you can calculate the thickness factor TF for your case as follows:

                                                      TF = [DW/(3.14 x R x R)]

Peter


Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2006, 10:07:32 PM »
Thanks again to everybody for the input-  I've finished my first test run with a two day rise. The dough is not quite as sticky but it is quite slack.  I did use the Lehmann dough calculator to reconfigure my recipe:
63% H20
2% oil
1.7% salt
1% sugar
.17% IDY

Did my 2 minute mix, 20 minute autolyse, with 3 minutes more mixing afterwards.  I was more easily able to lift it from the pan but it stretched almost immediately to a thin state.  I patted it to even thickness after flouring, then it stretched to paper thin after just a few tosses.  The flavor was excellent  :D but there was a very thin spot as it stretched so easily- it did not tear however.   Also, I did measure my temperatures this time and the dough went into the fridge after mixing and dividing with no additional rise time as it was EXACTLY 75 degrees(I used ice water).  Any other ideas, why is my dough so slack?  I still don't think its underdeveloped as it passed the Baker's Window test- am I mixing and/or autolysing too long?  I'm going to try it again without an autolyse period, maybe a straight six or seven minute mix.  Any other ideas?  I know someone mentioned I don't mix long enough but I used to do a 20 minute mix(ala Alton Brown's pizza episode on Good Eats) and then I just got an extremely tough dough.  Is the answer in between?  Sorry I'm going on so long, and thanks again everybody... ???

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2006, 12:26:42 AM »
motown,

Without knowing the actual dough batch size you made, it is difficult to diagnose the problem from the limited information you provided. Also, you didn't indicate the sequence you followed to make the dough, and whether the dough was fermented in bulk or scaled and divided into individual dough balls (I assume it was the latter since that is what you did previously). The formulation you used should have worked although the amount of IDY you used, 0.17%, was at the low end of the range. The last time I used that small a percent of IDY, I had to make certain that the IDY was completely dispersed in the flour. As you will see from this post, at Reply 280 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg17956.html#msg17956, it is possible to get good results using small amounts of yeast and cold water in the Lehmann dough formulation, although in my case I used no sugar and 1% oil. Also, I made only a single dough ball. If you made a large dough batch size, there may have been other factors that affected your dough to produce the increased extensibility in the dough. I do not believe the autolyse was the cause.

FYI, the method I use to make the Lehmann dough, and the one I frequently recommend to others, is at Reply 8, at about the middle of the post, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19563.html#msg19563.

On the assumption that you used the metal dough proofing/retarding pans, did you leave them uncovered in the refrigerator or cooler for about an hour or so before stacking? Also, is your refrigerator functioning normally from a temperature standpoint? If it is running on the warm side, it may take longer for the dough balls to cool down. That could result in a faster fermentation and lead to the extensibility problem you experienced.

I’m pretty sure we should be able to help you resolve your problem once more information is provided.

Peter

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2006, 12:48:25 AM »
motown,

As an afterthought, it occurs to me that your ratio of sugar to yeast may still be on the high side. Originally, it was 8:1 whereas now it is almost 6:1. Yeast does not do well in a high sugar environment and it is possible that in your case glutathione was released by the yeast cells. Glutathione (aka "dead" yeast) acts as a reducing agent and can cause a slackening of the dough with the types of symptoms you described. I personally do not think you need to use any sugar in your dough formulation for a 2-day cold fermentation period. The enzymes extract adequate sugar from the starches in the flour to feed the yeast over that time period.

Peter

Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2006, 04:59:04 PM »
Thanks for the reply Pete-zza.  I made a 1.5 lb batch that I scaled and divided after development.  I did not leave them uncovered before stacking as I had already reached 75 degrees as a dough temp- is there another reason to leave them uncovered?  My fridge temp is 37 degrees as measured on a separate thermometer.  I'm going to try another batch without the sugar to see if that doesn't help.  I'll post the results again

As a sidenote, may I say that this is a great forum- I've been reading pizza books for years(literally!) and I've learned more in these few messages I think then in all of that reading- thanks everyone!  ;D

Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2006, 05:01:30 PM »
I just have one more question about the recipe you mentioned Pete- I've always read that bread flour needs sugar and oil to soften the final product, otherwise the dough will be too hard- so the 1% oil is enough to tenderize the dough?

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2006, 08:00:56 PM »
motown,

I was trying to rule out as many causes of the problem you experienced as possible. The reason I asked about whether you left the dough balls uncovered in the refrigerator for a period before stacking was because condensation can form in the stacked metal containers as the dough balls cool down. The condensation can cause the dough balls to become wet and pose a problem when the dough balls are ready to be used. Letting the dough balls cool down before stacking minimizes the condensation problem. With a large number of dough balls, it will usually take longer for all of the dough balls to cool down uniformly and, as a result, it is possible for them to ferment faster and lead to increased extensibility of the dough after a couple of days, especially if held in a home refrigerator. Since you were making only a few dough balls, that shouldn't have been a problem in your case. The fact that your refrigerator or cooler is operating at a proper temperature rules out the possibility of that unit causing or contributing to the problem.

It is definitely possible to make a good NY style pizza dough without using either sugar or oil. Most of the "elite" NY style doughs, such as made at Lombardi's, Totonno's, Patsy's or DiFara's, use no sugar or oil. Sugar is often added to expedite the fermentation process, by promptly feeding the yeast rather than waiting for the enzymes to release sugars from the starches in the flour, which takes some time. The sugar also aids in browning of the finished crust to the extent there are sufficient residual sugars, both natural and added, in the dough at the time of baking to accomplish this result. For those who like a sweet crust, and there are many who do, adding sugar to the dough is the easiest way to get the sweetness. Oil serves multiple purposes, including increasing the extensibility of the dough (by coating the gluten strands), contributing to crust coloration and crust flavor, and helping retain moisture in the dough such that the crumb is soft and somewhat breadlike. The sugar and oil together also act as preservatives by keeping the crust from drying out too fast. This might be a consideration if you are planning to deliver pizzas to your customers. In that case, you could use bread flour rather than high-gluten flour since bread flour will yield a softer crust than the high-gluten flour because of the lower protein and gluten levels.

As you noted, the Lehmann dough formulation calls for only 1% oil. At that level, the effects of the oil are fairly minimal. Many NY styles call for oil in excess of 3-5%, as well as sugar at fairly high levels. These doughs will usually also have a lot more yeast than the Lehmann dough formulation. The finished crusts for those doughs will typically be soft and breadlike and often on the sweet side. The sugar and oil do produce a much more tender crust in this style so it depends on what results you are trying to achieve. The Lehmann dough formulation is more along the lines of the classic NY dough formulations that used only flour, water, yeast and salt and long fermentatation times to allow biochemical development to produce the byproducts of fermentation that lead to good crust flavor, color, odor and texture. I think the use of organic flour complements this process very well.

I think it is a good idea to attempt a dough batch using no sugar. That should extend the fermentation "window" so that the dough won't ferment too fast and be overly extensible when the time comes to shape the dough. I might mention, however, that the Lehmann dough formulation has a natural tendency to yielding doughs that are fairly extensible. It has a high hydration ratio, which itself will cause the dough to ferment faster. That is why it is important to keep the finished dough temperature down and not to use too much yeast, and to get the dough balls into the refrigerator/cooler as fast as possible.

Peter


Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2006, 07:17:13 PM »
Test batch no. 2 complete: I tried the exact same formulation this time leaving out the sugar entirely.  We definitely have an improvement:
1. The ball did not stick as much to the pan when I tried to pull it out.  It does take a delicate hand to remove it, however
2.  The dough is still a bit slack but not anywhere near as bad as my last batch
3.  Flavor is really good, a nice, mild almost sourdough tang
4. Texture is breadier than I'd like, probably because I used a bit of a light touch in stretching the skins- I only stretched two of them.  In my last batch, when I did any kind of stretching by tossing the dough it got extremely thin spots.  I have three more to try from this batch tomorrow, and I'm going to see how they react to a bit more aggressive treatment.  I'll try a bit of hand-tossing and with one I may try a rolling pin, although in my past experience it seems to make a dough tough.  Thanks for the advice, I think I'm headed in the right direction  :)

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2006, 08:10:57 PM »
motown,

For your next dough batch, you might try skipping the autolyse. One of its known effects is to produce increased volume and a breadlike softness in the crumb (see, for example, the second photo in Reply 31 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg5442.html#msg5442). To reduce the extensibility, you could also try reducing the hydration a bit, maybe to 60%. Theoretically, that should make the dough easier to shape and stretch without as many thin spots forming. Another possibility, one that I have not tried, is to do a stretch and fold of the dough after about a day of fermentation. That should strengthen the gluten structure and the dough and make it easier to handle.

Once you get to the point where you are satisfied that you have a dough that you can use in your business, you can always gradually reintroduce things like autolyse, increased hydration, etc., in order to improve upon a product that you already know works.

I am not an advocate of using a rolling pin, however, some pizza operators roll out a dough to a few inches shy of the desired final size and then stretch the dough out the rest of the way by hand. This is a technique often used by inexperienced dough makers until they learn how to work the dough without getting thin spots. Pizza operators usually use a dough sheeter to roll out the dough part way. The disadvantage is that the part of the dough that is rolled out loses its gases and can bake out flat. Proofing the dough to allow it to rise again can be used, but that takes time to do.

Please keep us posted with your progress.

Peter

Offline motownpizzaguy

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Re: Wet dough- hard to handle!
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2006, 04:37:14 PM »
Well, my second attempt with the same batch went better- I was a bit more aggressive, patting the dough out to a circle with heavier hand, which alleviated some of the breadiness and also allowed me to stretch the dough more evenly.  The flavor was nice- I'm going to try with a slightly lower hydration as you suggested to see if that doesn't make for easier handling.  It still seems a bit difficult to work with to allow for consistent and efficient results.  I'll let you know how this one works out in a few days, thanks again for all of the guidance!


 

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