Author Topic: Overkneading Dough  (Read 2437 times)

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Offline rezman

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Overkneading Dough
« on: February 12, 2007, 01:17:36 AM »
I've been making pizzas at home for a while and have always used bread flour from the supermarket.  Recently, I've been able to get some really high gluten flour from a local pizza joint.  Since I've started using this flour, I've noticed something odd.  After kneading, I form the dough into a ball, roll it and place it in a bowl in the refrigerator.  After about 24 hours, I take the ball out, deflate it, and try to re-roll it for a 2nd refrigerator rise.  However, I'm running into a problem.  When I attempt to re-roll the dough into a ball it refuses to stick to inself.  Is this because of the gluten?  I use a KitchenAid and am still experimenting with the kneading time.  Is it possible to overknead the high gluten flour?  What is an appropriate kneading time.  Also, is it necessary to do the whole punch down in the first place?

I realize there are several questions here, but any advice would be appreciated.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2007, 10:07:17 AM »
rezman,

Without seeing your dough recipe, it is hard to say exactly what is happening to your dough. It could be that you have been underhydrating it and that has led to a stiff dough that is hard to manage. Remember that a high-gluten flour can tolerate a higher hydration (more water) than bread flour, so if you didn't adjust the water upwardly when you switched to the high-gluten flour, it is possible that that was the source of your problem. If you didn't coat the dough ball with a bit of oil while it was in the refrigerator, it is also possible that the surface of the dough dried out and made it difficult to reshape. I normally don't reshape the dough after it goes into the refrigerator, but were I to do so I would simply press the dough to allow the gasses to escape and gently reshape. Again, this can depend on the recipe and how and when the dough is to be used. Some doughs can handle more than one punchdown better than others.

As far as knead time is concerned, that depends on the dough formulation, mixer speeds, and the quantity of dough to be kneaded, among other factors. So it is hard to specify a specific knead time. Seeing your dough recipe might provide some clues as to whether you are trying to knead too much dough or if you are overkneading the dough. It is possible with a mixer, even a KichenAid mixer, to overknead a dough, but it would take a lot to do that.

If you can post your specific dough recipe and how you practice it, in detail, maybe we can find the source of your problem.

Peter

Offline vitus

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 11:28:58 AM »
It is possible with a mixer, even a KichenAid mixer, to overknead a dough, but it would take a lot to do that.
I second that. It takes very much to overknead a dough. No matter how much I have kneaded i have never reached the point where the dough was actually overkneaded. I really don't think that overkneading is the problem with your dough.

In addition to Peter's request of your dough recipe, could you tell us a bit more about your "high gluten flour" from the local pizza joint? Do you know anything about the flour? Perhaps a brand name or protein or gluten percentages?
I have head people using the term "high gluten flour" about some pretty different flours.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 11:31:55 AM by vitus »

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2007, 06:30:30 PM »
When i need to degas (lid getting ready to blow off) i just poke my index finger in the dough ball a few times, and put the lid back on and into the fridge it goes again.  :D
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline rezman

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 01:45:15 PM »
Pete-zza,

My recipe is:
  2 1/4 c. flour
  1 1/4 c. water
  1/2 t. ADY
  1 1/4 t. sugar
  1 1/4 t. salt
  1 t. olive oil

I mix everything together using the mixing paddle and then switch to the dough hook.  The dough is always smooth and workable, and I'm positive I'm not underhydrating it.  I have been kneading it on about a #4 speed setting for about 12 minutes.  It it very easy to form into a ball and then to roll to tighten the skin.  I then put it in a plastic bowl and coat w/ olive or canola oil.  It's just after I punch it down that it won't stick back to itself when I try to re-roll it.

After a few days in the refrigerator and then about 20-30 minutes sitting on the counter, it stretches out well using fingertips and the back of the wrist.  It also cooks up wonderfully.  I turn a over rack upside down and slide it into the lowest slot in the oven so it is about 1 - 1/2 " from the oven floor.  I preheat a baking stone for about 30 min. at 550 degrees.   I prepare the pizza on a screen and then bake for 10 minutes.  The bottom of the bottom is always a perfect even brown, but still flexible enough that a slice can be folded over.  The crust usually develops a few large bubbles around the edges (which I like) and the cheese develops an even browning.

Just as an aside, I couldn't sleep well last night, so I went to the kitchen and decided to try making another batch using some of the information I've gathered from this site.  There was one thing that seemed odd.  Most of the 16" recipes call for about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 c. of flour (or about 12oz or so).  I measured out 2 3/4 c. using measuring cups.  When I placed it on my scale (not digital) it weighed about 16 oz.  I realize that by tapping the edge of my measuring cup I was probably compacting the flour a bit.  However, it seems like a pretty big difference and I was wondering why.

I also tried kneading it on a slower speed (#1 or #2) for only about 8 minutes.  It came together beautifully, and I guess I will see in another fews days how it bakes up.  The finished ball did weigh in at about 26oz, so I'm not sure how much I'll need to remove to make a 16" pizza, or what size I could achieve if I split the ball in half.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 01:49:47 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2007, 02:31:00 PM »
rezman,

Since you are using volume measurements, it is hard to say what has been causing the problems you mentioned. But when I used the Mass-Volume conversion calculator at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/, I got 10.18 ounces for 2 ¼ cups of bread flour (King Arthur brand) and 10.43 ounces for 1 ¼ cups water. On that basis, the hydration would be 102.5%. That would be soup and would be unmanageable, so the problem is most likely that you are weighing out a very, very heavy cup of flour or you are adding flour to the bowl that you have not reflected in the recipe you posted. The way you are measuring out the flour may also help explain why you got widely divergent results when you measured out and weighed 2 ¾ cups flour.

Assuming that you can reconcile your flour measurements, you shouldn’t need 12 minutes of kneading at #4 speed for the amount of dough your recipe produces. Although professionals use commercial mixers, they don’t use much more than 12 minutes to make dough batches of 40-50 pounds. You should strive only to bring all of the dough ingredients together to form a smooth, slightly tacky dough. It should be slightly underkneaded. With my KitchenAid mixer, I use only the low speeds, mainly stir/1 and sometimes a bit at speed 2. If you used 12 minutes of kneading at speed 4, you would have fully developed the gluten in the dough. Also, the heat of kneading may have caused some of the moisture in the dough to evaporate and yield a dryer and tougher dough than normal. Maybe that contributed to your inability to reshape the dough when you degassed it. Hopefully, you will get additional insights from your current dough batch that was kneaded at #1-2 speed for 8 minutes. That regimen should be closer to the mark.

Apart from the above comments, it appears that you may not have rehydrated the ADY you used. The recommended way to use ADY is to rehydrate it in a small amount of warm water (around 105 degrees F) for about 10 minutes, following which it can be added to the rest of the water, which can be on the cool side.

As a frame of reference, a 16” NY thin style dough weighs around 20-21 ounces. On that basis, if you divide your 26-ounce dough ball in half, each half will make a pizza just shy of 13”.

Please report back on the results of the latest dough batch.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 08:39:07 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline November

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2007, 05:22:30 PM »
rezman,

I'm going to have to suggest that you were doing more than tapping the edge of your measuring cup to achieve 102.5% hydration on paper.  Even if you were using the same method to weigh out your flour as you used to weigh out 2.75 cups arriving at 16 oz., you would still be as high as 80% hydration.  To put this into perspective, that about 7.358 oz. (209g) of flour per cup.  You would have to use a tool to tamp and pack it into your measuring cups to achieve that density (0.88 g/cc).  I would definitely look over your recipe and measurements again.  The way you're measuring the flour will have an impact, but unless you remember ram-rodding your flour, I think there's a number transpositioned.

- red.november

EDIT: I meant to mention that the 209g/cup is based on 63% hydration.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 05:37:23 PM by November »

Offline rezman

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 07:20:59 PM »
I just came from the kitchen where I triple-checked the following measurements.  2 3/4 cups of flour weighed in at 15 oz (a used the old knife scraping method rather that tapping), while the water (a hair under 1 1/4 c.) weighed 9.5 oz.  This yields a hydration rate of 63%.  I don't know why it's so heavy.  Maybe I got really dense flour  ???, or it's time to upgrade to a digital scale, although the current one seems to be accurate for other measurements..

Or, maybe I'm using a "magic" scale like the stove from My Cousin Vinny".   :D

As far as the yeast, I am dissolving it in 1/2 c. of hot water (110 degree) and then adding flour and the remaining water at room temperature.  If I remember from 3am this morning when I was making this last batch, the dough temperature after mixing was just under 80 degrees.

Regardless, it wasn't sticky at all.  I did do a punch down this afternoon and it seemed to cling back to itself better that previous batches.  I'll know in a day or two how it performs.




Offline icemncmth

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 11:23:19 AM »
I just came from the kitchen where I triple-checked the following measurements.  2 3/4 cups of flour weighed in at 15 oz (a used the old knife scraping method rather that tapping), while the water (a hair under 1 1/4 c.) weighed 9.5 oz.  This yields a hydration rate of 63%.  I don't know why it's so heavy.  Maybe I got really dense flour  ???, or it's time to upgrade to a digital scale, although the current one seems to be accurate for other measurements..

Or, maybe I'm using a "magic" scale like the stove from My Cousin Vinny".   :D

As far as the yeast, I am dissolving it in 1/2 c. of hot water (110 degree) and then adding flour and the remaining water at room temperature.  If I remember from 3am this morning when I was making this last batch, the dough temperature after mixing was just under 80 degrees.

Regardless, it wasn't sticky at all.  I did do a punch down this afternoon and it seemed to cling back to itself better that previous batches.  I'll know in a day or two how it performs.





The reason your flour weighs more than you think is simple...humidity and packing..

Flour absorbs the moisture in the air thus every day your flour could weigh differently. When you take a measuring cup and fill it with flour...each time you do this you will come up with a different amount. I have given cooking classes and have shown people how inaccurate they really are..that is why I use scales..

I use scales on anything I cook..I even keep a notebook in my kitchen to write things down. That way if I add a pinch of something and I really like what I have done I have a record. I am really good at taking a recipe and adding to it. For years I did this and would make something everyone would just love...the only problem is I couldn't reproduce it.....So that is why I started
using scales..that and I was working as a pastry chef and you have to weigh everthing!....

Offline November

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 12:34:56 PM »
icemncmth,

If humidity were that much of an issue, and I'm not saying it isn't, using a scale wouldn't help him.

- red.november


Offline icemncmth

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 04:15:07 PM »
icemncmth,

If humidity were that much of an issue, and I'm not saying it isn't, using a scale wouldn't help him.

- red.novembr

It might seem like it doesn't but if it is a humid day and he is using a measuring cup the weight of the flour will be more..and if he is using a measuring cup the added weight to the flour would cause the flour to compact more on its own..

That is why on a humid day when making bread one needs to not use as much if using a measuring cup..

Have you ever tried taking several cups of flour..weighing them and letting them sit out for a week. You might be surprised at how much of a difference each cup will be...


A gram or two might not seem like much but that is why when making bread one goes by feel more than exact measurments..


Offline November

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 04:25:33 PM »
It might seem like it doesn't but if it is a humid day and he is using a measuring cup the weight of the flour will be more

It doesn't make a difference if you use a cup or a scale, icemncmth.  The flour will weigh more either way.  Compaction has nothing to do with what I was pointing out.

- red.november

Offline November

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Re: Overkneading Dough
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 04:27:33 PM »
Have you ever tried taking several cups of flour..weighing them and letting them sit out for a week. You might be surprised at how much of a difference each cup will be...

I can assure you I wouldn't be surprised.