Author Topic: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.  (Read 4363 times)

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Offline sanchez

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Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« on: April 03, 2007, 07:22:18 AM »
I just found out about this forum and I'm blown away by the number of members and posts here.  This is wild.

For starters, I do not have a kitchenaid mixer nor do I have a digital food scale.  It appears that most of you all do.  I've made several pizzas over the last few years from recipes I've found on the net.  Some turned out quite good and others turned out quite bad.  I've always measured my ingrediants in cups/tsp/etc which appears to be a no-no.  I could possibly buy myself a scale but right now a kitchenaid is out of the question.  I have a pizza stone and a peel so I'm good to go there.

Anyway,  one of my biggest frustrations about pizza making is that no matter what I seem to do my crust always seems to shrink when I stretch it out.  Say for instance I'm trying to make a 14 inch pie and start stretching my dough out eventually it just starts shrinking and often times the best I can get out of it is a 10"-11" pie.  WHen I see people at the pizza shops working their dough that don't seem to have that problem.  What causes the elasticity?  Am I not letting it rest long enough?

Also, can anyone link to a thread here that describes the entire process of making a good NY style dough?  I see lots of thread here but most of them that I've read already assume that I have a starter or that I understand all of this hydration stuff. 

Anyway, hope to learn a lot here and hopefully make some killer pies.  Thanks.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 08:30:41 AM »
sanchez,

Because I like consistency and reproducibility of results, I think the last piece of pizza-related equipment I would give up would be my digital scale. However, it is possible to work with volume measurements. But the only way I personally would do it would be to use forum member November’s mass-volume conversion tool at http://foodsim.unclesalmon.com/ (on the left-hand side). With that tool, you can convert weight measurements for flour and water in recipes to volume measurements. However, when measuring out the volumes of flour, you have to follow a precise set of steps. You start by stirring the flour in the flour container to loosen the flour. Then you use a tablespoon or scoop to lift flour from the flour container to your measuring cup(s) and measuring spoons just to the point of overfilling. You then level off the measuring cup(s) and measuring spoons with a flat edge of a knife or something similar. With November’s tool, you can select the flour choice from the pulldown menu. When measuring out water, you should view the cup markings at eye level. Good digital scales can now be found quite inexpensively. If you need a few ideas, I can lead you to a thread or two that discuss scales.

You didn’t indicate how you make and manage your dough but if you are experiencing snapback with your dough, there can be a few possible causes. I would say that the most common cause is underfermentation, that is, not letting the dough ferment long enough before using. A second possible cause—a very common one--is re-kneading or re-forming the dough just before shaping and stretching it. That’s a no-no since it rearranges and reorients the gluten structure in a way that the dough becomes very difficult to stretch out without its snapping back. This problem can sometimes be resolved by letting the dough rest a few hours and then trying to form it into a skin again. In my experience, it is better to avoid the problem by just not re-working the dough to begin with. Another possibility is that the dough was overkneaded, but since you don’t have a mixer it would be difficult to do that using hand kneading. If you are using a high-gluten flour, that can also sometimes lead to an overly elastic dough because of the higher gluten content of that flour. Professional pizza operators use additives to combat this problem, however, if a high-gluten dough is given sufficient fermentation and you avoid the other problems mentioned above, you should be fine using the high-gluten flour.

For a beginning-to-end discussion of how to make a NY style dough/pizza you may want to take a look at this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2223.msg19503.html#msg19503. The bulk of the discussion takes place at Reply 8 and thereafter but you may want to read the posts preceding Reply 8 for background purposes. You will note that the discussion at the above thread is with respect to the use of a stand mixer. However, the overall discussion should still be useful even if you use only hand kneading. If you happen to have an electric hand mixer, it is possible to use that instead of a stand mixer, along with hand kneading. Such an approach is discussed here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36489.html#msg36489 (Reply 30).

There is also a lot written about one of the more popular NY style pizzas at the so-called “Lehmann” thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.0.html. Since that thread covers a large number of possible variations of the Lehmann NY style dough, you can take a look at the Lehmann “Roadmap” at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1453.msg13193.html#msg13193 to narrow down the choices. You will note from the Roadmap that there are a few versions that rely on hand kneading. if you have a food processor or a bread maker, there are also recipes that are based on using those appliances.

While the Lehman NY style is a popular one, there are many other NY styles covered on the forum. If you have a particular version that interests you, we should be able to steer you toward a possible recipe.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 09:54:18 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 09:31:06 AM »
Thanks for the info.

Sounds like my elasticity is probably coming from overworking the dough too close to the time I'm ready to make the pizza. 

I think I am going to try making the Lehmann version and following the directions to a "T".  My local markets really only carry Gold Metal and Robin Hood flour.  They do have bread flour and AP flour.  Which would you suggest?  Also, should I use the instant rise yeast? or the cake kind?  I do have a hand mixer so I think I'm going to try that method out.  And I'm going to go to my local Bed Bath and Beyond to see if they have an acceptable scale I can use to measure my ingredients.

How much difference is there in making a dough that sits in the fridge for 2-3 days and a dough that you can make in the morning and have it ready for a pie later in the day?  Does that have to do with yeast types and water temps?

Again,thanks for the reply.

BTW, I was looking at the  Lehmann calculator and it appears that there is a lot fo variation in what you add.  Amount of yeast, amount of salt, etc.  Is it better to maybe look at some of the individual threads like the hand mixer thread and just mimick what they used instead?  Or at least until I get a few pies under my belt.

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 12:57:51 PM »
sanchez,

As between all-purpose flour and bread flour, I would go with the bread flour since the Lehmann dough recipe you will be trying is intended to be used with a higher protein flour than all-purpose flour. In due course, you can try both flours if you'd like. As for yeast, I would go with the instant dry yeast (IDY) for now if you plan to follow the Lehmann dough recipe. You can experiment later with active dry yeast (ADY) if you'd like. Cake yeast is fine too but it is more expensive (at the retail level) on an equivalency basis and has to be used promptly since it doesn't store well. As far as a scale is concerned, you will perhaps want to avoid an analog scale. They can be fairly inexpensive but they are not as accurate and not nearly as useful as a digital scale. 

Almost all of my Lehmann doughs are cold fermented and, as a result, I have come to prefer the results from using such doughs over a room-temperature fermented version. I can also control when I plan to use the doughs better when they are in the refrigerator and can remain there for several days before using. But there is also merit in making room-temperature fermented doughs. Some prefer the flavor profile over a cold-fermented one, and the dough can be used the same day as made. However, room-temperature fermented doughs do require fairly careful monitoring to be sure that they don't ferment too quickly (overrise), which is a problem that is more pronounced during the summer months where kitchens tend to run quite a bit warmer than the rest of the year. My advice is to try the cold fermented Lehmann dough first (the one using the electric hand mixer), and then consider a room-temperature version later once you get some practical experience. That way, you can decide which you like better. Until you have made several pizzas I wouldn't jump around too much trying too many dough recipes.

Peter

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 11:42:17 PM »
  I think I am going to try making the Lehmann version and following the directions to a "T".  My local markets really only carry Gold Metal and Robin Hood flour.  They do have bread flour and AP flour.  Which would you suggest? 


Since your store carries Gold Medal flour look for Gold Medal "Harvest King" flour which is a bread flour. It's used by many here, and makes a nice pizza dough.  :)
Making great pizza and learning new things everyday.

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 08:13:59 AM »
Thanks for the replys.  I believe that my Gold medal flour is the Harvest King variety.  I've used that in my bread maker machine.

After looking at the roadmap thread it appears that there are some recipes that can be made in a bread maker.  Would this be better than using the handmixer method?

I think I'll try the cold fermented method first.  I'm a little blown away by the shear number of options in the roadmap thread so Pete-zza if you don't mind how about bottom lining me a recipe for a lehman style 14 or 16 inch crust cold fermented with gold medal harvest king flour.  What brand of IDY yeast should I get?  Also, would you recommend I hand knead, use the handmixer, or breadmachine?


Offline derbow

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 08:52:36 AM »
Sanchez,

I also do not have a Kitchen Aid mixer as of yet, so I use my bread machine.  I have had very good success using my bread machine to kneed my dough.  It works great.  As with most bread machines, you will want to put all of your liquid ingredients in first (sugar, honey, oil, salt, all count as wet ingredients), and then add your flour on top of that.  The yeast always goes in last.

I have found that the hydration target for mine is about 61% for it to kneed well.  If my dough is hydrated more than that, the dough ball just spins around on the paddle like a merry-go-round, and the same happens if it is less hydrated.  You will be able to tell the difference between your bread machine actually kneading the dough and the dough ball just spinning around.  Mine mixes (spins in short spurts for 2 minutes), and then starts kneading for 20.  I normally stop it at 15 minutes, take the dough ball out and put it in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and directly into the refrigerator for 24 hours.

I say that without a Kitchen Aid, your bread machine is definitely the way to go.

Derrick

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 10:11:08 AM »
sanchez,

Using a bread machine is certainly an option. However, if you read the posts identified in the Roadmap that discuss that option, you will see that I take and recommend several measures to reduce the heat generated by bread machines (that is imparted to the dough) and to reduce the extent and duration of the knead. The logic behind these measures is discussed at the bread machine posts referenced in the Roadmap. I believe an advantage of the new dough making method over the bread machine method is that the flour is sifted and gradually added to the mixer bowl using the whisk attachment (or electric hand mixer in that application). These measures are to improve the hydration of the flour. With a bread machine, everything is pretty much put into the mixing pan at one time before turning on the machine. My advice to you is to try both methods and make up you own mind. There are many members who just use bread machines using their normal cycles and are perfectly happy with the results and the convenience of using such machines.

If you look at the Roadmap, you will also see that pure hand kneading is discussed as a possible option. I enjoy pure hand kneading from time to time, but given a choice between pure hand kneading and using the electric hand mixer coupled with some hand kneading, I would choose the latter because I believe that combination does a better overall job than hand kneading alone.

In response to your request for dough formulations for the 14” and 16” pizza sizes, I ran the basic Lehmann numbers through the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html and came up with the formulations posted below. I used a thickness factor of 0.10, which is a fairly standard one for the Lehmann dough formulation. If you later decide that you would like a thicker or thinner crust, it is easy enough to make the changes using the Lehmann tool. In using the tool, I also increased the quantities of ingredients by 2.5%, to compensate for normal dough losses in the bowl. As to the brand of IDY to use, I would use whatever brand of IDY you can find where you shop. Most likely it will be Fleischmann’s bread machine yeast, which is really an instant dry yeast but not usually identified as such. The Rapid-Rise yeast by Fleischmann’s is another common brand of fast-acting yeast sold in supermarkets so if that is the only fast-acting yeast you can find, you can use it. If you plan to make pizzas often, you will want to buy a one-pound bag of IDY from companies such as SAF and Fleischmann’s. The one-pound bags are usually found at the big box stores like Costco’s and Sam’s but can also be purchased online from many sources.

Here are the two Lehmann dough formulations for the 14” and 16” pizza sizes:

Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (0.25%):
Salt (1.75%):
Oil (1%):
Total (165%):
271.11 g  |  9.56 oz | 0.6 lbs
168.09 g  |  5.93 oz | 0.37 lbs
0.68 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.23 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
4.74 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.85 tsp | 0.28 tbsp
2.71 g | 0.1 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.6 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
447.32 g | 15.78 oz | 0.99 lbs | TF = 0.1025

Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (0.25%):
Salt (1.75%):
Oil (1%):
Total (165%):
354.1 g  |  12.49 oz | 0.78 lbs
219.54 g  |  7.74 oz | 0.48 lbs
0.89 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.29 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
6.2 g | 0.22 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.11 tsp | 0.37 tbsp
3.54 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.79 tsp | 0.26 tbsp
584.26 g | 20.61 oz | 1.29 lbs | TF = 0.1025

Peter

Offline derbow

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2007, 10:16:26 AM »
Peter and Sanchez

I forgot to mention that my bread machine has a cycle that is just for kneading dough.  The heating element does not turn on, so i can control dough temperatures with the temperature of the water.

Derrick


Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2007, 02:07:48 PM »
I will try one of those recipes.

My bread maker also has a knead only funtion that does not introduce heat.  But I will try the handmixer version first.

What temp should my water be.

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2007, 02:33:04 PM »
What temp should my water be.

sanchez,

Technically, the water temperature is dictated by the temperature of the room where you will be making the dough, the temperature of the flour (which is usually close to the room temperature), and the heat of friction contributed by the mixer used (machine and hand). However, to spare you the math, I suggest that you just use water as cold as you can get it. I use refrigerated spring water. 

Peter

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2007, 03:14:45 PM »
Alrightly then.  Thanks so much.  I'm gonna have to stop at the store tonight and pick a few things up.  Maybe look for a digital scale.  Bed Bath and Beyond has a Salter digital scale that can weigh up to eleven pound in .05 oz increments.  I think thats about .5 grams but I'm no math expert.  It cost $49.99 but I have a 25% off coupon that would put it at $37.50.  Does that sound like a good deal?

Offline November

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 03:42:04 PM »
0.05 oz. = 1.4174762 g

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2007, 03:45:16 PM »
Okay thanks.

Do they make reasonably prices scales that are more accurate than 1 gram?  Any recommendations?

Offline November

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 04:31:08 PM »
Not within that price range, but there are several that have 1 gram resolution (better than 0.05 oz.) around or less than that price.  One member found a KD-7000 for $28.99.  You can usually get a great scale online for less than you pay in a local store.  To get 0.1 gram resolution and high capacity (>3 kg) you'll be paying closer to $200.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4005.0.html

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Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2007, 05:31:50 PM »
Last night I picked this scale up.
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=13970270

It seemed to work great when weighing anything over 7 grams.  It had 1 gram accuracy.  But if I tried to weigh a little bit of yeast or oil it would not register anything under 7 grams.  So I used it to make my first two doughs and took the scale back this afternoon.  I'm going to order a different one off of Amazon.

I made one 14" and one 16" dough that Pete-zza posted earlier in the thread.  I started off with a hand mixer as suggested and quickly became frustrated and ended up kneading both doughs by hand.  I really didn't think it was too bad however I was a little unsure as to how long I should knead them for.  Since this was my first serious doughs I didn't know where the fine line was between too much or too little kneading.  I was pretty thorough and as the dough began to come together it was a little sticky but after kneading for a few minutes began to get more managable and eventually picked up all the flour I had used and in the end was slightly tacky.  I took that as a good sign.  One thing I forgot to do was weigh the final doughball after it was made.  Oh well. 

I used Fleischmann’s Rapid rise yeast and King Aurthurs Bread Flour.  I also used refrigerated cold water from my Pur filter system.

One question I have is how to store the dough in the fridge.  With the smaller ball I placed it in a plastic container that I lightly oiled and covered with the plastic snapping lid that came with the container.  I didn't have another container so I placed the second ball in a different style plastic container but since I didn't have a lid I stretched a piece of Saran wrap over the rim.  Is this a good idea or should I place the saran wrap directly on top of the dough so that it is touching it?  I suspect I'll try making one of the pies after 2 days and maybe the otehr after 4.  I'm crossing my fingers.

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2007, 06:10:20 PM »
sanchez,

I usually don't weigh the ingredients that are used in small quantities for a single dough ball, such as the salt, yeast and oil (and sugar, if used). I weigh only the flour and water. I have a second digital scale that is capable of weighing small amounts of lightweight ingredients, but I have discovered that the volume measurements produced by the Lehmann calculator, which I used to put together the two dough formulations for you, are good enough for my purposes.

I think your methods for containing the dough balls are OK. You might wrap a rubber band around the bowl with the plastic wrap to keep the bowl completely covered so that the dough doesn't dry out and develop a crust. I would also suggest that you open up both containers daily to allow any gas that might be trapped in the containers to escape.

Good luck.

Peter


Offline Bryan S

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2007, 07:05:34 PM »
I do the same as Peter, just weighing out the water and flour. I bought all 3 of my scales from American Weigh. It's a great place to deal with and a huge selection of scales. http://www.americanweigh.com/index.php
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Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2007, 08:02:41 PM »
Okay.  DIdn't realize you only weighed the flower and water.

Oh well, I bought an Escali for $24.99.  Saved me $20 I guess.

THanks for the advice on the containers.  I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2007, 06:16:19 PM »
Well, I was able to offically cook my first Lehman pie.  The taste was pretty good but there are certainly a few things I will do different next time.

I rested the dough on the counter 2 hours prior to stretching.  Heated the oven to 550 for roasted my stone for an hour.  Set the dough on a lightly floured countertop and dusted the top with some additional flour.  Began to pat the dough down and work it into a circle.  No rediculous spring-back.  So far so good.  Here is where I went wrong.  I was so afraid that the dough would develop a bunch of elasticity that I did not make my pie big enough.  I was afraid to work it too much.  I should have picked it up and stretched it with my hands and held it up to the light to get a consistant thinness in the middle.  Needless to say I didn't but I topped it with a homemade sauce but I ended up using a package of pre-shredded Kraft "Pizza" cheese that contained mozzerela and cheddar.  :(  That what happens when you tell your girl to pick you up some cheese for the pizza.   lol  Anyway, the pie slid off the peel nicely onto the stone and was cooked in about 5 minutes.  Unfortauntely it ended up very thick in the middle and around the edge.  The good thing is that it actually tasted quite good.  My girl liked it a lot.  Of course she likes it a little doughier than I do.  The bottom of the crust was nice and crisp and was quite chewy which I really liked.  THe curst around the edge swelled up so much that the cheese and pepporoni pooled to the middle of the pie.  I will probably make the second pie tomorrow.  This time I will be sure to stretch the dough out much better than my first one.  And I will be sure to get better cheese.  I can't complain about my Cento sauce that I made. 

Here is a pic.

Offline sanchez

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2007, 06:04:54 AM »
Okay.  DIdn't realize you only weighed the flower and water.

Oh well, I bought an Escali for $24.99.  Saved me $20 I guess.

THanks for the advice on the containers.  I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

I know it's lame to reply to your own quote but I just wanted to mention I really like the new Escali scale.  It's half the price of the Salter I bought but so far it seems to have much better sensativity at very low weights (1 gram).  It also doesn't dance around as much as the salter.  For $24.99 it seems to be a steal.

Offline Bryan S

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Re: Newbie needs to figure out dough elasticity.
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2007, 04:07:52 PM »
I know it's lame to reply to your own quote but I just wanted to mention I really like the new Escali scale.  It's half the price of the Salter I bought but so far it seems to have much better sensativity at very low weights (1 gram).  It also doesn't dance around as much as the salter.  For $24.99 it seems to be a steal.
sanchez, Of the 3 scales i have, my Escali Belecco 136DS 13.2lb/6kg Digital Postal Kitchen Scale is my favorite. I've had mine for 3 years now and it has never let me down.  :)
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