Author Topic: Too much yeast = dough disaster?  (Read 2672 times)

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Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« on: June 11, 2007, 08:22:14 PM »
I finally thought I was getting a hang of this dough stuff.  I had a decent recipe, was getting great gluten formation, the whole 9.  Life was good.

Then I realized that my IDY was old. I didn't see the microscopic print advising me to refrigerate after opening   .  The dough didn't seem to rise all that much, but I seemed to have some yeast activity, but no big bubbles in the dough while it was in the fridge. It stretched super-easy, almost just fell into shape with very little work on my part.

So, off to the store to get fresh yeast I go.  This time, in the fridge, there was definite yeast activity, the dough easily doubled in size, there were huge bubbles and the dough looked very airy even before it was cooked.

However, this time, the dough was horrible, it ripped, tore, wouldn't stretch, and was a general pain in the butt.

I'm assuming there was too much yeast?  Would that ruin dough integrity?  Will cutting back the yeast return my pizza's to their former glory?!?

Thanks


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 08:47:35 PM »
yaddayaddayadda,

There is no easy way to assess your situation without seeing your dough recipe and all the steps you took to make and manage the dough, up to the point of baking the pizza. Otherwise, you will get a lot of speculation on the causes, most of which is likely to be wrong.

Peter

Offline DWChun

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2007, 08:49:47 PM »
Hey yaddayaddayadda,

First of all, welcome to the forum!

Secondly, I'm interested in the recipe you used as knowing it would give us a better idea of what could have caused the result you experienced.


DW

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 12:02:41 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies.

My recipe is a modified version of Alton Brown's.  Generally I used the same recipe/techniques except for the fresher yeast this most recent  time.

1.5 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP olive oil
2 c. King Arthur Bread flour
1.5 tsp IDY
3/4 c. 110 degree water

I mix all the ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer with the exception of the final 1/2 c. of flour.  I let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Then I switch to the dough hook and turn the mixer up to about 4 speed.  I slowly add the remaining flour and let the mixer knead for 15 minutes.

I turn out the dough, cut in half and put each half in an oiled plastic food container.  I put the dough in the fridge overnight (this last disaster time being a day and a half instead of just 1 day).

Offline DWChun

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 12:21:36 AM »
Hmm, I'm going to wait for someone else to calculate the percentages(I'm good with weight but not volume, hehe). I'm not sure why your dough would lack extensibility if the only difference in your last batch was new/fresher IDY, though the amount is on the high side I think(again the volume measurements are something I'm not used to). Did your dough have any spring to it at all? Would it return to shape if you pressed a finger into the dough?


DW

Offline Garlic head

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 03:20:19 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies.

My recipe is a modified version of Alton Brown's.  Generally I used the same recipe/techniques except for the fresher yeast this most recent  time.

1.5 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 TBSP olive oil
2 c. King Arthur Bread flour
1.5 tsp IDY
3/4 c. 110 degree water

I mix all the ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixer with the exception of the final 1/2 c. of flour.  I let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Then I switch to the dough hook and turn the mixer up to about 4 speed.  I slowly add the remaining flour and let the mixer knead for 15 minutes.

I turn out the dough, cut in half and put each half in an oiled plastic food container.  I put the dough in the fridge overnight (this last disaster time being a day and a half instead of just 1 day).


yaddayaddayadda,
That's a lot of yeast AND sugar for that amount of flour. 1/2 tsp of each would have been much better. (the salt appears high as well)
I don't know if you are aware of this dough formulation tool, but it's great.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html

Kevin

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2007, 07:23:23 AM »
yaddayaddayadda,
That's a lot of yeast AND sugar for that amount of flour. 1/2 tsp of each would have been much better. (the salt appears high as well)
I don't know if you are aware of this dough formulation tool, but it's great.


Kevin

Thanks for the info....the problem with the calculator for newbies is I'm not sure what exactly the percentages should be.  Say I'm making 2 12" pizzas.  I can fudge the percentages to the point where I'm almost to my original recipe.   Don't take this as I'm trying to defend the recipe as the pinnacle of pizza perfection, I'm just curious where the numbers ideally should end up.

Also, you mention too much yeast, and that's the crux of my question.....is the excessive yeast the cause of the dough almost completely falling apart when I tried to form the pies for baking?  While the original recipe may not have been ideal, I could at least form it into two fairly large pies (best guess 12"-14") easily, they baked up nicely and tasted fine for a first start.  They just didn't have the very large bubbles that you see in the crusts of some of the pictures of pizzas I see on this site.  That's what made me investigate the yeast and its viability.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2007, 09:00:28 AM »
yaddayaddayadda,

I am not exactly sure which Alton Brown dough recipe you have modified, but it looks to be the one that appears at the Food Network website at http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_13823,00.html?rsrc=search. That is a recipe that has often been criticized for its high salt level, which led Alton Brown to suggest reducing the salt level to two teaspoons. From your version, it appears you followed that advice. It also looks like you increased the amount of yeast (IDY) and reduced the amount of sugar.

Since you are using volume measurements, it is difficult to get a good handle on the hydration of the dough made following the Brown recipe. If the flour and water are measured out by the textbook, I get almost 69% hydration, which would represent a very wet dough--one that would be difficult for most people to work with. If you did not experience this wetness, it is possible that you have a “heavy” hand with the flour and/or a “light” hand with the water. Most people tend to be closer with water measurements, especially if they use the markings on the sides of the measuring cups (preferably at eye level).

I agree with the others that the yeast level is too high. I also believe that the salt level is still too high even after reducing it from the original specified amount. For the yeast, I estimate that its use is a bit over 2% (of the weight of flour). That is highly excessive, and exceeds even the maximum recommended IDY amount (1%) for making a room temperature fermented dough that is to be used within only a few hours. Most cold fermented doughs require much less yeast, with usage at about 0.25% (of the weight of flour) being a typical value for IDY.

Depending on which brand of Kosher salt you have been using, its use is about 3.7% if you are using the Morton’s brand or about 2.6% if you are using the Diamond Crystal brand. Again, these are my best estimates based on my estimate of the weight of flour you are using. Often, high salt levels and high sugar levels and high yeast levels go hand in hand, usually because of ignorance or poor recipe design, but in most cases it is possible to reduce all three of these ingredients in tandem to more normal levels and, in the process, mitigate some of the harm that can come from using the high levels. You have already reduced the level of sugar, so that leaves the yeast and salt. In your case, I would recommend that you reduce the amount of IDY to about a quarter of what you have been using, and reduce the amount of salt to about 1.75%. I would have to know the brand of Kosher salt you are using to be able to give you the corresponding volume amount.

I also believe that you have been kneading your dough far too long and at too high a mixer speed. I realize that you have been following Brown’s mixing regimen, but in my view that regimen produces a dough that is more like bread dough, which requires extensive physical gluten development, rather than pizza dough, which does not need extensive gluten development and, preferably, should be slightly underkneaded. I estimate that for your amount of dough (I estimate around 17 ounces) you shouldn’t need much more that 6-7 minutes of kneading at speed 1 or 2 if you are using a standard KitchenAid mixer. If you have been using speed 4, that appears to be even higher than what Brown recommends (“medium” speed). The instructions for my KitchenAid machine (basic Artisan) do not recommend anything above speed 2 for yeasted doughs. It’s quite possible that you overkneaded the dough and it was that overkneading, together with the high yeast levels (and possible overfermentation of the dough because of the high yeast levels and 110 degree water), that was responsible for a good part of the difficulty you experienced with the dough. I might add that there is no need to perform a gluten window test, as Brown usually recommends. If the dough formulation is a good one and properly executed, the biochemical gluten development should lead to a dough that will pass the gluten window test.

If you plan to implement the recommendations I have given, I would at the same time modify the procedures for preparing the dough. I would start by dissolving the salt and sugar in the water, and then add the oil. I would use cool water, not warm water, if you plan to cold ferment the dough in the refrigerator. I would then combine the IDY and flour and gradually add that to the bowl, using the stir/1 speeds. If you would like to retain the rest period, you can hold back part of the flour mixture and add the rest of it after the rest period, as you did. This is not my normal recommendation on autolyse but it should suffice for your purposes. Once all of the flour mixture has been taken up by the dough ball, I would then knead the dough for about 6-7 minutes at no higher than speed 2 (I usually use the stir/1 speed and speed 2 if needed). When done, the dough ideally should be smooth and a bit tacky. Once refrigerated, the dough should be usable after about 24 hours. You should allow about an hour or so at room temperature before shaping and stretching the dough balls into skins.

If you decide to implement the above recommendations, please come back and let us know whether they helped matters.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2007, 09:12:04 AM »
Thanks for the info....the problem with the calculator for newbies is I'm not sure what exactly the percentages should be.

yaddayaddayadda,

I wouldn't worry too much for now about the precise baker's percents. It is more important to come up with a dough formulation that will yield the results you are seeking. Also, as long as you are using volume measurements for the flour and water instead of weights, there will always be issues of accuracy of the baker's percents. I am aware of at least five different ways of measuring out a "cup" of flour and each one will produce a different weight. Having conducted literally hundreds of such measurements, with different size measuring cups, I can assure you that that is fact, not theory. If you are able to come up with the amounts of flour and water that produce good results and record their weights, then it will be an easy task to convert the recipe to baker's percent format and to use the dough calculating tool.

Peter

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 10:37:21 AM »
yaddayaddayadda,

I wouldn't worry too much for now about the precise baker's percents. It is more important to come up with a dough formulation that will yield the results you are seeking. Also, as long as you are using volume measurements for the flour and water instead of weights, there will always be issues of accuracy of the baker's percents. I am aware of at least five different ways of measuring out a "cup" of flour and each one will produce a different weight. Having conducted literally hundreds of such measurements, with different size measuring cups, I can assure you that that is fact, not theory. If you are able to come up with the amounts of flour and water that produce good results and record their weights, then it will be an easy task to convert the recipe to baker's percent format and to use the dough calculating tool.

Peter

Thank you immensely for your advice, I'll try to work those in the next time I make pizza.  And get off my lazy butt and use my digital scale ;).  I will report back and appreciate the advice.


Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2007, 10:44:35 PM »
UPDATE: First two  :pizza: :pizza: done based on your excellent advice

Ok, I said it in the last post, but THANKS AGAIN for the fantastic advice.  I made two pies tonight. They were AWESOME. They actually tasted like pizza!  Even my picky 4 year old ate her crust.  I only had a can of Hunts tomato sauce, to which I threw in a tsp. or so of Penzey's pizza seasoning...and the pies were still great!

Pete-zza, I mostly followed your procedures. And used the calculator as suggested by Kevin. What I came up with was this:

13.6 oz of King Arthur Bread flour
8.6 oz water
1 tsp Morton's kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 or 1 tsp of IDY (I made the pies last night at 7pm, and really don't remember what I did) I know that the calculator suggested 1/4 tsp, so I probably still went too far overboard even with 1/2 tsp.)

I'll certainly cut back the yeast when I make them the next time, to get it down within recommendations.

I dissolved the salt & sugar in the water
Then added the oil.

Mixed the yeast & flour together and slowly added to the mixer bowl on speed1.  After it was all combined, switched to the hook and kneaded 6 minutes on speed 2.

Then split the dough in half, formed in balls, and in the fridge until 5pm today.   Baked 8 minutes on a stone that had been heating for an hour at 500 degrees

Used whole milk polly-o, and fresh basil from the garden. (I like adding the basil after the pies came out - there's still plenty of heat to cook the basil without totally nuking it like the oven tends to do).

Next pies will be sunday for lunch.  I'll keep tweaking, reading the board and working on my peel-to-stone technique (my pies were more amoeba shaped ;) ).

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2007, 07:46:35 AM »
yaddayaddayadda,

I’m glad to see that your results have improved.

Based on the latest version of the recipe you provided, and assuming IDY at ¼ t., and no bowl residue compensation, this is what I get for two dough balls from using the dough calculating tool (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html):

Flour (100%):
Water (63.2353%):
IDY (0.19531%):
Salt (1.24494%):
Oil (1.16713%):
Sugar (1.034%):
Total (166.87668%):
Single Ball:
385.56 g  |  13.6 oz | 0.85 lbs
243.81 g  |  8.6 oz | 0.54 lbs
0.75 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
4.8 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
4.5 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
3.99 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
643.41 g | 22.7 oz | 1.42 lbs | TF = N/A
321.7 g | 11.35 oz | 0.71 lbs

Based on the above, I think you should increase the IDY to something closer to ½ t. If you found the crust not to be salty enough, you should also be able to increase the salt a bit, say, to about 1.5%, or a bit less than 1 ¼ t. Once you are satisfied with the entire results, we can modify the baker’s percent formulation if you would like to have the numbers for future reference. It would help in this regard to know what size pizzas you have been making with the 11.35-ounce dough balls.

Peter

Offline yaddayaddayadda

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Re: Too much yeast = dough disaster?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2007, 11:33:47 AM »
yaddayaddayadda,

I’m glad to see that your results have improved.

Based on the latest version of the recipe you provided, and assuming IDY at ¼ t., and no bowl residue compensation, this is what I get for two dough balls from using the dough calculating tool (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_calculator.html):

Flour (100%):
Water (63.2353%):
IDY (0.19531%):
Salt (1.24494%):
Oil (1.16713%):
Sugar (1.034%):
Total (166.87668%):
Single Ball:
385.56 g  |  13.6 oz | 0.85 lbs
243.81 g  |  8.6 oz | 0.54 lbs
0.75 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
4.8 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
4.5 g | 0.16 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
3.99 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1 tsp | 0.33 tbsp
643.41 g | 22.7 oz | 1.42 lbs | TF = N/A
321.7 g | 11.35 oz | 0.71 lbs

Based on the above, I think you should increase the IDY to something closer to ½ t. If you found the crust not to be salty enough, you should also be able to increase the salt a bit, say, to about 1.5%, or a bit less than 1 ¼ t. Once you are satisfied with the entire results, we can modify the baker’s percent formulation if you would like to have the numbers for future reference. It would help in this regard to know what size pizzas you have been making with the 11.35-ounce dough balls.

Peter



That's roughly what I put into the calculator. My actual calc had less than a full TSP of oil, salt & sugar, so I just went off script and bumped them up to a full tsp.  I normally try to make 2 12-13" pies.  I portion them before they go into the fridge using the eyeball method. I take the dough out of the mixer and roll to a ball. Then cut that in half and re-form each half.


 

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