Author Topic: handle high hydration doughs  (Read 2279 times)

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Offline mischael

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handle high hydration doughs
« on: September 21, 2007, 07:26:54 PM »
Hi all,

here around in germany the neaplitan style is not wide spread. Now I know
why... how do you handle the dough with >60% hydration? Ive seen some
pizzaioli keeping their doughballs in a box full of flour, covering the balls totally
for whole fermentation time.
Is that the way to handle this high hydrated dough?
I am really experiencing problems here, its too sticky. Very hard to strech gently.

Before experimenting with high hydration I always liked my doughs to have a
touch like a baby's skin. You know, gentle to your hand when working with it. ;D
But you like it the sticky-muddy way?   ???
Honestly ive never seen that in any pizzeria so far. Teach me how to handle this sticky ...but tasty stuff  :-D


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2007, 07:47:53 PM »
I use a 62% hydration dough with Caputo flour and it is not sticky. The way in which the dough is mixed is important. My procedure:

1 Put water in mixing bowl
2. Dissolve salt in water
3. Dump in 75% of flour. Mix just until flour and water are combined
4. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Add activated starter (I don't use commercial yeast)
5. Knead while sprinkling in remaining 25% of flour (I usually go 5 minutes using a fork mixer)
6. Allow to rest for 20 minutes
7. Turn on mixer for a few more turns around the bowl.
8. Transfer to container for bulk fermentation
.....

When shaping the crust, you will need to use flour to prevent sticking on the peel, but use as little as possible and try to remove excess before baking. The more you practice, the less flour you will use.

Bill/SFNM

Offline toddster63

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2007, 11:19:21 PM »
mischael, in my experience if your are using a little bit of flour on both sides before shaping, just the littlest bit that will be absorbed by baking time, there isn't any problem in shaping the dough--only at very high hydrations of 70%-75% (with non-Caputo flours) have I had problematic sticking show up while shaping. This little bit of flour also almost always gives me the soft baby's skin finish (before shaping) that you mention.

However, having the finished shaped crust stick to the counter and or peel is a different matter, and is really something I think comes from experience. The best tips I have found around here is making sure to shake the shaped crust constantly while dressing, and don't let it sit on the peel for long at all--quickly shape, dress and get it into the oven. The tip of blowing a pocket of air under the crust after shaped also works very well. Many also like to use semolina flour, rice flour, or cornmeal under the crust for "lubrication" (but I hate the texture that they produce).

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2007, 09:05:32 AM »
mischael....I just finished up running some tests 30 minutes ago with high hydration dough. I was trying to find the limit of hydration using Gold Medal Harvest King flour.

I made several small 85 gram test batches of varying hydration levels. One each at 68%, 73%, 74% and 75%. I only used flour water and yeast, no salt. I mixed these by hand and then refridgerated them for 30 hours. I was trying to come up with a recipe that could be made up ahead of time, then refridgerated and used straight from the fridge.

I even made a 100% whole wheat batch made with 50% Hogdson mills stone ground graham flour and 50% German whole white wheat that I got from a local bakery. I'm in Germany also, Spangdahlem/Bitburg.

I was going to just bake the test batches and then I decided to make mini pizza with all of them. I used my kitchen oven and it only gets to about 500 degrees but the pizzas came out pretty good. I thought they were going to taste bland since I purposely left out the salt but I ate two of the small ones and all of the whole wheat. I could tell that the salt was missing but they were still very edible.

If you refriderate the dough it's a lot easier to handle plus you can get a higher hydration level. I still have more experimentation to do but these initial pizzas have me stoked. The best one was the 73% followed close by the 74%. The worst one was the 75%. The 68% would have been better if I let it warm up first, as it is I let it sit at room temp for 1 hour before it was baked. The others were baked straight from the fridge.

       Villa Roma

« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 09:50:03 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2007, 09:07:09 AM »
Here's the 100% whole wheat pizza. If I had cooked these in the LBE they would have come out much better. These were done at 500 degrees in my home oven. I would go about 625 degrees or more with the LBE and get a ton more oven spring and some nice charring and the cheese wouldn't be burned. Looks like I may have to make another Rambo pizza!

       Villa Roma
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 09:53:33 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Flagpull

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2007, 09:17:19 AM »
...wow.

I thought I was the only one who was up doing pizza things at 8:30 this morning. I just got done making a 73% dough (60/40 Caputo/KABF) batch with a room temp rise for later on today.

Really great test and pictures VR!

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2007, 09:31:30 AM »
...wow.

I thought I was the only one who was up doing pizza things at 8:30 this morning. I just got done making a 73% dough (60/40 Caputo/KABF) batch with a room temp rise for later on today.

Really great test and pictures VR!

It's 3 in the afternoon here but I was up at 5 this morning playing with my dough :chef:.
Let us know how your tests come out.

      Villa Roma

Offline Flagpull

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2007, 09:38:38 AM »
Hmm, why did I think you were in the States? Of course i'll let you know!

Offline fabio

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2007, 06:05:21 PM »
I only used flour water and yeast, no salt. I mixed these by hand and then refridgerated them for 30 hours.

Great work, but keep in mind that salt has a meeningful impact on the dough, as has been discussed here more than once.

Offline mischael

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2007, 11:20:49 AM »
Villa Roma, good to know there is more pizzaholics in Germany.
Nice looking whole wheat crust you made there. Im just not that
a big fan of whole wheat. Do you know a good supplier in Germany
for high protein flours?


Offline fabio

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2007, 11:47:03 AM »
Mischael,

If your dough is to sticky and too difficult to stretch, that probably means that your mixing procedure is bad, or that you have a very strange flour. The fact that it is too sticky makes me think that you don't use a rest/autolyse period, and the fact that it is too difficult to spread makes me think that you worked it for too long or at too high a speed. Proofing time and temp also have an effect on the handling and stretching. Can you post your dough formulation and mixing/proofing procedure?

Offline mischael

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2007, 11:59:53 AM »
Hi Fabio,

thanks for asking. The dough I was talking about I was basically using Jeff's
precise technique.

I do have a DLX and followed his intructions carefully. My current guess is that
my flour could not take the 63,5 % Water, or it was added to fast for this flour.

Short description:

Water: 63,5 %
Flour (AP): 100%
Salt: 2,4%
Preferment: 8%
IDY: none (although in his recipe)

Procedure:

- 75% Flour + Salt, Water, Preferment
in basic mix (within 1-2mins -> this may be problematic)

- 20 mins autolyse

- wet kneading: low speed 8mins (after 5mins add rest flour)

- another 20 mins rest

- retard for 3-5 days in fridge

- out of cooler 90 mins before bake

The taste and crust was fine, i cooked it at 850F
but had to use pans, because the balls were almost
unhandable, very sticky and unelastic.

Ill give it another try today with a very slow flour premix.

Any suggestions?


Offline fabio

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Re: handle high hydration doughs
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2007, 12:38:50 PM »
- wet kneading: low speed 8mins (after 5mins add rest flour)

I use Jeff's mixing technique too. Do you add the rest of the flour all at once? I add 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons at a time, let it mix well, and continue. If you add it in all at once, that may be a problem.

From the sounds of it, though, the 'problem' may be the flour. Western European grain is usually soft, whereas North American grain is usually hard, producing very different flours (not just different protein content). Luckily for you, Neapolitan pizza is traditionally made with soft-grain flour. If you use Jeff's technique of putting in as much flour as necessary to obtain a certain consistency, you should be able to eliminate the stickiness problem. But I would imagine that the elasticity problem would increase.

Caputo pizzeria flour is the gold-standard, so you might want to try getting your hands on it. Then try making one of the many caputo dough formulations on this board. If the dough stretches easily and is fairly easy to handle (doesn't stick too much), then you know the problem is your flour.

Lastly, maybe you shold post a short video on youtube (and place a link to it here) that shows exactly how sticky and elastic the dough is. The experts here may tell you that the dough is fine after all.


 

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