Author Topic: Newbie needing advice with dough making  (Read 4212 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

GDP

  • Guest
Newbie needing advice with dough making
« on: October 01, 2004, 03:31:38 PM »
First off, I don't have a mixer.  I'm limited to hand mixing and kneading.  Every time I make pizza dough, it turns out dense and doesn't want to stretch.  Here's the recipe I've been using with much more success than the Emeril dough recipe, but the dough is still not quite elastic.

Pizza dough recipe.

To be more specific, my dough isn't turning out to window pane dough before proofing.  I am also using bread flour for bread machines, which contains a little more protein than regular bread flour to make more gluten.  I'm trying to make regular pan pizza, similar to what you'd get at Domino's.  Any tips that would help me out?

Oh, and one more question:  What temperature are you all cooking your pizzas at?  I'm using a pizza stone here if that makes any difference.  It seems that every recipe has a different baking temperature.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2004, 03:37:05 PM by GDP »


Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1968
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2004, 03:50:48 PM »
Dense? Is the dough rising? The dough ball should be more than double in size after a good rise... after about three hours at room temperature.

If it's not rising, then you're using dead yeast.

If you're getting a good rise, but the dough is still too dense, then I'd say that you're not using enough water.

When you've used the right amount of flour and water, the dough should be smooth and silky feeling, and should be very pliable. We're talking borderline "wet" dough.

Instead of using 1 cup of water to 3 cups of flour, try increasing to 9 or 10 ounces of water to 3 cups of flour. If it's too sticky, just add in some more flour until it crosses the line from wet and sticky to smooth and silky.

And, if you're kneading by hand, you'll want to knead for 10-15 minutes to really develop the gluten.

Hope this helps.
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

GDP

  • Guest
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2004, 04:02:02 PM »
The dough is rising fine, I think that the problem is pre-rise.  It's not window-pane after I knead.  I think the problem is where I thought--not kneading it enough.  I'm sure that the yeast is fine, way before the expiration date.  Another problem, and I think it's related to not kneading enough, is that when I bake it the crust isn't airy inside, it's just slightly less dense than flopped bread.  It's moist and the outside is cooked right, but it's just not seeming to rise properly in the oven during baking either.

The dough shouldn't be sticky to the point where I can't work it, right?  Exactly when should I stop adding flour to the dough?  Every time I see people make dough, the dough doesn't stick at all when they knead it.  The recipe I'm using stays pretty sticky to where I couldn't knead it until all of the flour is added.  I'll try out your tips next chance I get and see how they work out.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2004, 04:04:32 PM by GDP »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22125
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2004, 05:12:45 PM »
GDP,

Welcome to the forum.

If you are following the recipe indicated, that is, the Tyler Florence recipe, then you are using 00 flour, which is an imported Italian flour.  I saw the Foodnetwork segment in which Florence made the dough and a few pizzas, but I couldn't make out (or don't recall) the brand of 00 flour he was using.  Do you know what brand of 00 flour you have been using?  This question is important because 00 flour comes in different amounts of protein, from about 8.5% to 11.5-12.5%, which can affect kneadiing.  I know of only about 4 brands of 00 flour that are available at the retail level (including a King Arthur "clone" that I do not personally recommend).  

The classic Neapolitan dough recipe using 00 flour usually calls for a total of around 30 minutes machine kneading and 2 rise times, a first one of about 4 hours at room temperature and a second one of about 2-4 hours.  I have kneaded 00 flour dough by hand on many occasions.  As best I can tell, the reason for the long knead time is to develop the gluten, which is formed in relatively small quantities when compared with higher-protein, higher-gluten flours.  Also, my experience is that with 00 flour you will not get a really good gluten windowpane, apparently because of the smaller amount of gluten--which is what creates the gluten window.   I would just knead the dough ball until it is smooth and elastic.  I would think that about 10 minutes should do it based on my own experience.  And I echo Steve's advice about being sure to use enough water, since that is likely to help you overcome toughness of the dough and get an airy crumb in the crust.  The dough shouldn't be so sticky that when you put your fingers in the dough and pull them out the dough pulls out with your fingers in long sticky strands that you have to pull off.  I would add just enough flour to prevent that from happening and maybe just a bit more.  I think then you should be OK.

When I reread the Florence recipe I saw that the recipe calls for 12-15 minutes bake time.   That seems overly long to me for a dough based on 00 flour and 1/8-inch thick.  Since the Florence recipe calls for both added sugar and olive oil (neither of which is used in classic Neapolitan doughs), you should get good browning but you will have to check the bottom of the crust as soon as you start to see browning on the top crust to make sure that you don't overbake the pizza.  For pizzas baked on a pizza stone or tiles, the typical oven temperature is 500-550 degrees F, which is the highest oven temperature for most home ovens.  The usual recommendation is to preheat the stone for about 1 hour before baking a pizza on it.

You indicate that you don't have a mixer.  Do you have a food processor by any chance?  That is a good alternative although the processing techniques differ markedly from a stand mixer.  It will also improve the quality of your dough.

By and large, it sounds like your problem is mainly a problem with getting enough water in your dough and kneading it enough to get good gluten development.  This will usually be more of a problem with hand kneading higher gluten flours, such as bread flour (including bread flour for bread machines) and especially high-gluten flour which is a real bear to knead by hand, especially if you are making a large quantity for several pizzas.  If you are using a higher gluten flour, you should also be certain that you are using the right recipe.  You can't just substitute such flours for 00 flour or all-purpose flours in recipes.

Peter

GDP

  • Guest
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2004, 05:22:48 PM »
So I can't substitute a different kind of flour for 00?  Looking at most recipes, this one's pretty standard, it just lists a different kind of flour.  I didn't see the harm.  Do you think this is why I'm having the problem?  I watched a Good Eats show with Alton Brown where he basically made it sound like the best flour is the one with the most protein because it will produce the most gluten, saying that bread machine flour has the most protein.  That's what I've been using.

EDIT:  Oh, and I forgot to mention an important piece of information:  I cut down the salt by 1 tsp. because different brands of kosher salt have different size grains, and that can lead to crust that's way too salty.  This is according to Alton Brown, noted on this page:

Alton Brown's Pizza Crust Recipe

And I quote,
Quote
*This recipe's been on the web for some time now and although most of the reactions have been darned positive, some of you have commented that the dough was way too salty. At first we chalked this up to personal preference; some folks are just not as sensitive as others to this basic flavor. And of course salty toppings would definitley change the dynamic. Still, we didn't want to leave it at that. We went back to the lab and found that the flake size of kosher salt differs quite a bit from brand to brand. This could easily result in a too salty crust. So unless you've had success with the recipe in the past, we suggest you cut the salt by one teaspoon, from a tablespoon to two teaspoons. So that the yeast doesn't go crazy, you should also cut back on the sugar by half a teaspoon. Thanks, AB
« Last Edit: October 01, 2004, 05:28:03 PM by GDP »

Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2004, 05:24:40 PM »
As Pete pointed out, if you are using 00 flour you may never get a "window".  I also agree that it sounds like more water is needed.  One thing about Neapolitian dough is I don't streach it out alot.  Neapolitians tend to be smaller pizza.  I use a 6 oz ball (weight before proofing) that is room temp and very relaxed.  I simply flatten it out with my hand and pull it into a round shape.  It come out really thin.  I dust my peal, top it and cook it on a stone in 550 o oven.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2004, 05:29:31 PM »
So I can't substitute a different kind of flour for 00?  Looking at most recipes, this one's pretty standard, it just lists a different kind of flour.  I didn't see the harm.  Do you think this is why I'm having the problem?  I watched a Good Eats show with Alton Brown where he basically made it sound like the best flour is the one with the most protein because it will produce the most gluten, saying that bread machine flour has the most protein.

It depends on the style of pizza you are making.  A New York style needs a high protien flour like bread flour for bread machines (like in Good Eats)  a Neapolitian dough uses a lower protien flour. I use AP or an AP/Cake flour mix (dont remember the ratio at the moment).

The higher protien flours will require more water so if you are using Bread Flour in place of 00 flour your dough would be dense.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

GDP

  • Guest
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2004, 05:35:30 PM »
So I can't substitute a different kind of flour for 00?  Looking at most recipes, this one's pretty standard, it just lists a different kind of flour.  I didn't see the harm.  Do you think this is why I'm having the problem?  I watched a Good Eats show with Alton Brown where he basically made it sound like the best flour is the one with the most protein because it will produce the most gluten, saying that bread machine flour has the most protein.

It depends on the style of pizza you are making.  A New York style needs a high protien flour like bread flour for bread machines (like in Good Eats)  a Neapolitian dough uses a lower protien flour. I use AP or an AP/Cake flour mix (dont remember the ratio at the moment).

The higher protien flours will require more water so if you are using Bread Flour in place of 00 flour your dough would be dense.

DKM

D'oh! (Pun intended) (http://forums.offtopic.com/images/smilies/pat.gif) I guess that might have something to do with it.  Now I'm excited about making pizza again!  Style of pizza is a regular hand-tossed type crust you'd get from Dominos or Papa Johns.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2004, 05:36:16 PM by GDP »

Offline Foccaciaman

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 448
  • Location: Minnesota
  • ou812
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2004, 09:07:32 PM »
GDP:
It looks like everyone else has already covered the info that you need.

But as for your last comment about being excited about making pizza again. ;) ;)
Join the forum and read as many threads as you can. I can assure you that you will become a better pizza maker and become excited about making other pizzas as well. ;D
I think that just checking in on the forum makes most of the regulars here hungry for pizza every time.
I know it does to me. ;D
Ahhh, Pizza The Fifth Food Group

GDP

  • Guest
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2004, 01:38:08 AM »
Thanks everyone for the tips and tricks.  I'll be making dough tomorrow, so we'll see how it turns out!  (http://forums.offtopic.com/images/smilies/fingersx.gif)


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22125
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2004, 02:43:31 PM »
GDP,

You might also want to get a copy of Peter Reinhart's book, American Pie, which is a good starting point for understanding pizza making.  Peter has his roots in bread making and teaches the subject at one of the major culinary institutes, so he knows whereof he speaks.  I haven't yet tried all of the pizza dough recipes in his book and can't speak to the merit of all his recipes, but that is less important than learning the basics.   Peter also gives instructions on hand kneading of doughs, which can be useful to you since you don't have a stand mixer (or food processor).  You will also get a good overview of the nature and styles of pizzas made all around the world--from Italy to the east and west coasts of the U.S.--which should put the whole matter of pizzas into perspective and give you a much clearer view of the pizza making playing field.

And don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how simple or idiotic they may appear to you.  There's literally hundreds of years of collective pizza making experience among the members of this forum, and you will not find ANY PLACE--I repeat, ANY PLACE--where people will be more willing to help you--or anyone else--out with their pizza making problems or questions (which I think you are starting to see for yourself).  As Foccaciaman has said, read as many threads as possible at this site.  You won't find 100 percent unanimity, nor should you, but you will learn an amazing amount and start to apply what you learn to your own experiences to improve what you are doing.  Then, you will be telling the rest of us how to improve what we are doing.  It's all in the spirit of community.

Peter

GDP

  • Guest
Re:Newbie needing advice with dough making
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2004, 05:18:55 PM »
Well, I just made some dough about five minutes ago.  I think I'll go take pictures before it rises too much for you guys to see.  I followed the tips and tricks here, and not my pizza dough feels more like bubblegum and less like a shoe!  I kneaded it for 12 minutes, added a bit more water than the recipe called for, and overall I think it came out pretty darn good!

(http://www.flycustom.com/albums/randompics/DCP_1521.jpg)
(http://www.flycustom.com/albums/randompics/DCP_1522.jpg)

And just for you pizza heads who want to try something different, here's the recipe I made up that I'm doing for an orderve tonight:


Grilled Shrimp and Cream Sauce Pizza:
Ingredients:

1-2 jumbo shrimp per person for each pizza, and a matching number of 4-5" pizza crusts.
Emeril's Bayou Blast seasoning
Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce


Preheat the oven to 400*F

Peel each shrimp and season both sides with Bayou Blast.  Optionally, you can skewer them for grilling.  Grill the shrimp until almost cooked, and remove.

On each pizza, place a few tablespoons of the cream sauce.  Place the shrimp on top.  Brush the crust with olive oil and bake until the crust turns golden brown.  Serve immediately.


 

pizzapan