Author Topic: why won't my dough brown properly?  (Read 2760 times)

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Offline peytonssmith

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why won't my dough brown properly?
« on: November 05, 2007, 07:14:09 PM »
i am having a hard time getting my dough to brown properly...i am using just h20/IDY/salt/flour.  so far i have been using gold medal bread flour.  have been baking in oven at 550 with a stone preheated for an hour...would it help to add oil to the dough recipe?  how can i achieve proper browning w/out?  also, i bought a dough ball from my local shop to compare.  i was told it was ADY and all trumps--no word on oil or not.  when i used it, it browned nicely, with a good char.  can anyone help explain possible reasons for difference.  the flour?  needs oil?  what?

also, how can i acheive better spring?  my dough is a bit flat, and hard to make a proper cornice.  thx.

and how much time is appropriate in general for hand kneading?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 07:21:48 PM »
paytonssmith,

Can you give us the complete dough recipe and tell us specifically how you made and managed the dough, including how long your dough fermented before you used it? Please also tell us whether the dough was fermented at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 09:02:51 PM »
It sounds to me like your dough fermented too long.  Also, don't fear using some sugar.  That will give you much more browning than oil which would be better for tenderizing.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 08:48:15 AM »
scott,

It seems to me that I have now read of several people who have had problems getting enough crust browning when using the All Trumps flour in a standard home oven setting? Have you found that to be true?

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 11:30:31 AM »
Absolutely not.  It browns just as much as KASL, with an even better tolerance to longer fermentation.  The window of usability where you can achieve browning actually seems bigger.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2007, 12:29:46 PM »
scott,

The last time I looked at the specs for the All Trumps and the KASL, the All Trumps had a bit more barley malting. I thought that the higher malting of the All Trumps would result in more residual sugar to be available for crust coloration purposes because of the increased amylase enzyme activity. The only explanation I could come up with for the reduced crust coloration that the members said they experienced with the All Trumps flour was that they had use a fermentation period that was longer than what is typically used by professionals who use the All Trumps flour (about 1-3 days) and that the residual sugar levels were too low as a result.

I'd love to get feedback on this issue from others who regularly use the All Trumps.

Peter

Offline peytonssmith

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 01:40:17 PM »
i used about 1.75 cups h20, yeast--meant to say IDY--salt and about 4 cups flour--gold medal bread flour-- or so, not measured so tightly, went more by feel.  i incorporated the ingredients, then allowed to sit together close to an hour.  then hand kneaded about 20 minutes or so, by kind of pounding it out lenghtwise, using my fists to knead up the length of dough, then rolled up like a carpet and repeated.  after kneading, i allowed dough to ferment at room temp about 1 hour or so, then fermented in fridge for at least 1 day.  the feel of the dough was okay, and was easy to work and stretch, so apparently the gluten pretty well developed w/out being overworked.
should i have gone straight to fridge for fermenting? 
primary issues were lack of color, even at relatively high heat for home, and less than ideal oven spring. 
any advice is appreciated.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 01:44:46 PM »
paytonssmith,

How much IDY and salt did you use and was the water warm, cool, or at room temperature?

Peter

Offline peytonssmith

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 02:10:59 PM »
i used about 1.5 tsp of IDY, about 2.5 tsps salt.  water was warm.

is the proofing of the yeast an unneccesary step?  i have read that it is.

Offline vitus

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2007, 03:09:08 PM »
I have had problems with browning too.
In my case the problem was the oven - not actually the temperature but rather the way that the oven distributed the heat.
I have used the same recipe in four different ovens at almost the exact same temperature with very different results. I believe that heat distribution is very different from one oven to another and I believe that this is a major issue when it comes to browning.

So my advice would be to try and experiment with placing the pizza differently in the oven and perhaps using another oven program (some ovens have a myriad of exotic programs with different combinations of top, bottom and side heat etc.). If you get the chance, maybe you can even try your dough in another oven.


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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 03:14:23 PM »
paytonssmith,

Since you are using volume measurements, it is hard to say if your dough formulation is responsible for the results you have been achieving. For example, if you are using flour and water measured out textbook style, your hydration would be around 80%. That would be extremely difficult to work with, whether by hand kneading or using a machine. Most people tend to be off more on the flour than the water when these are measured out by volume, so I suspect that you had to add a fair amount of bench flour to get the hydration down to where you could work with the dough.

The ingredients and quantities you mentioned don't throw off any red flags that I can see. On the assumption that you used more flour than you stated or, alternatively, less water than you stated, the yeast quantity and salt quantity both appear to be in range. The methods you used to knead the dough and to allow it to ferment both at room temperature and in the refrigerator should not have limited the crust coloration. Normally, the IDY is added directly to the flour, without hydrating in water. But, if the water you used was warm and you hydrated the IDY in it anyway, that shouldn't have affected the results. If you did hydrate the IDY in warm water, did you add the salt to the water at the same time by any chance?

If you used bread flour, you should have been able to get decent crust browning without having to use oil or sugar. As between the two, usually one uses sugar to promote crust browning. If you want to take a stab at using some sugar, adding about 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to your recipe may be a good place to start. At that level, you shouldn't get premature or excessive bottom crust browning when baking the pizza on your baking stone.

Very frequently, a very light colored crust is a sign of overfermentation, where there is insufficient residual sugar in the dough at the time of baking to promote good color development. However, unless your dough was several days old when you used it, you should have gotten decent color. Using excessive amounts of yeast, particularly when used with very warm water, can also cause the dough to ferment too fast such that the residual sugars are low by the time you use the dough. I can't tell you whether your yeast levels were too high without knowing more precisely how much flour you used. However, if the amount of flour you used was actually greater than you stated, for the reason mentioned above, then I think your yeast level was not excessive.

By any chance, did you put the pizza in a pan of any sort and then place the pan on your preheated stone? If you used just the stone, at what level was it placed in your oven?

Unless there is something that you have not told us, or unless it is a problem with your oven as vitus has postulated, I am stumped. Maybe next time you can take some photos if possible so that we can see if there are any other clues to help us solve your problems.

Peter

Offline briterian

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 10:18:08 PM »
Give this technique a shot:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5287.0.html

Works for me and I get great browning by 'broiling' up high as stage 2.

Offline lindaw

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2008, 03:14:15 PM »
I can't be sure, but from my memory from working in a pizza shop, especially the dough that was being used for pan or thick crust pizzas we tried very hard to have the dough made up at least a day in advance. We hated using the "new dough" from the same day's batch because it always looked too white and did not raise properly resulting in a tougher crust. You could try making the dough a day ahead. That may also explain why the dough ball you got from the store worked better. Hope this helps but it has been some time since I worked in a pizza parlor and my info may be off. Good luck.

Offline pizzasf

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Re: why won't my dough brown properly?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2008, 01:44:12 AM »
Another thing to consider using is diastatic malt. It can be obtained from Bakers Catalog etc.. and a small amount will allow a dough to brown more while cooking.


 

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