Author Topic: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!  (Read 1722 times)

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Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« on: April 25, 2008, 02:21:38 PM »
I have a pizza competition with friends tonight and my dough just completely malfunctioned!

I haven't made pizza since 2006 but I've never seen anything this weird.

I aimed for 60% hyrdation, King Arthur Bread Flour and 2.5% salt, IDY.

I'm using Jeff's basic procedure -- mix all ingredients minus 25% of the flour, rest, then mix until smooth. The problem is, after kneading for 15min, the dough develops no gluten whatsoever. It is completely soft, with no 'elasticity' or 'spring-back' which normally develops if you work the dough vigorously. The dough is behaving like molten candy -- poke at it and it does not bounce back. Hold it in your hand it will 'melt'.

I've never seen anything like this. I'm stomped.

Another odd thing is that I've barely used the last 1/4 of four and the dough is already quite dry. By dry I don't mean very dry, just not like a 60%-62% hydration level dough that I'm use to handling. It's not sticky at all and it's quite easy to handle. And this is having only used 80% of the flour. But no gluten/structure at all.

This is really depressing me.

The only variable I could think of is that the KA flour had the expiration date of July 07. It's an unopened bag though.

Please help old pizzaiolo friends. You're my only hope!

« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 02:29:04 PM by JF_Aidan_Pryde »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 02:50:46 PM »
James,

Welcome back.

I have a few questions for you:

1) What kind of mixer are you using? Remember, Jeff uses a DLX mixer.

2) What amount of dough (weight) are you making?

3) What mixer speed did you use for the 15 minute knead time you mentioned?

4) Where did the 15-minute knead time come from? As I discussed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2964.msg25401.html#msg25401, it is possible to knead the dough too long. However, 15 minutes might not be too long for a large dough batch, e.g., a few pounds.

The dryness of the dough may be because of the age of the flour. With time, the moisture content of the flour can be significantly diminished, simply by sitting around in a normal room environment. If this is the case, the solution is to add more water.

Peter


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 03:16:58 PM »
Hi Pete!

Nice to hear from you again. Why am I not surprised you're the first to respond? :)

I still remember you helping me out in the old days -- when my crust was suffering from chronic-noncaramelization-syndrome.

How things have changed. I've now moved from Sydney to San Jose California. And I finally get to use KABF and Grande mozz that you guys use to talk about but I couldn't get.

On to your questions:
1) What kind of mixer are you using? Remember, Jeff uses a DLX mixer.

I've never had a machine, always manual mixing. I'm using a wooden spoon to mix in a large bowl (same method I used in Sydney)

2) What amount of dough (weight) are you making?

Planned to make only 2 pizzas. Here are my ratios in grams:

Dough   Flour   Water   Salt   Yeast
600   375     225      9   Tiny Pinch

3) What mixer speed did you use for the 15 minute knead time you mentioned?
Moderate to firm hand mixing with spoon.

4) Where did the 15-minute knead time come from? As I discussed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2964.msg25401.html#msg25401, it is possible to knead the dough too long. However, 15 minutes might not be too long for a large dough batch, e.g., a few pounds.

This is just how I use to do it. I've never been able to 'overwork' the dough before. But this is my first time using KABF.

Cheers.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 03:51:41 PM »
James,

I am a "gluten for punishment".

I agree that you did not overknead the dough. I don't see that you did anything wrong under the circumstances, so that pretty much leaves the flour as a possible cause of the problem you experienced even though I have never experienced that problem with flour that is past the use-by date.

If I were to make your dough by hand, I would start by putting the water in a bowl and then dissolve the salt in it. I noticed that you are using 2.5% salt. That is on the high side, but I am assuming that you may be making a dough that is to ferment at room temperature for several hours. Otherwise, I would use around 1.5-1.75% salt. I assumed also that you intend to use a room temperature fermentation because you mentioned using only a pinch of IDY. Technically, a "pinch" is 1/16 t., which would be around 0.05% of the weight of flour by my calculation, and far too little for a cold fermented dough to be used the same day. I would stir the IDY into the "brine" to increase its dispersion in the dough, and then add the flour gradually while you mix the ingredients with the spoon. Once you can no longer easily mix the dough with the spoon, I would empty the contents of the dough onto your work surface and gradually add the remaining flour by sprinkling it over the dough mass and working it into the dough. In your case, to be sure that you get sufficient hydration in the finished dough using all of the formula flour, I think I would use a hydration of around 63% instead of 60%. A dry KABF should be able to handle that hydration easily. A couple of other measures that you might use is to sift the flour at the outset and let the dough mass that you empty onto your work surface rest for about 15-20 minutes before adding the rest of the flour.

If the above protocol doesn't work, then the flour is suspect in my opinion. The only other possibility that occurs to me is human error in measuring out the ingredients. That can happen to the best of us.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 25, 2008, 03:55:27 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 02:30:05 AM »
I tried making another batch but unfortunately it didn't work as well.

I will have to get a fresh bag of flour and see.

I got to the pizza competition without a workable dough. My competitor (Stefan) had a working dough but he didn't have a rolling pin (we were at a friend's place). So in the end the competition turned into a cooperation. I used his dough and stretched it out by hand -- right to windowpaning point. So cooperatively, we made four pizzas, three of which are pictured below: margherita, funghi, and salami.   


Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 02:31:43 AM »
Margherita:

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 02:32:48 AM »
Funghi:

Offline JF_Aidan_Pryde

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Re: Emergency (dough malfunction) -- help !!!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 02:33:56 AM »
Salami, olive e funghi:


 

pizzapan