Author Topic: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.  (Read 5089 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bbqnpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 22
Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« on: August 24, 2008, 07:13:22 PM »
ELASTICITY: The capability of dough to return to its original shape after stretching. This effect is often referred to as "dough memory".
from the Pizzamakeing glossary.

I use Trader Joes pizza dough, ( I will eventually make my own) TJoes is about 200 yards from me, so that convenience makes it easy.  But I always have a problem with elasticity.  I can't shape a 13" pizza, the dough keeps retracting.
-  Is there anything I can do to get the dough to relax before I shape it?
-  Can I add water to a dough already cold fermented.
-  Would letting the dough proof longer allow it to relax more?  I have tried the following in proofing 40 min, 1hr, 1.5 hrs. 

The methods I'm using.
1st trying on a floured peel, using the heel of hands to push outwards, the dough goes about 6" and then beyond that retracts back.  I then try turning over the dough on the peel and repeat the process on the other side, again it seems to retract more.  Next I will pick up the pizza and let the weight pull down as I rotate the dough gripping the edges, this gets the dough stretching, but as soon as I set the dough down on the peel it retracts and is in odd shapes.  Another result from picking up and rotating along the edges, is the center of the dough will be very thin.

So far the two best methods.
1st using one of those aluminum throw away pizza pans that have the raised bumps.  The dough seems to grab on the bottom with the bumps and I can achieve a more rounded pie, but the dough still retracts a lot and takes a lot of effort to get to the desired diameter.
2nd somewhere I read or saw the use of large stainless mixing bowl turned upside down, and stretching the dough over the bowl.  I tried this the last time and the initial stretching worked great with least handling of dough.  However, as soon as I moved the dough to the peel, once on the peel the dough starts retracting, the bowl only works on the initial stretching once moved to peel you can't put it back on the bowl it tears or has retracted in odd shapes.


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2008, 07:18:18 PM »
bbqnpizza,

Are you re-shaping, or re-kneading or re-balling the dough ball once you remove it from its bag?

Peter

Offline Pizza_Not_War

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 388
  • Location: Portland OR
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 07:21:35 PM »
Do you know the temperature of the dough when you are shaping it?
Does the bag have a sell or use by date?
Does this happen with all the varieties they sell?

PNW

Offline bbqnpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 22
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 10:18:25 PM »
bbqnpizza,

Are you re-shaping, or re-kneading or re-balling the dough ball once you remove it from its bag?
Peter

When I remove from fridge to proof, it is in a bag and it is a loose moist dough, I take flour dust a cutting board dust my hands, and then shape dough into a ball, smooth top tucking sides under, this doesn't take many tucks just 4-6, I dust the top with flour, and cover with cloth.

Quote
Do you know the temperature of the dough when you are shaping it?
Does the bag have a sell or use by date? Does this happen with all the varieties they sell?

Temperature at shaping to make pizza pie is room temp, I have tried both inside and outside, outside temp of course are hotter.
Inside around 80 deg.

I haven't ever looked at use by date, but TJs turns over their dough almost daily.
Yes both white flour and wheat have the same problem.

Today I'm trying WinCo dough.  1st thing I notice is that it is raising more than the TJs.  I have 4 white floor bags.  My daughter got excited and as soon as the dough came home prep 2 dough balls as per above, leaving at room temp.  I was taking a nap, the dough was on counter for 2 hours, I dusted a zip lock with flour and put back in fridge.  It will be interesting to see the difference between these 2 doughs, and 2 that will only proof for about 1 hour before cooking.

The weber kettle is preheating the stone right now.
My weber kettle setup and procedure are in this post. topic,7096.0.
(I dont' get this not being able to post a link that reference a thread in this forum, it is frustrating.)


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 10:48:31 PM »
When I remove from fridge to proof, it is in a bag and it is a loose moist dough, I take flour dust a cutting board dust my hands, and then shape dough into a ball, smooth top tucking sides under, this doesn't take many tucks just 4-6, I dust the top with flour, and cover with cloth.

bbqnpizza,

I think your handling of the dough as you described it above is most likely the cause of the problem. What usually happens when you re-ball or re-knead or re-shape the dough is that the gluten structure gets disoriented, causing the dough to become very elastic. You can let the dough rest so that the gluten strands relax again, but that can sometimes take several hours and, even then, the dough may not behave as well as one that has not been re-worked. What you might want to do next time is just remove the dough ball from the bag as carefully as possible (my recollection working with a TJ dough is that I cut the bag open around the dough ball) and put it on a lightly floured work surface to warm up. You might gently shape the dough to have a roughly round shape but you don't want to upset the dough by aggressive handling, even to tuck in the sides. To keep a skin from forming on the surface of the dough ball as it warms up, you might want to cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap or a slightly damp towel until you are ready to use it. When you are ready to use the dough ball, you should start the shaping process by gently flattening the dough ball with your fingers and then gradually pressing the dough outwardly as you turn the skin, also with your fingers. Once the dough is opened to about 10", you should be able to lift the skin and stretch it the rest of the way out to the desired size. There are quite a few videos available at YouTube and elsewhere that show how to execute these steps.

Peter

Offline bbqnpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 22
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 01:52:32 AM »
bbqnpizza,

I think your handling of the dough as you described it above is most likely the cause of the problem. Peter

I will give it a try on the TJ dough. 

Today on the WinCo dough, several things.
1.  I watched the video on shaping, it helped.  However I used the same procedures I mention above for proofing.  But I think the WinCo dough has less elasticity, it proofed up bigger than the TJ dough and when handled seemed more compliable.

2.  The WinCo dough doesn't handle the temperature that TJ dough.  Normally I put TJ on the hot stone that I believe is around 650-700 deg.  I say this because a standard oven thermometer is pegged when I put the 1st pizza on.  I turn the pizza in about 2 to 2.5 minutes I get nice spotted char but not burned bottom.  The WinCo dough at 2 minutes was burning, fortunately it wasn't ruined.

3.  I had all kinds of problems today.  My aluminum foil kettle lid liner was on its 3rd usage and failed, it kept falling out, and after 2nd pizza I had to get rid of it.  As expected each subsequent pizza took an average of 1.5 to 2 minutes longer. 
Pizza 1, on stone 4 minutes, turned at 2 minutes and each 2 or 1.5 minutes.  Then in a tin pizza pan on the stone for 2 minutes to finish toppings.
Pizza 2 on stone 5 minutes, turned at 1.5 minutes ea. 1.5 minutes.  Then in a pizza pan 3 minutes to finish toppings.
pizza 3 on stone 6 minutes, turned at 2 min. & every 2 min.  Then in a pizza pan 4 minutes to finish toppings.
Pizza 4 on stone 7 minutes, turned at 2 min. & every 2 min or so.  Then in pizza pan 5 minutes to finish toppings.

Pizza 3 & 4 the pan cooking wasn't only to finish toppings, it was to finish sides of crust too.  The 4th pizza the crust is not crisp or firm but is softish.  However pizza 3 & 4 are for warming up in oven later this week, and will crisp up very nice then.

While the family liked the pizzas, I'm not happy.  I tend to overload with toppings, but hey in Calif. that is normal, and that is how we always order our pizza when at pizzeria.  I need to focus on less is more.  When the weber kettle and stone and I hit it, the pizza taste is great.  I'm talking about the crust, bottom and flavor.  Achieving consistency is the challenge.

Sorry no pictures, my two sons dug into 1st pizza almost immediately, and the 2nd too.  The 3rd & 4th are not good representations of the correct cooking that can be achieved.  The problem with the weber is no thermal mass to hold heat, also I have to keep removing the lid to turn or put pizza on.  I have a solution for this similar to the LGE mods, but I will keep this too myself until I actually do it.  I still intend to work with charcoal, mainly because we do one or two cookouts and take our kettle, so it would be nice to cook pizza and surprise everyone with some great bbq pizza on the weber kettle.

btw  thank you, very much for the input and help.
PS since I'm not a business looking to advertise, and not promoting any products, how about upgrading me so I can use links in my posts.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 01:54:19 AM by bbqnpizza »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 06:46:09 AM »
PS since I'm not a business looking to advertise, and not promoting any products, how about upgrading me so I can use links in my posts.

bbqnpizza,

When you get to five posts you will be able to post links. This policy has been very effective in eliminating most of the spam on the forum.

Peter

Offline bbqnpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 22
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2008, 07:10:13 AM »
bbqnpizza,

When you get to five posts you will be able to post links. This policy has been very effective in eliminating most of the spam on the forum. Peter

Ok thanks, now I know....

BTW, why does the WinCo dough proof up bigger and the elasticity less?
Also why do you think it started burning so quick?

Your best guess.

I didn't have a problem with the burning after the 1st pizza because all that heat is lost.  I have noticed now on last 3 pizza cooks on the weber kettle, that the 2nd pizza is always the best, the crust is just right, the toppings, are cooked right.  I need to get one of those infrared guns so I have some idea what the real temperatures are.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2008, 09:24:55 AM »
BTW, why does the WinCo dough proof up bigger and the elasticity less?

bbqnpizza,

I am not familiar with the WinCo dough, but if I had to guess I would say that the dough formulation is probably different, maybe with more yeast. If the dough is older also, that can manifest itself in a more extensible (less elastic) dough. If you can post the ingredients lists for both pizza doughs (TJ's and WinCo), that might provide some clues as to the differences between the two doughs.

I don't use a grill to bake pizzas, so others may be able to answer the questions related to that aspect of your pizza making.

Peter

Offline johnnytuinals

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 321
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 08:08:23 PM »
You should try Walmarts.
Somebody makes it in upstate New York
And it only cost $1.12 per dough ball.
I buy 20 at a time and the smell of the dough smells greatttttttt
just before you use it(don't know if that has anything to do with it lol}...Jt


Offline bbqnpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 22
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2008, 09:49:09 PM »
You should try Walmarts.
Somebody makes it in upstate New York
And it only cost $1.12 per dough ball.
I buy 20 at a time and the smell of the dough smells greatttttttt
just before you use it(don't know if that has anything to do with it lol}...Jt


I'm in Calif. so I doubt the dough is from same source, however I'm sure the recipe/formula is same.  I will give it a try too.  Again TJs is literally across the street from us, so TJs is easy.

Question:
What would be considered excessive in time to proof, talking about store dough.
2 hr, 3hr, 4hr, 5hr, etc?   Again the goal is to get the dough to relax so that it can be shaped in normal pizza shape without over working the dough.
At what point does flavor deteriorate, and can you tell by looking at the proof dough either white or wheat? 

Do you think the store doughs are formulated to cook properly in lower heat ovens, i.e. 400+ deg  vs 550 deg or higher?

I got on the bbq pizza kick back in July.  I had been BBQn something every Sunday since mid May, and family got me a Sams Club Masterbuilt Electric smokehouse smoker in mid June, so smoked ribs, chicken, or pulled pork, every Sunday. (Side note) my bbq both the weber kettle and weber genesis gas had been out of use for 2 years due to my job, now I have a bit more time so back to bbq.  Then they complained, cook something besides smoked meat.  Thats when I started playing with bbq pizza.  I have bbq at least 20 years, but never did pizza.  I discovered PMF looking for recipes and pizza cooking info, and got hooked on the challenge of making wood oven quality pizza on a weber kettle.  Now the family is complaining again, hey you got the smoker when do we get those ribs again?
Can't keep em happy  ::).

I am very grateful to the owner of PMF for such a valuable resource.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2008, 10:26:30 PM »
bbqnpizza,

The appropriate temper period is independent of whether the dough is store bought or made at home. As long as the window of fermentation is not excessive, a dough can withstand several hours of tempering. Typically, the temper period when the dough is on the counter warming up can be about 1 1/2-2 hours before using. However, the actual time may be more or less depending on whether the room is warm or cold. But, the dough should be able to withstand two or three hours more time on the counter, unless the room temperature is really excessive. Also, doughs with higher protein content will usually have a longer overall window of usability than one with a lower protein content. So, for example, a dough made using high-gluten flour should have a longer overall window of usability than one made with all-purpose flour.

With respect to your question about when flavor deteriorates, it depends how you define the deterioration of flavor. In my opinion, most doughs will yield better finished crust flavors with age. However, not everyone likes the flavors of a dough with a long fermentation. 

Maybe you should try making your own TJ dough. I and another member, giotto, attempted to do that some time ago, using a California TJ's dough as a benchmark for the reverse-engineered dough. You can see our results at Reply 17 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2036.msg19444.html#msg19444.

Peter




Offline johnnytuinals

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 321
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 09:37:08 PM »
Since I live in Pa. I rather buy my dough from walmarts at $1.12 each Frozen,,,get them at 20 at a time ...
The dough comes from the New York area...
They say its the water that makes the dough so great......
The dough from Walmarts is
Pepe's bakery Amstemdam New York.........
And you all should try the Grande Chesse east coast blend diced.......Yummmmmmm
you will never buy a pizza out again....Jt

Offline madymo3d

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 10
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 11:41:31 AM »
I was about to ask a question on Trader Joe's dough and found this post, so I'm going to revive it, hope that' okay.

I used TJ dough years ago and was never successful, which is why I started making my own. Now I have more experience and perspective, I'm hoping I can use TJ dough successfully.

My problem is the reverse. My dough always seem too slack, extensible, no elasticity at all. And it stuck to everything from the working surface to the peel to the stone. If I follow the directions, it only says to leave in the bag for 20 minutes after removing from the fridge. Knowing what I know now, 20 minutes is hardly enough to bring it to room temp, let alone rise. My dough hardens in the fridge and softens with room temp. Is that the problem with being too slack, it hasn't come up to temp? No oven spring, just hard, dense, and partly uncooked crust.

I don't remember if it says to knead it or not, but I'm wondering if I should turn it a few times like the OP and let it rise to develop the gluten some more. I wouldn't expect the 4-6 tucks to completely change the elasticity if allowed to rest a bit. Consider that the final proof.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 12:11:57 PM »
madymo3d,

If you can tell me the ingredients listed on the label for the TJ's dough you have been using, I perhaps can give you a better and more complete answer. However, if I had to guess, the TJ's dough balls you used perhaps started out their lives as frozen dough balls and were delivered as such to TJ's, where they most likely sat for some time defrosting before being sold. Most such doughs balls contain an above average amount of yeast, to compensate for the fact that freezing dough kills yeast. Moreover, such dough balls have short windows of usability once they are defrosted. Even professional pizza operators who use frozen/defrosted dough balls have a real problem getting more than two days out of such dough balls. If your TJ dough balls started out frozen, which I know is the case with at least some of the TJ's, and especially if you kept the dough balls in your refrigerator for more than a day or two before using, then I would guess that your dough balls were overfermented/overproofed by the time you decided to use them. If that is a correct assumption, there is little that you can do to improve matters. It is very difficult to resuscitate an overfermented or overproofed dough ball. You would have to catch it just after it started to go south.

Peter

Offline madymo3d

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 10
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2009, 01:16:49 PM »
Okay, I have to say, thanks to this forum, my dough knowledge and handling technique have vastly improved since I last used TJ dough. I was able to recognize the condition the dough is in, know what to do with it, and do it instead of just following directions on the packaging blindly. The regular flour basil one turned out great. It indeed firm up too much after I gave it 4 tucks to round it. The whole wheat one still sucked. I'm going to blame it on whole wheat lacking gluten and not anything I did wrong. That's my story and I'm sticking to it  >:D. I need to have different expectations about whole wheat dough.

I cut out the ingredient list of the packaging so I can type it up, but I think the wife threw it away. There was no magic ingredient in there, just the basics plus a few "enhancers." I'll continue to make my own dough as I think I can surpass the TJ dough in texture. I don't know about flavor; my dough always seem to lack flavor even after cold fermenting for a few days. I've had a few chances to eat pizza out last 2 weeks and I think mine is better. Not as good as the best I've had, but definitely better than what the public-at-large would consider good (franchise) pizza.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2009, 01:42:52 PM »
madymo3d,

Next time you get a TJ dough, look at where the yeast shows up in the ingredients list. If the dough is fresh, the yeast will usually be at or near the bottom of the list, depending on whether there are dough conditioners, which are usually used in very small quantities. If the TJ dough starts out its life frozen, the yeast will be much higher in the ingredients list. The rules of engagement are different for fresh and frozen doughs, so you will want to know which it is.

Peter


Offline madymo3d

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 10
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2009, 10:04:12 PM »
I looked at the ingredients as I prepared the pizza to see if there was any magic ingredients. Yeast was second. First was flour, then there were a bunch of ingredients in parenthesis listing the contents of the flour. Yeast was after that. What do you recommend as rules of engagement for frozen dough?

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21874
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Trader Joes dough and elasticity "dough memory" problems.
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2009, 10:58:53 PM »
madymo3d,

I believe water should have been ahead of the yeast in the ingredients list, but if the yeast was ahead of the salt (and sugar if used), then that strongly suggests that the dough started out its life as frozen. Once defrosted, the shelf life of the dough is fairly short, maybe a day or so. See, for example, the advice given by Tom Lehmann for using frozen dough balls, at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=42899#42899. See also Tom's tip about kneading the dough ball after it has defrosted to restore some of the vitality of the dough, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=20525#20525.

Peter


 

pizzapan