Author Topic: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?  (Read 3577 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline trevtrev

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« on: October 11, 2008, 08:33:52 PM »
Hi everyone, first post for me!
I recently got my hands on some "Hi-gluten Wheat Flour" (so it's labeled), previously I had been using KABF.  I made a NY style with it using 62% hydration, with a 4% oil.  The problem I encountered was that the dough was extremely sticky, much more so than I had ever encountered with the same formula using KABF, which, to my understanding, shouldn't be able to absorb as much water as a hi-gluten flour?  Is this typical of a hi-gluten flour?  Also, the flour tended to leave a very fine film on my hands as I kneaded it (no stand mixer), suggesting that it's a really fine grind, so maybe this has something to do with it?

The flour I found is made by Old Mill of Guilford, in NC.  The nutrition facts aren't labeled on the package, and the website doesn't work...so I can't know for sure what the protein % is.  I think someone else on the forum has used this flour before, and said it was 14%, but the only reason I have to believe it's hi-gluten is because it says so on the label.

Overall, the pizzas I made with them were really good, I'm just confused by all this stickiness!


Offline Jackitup

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3975
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Hastings, MN
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2008, 09:03:35 PM »
I think it's more a product of it being whole wheat than being hi gluten.
Jon
Save A Cow, Eat A Vegan....Totally Organic And Hormone Free!!

Offline trevtrev

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2008, 09:15:24 PM »
It's not whole wheat, it's just labeled as "Hi-gluten wheat flour." It looks just like KABF or any other normal white flour...

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22291
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2008, 10:52:24 PM »
trevtrev,

I was able to access the Old Mill website at http://www.oldmillofguilford.com/products.htm.

It's possible that your flour from Old Mill is a very fresh flour and has a high inherent moisture content. Some time ago, I discussed how that moisture content is established, at Reply 1 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3331.msg28181/topicseen.html#msg28181. I sometimes observe the same phenomenon as you did even with supermarket flours if they are promptly used after purchasing. Unless there is a quality issue with the protein in your flour, it should absorb more water than a typical bread flour. Maybe your hand kneading is also a factor. High gluten flours are harder to knead by hand than flours with lower protein, lower gluten content. When I hand knead high-gluten flours, I use autolyse and similar rest periods to help with the hydration.

I have no explanation for the film that you noticed during kneading.

Peter

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3391
  • Location: SF Bay Area
    • The Hobby Cook
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 01:24:25 AM »
Trevtrev,

How long did you ferment the dough?
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline trevtrev

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 05:00:41 PM »
Pete,
If hand kneading is the problem, then shouldn't I experience the same stickiness when I use regular bread flour?  And I did incorporate a 15 minute autolyse when I made Randy's American recipe with it the other night, and it was still sticky.  Maybe it does have to do with the flour already having a higher percentage of moisture in it, in which case I guess I'd just have to switch to a lower hydration.

As for the fermentation time, I normally put the dough ball in the fridge for at least a day, maybe two.  Earlier, I made a NY with 64% hydration that was cold-fermented for a day, and the dough was so sticky that there was no way to slide the pie off the peel without parchment paper.  That's why I switched to 62%, but it's still really sticky.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22291
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2008, 05:39:10 PM »
trevtrev,

Can you tell us the steps you follow to hand knead your dough?

Peter

Offline trevtrev

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 09:18:00 PM »
For the NY pizzas, I followed the approach using the hand mixer that Peter posted.
Flour - 100%
Water - 62%
Oil - 4%
Sugar - .5 %
Salt - 1.75%
Yeast - .25%

First I pour the water into a bowl, and dissolve the sugar and salt in the water.  I combine the flour and yeast, and slowly add it to the salt/sugar/ water mixture until the hand mixer starts to bog down a bit.  Then I add the oil, switch to using a spoon, and gradually add in the rest of the flour/yeast, a couple T's at a time.  Once all the flour is added and appears to be well-hydrated, I would hand knead the dough until it starts to tense up, once this happens I would form it into a ball and throw it into the fridge.  Normally I'd try to get a good, smooth gluten sheath when I make my final ball, but this dough is so sticky that I really can't handle the ball without it sticking to my hands. 

Also, with the Hi-gluten flour I'm finding that it is taking a lot more kneading to get the dough to tense up in comparison to the BF, another thing I don't understand.  Normally it takes only a couple minutes for an 8 oz dough ball to tense up using the KABF, but with this new flour I kneaded for at least twice as long and never really got that tense and stiff feeling to the dough.

For the Randy's American style, I followed his directions for hand-kneading, except I did the 15 minute autolyse after all the flour was incorporated.  After this, I would hand knead until it tenses up, then form it into a ball and put it in the fridge.

The only difference that I have made has been switching to this hi-gluten flour, I've kept all the same methods for preparing the dough as when I was using KABF.  The pizzas are still really good, I just don't understand why the dough balls are so much more sticky than with a lower protein % flour.

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3391
  • Location: SF Bay Area
    • The Hobby Cook
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 12:45:31 AM »
Trevtrev,

First off, I don't think a hand mixer is an adequate tool to make a good pizza dough. It might work well for batters such as pancakes or light cakes, but for heavier doughs such as pizza or bread doughs, even if you'd use the dough hooks, I don't think it will cut it. I can't imagine a hand mixer developing a good dough structure.

I started out with a wooden spoon and the hand kneading technique but discovered quickly that it won't do the trick unless you have experience. And a lot of it.

The other thing is, when you say it's sticky...what do you mean by that?

Is it sticky in terms of it sticks to the surface of where you're kneading the dough? If it sticks to your hands, use some bench flour and work the dough vigorously, adding a bit of flour each time you notice that it'll stick again. However, it's a fine line you walking there, or all of us for that matter, when adding bench flour. Too much and it can ruin the outcome, too little and you're screwed, too and end up with a less desirable pizza.

Another thing is that your flour is not soaking up the water properly, resulting in a sweaty dough. You said you put it in the fridge after kneading and forming it into a ball. I'd let it sit on the bench or counter for at least an hour, covered with a damp towel, then reshaping it and putting it into a bowl. Then it goes into the fridge for a few days.

Usually, when I take the doughs out of the fridge after w few days, they are quite "wet" to the touch but a few minutes of kneading and reshaping does the trick.

Another thing is the age of your flour. Is it a fresh flour, something you bought recently or something you had in your pantry for some time?

Lots of questions, I know, but they will help us to help you  :chef:



 
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22291
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 06:58:02 AM »
First off, I don't think a hand mixer is an adequate tool to make a good pizza dough. It might work well for batters such as pancakes or light cakes, but for heavier doughs such as pizza or bread doughs, even if you'd use the dough hooks, I don't think it will cut it. I can't imagine a hand mixer developing a good dough structure.

Mike,

trevtrev used a special method I devised and described at Reply 30 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36489/topicseen.html#msg36489 using an electric hand mixer in conjunction with hand kneading. The method was devised for those who do not have stand mixers or the like. The electric hand mixer is not used to do the actual kneading of the dough, only the combination of ingredients to get good hydration. From feedback I have received, it appears that the method has had value to those who do not have stand mixers but have an electric hand mixer.

Peter


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22291
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 07:56:12 AM »
trevtrev,

I don't have a good explanation for why you have been getting sticky dough when using the Old Mill high-gluten flour. However, it is generally acknowledged that high-gluten flours are harder to work with when using hand kneading. In fact, King Arthur regularly said (and may still be saying) that its Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour should be used with a stand mixer or bread machine. For a long time, that deterred me from using hand kneading with the KASL until it dawned on me that the reason for using machines with that flour was for the development of a strong gluten matrix. Perhaps that was desirable for a bread dough, but according to dough gurus like Tom Lehmann and Evelyne Slomon, it was not necessary for a pizza dough. In fact, they promoted slight underkneading of the dough. Ultimately, I used a combination of high hydration and rest periods to make hand kneading easier. I also did not make large dough batches.

Another thing to keep in mind is that using high levels of oil will, along with the formula water used to make the dough, contribute to what I call the "effective total hydration" of the dough. I discovered this a few months ago when I was working on Papa John's clone doughs (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html). The PJ clone doughs used over 7% oil. Randy's American style dough also uses a fair amount of oil. In my case, I was using a stand mixer (and King Arthur bread flour) but to get the effective total hydration at a workable level, I used nominal hydrations in the range of 56-58%. I subsequently got confirmation of the notion of "effective total hydration" when I came across a post by Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank forum at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=38321#38321. I might add that when I made the PJ clone doughs, I did not knead in the oil separately, as Tom Lehmann advocates, but rather added it to the water in the mixer bowl, just as I imagined that Papa John's does it in its commissaries. I thought that the various doughs that I made that way were easy to make and to handle, even when on the soft and sticky side when coming out of the mixer bowl. In my case, I hand kneaded the doughs for about a minute, which took away the stickiness and without needing to add any bench flour. I ended up with dough balls that were smooth, soft and supple.

In your case, you might try reducing the amount of formula water and adding the oil to the water for increased dispersion. You might also hold back some of the formula water to see if it actually needed. If any water is left over, you might note its weight and use that information to recalculate the hydration for future reference. It may well be that your flour is different than the KA bread flour in terms of absorption on a relative basis. King Arthur is known for its imposition of very tight specs on its millers. Typically, the rated absorption of bread flour and high-gluten flour, at least at King Arthur's, differ by about one percent (see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4646.msg39204/topicseen.html#msg39204).

I hope you will keep us informed on your progress on this matter.

Peter

 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:23:44 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Essen1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3391
  • Location: SF Bay Area
    • The Hobby Cook
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2008, 10:11:16 PM »
Peter,

I was under the impression that you suggested the sole use of the hand mixer. But the link clarified it.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline trevtrev

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 5
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 09:37:34 AM »
OK, I tried something new the other day with a Randy's recipe and this flour.  I made two dough balls with 61.5% hydration, one with 3/4 of the hydration as lowfat milk and the other dough ball with just water.  The dough made with water was the usual sticky mess, but the one with milk wasn't sticky at all, it had a perfect consistency! I even bumped up the hydration in the milk-dough a bit to compensate for the matrix effects in milk that might lead to less absorption for the flour, it was probably about 63% hydration in the end.


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22291
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Stickiness of dough with Hi-gluten flour?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 10:26:05 AM »
trevtrev,

There is a good explanation for why the milk-dough was not as sticky as the water-only dough. Nonfat milk is about 89.8% water (see http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/74/2), so when you replaced part of the water with milk, you lowered the overall hydration. If you used the milk and water by weight in Randy's recipe, you should be able to calculate the reduction in overall hydration. By using milk, you also added some fat, sugar (lactose), protein, minerals (including calcium) and vitamins to your milk-dough.

Peter


 

pizzapan