Author Topic: where am I going wrong?  (Read 2965 times)

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Offline bigpix

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where am I going wrong?
« on: February 13, 2005, 07:51:27 PM »
Tonight was my third attempt at Hi Gluten NY style dough. No skin this time since I used a somewhat air tight container. It was a bit hard to work with meaning quite elastic. Maybe I had to stretch it too hard? Maybe too much added flour on the work surface? The stone too hot? I don't know but I seem to have great results with a combo of cake flour and AP flour or just straight AP. I've got another 5lb. bag to use too.
I commented tonight that I had acheived success in making a real pizzeria pie. The crust was just like the cardboard that the neighborhood pie place offers up usually.

Any suggestions?


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2005, 08:13:14 PM »
bigpix,

We might be able to help you diagnose you problem if you tell us what recipe you used and what your procedure was to make the dough, refrigerating it, shaping it, etc.  But, for now, what you say about an overly elastic dough suggests that you need more water in your dough and/or a longer period of fermentation.  Also, are you using a stand mixer of other machine to knead your dough, or are you using hand kneading? The problem you mention does not seem to indicate that the stone is too hot.

Peter

Offline bigpix

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2005, 08:27:43 PM »
I used the formula listed, by you I think for the NY style dough. One of your latest attempts. Just under 3cups of flour etc.
I use a KA stand mixer. Mixed with the paddle for a couple of minutes, then added the OO. Ran the mixer on 2-3 for 8minutes. Placed right away in a well oiled plastic container with a lid that enables you to burp out the air. Placed in the fridge for 18hrs. Let it sit in the container at room temp for two hours. Shaped by hand. Into a 550F oven.
Last week I had a thick skin on most of the dough but once I cut most of it away had a nice tasty light dough.
Tonight it came out thin but not light and airy. I was bummed to say the least.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2005, 08:50:54 PM »
bigpix,

Can you help me a bit further by telling me which specific recipe you used? Perhaps by giving me the link to the recipe. The NY style recipes I have posted don't use 00 flour, which you mentioned in your post, except that I have sometimes combined high-gluten and 00 flours for a Di Fara type dough. Once I see the recipe, I think I should be able to provide further guidance.

You mentioned using 18 hours of refrigeration. That should work in most cases, but if excessive elasticity is a problem you may have to increase the time of refrigeration to about 24 hours. When I have done this with the Lehmann NY style dough, I usually experience a highly extensible (stretchy) dough. A bit more than I'd like, actually. If the crust was not light and airy, you may want to increase the water a bit, to around 63 percent hydration. Once I see the recipe you actually used, I should be able to offer you some suggestions.

Peter


Offline bigpix

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2005, 09:05:57 PM »
This one?


High-gluten flour (100%), 12.65 oz. or just under 3 c. (King Arthur Sir Lancelot preferred)
Water (63%), 7.95 oz., or around 1 c.
Salt (1.75%), 0.20 oz., or a bit over 1 t.
Oil (1%), 0.13 oz., or a bit over 3/4 t.
IDY (0.25%), 0.03 oz., or about 1/3 t.

I used less than a cup of water. Maybe use some more? I should be able to get better dough without buying a scale I'd think.



Offline Pete-zza

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2005, 10:09:51 AM »
bigpix,

Thank you for identifying the Lehmann dough recipe you used. That particular recipe was formulated specifically for fellow member Friz to enable him to make a high-hydration dough (63%) for a 16-inch pizza.

That recipe should have worked using the basic processing techniques (paddle, dough hook, etc.) you followed. However, if you used volume measurements rather than weight measurements, as it appears you did, then it may be necessary for you to make minor adjustments to the formulation as you prepare the dough. No matter how much care is taken to convert weight measurements to volume measurements, and especially for the flour and water, the conversions are not perfect or particularly accurate. Hence, to overcome these conversion issues, it may well be necessary for you to add small amounts of flour and/or water to the dough as it is being kneaded, until the desired final dough characteristics are achieved. I personally make these additions a teaspoon at a time so as not to deviate from the recipe any more than necessary.

The ideal dough condition that you should strive to achieve is one in which the finished dough is soft and elastic (not tough or hard), smooth (without tears on the outer surface), elastic, and not overly wet or overly dry, but rather a bit tacky. To achieve this "ideal" condition, in addition to making the minor "adjustments" I have mentioned, you should not be afraid to stop your mixer from time to time to reorient the dough if it gets hung up on the dough hook, or to use a bit of hand kneading to help the dough incorporate the olive oil, which sometimes doesn't incorporate easily in a stand mixer. You should especially not succumb to the temptation to add too much flour to a dough that appears to be too sticky as it comes out of the mixer bowl. If you do a minute or two of hand kneading you will see that the stickiness pretty much disappears. If the dough is still sticky, you can add a bit more flour, but only the slightest amount necessary, working it into the dough on a lightly floured work surface. If you can achieve the dough conditions described above, you will have pretty much mastered what I consider to be the most difficult and challenging aspects of dough production.

Once the dough ball has been properly kneaded, it should be oiled with a small amount of oil, put into a container, and then into the refrigerator. I prefer to put the dough ball into a plastic storage bag because it is lightweight and of low mass, and promotes faster cooling of the dough. I usually flatten the dough ball into a disk by pressing against it from the outside of the storage bag, to further promote faster cooling. From this point on, the internal temperature of your refrigerator (together with the degree of hydration of the dough) will have a material effect on the rate of fermentation of the dough. If your refrigerator is on the cool side (e.g, 35-45 degrees F), and all other things being equal, the dough will ferment at a slower rate and require more time to reach the stage at which it can be used; if your refrigerator is on the warm side (e.g., above 50 degrees F), then the dough will ferment at a faster rate and require less time to reach the stage at which it can be used. In your case, you indicated that you used an 18-hour retardation. It is quite possible that that was not long enough. Most of the Lehmann recipes call for 24 hours, and although that is not a sacred number, it is a good guideline to follow. If the retardation period you used was too short, the 2-hour warmup period you used before trying to shape the dough, while in itself reasonable, may not have been enough to overcome the foreshortened 24 hours retardation period (and/or an underhydrated dough). I believe that is why your dough was so elastic and difficult to shape. It should have been highly extensible (stretchy) and easy to shape.

All things considered, I think the problems you encountered were as a result of having a dough that was too dry, i.e., not enough water was used, or you didn't let the dough ferment long enough, or possibly a combination of both. I think if you can overcome these problems you should be in good shape. As a final note, I will add that you should use the proper measuring tools to measure ingredients if you do not have a scale. I use a Pyrex measuring cup to measure water and a set of measuring cups designed to measure dry ingredients to measure the flour, all for greater accuracy in the measurements.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 10:33:41 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline bigpix

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2005, 10:20:05 AM »
Thanks Peter. I pretty much followed the formula as best I could without a scale but could try to be a bit more precise. I think a bit more water would be needed to make it just right. I do stop the mixer and pull the dough off of the paddle and such. A for fridge time, I tend to get a late start on it on Saturday nights after going out for dinner. What happens if you let it ferment longer than 24 hrs.?
I was ready to hand up my peel after dinner yesterday but will give it another shot next weekend. Thanks for your assistance.
Dan

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2005, 11:01:38 AM »
Dan,

I urge you not to give up. Once you learn how to get the dough "right", you will be able to do it over and over again with good results. It's the "feel" for the dough when it is just about right that you need to acquire, but once you do, you will never lose it.  As for scales, you don't need to get a fancy digital scale. They are great, but before I bought my digital scale, I used a cheap spring-loaded scale. It wasn't as accurate as the digital scale, but it was close enough to get me where I needed to go. In my view, a cheap scale is far better than using volume measurements.

As for your question about extending the retardation/fermentation period beyond 24 hours, the dough made following the Lehmann recipe should last maybe 2 days before it starts to run out of steam. This is because the recipe does not call for using any sugar. The yeast feeds off of the natural sugars that are bound up in the starch molecules and converted by chemical action to food for the yeast. Once those natural sugars run out, the yeast starts to starve. The two most common ways to extend the fermentation period of a dough is to either add sugar to the dough or use cooler water in forming the dough, or both. The added sugar insures that there is enough food for the yeast to feed on and extend the fermentation period, and the cool water serves to slow down the rate of fermentation (by slowing down the chemical reactions) and thereby extend its duration. Lowering the amount of yeast might also work, but you will already notice that the recipe calls for very little yeast as it is, and would be my last choice for extending the fermentation period.

Let me know what problems, if any, you encounter when you take your next stab at the recipe. I'd be happy to help you resolve them if I can.

Peter

Offline pftaylor

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2005, 11:11:19 AM »
Dan,
I will second Pete-zza's position on not giving up. The reward is simply too great to stop now. My personal experience tells me that you are a lot closer than the final product reveals at this point. A little change in the preparation steps yields huge changes in the finished product. So much so that intuition helps little in an objective status of how far you have truly come.

It was just three weeks ago that I had regressed on my pizza making to the point where my family didn't want to eat the fruits of my labor. Talk about depressing. The helpful members of this forum helped me power through what I thought was a brick wall. It can be done.

Don't give up, don't ever give up. Life with just chain pizza isn't worth it...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 11:20:07 AM by pftaylor »
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Offline dinks

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 12:48:45 PM »
Dan,

I urge you not to give up. Once you learn how to get the dough "right", you will be able to do it over and over again with good results. It's the "feel" for the dough when it is just about right that you need to acquire, but once you do, you will never lose it.  As for scales, you don't need to get a fancy digital scale. They are great, but before I bought my digital scale, I used a cheap spring-loaded scale. It wasn't as accurate as the digital scale, but it was close enough to get me where I needed to go. In my view, a cheap scale is far better than using volume measurements.

As for your question about extending the retardation/fermentation period beyond 24 hours, the dough made following the Lehmann recipe should last maybe 2 days before it starts to run out of steam. This is because the recipe does not call for using any sugar. The yeast feeds off of the natural sugars that are bound up in the starch molecules and converted by chemical action to food for the yeast. Once those natural sugars run out, the yeast starts to starve. The two most common ways to extend the fermentation period of a dough is to either add sugar to the dough or use cooler water in forming the dough, or both. The added sugar insures that there is enough food for the yeast to feed on and extend the fermentation period, and the cool water serves to slow down the rate of fermentation (by slowing down the chemical reactions) and thereby extend its duration. Lowering the amount of yeast might also work, but you will already notice that the recipe calls for very little yeast as it is, and would be my last choice for extending the fermentation period.

Let me know what problems, if any, you encounter when you take your next stab at the recipe. I'd be happy to help you resolve them if I can.

Peter


Peter:
  Good Morning my learned friend. First I would like to thank-you for the kind words you expressed toward me in another post the other day. At this stage in my life, they become very meaningful.
   Now then, Peter, I have detected the problem with this recipe. Simply put Peter, it is out of balance. There is nothing wrong with the recipe, except the very small amount of yeast is being overpowered by the salt... the salt is 6.75X the amount of yeast here. There are 2 very well settled items in yeasted lean breads (Pizza dough belongs in this catagory) as you know Peter, that is (1) salt is the enemy of yeast. It is important for only 2 reasons, ie, for flavor, & to control the yeast so that the dough during fermentation doesn't become as large as a basketball. (2), Salt is to be mixed in the bowl during the last 4 minutes of mixing, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, before. Regardless of the recipes insructions.We must give the yeast a chance to do it's thing. Now then asyou know, either this young man increases the yeast amount by 3X or he reduces the salt by at least 1/2. He then will have a viable concoction. A little honey will help toward carmelization as well. Have a nice day Peter.

~DINKS.
that is (1)


Offline bigpix

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2005, 01:32:51 PM »
Thanks fellas. Expecially for the encouragemnt to continue.
I have had great succes over the past couple of years of pizza making. My AP dough is quite good and the mixture dough of AP and Cake flour has been great a few times too.
I'm not one to give up on things. I usually get them down and then move on.
I will be successful with the Hi Gluten flour with enough effort.
As for me being a young man, HA, at fifty I am well past that stage.
And as for chain pizza, I never ever touch the stuff. Never cared for it but will eat it if someone else brings it in.
Here in Northern NJ we are fortunate to have many great places for pie. And I get into NYC often enough to explore what is offered there too. Hell I oftern ask the family if they want to go to the city for this or that with the sole reason being a trip to Joes.

Thanks again

Offline DKM

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2005, 01:40:21 PM »
Lets put it this way,

The reason most of us know anything is because of all the times we screwed up.

Make them, ask questions, have fun, don't take it too seriously and you will amaze yourself.

DKM
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Offline pftaylor

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2005, 01:46:41 PM »
Big,
One of the things I've learned from Alton Brown is to write everything down in a little spiral-bound flip pad. That way, you can find your way home once you are in the ditch and also identify the little changes which add up to big changes in the end.

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Offline DKM

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2005, 01:47:50 PM »
That's good advice.  I always keep the orginal recipe and the last 3 changes.

DKM
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: where am I going wrong?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2005, 02:51:06 PM »
Dinks,

Thank you for your additional obversations and insights.

While I am aware that there is such a thing as a salt/yeast ratio, in the work I have been doing in modifying the Tom Lehmann dough recipe for home use, I chose not to deviate from the baker's percents Tom Lehmann specified for his recipe. I agree that pizza dough can be considered a lean yeasted dough, like bread and bread rolls, etc., but I tend to look at the Lehmann pizza dough recipe differently than I would look at normal bread dough. And I think that there may well have been a method to Lehmann's madness in selecting the particular ratio of salt to yeast that he calls for in his recipe. Only he can answer for sure, but I think the relatively large amount of salt to yeast in the Lehmann recipe is to act as a dough regulating mechanism and restrain volume growth of the dough--which is somewhat contrary to what you usually do with other forms of dough. When I have made doughs based on Lehmann's dough recipe, they rise very little during retardation--sometimes so little that you begin to wonder whether you did something drastically wrong. Yet the finished product turns out fine. That said, I did try the Lehmann dough recipe with considerably more yeast (by accident) and thought highly of the results. It may well have been because of a more balanced ratio of salt to yeast that you have noted.

As for when the salt is introduced into the process, my recollection is that the Lehmann recipe calls for combining the salt with the water, and then adding the flour and other dry ingredients. I know from prior experience with making breads, and particularly French breads, that salt can be introduced later in the process, often in conjunction with an autolyse. I discussed this possibilty in the context of the Lehmann recipe at the Lehmann thread, at http://forum.pizzamaking.com/index.php?topic=576.0, in Reply #31 and Reply # 43, et seq. I also tried the autolyse myself (with the salt added late in the process) but did not find it sufficiently useful in terms of significantly improved performance as to recommend it generally for the Lehmann recipe. In addition, I was unable to find any references in the literature from Google searches that the industry uses an autolyse/salt regimen anywhere in their processing of pizza dough. I think the concept may be more applicable to the bread making professions than to professional pizza operators.

Peter


 

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