Author Topic: my dough making/handling, comments please  (Read 2765 times)

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Offline snowdy

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my dough making/handling, comments please
« on: February 18, 2005, 01:07:47 AM »
Hey guys,

Okay, its been a few weeks since i've been reading the forums and my pizzas are already 1000% better than before i got here.

As far as my dough  making goes ive picked up a lot of techniques and info from here but its hard to process everything so i'd thought i'd post my process from start to finish to see if anyone notices or suggests anything different for me to try.

This is how i'm doing it...

The recipe ive been using is PizzaManiac.com's stromboli dough:
1 1/4 c - Water (Luke warm)
1 tsp - Sugar
2 tsp - Salt
2 T - Olive Oil
3 c - Hi-Gluten Flour
1 tsp - Active Dry Yeast

I put all the ingredients into my kitchen aid mixer.
This is my mixer: http://www.epinions.com/pr-KitchenAid_KSM151PSMC_Mixer/display_~full_specs
max: 325 watts.

I heat the filtered water to about 100 degrees or so in the microwave and pour it in. Should i heat it up? It comes out of my fridge super cold. Am i heating it too hot?

I mix it all up and after about 20 seconds i dump the olive oil in.

I let it mix with the standard mix attachment for about 2 minutes.
Then take shut it down after its all formed and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Then i put the dough hook on and let it mix for 10 minutes.


When its ready i put it into a bowl and put saran wrap on top as tight as i can. Is this okay? Or should i have an airtight container?

I put it in an oiled bowl immediately, seal it up and put it into the fridge.

After about 4 hours the dough is nice and puffed but already the inside of the bowl has tons of moisute and the top of the saran wrap has a lot of water drops on top. It never drips back into the dough though and it never causes a problem when i take it out 24 hours later but im wondering if this is normal.

After i take it out of the fridge i cut it in two and let it sit for about 3-4 hours until its warm enough to roll out.

Every time i start stretching it seems like no matter how much i stretch and push the dough, it wont stretch out to the desired width so i usually end up doing a combo of stretching by hand and using a rolling pin until each ball is about 14 inches or so. The final pizza comes out perfect as far as i can tell.

But if there is anything in my process that anyone can recommend (ie temp of water, container, mixing techniques, etc) please let me know.

Thanks guys!!!  8)

Snowdy


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2005, 09:20:31 AM »
Snowdy,

First of all, I am somewhat puzzled by your recipe. From pizzamaniac's site, I notice that the recipe is for a bread machine, not a stand mixer. But what puzzles me most is the ratio of water to flour (the hydration percent). You are using volume measurements, so to determine the hydration percent, I weighed 3 cups of high-gluten flour (13.8 oz.) and 1 1/4 c. water (10.85 oz.). That yields a hydration percent of almost 73%. Most high-gluten pizza doughs run in the range of 56-65%. With the additional liquid provided by the olive oil, I'm wondering whether you have found it necessary to add additional flour to the bowl of your mixer as you knead the dough or on a work surface on which you knead the dough. It would seem to me that your dough would be very wet.

I will assume for the moment that your recipe is OK. As for your processing techniques, I will offer the following suggestions. Instead of putting everything in the bowl at one time, which is typical of bread machine dough processing, I would first proof the active dry yeast in a small amount of warm water (about a couple of tablespoons of the water called for in the recipe), at around 105 degrees F, for about 10 minutes. I would combine the sugar with the remaining water. Put the flour into the bowl, combine the proofed yeast with the water/sugar mixture, and gradually add to the flour in the bowl. What you want to avoid is placing the salt and sugar in direct physical contact with the yeast, since both can harm the yeast and lead to degraded fermentation of the dough.

Once all the water has been taken up by the flour, add the olive oil and knead that in. If you want to use a rest period (autolyse) at this point or even before adding the olive oil, that is fine but it is not absolutely necessary. This is one of those areas where you can experiment over time and see how you like the results with or without the rest periods. Once the olive oil has been worked into the dough, add the salt and knead that in. Since you are using volume measurements, which can be quite unreliable and imprecise, you may have to add additional water or flour--a teaspoon at a time--to achieve the desired condition of the finished dough.

Once the dough is soft, elastic and smooth with no tears on the outer skin, and neither dry nor wet, but rather tacky, remove the dough ball from the bowl and knead it for a minute or two by hand to be sure that the dough is in proper form. Assuming that it is, I would then divide the dough in half at this time (this is one place where a scale comes in handy to insure equal dough ball weights), since it will allow the dough to cool faster once it goes into the refrigerartor. Lightly coat the two dough balls with olive oil and place in containers. Almost any container (covered) will do. It can be a simple plastic storage zip-type bag or an empty bread bag, which are lightweight and compact, or it can even be a metal container with a lid. Either approach will promote faster cooling of the dough in the refrigerator.

The dough should remain in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it, but I would suggest at least 18-24 hours to be sure that the dough is adequately fermented and will not be tough to shape because of excessive elasticity. The dough should be brought out to room temperature and allowed to warm up for about an hour or two. The temperature of the dough at the time of shaping should be above 50 degrees F (to minimize bubbling problems), but 55-60 degres F may be a better target temperature to use. The 1-2 hour estimated warmup time is an estimate only. The actual time it will take for your dough to be ready to shape will depend on the temperature of the dough when it comes out of the refrigerator and the temperature of your baking area. Obviously, the dough will warm up faster in the summer than in the winter. I wouldn't worry all that much about the moisture on the dough. Some professional pizza operators will let their dough balls (oiled) dry out a bit before covering but I haven't seen that moisture is a big problem in a home environment.

As for your question about water temperature, there are two schools of thought. I favor using cooler water temperatures and try to achieve a finished dough temperature of 80-85 degrees F. Others favor using warmer water. You should try both and decide what works best for you. If you follow the above instructions, in the context of having a reliable recipe, I think you should see an improvement in the quality of your dough. It should not be overly elastic and there should be no need to use a rolling pin. Using a rolling pin may be necessary to get a thin dough for a stromboli, but it should almost never be used for pizza dough (the only exception being for thin crust, cracker-type doughs).

My final recommendation is to consider getting a scale and to get used to weighing the flour and water. Since the recipe you have been using is based on volume rather than weight, it may be necessary to experiment with the amounts of water and flour to get the desired hydration percentage that insures good results.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 20, 2005, 05:37:04 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline snowdy

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2005, 01:58:47 PM »
Thanks Peter! :)

I didn't even notice that recipe was for a bread machine. The dough is a little moister than normal, i have been just throwing in an extra small handful of flour and it isn't sticky at all and actually feels pretty pliable... but i am still needing to use a rolling pin when it comes time to shape. I am going to try doing the yeast in water separately on my next pizza. I'll let you know how it goes.

What type of scale should i buy? Post a link to an online vendor if you know of one.

My camera is broke or else i'd post some pics of my pizza tonight.. but i'll post on the next one using your tips.

L8r!! :D
Dave

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2005, 03:05:39 PM »
Snowdy,

I have a Soehnle Futura digital scale that I bought on the recommendation of someone at this site some time ago. For the weight ranges I use, it is accurate to 0.05 oz. and 1 g. (There is also a higher-priced version of my scale that is very similar to my unit that Cook's Illustrated once rated the top scale of several it tested.) It's a bit of a pain to change to grams (you have to turn the unit upside down, remove a cover, and slide a switch) but I like the unit a lot. I bought it for $59.99 (the lowest price I found for the unit), with free shipping, from jpi-imports, and saw today that the same unit is still for sale at the same price, and still with free shipping, at http://www.jpimall.com/kitchenscales/soehnle_futura.shtml.

You might also check the scale that Canadianbacon helped Laura locate this morning. It's a Salter unit, and very snazzy looking. Canadianbacon provided a link to the Salter unit in another thread (see the Salter unit at http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=205225).

I revisited your recipe again, and you might also want to reduce the salt a bit, maybe to 1 1/4 t. I estimate that the salt in your recipe is around 2.5% by weight of the flour (which I estimate to be closer to 3 1/2 c. than the 3 c. recited in the recipe). At a salt level above 2% you run the risk of the salt hindering the activity of the yeast by pulling water from the yeast by osmosis and slowing down fermentation, resulting in a dough that is too hard. An excess of salt can also inhibit the decomposition of the starch by which the natural sugars in the starch are released to feed the yeast.  Reducing the salt might help us determine whether it is contributing to the dough problem you have been experiencing.

If you try the changes I recommend, I think you should have improved results. If not, come back and tell us what went wrong, and we will take another stab at it.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 18, 2005, 03:08:45 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline snowdy

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2005, 11:30:39 PM »
Peter,

I tried your recommendations last Friday and the results were awesome. It's the best stretching and easiest to work with dough yet. The only thing was that i was so hungry i made the dough that night and only let it rise for about 2 hours (no refrideration).

Today i made another batch of dough using your tips for mixing and im giving it a good 18-24 hour overnight cool to see how the fermentation differs the taste in the final dough.

My recipe uses 1 1/4 cups of water so i heated 1/4 cup to 105 degrees or so and let my yeast dissolve for about 10 minutes.

A couple of questions:

1) My yeast is refridgerated in the bottle... and i pulled it directly out and put it into the heated water in the bowl. Would the chilled temperature of my yeast cool the water down too quick? Or is it fine to put it into 105 water? Im not sure if you were assuming i was using room temperature yeast, or if it that even matters.

2) About 10 minutes after putting the yeast into the water... nothing was happening then all of a sudden the yeast clouds went wild and a nice reaction clouded the water up that you could see happening. I assumed it was ready so i dumped the other 1 cup of water in. When i put the rest of the water in do i need to also heat it up to 105 degrees? Or just use room temperature water?

Thanks!!  8)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2005, 11:32:55 PM by snowdy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2005, 11:56:20 PM »
Snowdy,

I'm glad to hear of your improved results.

There's no problem putting the refrigerated yeast in with the warm water. There's so little of it in relation to the water (at 105 degrees F) that any reduction in the temperature of the water would be so small as to be negligible. I freeze my dry yeast (instant dry yeast) and mix it in with the other ingredients right out of the freezer, with no adverse effects. Most strains of yeast produced today are fairly tolerant of temperature, although it is generally not a good idea to shock yeast with very cold water (it will really mess up the metabolism and performance of the yeast) or to use water that is too hot. At around 138-140 degrees F, the yeast will be killed.

The water beyond what you use to proof the yeast need not be warm. I temperature adjust the water I use in my dough recipes which, in my part of the country, usually means using cooler water. I do the temperature adjusting to get the finished dough temperature (the temperatrure of the dough as it comes off the hook) to around 80-85 degrees F, which is considered a good temperature for fermentation purposes. Using warm water won't cause harm although it will speed up the fermentation process, especially if you are also using a lot of yeast and sugar. For the NY styles, I like to keep the fermentation slow and cool.

Keep us posted with the results of your next effort. I would think that you should get even better results than your first try, but you never know. Just note what you do carefully so that if something does go wrong, you will at least be able to tell us in some detail what you did. That makes diagnosing problems easier. Let's hope we don't get to that point.

Peter

Offline snowdy

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2005, 03:55:08 AM »
Peter,
thanks for the help :)

I have another question... im confused on what yeast i have... I dont know if its ADY or IDY. If its IDY can i just throw it in with the rest of the dry ingredients without dissolving it?

i read the post about yeast from PMQ that you posted for another user and on part of the post he says:
---------
The major drawback of ADY is it must be rehydrated in 100 - 105 degree water for 10 minutes or so or until it totaly dissolves and starts to create bubbles.

Instant Dry yeast is the most stable of the 3. It has a two year shelf life and a 1 year refrigerated life. The best attribute is it can be sprinkled as a dry ingredient right on top of the yeast and doesn't need rehydration.
----------
There are only 2 types of yeast available here where i live both by fleischmann's.

on the 2 types on this pic i have the one in the back "Rapid Rise Highly Active" but it doesnt say instant... then there is the Active Dry which im assuming is obviously ADY. Do i have the IDY? If so would you still recommend dissolving it for 10 min?

Thanks Peter!!  8)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: my dough making/handling, comments please
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2005, 02:44:46 PM »
Snowdy,

I'm curious to know where you live that the only two kinds of yeast you can find are both by Fleischmann's. I would think that you should be able to find Red Star yeast or some of the SAF yeasts.

If you have the yeast shown in the back of the photo, you have a form of instant dry yeast that Fleischmann's calls Rapid-Rise. As best I can tell after several email exchanges I had with Fleischmann's some time ago, Fleischmann's markets the Rapid-Rise yeast primarily to home bakers. In fact, if you go to their website and look at the many pizza recipes there, the vast majority of them are for using the Rapid-Rise yeast to make pizzas within about an hour. The recipes are more for harried homemakers than professional pizza operators.

Fleischmann's markets yeast (IDY and ADY) to professional bakers and pizza operators through different channels. They generally don't want home bakers to know that or to get the yeast sold to professionals because it is far, far cheaper than what you would pay at the local supermarket on a unit basis. You can buy a 1-lb. bag of Fleischmann's ADY/IDY at places like Sam's or Costco's for a few dollars, and also by mail order from places like King Arthur's and even Amazon, although the prices there will be somewhat higher, especially when shipping charges are included. Even then, the long term overall cost will be far cheaper buying the yeast by the pound bag rather than buying a bunch of 1/4 oz. packets. If you plan to do a lot of pizza making, you should look for the 1 lb. bags.

BTW, the IDY that Fleischmann's sells to professionals is not identical to the Rapid-Rise product. It took me a fair amount of email cross-examination to get that fact out of them, although they wouldn't tell me anything more. I personally use the SAF Instant Red that I bought some time ago from King Arthur's, but the Fleischmann's professional's yeast or other similar products should work equally well. Do yourself a big favor and get the one-pound bag.

As for your specific question on how to handle the IDY yeast, you can just throw it in with the flour. This is what I do. Some bakers will rehydrate it in water mostly out of habit from using the ADY for so long before the IDY form gained greater acceptance, and the package of Rapid-Rise you have may even have rehydration instructions, but there is no need to rehydrate. It won't hurt the yeast, it's just not necessary.

Peter
« Last Edit: February 25, 2005, 05:29:35 PM by Pete-zza »