Author Topic: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading  (Read 13523 times)

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Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2009, 06:04:38 AM »
Saad,

Can you tell us what tests you conducted as part of your research on this topic, in terms of dough formulation(s) used, mixer used (and types of agitators), knead times and speeds, etc.?

Peter

Pete, unfortunately my research did not include any actual tests due to bread flour shortage as you know. Nonetheless, all of the points I've made are extracted from well backed up bread making books which made lots of sense to me as I read them.  I will share them with you once I have them around, currently I'm at work.

Once I have some bread flour on hand, I will conduct experiments with one recipe to observe the points stated at points 5-7.

I must add that reading about making baguettes and ciabattas is an inspiration as they are very close to pizza dough. Thus I believe when I conduct my experiments, I will be making dough that will be used to make one pie and one baguette to better examine final product characteristics.

Saad
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 06:09:01 AM by s00da »


Offline UnConundrum

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2009, 09:02:02 AM »
This is the first time I've heard that "air" may play an important role in kneading. I thought the crumb resulted from CO2 released by the yeast and that air was to be avoided as it would oxidize the dough and contribute to loss of flavor.  Obviously air can't be totally avoided, but consideration can be given to exposure to air in the mixing process.

Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2009, 09:08:36 AM »
Saad, in number 5 you wrote,

"As you continue kneading, air is continually being separated into smaller and more uniform bubbles trapped in the more-entangled gluten network. Stopping where maximum air incorporation achieved is what Tom refers to. As at this point, you have the maximum amount of air that you can achieve and yet, the bubbles are not 100% uniform, thus resulting in an irregular, non-bread like crumb. If you continue past this point you start making bread. If you further knead and develop gluten, you will have a bread dough with a very tight gluten network that hinders expansion."

This is not true. Im sure Tom has probably forgotten more about pizza than I will ever know but I 100% disagree wth that statement. Look at bics of my crusts and tell me they look like bread. I also have done quite a few experiments myself and I "overknead" ...I guess every batch. Outside of my very first batch that I did by hand (before I had a machine, and it was an emergency dough) none have turned out breadlike, not even close.

With regards to point 5 that I posted, I did not say that you will get a breadlike pizza if you "overknead". Actually the continuation to what you quoted is "If you further knead! the rubber bands cannot take more energy and break, thus letting some air bubbles joining again by the means of a damaged gluten network which might produce a slack problematic dough after fermentation." Which means that if you overknead, you will destroy the breadlike gluten network that you created and end up with a dough simulating a "slightly underkneaded" dough as per Tom's recommendation. If you look at scott's post in this thread he said

I know this doesn't make sense, but I have definitely found similar characteristics to both underkneaded and over kneaded doughs, and maybe this partially explains the correl/lehmann differences of opinion.   Both oveer and under mixing produce what I would consider a fairly tough/chewy crust (but with many other dissimilar attributes).  What I shoot for is the most tender crust possible, and this happens when the gluten mesh has become strong enough to trap lots of bubbles (creating maximum rise), but before it is too tight to soften properly during fermentation.

You will see that he also reached a conclusion that when comparing two doughs, one before the maximum gluten development and one passed it, he finds them somehow similar. His notion is in terms of underkneaded and overkneaded while for a slightly-underkneaded and slightly-underkneaded, you should also reach to perfectly usable doughs but with slight differences.

I'm attaching an image that shows what happens to gluten development over time. These images are created using a device called a mixograph. It plots the resistance of the dough against mixing. You see where the peak is? This is the point where you will create a dough that's too stiff to rise. As you can see it's very easy for us at home to miss this point of gluten development. Now to get a bread crumb, you need to be just a little before or beyond this point so you have almost full gluten development, maximum air incorporation and homogenized air bubbles all over the dough. If you widen this window, you will reach at dough suitable for pizza where air bubbles are of different size and non-uniform distribution.

So what I'm trying to say here is that it's hard for you to know where you have ended with your dough on this graph.

Saad

Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2009, 09:14:42 AM »
This is the first time I've heard that "air" may play an important role in kneading. I thought the crumb resulted from CO2 released by the yeast and that air was to be avoided as it would oxidize the dough and contribute to loss of flavor.  Obviously air can't be totally avoided, but consideration can be given to exposure to air in the mixing process.

During my readings, I found out that bubbles are not created by CO2. Bubbles are created by incorporating air into dough during mixing where oxygen is consumed initially and you are left with nitrogen bubbles that act as a host for the CO2 that is yet to be created. So if you can create a dough under higher pressure, you will end up with a more open crumb.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2009, 11:32:01 AM »
Saad, in number 5 you wrote,

"As you continue kneading, air is continually being separated into smaller and more uniform bubbles trapped in the more-entangled gluten network. Stopping where maximum air incorporation achieved is what Tom refers to. As at this point, you have the maximum amount of air that you can achieve and yet, the bubbles are not 100% uniform, thus resulting in an irregular, non-bread like crumb. If you continue past this point you start making bread. If you further knead and develop gluten, you will have a bread dough with a very tight gluten network that hinders expansion."

This is not true. Im sure Tom has probably forgotten more about pizza than I will ever know but I 100% disagree wth that statement. Look at bics of my crusts and tell me they look like bread. I also have done quite a few experiments myself and I "overknead" ...I guess every batch. Outside of my very first batch that I did by hand (before I had a machine, and it was an emergency dough) none have turned out breadlike, not even close.

ThunderStik,

At some point I would like to conduct an experiment or two on long kneads, using my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-hook. I scanned all of your posts to see what mixer speed you use for your long kneads, but could not find the answer. I know that you have a KitchenAid 600 Pro with the spiral hook and that you typically make enough dough to make four pizzas, using sifted flour (at least sometimes), honey (at least sometimes), a thickness factor of around 0.08, and about 25-30 minutes knead time. I believe the flour you have been mostly using is All Trumps high-gluten flour and GM Better for Bread flour.

I also know that you have experimented with knead times of around 50 minutes but that that is not part of your usual regimen. I had wondered about such excessive knead times and their effect on the dough, but according to Peter Reinhart, in his book American Pie, such long knead times are more likely to cause greater harm to your mixer than to your dough. That is also a point that Tom Lehmann has made.

A common theme that runs through just about all of Peter Reinhart's dough recipes in his book is the use of a rest period. Basically, the dough making procedures and times are all pretty much the same for the different dough styles (e.g., New York, American, Neapolitan, etc.). For example, where a stand mixer is used (he does not specify a particular type or use of a spiral hook or C-hook), the procedure is: 1) stir all of the ingredients in the mixer bowl until combined, using a large metal spoon; 2) affix the dough hook and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes or until all of the flour gathers to form a coarse ball; 3) let the dough rest for 5 minutes, and then mix again on medium-low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and sticks just a little to the bottom; and 4) make minor adjustments to flour and water if necessary. At this point, the dough should be tested using the windowpane test. The purpose of the rest period is to allow for better hydration of the flour and to minimize damage to carotenoids because of oxidation from long knead times. Use of the rest period, which I know you have tested at some point, has the effect of shortening the total knead time.

The Reinhart dough recipes typically make about 36-40 ounces of dough. I don't often make that much dough at one time in my mixer but I do have some doubts about being able to make a dough in my mixer that will pass the windowpane test using the mixing and kneading methods in Reinhart's book. By any chance, do you use the windowpane test for your long-kneaded doughs?

Peter
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 12:46:06 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2009, 12:03:18 PM »
This is the first time I've heard that "air" may play an important role in kneading. I thought the crumb resulted from CO2 released by the yeast and that air was to be avoided as it would oxidize the dough and contribute to loss of flavor.  Obviously air can't be totally avoided, but consideration can be given to exposure to air in the mixing process.


As this piece from the theartisan.net website points out, at http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/dough_development.htm, air (oxygen) is needed by the yeast for cellular reproduction and the oxygen is used up very quickly by the yeast. I believe the article also confirms what Saad has said about the displacement of carbon dioxide (which goes into solution) by other gases. From what I have read in Prof. Calvel's book A Taste of Bread, the over-oxidation of dough is more likely to take place with aggressive kneading. He, too, is an advocate of using autolyse or similar rest periods to reduce the harmful effects of oxidation on carotenoids in the flour. According to Prof. Calvel, the addition of salt to the dough toward the end of the mix also increases oxidation of the dough because salt has anti-oxidative effects. He was not a fan of that method because he deemed it to lead to an artificial maturation of the dough.

Where air can also come back into the picture is during the division of a bulk dough into individual pieces that are kneaded and shaped into round dough balls. Some of the effects of doing this are discussed in Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7022.msg60428.html#msg60428. As noted there, the added air (oxygen) introduced into the dough during division and reshaping is minimal and affects cellular respiration only slightly.

Peter

Offline UnConundrum

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2009, 09:40:50 PM »
Interesting.  So the O2 gets "eaten" quickly by the yeast and the Nitrogen hangs around as seed clouds for the CO2.  I guess when O2 is worked in faster than the yeast can deal with it we have the damaging type of oxidation where the carotenoids are destroyed.  That all makes sense, but I'm having trouble applying those theories to the doughs I make by hand without kneading.  I would have to think less air is incorporated, yet I can develop a great crumb
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 09:44:24 PM by UnConundrum »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2009, 10:20:12 PM »
There are other factors at work here. I'm convinced that much of the airiness of the crumb in my pies has a lot to do with the rapid conversion of water in the dough into vapor from the heat of the oven. Higher hydration can result in a very airy crust as long as the gluten structure is adequate to prevent the bubbles from blowing out. The higher the temperature, the quicker the structure will setup to prevent blowout. In my experience, there is fairly large window in terms of kneading time for the creation of a great crust. Hydration and temperature are more important than kneading in the conditions in which bake.



« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 10:34:18 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline ThunderStik

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2009, 11:54:08 PM »
There are other factors at work here. I'm convinced that much of the airiness of the crumb in my pies has a lot to do with the rapid conversion of water in the dough into vapor from the heat of the oven. Higher hydration can result in a very airy crust as long as the gluten structure is adequate to prevent the bubbles from blowing out. The higher the temperature, the quicker the structure will setup to prevent blowout. In my experience, there is fairly large window in terms of kneading time for the creation of a great crust. Hydration and temperature are more important than kneading in the conditions in which bake.






This what I have found also in my experiments.


Pete,
        I always use speed 2 as that is what the manual calls for. Lately I have been making enough for 3 pies. All the rest you had right. I have done 5 minute intervals from 10 min all the way to 50.  At 40-50 min the dough will be hard but given time to ferment it will loosen up and come down to the compliance of any other dough. I dont use an autolyse and the only rest periods I give the dough are for pulling the dough off the hook if it climbs and about every 8 min or so to let the motor cool down if im doing a long knead (30 sec rest, long knead = longer than 25 min).

I also dont let the dough sit and spin on the hook and start shredding itself. At every time I have tried I have made really nice doughs and not had any problems at all.

One of my main motivations initially when I did the 50 min knead was because many folks were worried about over kneading and damaging their doughs. At least for me that will never be a worry again. The window for kneading is so wide I have found that it is really not as big a factor as its made out to be.

Lately I have been experimenting with temps and I completely agree with Bill/SFNM. I have been working in 50 degree intervals from 450 to 650 and there is far far greater variation in the crusts than anything kneading will do outside of a totaally anihilated dough. Right now my dough recipe is really consitant and knead times are the least of my worries.

I will say though that I have switched back to GM BFB, it takes a beating better than the AT and it takes the heat better also ( doesnt try to burn nearly as easy).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 11:57:18 PM by ThunderStik »
I KNOW MORE ABOUT PIZZA THAN ANYBODY!!!!!!!

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Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2009, 04:00:52 AM »

This what I have found also in my experiments.


Pete,
        I always use speed 2 as that is what the manual calls for. Lately I have been making enough for 3 pies. All the rest you had right. I have done 5 minute intervals from 10 min all the way to 50.  At 40-50 min the dough will be hard but given time to ferment it will loosen up and come down to the compliance of any other dough. I dont use an autolyse and the only rest periods I give the dough are for pulling the dough off the hook if it climbs and about every 8 min or so to let the motor cool down if im doing a long knead (30 sec rest, long knead = longer than 25 min).

I also dont let the dough sit and spin on the hook and start shredding itself. At every time I have tried I have made really nice doughs and not had any problems at all.

One of my main motivations initially when I did the 50 min knead was because many folks were worried about over kneading and damaging their doughs. At least for me that will never be a worry again. The window for kneading is so wide I have found that it is really not as big a factor as its made out to be.


The mixograph drawing I posted earlier is for bread flour. As you can see, there is a lot of tolerance until it breaks and with our little machine, they will break before the dough goes bad. For AP flour, it would be the same graph but imagine it squeezed horizontally so the time frame is shorter; specially for the tolerance window.


Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2009, 04:23:46 AM »
Interesting.  So the O2 gets "eaten" quickly by the yeast and the Nitrogen hangs around as seed clouds for the CO2.  I guess when O2 is worked in faster than the yeast can deal with it we have the damaging type of oxidation where the carotenoids are destroyed.  That all makes sense, but I'm having trouble applying those theories to the doughs I make by hand without kneading.  I would have to think less air is incorporated, yet I can develop a great crumb

First of all, that image is making me hungry  ;D

In the context of high hydration doughs, you will find that hand kneading is most effective. The reason is like I pointed in point 6 that there is actually intelligence(you) handling the tricky dough that would escape the normal kneading machine mechanism. In the commercial scale, the diving arms are preferred for high hydration dough.

Now in your initial post in this thread you explained your procedure includes several folds of the dough, where I safely assume there are stretches also in order for the dough to fold. This stretch and fold practice is basically your kneading! You stretch and energy goes in and then fold to preserve it. This what creates tightness in the wet dough. Also, if you search the web for ciabatta recipes, you will find it's all about stretch&fold as the best way to "knead" it. The stretch&fold is also a great way to incorporate air into the dough as you fold in because your hands are very gentle on the dough and air bubbles are not forced out due to any squeezing.

Remember kneading is not necessarily a violent movement, squeezing or twisting of the dough. Depending on the dough type, it's whatever mechanical movement that can store energy in the gluten network and incorporate air.

Saad
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 04:29:29 AM by s00da »

Offline norma427

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2009, 07:58:11 AM »
I have been following this thread.  I still am confused about what really makes an airy crust.  There are so many opinions on what makes an airy crust.  Is it hand kneading, short kneading, long kneading, higher hydration, higher oven temperatures, longer fermentation times, temperatures of the finished dough, or combinations of everything for each dough?
Since I use a commercial mixer and want to try a higher hydration dough to get more airy crust do I just have to do experiments to see what will happen?
When I see all these great looking pizzas it makes me want to have an airy crust like that, too.
All great looking pizzas!  ;D
Thanks for all of your inputs.
Norma
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Offline UnConundrum

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2009, 09:13:31 AM »
Saad,
     I pat the dough out instead of stretching, but yes, it is essentially kneading.  That said, the total time of folding is well less than 2 minutes for the entire process.  Pat, pat, pat, fold, fold, rotate, pat, pat, fold, fold, repeated twice after the first rest, and once after each of the next two rests.  At least in my particular situation, I tend to agree with Bill that the crumb assisted by the steam.  I can't refute the theory that some air is worked into my dough through the folding, but I can't imagine it comparing to the air introduced by a machine.  There has to be other factors at work.  All thought provoking.

     BTW, the method I used was proposed as a way to make very large doughs without machinery.  James was researching how a single bakery could produce enough bread to meet a town's needs in the middle ages.  I don't have the need or facilities for a 50# dough, but I have made doughs in excess of 15# without any difficulty.  I have no doubt it would work in a commercial setting.

Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2009, 10:30:05 AM »
The air incorporated during kneading is of course not the main reason for the way your crumb looks. It is really a combination of many things but if we limit the discussion to kneading and hydration, try to think about it like this...The air you incorporate during kneading is essential to create space for the CO2 when released and thus provides expansion. So as long as your dough expands well during fermentation, it means that you had enough air incorporated. The more you knead, the more uniform shaped your bubbles would be relatively according to hydration. As for hydration, it will determine the size of the bubbles with appropriate oven spring since that water will eventually become steam.

Saad

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2009, 12:47:04 PM »
I still am confused about what really makes an airy crust.  There are so many opinions on what makes an airy crust.  Is it hand kneading, short kneading, long kneading, higher hydration, higher oven temperatures, longer fermentation times, temperatures of the finished dough, or combinations of everything for each dough?
Since I use a commercial mixer and want to try a higher hydration dough to get more airy crust do I just have to do experiments to see what will happen?
When I see all these great looking pizzas it makes me want to have an airy crust like that, too.


Norma,

Most of what you will read on this forum is with respect to what home pizza hobbyists do. And that is considerably different from what professionals do, mainly because of differences in dough making/management equipment and ovens. And the results will also be different. So, you have to be careful about trying to translate what may work well in a home setting to a commercial setting. The rules in both cases will be different, although there will obviously be some overlap of principles involved. But if you want to read what Tom Lehmann says about the subject of getting a more open and airy crumb, etc. in the context of a professional setting, see this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3292.msg27915/topicseen.html#msg27915. It will come as no surprise to anyone at this point that Tom holds true to his mantra of keeping the mixing time short, as noted in item 2 in the abovereferenced thread. Many of the points you mentioned in your post are also covered in Tom's list.

Peter

Offline pacoast

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2009, 02:12:44 AM »
I don't claim to be an expert, but I thought that crumb development was a fairly well understood aspect of baking. If you look at a decent baking textbook it will tell you that too little gluten development will give you a dense crumb because there isn't much structure to trap gas pockets. And too much gluten development yields a bready crust with even gas bubbles as the gluten is too strong to tear irregularly. So I'm not sure if we are disputing conventional wisdom or reinventing it?

The clearest explanation of this that I have seen is How baking works: Exploring the fundamentals of baking science, which has a chapter devoted to explaining what things affect gluten. That's not to say that it doesn't take practice or experimentation to juggle flour choice/kneading technique/kneading time/oven temperature & various other factors to achieve the right balance. I'm still looking for that balance with pizza dough, but I can say that I have mastered it with baguettes which are not all that dissimilar.

Some of the things that absolutely affect baguette crumb include; flour choice, mineral content (in water), hydration, kneading technique, air incorporation during kneading, kneading time, final dough temperature & oven deck temperature. Having screwed up each one of these at one point or another, I now know what I am aiming for & get consistently airy crumbs.

.

Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2009, 07:43:39 AM »
I don't claim to be an expert, but I thought that crumb development was a fairly well understood aspect of baking. If you look at a decent baking textbook it will tell you that too little gluten development will give you a dense crumb because there isn't much structure to trap gas pockets. And too much gluten development yields a bready crust with even gas bubbles as the gluten is too strong to tear irregularly. So I'm not sure if we are disputing conventional wisdom or reinventing it?

The clearest explanation of this that I have seen is How baking works: Exploring the fundamentals of baking science, which has a chapter devoted to explaining what things affect gluten. That's not to say that it doesn't take practice or experimentation to juggle flour choice/kneading technique/kneading time/oven temperature & various other factors to achieve the right balance. I'm still looking for that balance with pizza dough, but I can say that I have mastered it with baguettes which are not all that dissimilar.

Some of the things that absolutely affect baguette crumb include; flour choice, mineral content (in water), hydration, kneading technique, air incorporation during kneading, kneading time, final dough temperature & oven deck temperature. Having screwed up each one of these at one point or another, I now know what I am aiming for & get consistently airy crumbs.

.

The reason I started this thread is because I haven't found much details on the forum regarding the gluten development, it's different stages and final result on the crumb structure. I'm not sure about the rest of the members but I found myself mixing/kneading using different times/speeds in trial&error until I found the pizza I liked. I have always known from Pete Tom's recommendation about slightly underkneading the dough but didn't really know how to apply it, when to stop? and what to aim for?

As you can see, after doing a lot of reading, I came to the conclusions that you seem to confirm which makes me happy. What I mostly wanted to understand are the characteristics of the dough going through mixing/kneading stages (relative to flour type and hydration). As you mentioned, such things are conventional wisdom in general baking and this is where I found the information also.

So in answer to your question, my personal answer will be that I just learned these facts after almost a whole year of pizza baking  ;D but I'm glad I did because it's much easier for me now to identify the stages of the dough and trouble shoot related problems.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 07:46:35 AM by s00da »

Offline pacoast

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2009, 11:39:53 AM »
S00da, you may find the chapter on gluten development that I was referring to interesting, even if you've figured much of it out already. I was able to find most of it online here.

.

Offline s00da

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2009, 11:46:10 AM »
Thanks! I'll make sure I read that thoroughly. It never hurts to confirm the things I learned from other sources.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: @Pete-zza: Pizza Dough Under-Kneading
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2009, 12:21:29 PM »
Recently, in furtherance of the objectives of this thread, I decided to make a long-kneaded version of the basic Lehmann NY style dough. In this case, I use a final knead of 20 minutes, using speed 2 of my basic KitchenAid stand mixer with the C-hook. That was for a dough ball weight of about 15.4 ounces, so I would consider the 20-minute knead time to be quite extended for that amount of dough. The dough formulation that I used was the following one as prepared using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html:

King Arthur Bread Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (0.25%):
Salt (1.75%):
Olive Oil (1%):
Total (165%):
268.46 g  |  9.47 oz | 0.59 lbs
166.45 g  |  5.87 oz | 0.37 lbs
0.67 g | 0.02 oz | 0 lbs | 0.22 tsp | 0.07 tbsp
4.7 g | 0.17 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.84 tsp | 0.28 tbsp
2.68 g | 0.09 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.6 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
442.96 g | 15.62 oz | 0.98 lbs | TF = 0.1015
Note: Nominal thickness factor = 0.10; dough is for a single 14” pizza; bowl residue compensation = 1.5%

To prepare the dough, I started by combining the IDY and flour. I then added the water to the mixer bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer, then the salt, which I stirred to dissolve, and finally the oil. I then gradually added the flour/IDY mixture to the mixer bowl and, using the flat beater attachment at stir speed, mixed the ingredients until they pulled away from the sides of the bowl, about 1-2 minutes. There was a little flour that did not get picked up by the flat beater attachment so I simply incorporated that loose flour into the dough mass by hand when I removed the flat beater attachment. I then secured the C-hook and kneaded the dough for 20 minutes at speed 2. The knead was continuous but for stopping the mixer twice because the dough ball had reformed into two balls that I had to rejoin. I added a bit of time back on the clock so that the dough was kneaded the full 20 minutes. The dough at both of those times was soft and smooth and malleable. At the end of the 20-minute knead time, the dough was still soft and smooth and malleable. I normally don’t use the windowpane test, but I did use it this time and the dough passed with flying colors. After lightly oiling the dough ball and placing two poppy seeds on the dough ball to monitor its progress during the course of fermentation, all in accordance with the technique as discussed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html, I placed the dough ball within its lidded storage container (a glass bowl) into the refrigerator. I should note that the water I used to make the dough was directly out of the refrigerator, at 48.2 degrees F, and that the finished dough temperature was 83.7 degrees F. Room temperature was around 82 degrees F.

I decided that I would use the dough once it doubled. For a Lehmann dough with the above formulation, that meant more than one day of cold fermentation. In fact, after the first day (24 hours), the dough had not risen visibly at all, based on the spacing of the two poppy seeds. After 48 hours, the dough had expanded by about 42%, and after 78 hours, by about 68%. Thereafter, the dough seemed to stabilize and not rise much more. So, after 96 hours, by which time the dough had risen by about 82% and was noticeably quite gassy (as evidenced by the multiplicity of small fermentation bubbles around the sides and bottom of the storage container), I decided to use the dough. I allowed the dough to warm up at room temperature for about 1 hour and then opened it up to form a skin (14”). The dough was very extensible and evidenced signs of excessive fermentation, but I did not have a problem forming it to the desired final size. After dressing the pizza in basic pepperoni style, I baked the pizza on a pizza stone that had been placed on the lowest oven rack position and preheated for about an hour at around 525 degrees F. The pizza was baked on the stone for about 6 minutes, at which time I moved the pizza off of the stone to the topmost oven rack position where the pizza baked for another 2 minutes to get increased top crust browning.

It is always difficult to make much of an isolated experiment, but here are my observations. First, the dough skin itself, while more robust than many of my dough skins, was still “webby”. No doubt, the extended fermentation may have led at least in part to that result. Second, the finished crust had good oven spring but the rim of the crust was underbaked and “pasty” in places. That condition might have been avoided by using the dough sooner or by baking the pizza at a lower oven temperature for a longer time in order to drive out more of the moisture in the dough. The crumb away from the rim was quite normal, albeit breadlike from a softness standpoint, but not with a tight cell structure. It was open and airy. Third, the bottom of the finished crust was on the soft and chewy side, not crispy. Fourth, the color of the finished crust was a bit lighter than usual, perhaps reflecting a loss of residual sugar because of the extended fermentation. The crust flavors were good.

It is difficult to assign what role the long knead time may have had on the above characteristics and attributes. There were both positive and negative effects, some of which no doubt would have been different had I used the dough sooner. That suggests conducting a follow-up experiment but with a shorter window of fermentation, maybe a couple of days. I think it would also be useful to conduct an additional experiment in which the knead time in its totality, including the preliminary mixing time using the flat beater attachment, is kept as short as possible to better understand the effects of a very short knead time.

The photos below show the finished product.

Peter