Author Topic: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?  (Read 3907 times)

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Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2010, 01:16:18 PM »
I have one more question about oil in the ingredients.

I know from baking hundreds of thousands of biscuits,  muffins, cupcakes, cookies and pie crusts (short breads) that oil, fat, lard, butter, shortening, heavy cream all act as agents to prevent the gluten strands from developing.

This has the effect of making the dough less stretchy and elastic; which is exactly what you want in a cake. Cake flour is the other extra bonus with less of the elastic / stretchy (gluten) properties that makes it great for cakes and obviously bad for pizza.

So, i have to ask what purpose does the oil in the recipe have and does it hinder the elasticity of the dough?

I heard of a term recently called windowpane. I saw a picture and was reminded of my (ahem..) very early youth when we used to play around with used condoms we found in the trash (I'm kidding ... only kidding ...) they were not from the trash we found them on beds in hotel rooms ... (kidding again) seriously, the NEW ones (from the pharmacy)  were like these really tough water balloons that really stretched extremely thin without tearing and you could see through the stretched area.

Can great pizza dough be compared to the allmighty condom?

Is this the Holy Grail? A condom like, see through pizza dough?

If so, then how does any shortening help in this process?

This is chemistry question #2


Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 01:22:50 PM »
... then knead it again until the surface gets torn up looking – it probably won’t take that long – 8 or 10 kneads or so. Let it rest again for ~7-10 minutes, knead, and then repeat the rest and knead a third time and a fourth if necessary. You’ll notice that each time it will get softer, smoother, and you will be able to work it a little longer before the surface get all rough and torn up looking. After 3-4 total rests and kneads you should have a nice smooth and soft dough that should be easy to work after rising.


I read that more carefully. That was what I was trying to describe. The "torn" look.

So if I understand this ... the RESTING and not continuous kneading to smooth the dough out is actually more important to the whole process?

Am I on the right track here?

If you extend the length and add several more repetitions (kneads / rests) to the process you describe can or will that work against you? Will the dough start to deteriorate or degenerate from smooth back to fragmented or will the extra time make for an even better product?

Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2010, 01:49:54 PM »
I have one more follow up question for the hydration.

I don't have a measuring device or probe that will tell me the exact amount of hydration of the flour.

I am assuming that the humidity, if it is low, then water will evaporate very quickly.

Can anyone describe the look, texture, or the slump (a term used in concrete testing; measured in height it indicates how much water (which is directly related to strength) is in the concrete ) of the dough that would be helpful.

I guess in dough terms it would be tacky it is, if it pools etc.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2010, 04:03:12 PM »
I’ll try to address as many of your questions as I can in roughly the order you asked them:

With respect to hydration, I’m using the term in the simplest sense – the percentage, by weight, of water compared to the flour. No probe or tool (other than a scale) is necessary to measure. For example 400g flour and 240g water would be 60% hydration dough. Keep in mind that different types/brands of flour can make quite different doughs at the same hydration %, so you will have to experiment with more or less water to find what works for you. I would suggest 60% as a starting point. For now, I would not worry much the humidity. I think it is among the least of your concerns.

As for oil in the dough, the biscuits, cookies, and other short breads you noted have way more than the 1-2% oil suggested for pizza dough. You are correct that in such “short breads” the oil, fat, etc (“shortening“) is shortening the gluten strands and making the dough tender.  As the quantities suggested for pizza dough, it can make the dough more extensible by lubricating the protein strands and it should also help the dough to brown in the lower temperatures of a home oven. Some people also think it improves taste and texture and does other good things for the final product.  I would encourage you to experiment with and without oil.

A good dough for you may windowpane, but that does not mean you would ever pull it that thin to make a pie, and I shudder to hear pizza dough compared to a condom… I think of windowpaning as a test (or a rite of passage maybe) and that’s it (and it’s kind of a useless test – either your dough performs as you want in your unique situation or it doesn’t, and if it does perform, who cares if it windowpanes, right?). I think you will find that when you achieve a smooth soft dough you will be able to windowpane it when it is well rested and relaxed, but once you prove to yourself you can stretch it that thin, you’ll never do it again.

My suggestion of the rest periods between relatively short kneading periods is just something that worked well for me when I had problems getting good flour years ago though I still do much the same thing today with good quality flour and am very happy with the results. I would hesitate to make the statement that resting is an important part of the process. I think a lot of people might disagree with such a statement. You don’t want to overwork the dough, but I doubt that is a big concern when kneading completely by hand.

A sealed plastic container would be great for raising the dough. You could also put the balls on a tray and put the whole tray inside a plastic garbage bag and fold the opening under the tray to keep it closed. Ether will keep a “skin” from forming on the balls when rising.

As far as the texture goes, I think you’re looking for a starting place where the dough can be easily worked without a lot of bench flour to keep it from sticking to your hands – certainly not “very wet, almost pudding like” as you noted. Even if it is a little tacky at first, resist the temptation to use flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. It will stop being tacky probably after the first or second rest and knead. On the other side of the spectrum, the dough should also not be so firm that it doesn’t flatten out at all when resting on the counter. I think JLP’s comment above on how the dough should feel is a good reference point. 

Craig
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Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 04:29:26 PM »
Thanks Craig,

That was an eloquent reply. (Sorry to make you shudder at the reference for the condom .. it was a "stretch" of an analogy)

I have noted all of this and with in a few days, I have some pressing issues to take care of, I hope to come back and shout success :)

It will be a proud moment if I can give "birth" to a good pizza dough.

I am considering downsizing the quantities you gave me so I don't waste a lot of ingredients learning the technique in case I mess up.

I know from experience that adjustments in amounts and processes have to be made when dealing with huge quantities. I'm sure if that's applicable on this small scale.

I'd actually like to start with 100g of flour and scale everything to that amount to see if I can master the technique.  No great  harm done if I mess that little bit up.

If I can get that to work then I can move on up to the 400g level.

Thanks again Craig and to everyone else.

 


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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2010, 04:47:19 PM »
I do a lot of tests in small quantities, and you're right that some things are not direct relationships when scaling up and down. You should be OK for what you are trying to accomplish. I would suggest a minimum flour of 200g though. That will get you one nice dough ball. Less than that may be hard to work with.

Craig
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Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #31 on: January 07, 2010, 05:01:30 PM »
I do a lot of tests in small quantities, and you're right that some things are not direct relationships when scaling up and down. You should be OK for what you are trying to accomplish. I would suggest a minimum flour of 200g though. That will get you one nice dough ball. Less than that may be hard to work with.

Craig

Thanks! Great suggestion.

What a great forum this is.

I've been involved with bulletin boards, Usenet and many forums for all sorts of things, mostly computer development, engineering, 3D graphics and some musical stuff for many years.

I wish I had found this forum long ago.

Lots of nice people, helpful people.

In the few threads I have looked at and the posts within I have not seen any of the typical "trash" posts that plague so many other forums.

I guess pizza brings out the best in people!

Oh, by the way did I mention that I love pizza?

Just wanted to let you know that.

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2010, 05:34:25 PM »
Me too; pizza and sushi are by far my favorite foods. I really do go into withdrawl if I can't make pizza at least once a week.

Craig
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Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2010, 06:39:30 PM »
OMG! (hope that's not too much of a cleshay)

I lived in Japan for 6 months. I was there during our Thanksgiving, in Nov, 1993. I had Sushi for dinner.

I also acquired a huge liking for Miso Soup, Soba (a street vendor made this terrific Soba soup outside of the Train Station in Shinagawa. I liked his Miso Soup to. It was a hearty bit of comfort food that was welcome at 1:00 AM after a night out in Tokyo.), Sashimi, Tempura, Wasabi sauce (I call it green heaven; a great sinus clearer upper), Yakitori, lets not forget the Bento Box (they are fastidious about presentation. During the Autumn dishes will have several colored leaves in presentation along with a piece of rice paper with a poem of the day.; spring you will see fresh flowers), Sukiyaki, and one of my all time favorites: Shabu Shabu. I used to make this in my Hotel Room. I commandeered a hot pot, filled it with water added the veggies and dipped some thinly sliced beef. Most of the time I would get some paper thin Kobe beef while I was watching hilarious Japanese game shows.

Ah, the Kobe beef! You haven't lived to you have tried some of that.

 


Offline wizziebaldwin

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2010, 03:39:06 AM »
Well,
I followed the dough recipe as best I could considering the handicap of flour.

Then I had another handicap ... this time it was cheese. The store that I was buying a reasonably good cheese stopped carrying it in favor of a "homegrown" variety. This homegrown variety was the absolute worst mozzarella cheese i have ever had in my file.

It was not the perfect pizza, due mostly because of the above factors. It was about 4 light years from being a great pizza.

But I am somewhat ecstatic because the dough was about 20,000,000 times better than the cracker I make before.

A better cheese and I can die in peace )

Thanks for all of  your help!!!!!!

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Re: Can anyone help this poor Moron out?
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2010, 10:24:32 PM »
Glad to hear that your dough is moving in the right direction.
Pizza is not bread. Craig's Neapolitan Garage