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Author Topic: Can someone tell me why dough recipes call for dividing into multiple balls ?  (Read 605 times)

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Offline Filtered

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Can someone tell me why a typical dough recipe call for dividing into multiple balls after mixing?  When i make pizza, i only want 1 pizza.

Why don't recipes call for adding flour/water/yeast/salt for only 1 pizza, thus 1 dough ball?

Recipes for anything else, like steak, don't call for buying a big steak and then dividing the steak into 2 and then just grilling 1/2 of the original steak.  When i order pizza delivery, i don't order 2 and just eat 1.

Am I missing something?

Offline stevenfstein

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use one of the dough calculators to put in exactly what you want, how many balls, weight of the finished ball, etc. This way you can take your percentages and scale them up or down.
https://www.pizzamaking.com/dough-tools.html

Regards....  Steve

Offline jsaras

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I think the primary reason is because many recipes are given in volume measurements instead of bakers percentages, and nearly all the volumetric recipes use one full packet of yeast.  Since there's no convenient/accurate way to take a yeast packet and divide by 4 or 6 to yield a single dough ball, you're stuck with making multiple dough balls.

If you know how to use the dough tools on the site you can scale any formulation to any amount you want, including a single dough ball of any size or thickness you want.  If you're a beginner, I would suggest making two at a time.  If you accidentally have a mishap with one dough ball you'll have a second one. 
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Offline TXCraig1

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Also, most mixers are incapable of mixing/kneading a single ball.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline jvp123

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Also, most mixers are incapable of mixing/kneading a single ball.

Absolutely true - unless the ball is huge.  I usually make two pies-worth even if I only want one precisely for that reason.  I can always freeze the unused one or make some bread or garlic knots, etc with it.

If I were making a single dough ball I'd probably just do it by hand or perhaps try the food processor? (which I've never tried - not sure if it would just bat the ball around too).
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:06:08 PM by jvp123 »
Jeff

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Offline jsaras

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One or two dough balls work exceptionally well in a food processor.  30-60 seconds and it's done
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Offline nick57

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  I have only make one dough ball at a time. I use a Kitchen Aid mixer or a Kitchen Aid food processor depending on the type of dough I am making. I use a KA mixer for higher hydration doughs most of the time. I use the KA processor for low hydration dough like cracker crusts. I have made higher hydration doughs using the processor and it is a breeze.  I make 14" pies and the amount of ingredients is just enough that I can make one dough ball using the KA mixer. It's a mess, I have to use the paddle blade till the dough comes together enough that I can switch to the dough hook. From what I have seen, most generic online pizza recipes call for either 10" or 12" pies and most of them use volume measurements instead of weight measurements. You know the saying around here. As Garvey said "For each 14" pie, you'll need a 300 g dough ball.  Here is the recipe for two (because who in their right mind would make only one pizza? ;-))"

Offline Tscarborough

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Who eats ONE pizza?!

Offline petef

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Am I missing something?

For me, if i'm going to go through the entire process of making pizza from scratch, I want more than one pizza being made. I typically eat a few slices and freeze the remaining slices.

If you learn the best methods to reheat pizza it can be just as good as fresh baked, but that also depends upon the style pizza you are making.

You also have the option of freezing the extra dough, but I have not had as good an experience with that. I'd much rather make the extra pizzas and freeze them.

--pete--


Offline vtsteve

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Dough is cheap to make, so make extra... most home pizza makers don't get enough practice opening doughs, so open a few in a row and learn faster -- and if you rip/fumble one, you'll have a backup.
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Offline Jackitup

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Many things you can do with the extra dough besides making a pizza with little effort!
Jon

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Offline enchant

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I'm currently experimenting making SE Mass bar pizzas and I'm nowhere near close.  So when I make a pizza, I always make two and try experiments with each.  One might be a total disaster and only trash-worthy.  Otherwise, I've got lunch!

And as it's been mentioned before, a stand mixer has a tough time with a small ball.  It just nudges it around the bowl.
--pat--

Offline GualtieroIlVecchio

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Recipes for anything else, ... <snip>

Am I missing something?
Actually I've seldom come across a cookbook where recipes are given for 1 person or 1 serving, let alone an Italian one. Meals in Italy are usually something where the whole family is involved, seldom will anyone bother to cook for one single person alone.

But - if you must - you can break down any recipe so that it serves only one, with pizza-dough it's especially easy as you can do it even without a mixer, just by hand.

Online Pete-zza

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A large percentage of my doughs over the years were of an experimental or test nature so my practice was to make single dough balls. So, I had to learn how to use my stand mixer, food processor and bread maker to make single dough balls. Of course, I also learned how to make and knead them by hand. And I have to say that I learned a lot just trying to make good single dough balls. Thanks largely to Tom Lehmann when he was on the PMQ Think Tank as the guru on pizza, I learned the ins and outs of baker's percents and thickness factors (he called them dough loading factors) and how to understand recipes and convert them to baker's percent format. It was from that experience, and with the help of member BoyHitsCar (Mike), that we came up with the different dough calculating tools. Those tools help members make any desired number of dough balls for essentially any application. 

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Filtered;
In addition to all that's been said, the ingredients can be more accurately scaled for a larger dough than a small one like would be used for a single pizza. This is due to the accuracy of the scales most of us have. Using bakers percent and a laboratory balance (very accurate for weighing amounts much smaller than 0.1-gram) you can easily put together a dough with a total weight of only 50-grams (just under 2-ounces), I've done it many times when dough research on different types of doughs. The scales that most of us have will weight to either 1-gram or preferably 0.1-gram which makes it much more accurate when weighing amounts of 0.1-gram and more. Look at it this way, if my dough requires 227.2-grams (roughly 8-ounces) of flour to make a single 12-ounce dough ball and the amount of IDY needed is 0.375% the amount that you will need to accurately scale will be 0.852-grams. Easy if your scale weighs to the tenth of a gram but next to impossible to do accurately using volumetric portions. However, if we were to make the same dough for 3 dough balls at 12-ounces each the amount of flour needed would be 227.2 X 3 = 681.6-grams and the IDY at the same percent would equal 2.556-grams which is easier to accurately scale in view of the fact that our scale will not weigh to the second, much less third decimal place so we will need to round off those numbers and while there is always an error when rounding, the error has less impact upon the dough/crust when working with larger dough sizes. This does not mean to say that you cannot make a dough based on volumetric portions or sized to make just one pizza, indeed you can, it is just harder to replicate that dough for future pizzas which explains why so many people ask what ingredient changes need to be made to double a "recipe" in size. When converting a recipe to a "formula" based on bakers percent you can manipulate the dough to any size you want with precision accuracy and repeat ability with no special changes, think of it like counting money, if you have five dimes and you want to double the amount, how many dimes would you need?
Additionally, that pizzeria that you ordered your pizza from didn't make just a single pizza dough for your order, their dough size was probably based on 50-pounds of flour weight and they made upwards of 100 dough balls from that dough, one of which was used to make your pizza. As for the steak, that's precisely what my wife and I do, we buy a 16-ounce steak and divide it between us (8-ounce steaks are hard to come by here and when you do find them they're much too thin for use to grill properly). Try your hand at making some great bread sticks or garlic knots, or how about making a calzone or a loaf of bread from the extra dough, that's what many of us do with any surplus dough, or you can keep it in the fridge for another go around at making pizza on the following day, that's the fun of making your own dough. Great food, and you can say that you made it yourself, just as YOU like it. :chef:
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Online Pete-zza

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To add to what Tom said, I will say that the dough calculating tools give volume measurements for all ingredients but flour and cake yeast. However, when the dough ball weights are small, the volume measurements for some ingredients, like yeast, can become difficult to measure out. Sometimes, mini-spoons such as shown below can be used but if the volume numbers do not fit the mini-spoon volumes exactly or close to them, one has to estimate as best as possible. That is when having a scale that can measure out very small weights comes in handy.

One member was good enough to provide the following table that conforms to the mini-measuring spoons:

TAD...... 1/4 ts, 0.25 ts
DASH..... 1/8 ts, 0.125 ts
PINCH... 1/16 ts, 0.0625 ts
SMIDGEN.. 1/32 ts, 0.03126 ts
DROP.... 1/64 ts, 0.015625 ts

Peter

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