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Author Topic: Absorption rate and the detrimental effects of ignoring.  (Read 134 times)

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Offline hotwatermusic

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Absorption rate and the detrimental effects of ignoring.
« on: February 13, 2018, 02:30:41 PM »
Hello Tom and all,
My question is in regards to the possible implications that arise by surpassing a flours absorption rating. I recently purchased some unbromated All-Trumps, as well as KA high gluten and Bob's Red Mill Artisan. I want to do some testing on my typical dough formulation substituting only flours to see if I have a preference. However my first batch used AT and was quite slack. My recipe is as follows...
67% hydration
2.25% salt
1.5% evoo
.02% idy (w/poolish)
8 minute mix, ball, and refrigerate for 3 days. I did not check my FDT as this was in all other ways my typical workflow and not usually problematic. I typically use a mix of RT and refrigerated water to have a cooler FDT. The dough handled as if it was over fermented and had degraded gluten.
I wanted to give some background, but my main question is; whether going past a particular flours absorption rate has any other detrimental effects beyond making a final dough which is difficult to handle? Being a home cook and focusing all my attention on one pie at a time means a tacky dough isn't too big a problem.
Secondarily, I suppose I wonder whether I should just do a dough with a more reasonable hydration % for these trials? Thanks.
 

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Absorption rate and the detrimental effects of ignoring.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 03:17:46 PM »
Using a dough absorption higher than what the dough with that particular flour is capable of handling will, as you know, result in an overly soft, extensible, sticky dough characteristic and as the dough ferments, which naturally makes the dough softer and more extensible, these characteristics will become even more extreme. The overly weakened gluten structure may fail to retain the leavening gas during the critical oven spring phase of baking resulting in a full or partial collapse of the dough giving the finished crust an over tough, chewy eating characteristic along with a gum line just under the sauce. This picture is painted of a dough which is excessively over absorbed for the flour being used. Depending upon the magnitude of over absorption these characteristics could vary from not as extreme to even more extreme.
Flour is the single most variable ingredient used in dough production and this is why if you want to have consistent handling properties along with consistent finished crust characteristics, it is imperative that the dough absorption be correct for the flour and matched to the type of crust being made along with dough formulation and dough management practices being employed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Absorption rate and the detrimental effects of ignoring.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 03:59:25 PM »
hotwatermusic,

I would add a couple of points to Tom's remarks.

First, I notice that your recipe also calls for olive oil. Although that oil will not play a role in hydrating the flour, it will have a "wetting" effect and, as such, lead to a dough that seems even wetter.

Second, what kind of oven you are using and what temperature it is capable of producing will have an effect on the degree of oven spring you get in the finished crust. For example, in my standard electric home oven with a basic Cordierite stone, I start to have problems with oven spring once the hydration gets above about 65%. The temperature in my oven doesn't get high enough to convert the water in the dough to steam to produce a highly open and airy crust. This limitation has other consequences. For example, it limits the size of the pizzas I can make, the thickness of the crusts of my pizzas, and how much sauce, cheese and toppings (and their types) that I can use without leading to the dreaded gum line that Tom talks about, excessive sogginess, sauce leaking through thin spots in the skin, or some other mess.

The high hydration will also affect my bake times and getting the pizzas properly baked and with decent crust coloration. You may also find that you have a more difficult time loading the unbaked pizza directly onto your stone, forcing you to use measures like parchment paper, with or without something like semolina flour, to facilitate loading the unbaked pizza into the oven without incident. You can see how all of these points came together in a post I composed at Reply 31 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=7745.msg69521#msg69521. You will also note that my oven did not produce a large rim with a lot of oven spring even though the pizza turned out well.

Peter

Offline hotwatermusic

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Re: Absorption rate and the detrimental effects of ignoring.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 08:19:24 PM »
Thank you both. A lot of good info to reflect on. The recipe posted above has been evolving over the years with the hopes of getting as much hydration as possible with the equipment and workflow I have utilized at various points. I suppose that's good reason to expect to be fairly disappointed if I assume I can change such a major variable without backlash.

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