A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Author Topic: Outside of engineering.  (Read 746 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Lisa

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Outside of engineering.
« on: April 02, 2021, 06:36:47 AM »
Hello everyone and Happy Easter to you all.

I have been struck reading these boards that I have never known cooking measures that need to be so exact as making pizza. I doubt even engineers building a bridge would fret so much over such tiny measurement's. I can't imagine anyone in a pizza restaurant let alone maestro pizza makers bothering to the tenth or less of a single gram as I doubt they even have the time to worry. Why the need for such accuracy?

Today I have made some dough and some of it stuck to my fingers as I mixed it. I was just going to wash my hands but thought that I would be washing away a few grams that might make or break my pizza. Before I even mixed it some of the flour from my weighted amount leapt from the bowl as I began to mix it do I really need to scoop that back in?

I get it that you have to start somewhere with how much of this and how much of that but measurements to the tenth of a gram? I doubt all that is important surely. 

Offline tedcholl

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 08:38:54 AM »
Hi Lisa,

Good question, I think it comes down to the difference in making a batch of dough for 1 or 2 pizzas vs a batch for 50+ pizzas at a time like you would do in a restaurant.  You need much more precision when only making 1 or 2 pizzas.  In my experience it's not a big deal to lose a little of the flour, or a little of the mixed dough during the process.  It is a bigger deal to not be precise on some of the smaller amount ingredients that go into the flour.
Another thing that drives many of us pizza makers to be obsessive with the measurements is the regular experience of using the "same" recipe or using a slightly modified recipe but getting very different results.  You quickly start to realize how sensitive dough is to very small changes in ingredients and process.

Anyway, that has been my experience.  Good luck on your pizza making journey, homemade pizza is worth the effort!

Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2524
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
  • I stole my avatar from the British Museum website
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 08:41:39 AM »
Success in baking is science/math based.  Couple that with experience, and you hopefully learn the why of certain methods.
When we choose to wing it, failure is the incorrigible buddy who will haunt you more often than not. Been there, and often.  :chef: :-D



You did mention that you have had many failures in making pizza and are here to learn.  Your question about yeast quantities,  7 g sachets, flour types, etc are good questions to pose.  Your oven heat is another factor, how you mix your dough, or if you ovr mix a certain style of dough, your fermentation process, knowing the limits of your tools, all play a role.


I don't own a scale that reads small quantities, so I actually split one of those 7g packets of yeast into equal piles, visually learned what a gram of yeast looks like and learned that a pinch of yeast will suffice for long ferments.  If I want pizza fast, I use the emergency recipes which will ask for the full sachet, but I only add half the packet. The flavor and texture changes quite a bit. More yeast imparts an extra yeasty flavor and bloating distress to my stomach.  It's overkill, and I believe the packets are geared to use with 1 lb flour,  or 1 loaf bread to be baked asap. 


Also, pizza and bread are similar, but not equal, and formula based recipes will get you to your specific goal.  Just as breads come in many infinite varieties, pizza can be all over the place, but will be inedible without some semblance of proper formula, technique and baking capabilities of your heat source for that specific style.  Many variations of similar styles, and how we get there are up to the user, but that's what makes this so fun.  Experiment. It is the only way to find your sweet spot.


Losing part of your formula to sloshing or stickiness is not going to render your dough useless, but it may change the texture of your end product if too much is lost.  Until you have experienced different levels of dough formation using more yeast, less yeast, more water or less, oil or sugar added or omitted, cold fermenting vs room temp, you won't bear witness to these fine variables and finally understand what all has transpired. Some variables are so miniscule as to be barely perceptible in the end product at times, yet the aha moment for many bakers does occur in just this way to reach the pinnacle of your dough desires. 





Reesa

Offline Lisa

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 09:20:18 AM »
Thank you both for your answers. I will continue to experiment and one day hopefully I will be happy with the result. :)

Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2524
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
  • I stole my avatar from the British Museum website
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 09:41:46 AM »
Thank you both for your answers. I will continue to experiment and one day hopefully I will be happy with the result. :)


You're on the right track, Lisa....just remember that the dough has no care for when you are ready to bake it. It is only ready when it is ready. Once you know how long this variable amount of yeast consistently reaches optimal fermentation you can have an reasonable expectation of predictability...
If the yeast is old or half dead, expect to wait. If the fermentation ambiance is too cold or too warm, expect to change your plans. It can be irritating at first, but keep an open mind.
Some of my craziest ideas have been my best efforts, but not always easy to replicate, because I did not keep good notes on ingredient amounts, or what all transpired in the moment. You may notice very detailed posts here, which is fantastic for their own personal replication efforts, and to see if others can get similar results. It's also a real sense of pride.  Without all the knowledge freely given here many home and professional bakers would give up in despair. 
Reesa

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline foreplease

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7474
  • Age: 61
  • Location: St. Joseph, MI
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 10:05:46 AM »
Some of the formulas being discussed (or attempting to duplicate) began as restaurant sized batches, typically with 50 lbs of flour. To that, the following ingredients and (ficticious) amounts may have been added:


Flour 50 lbs 100%
Water 30 lbs 60%
Salt 1 lb 2%
Yeast 8 oz 0.5%


Now you have 81 1/2 lbs of dough. If you use 13 oz per pizza, this batch makes just over 100 dough balls. Next, the shop owner’s mother-in-law comes in and says “Giuseppe, I want to make 3 pizzas like yours Sunday, but bigger. Instead of 12” I need 2 at 16” and one like yours at 12” Can you tell me how to make the dough?”


It’s relatively simple to figure out each of the 16” pizzas need 1.77 x as much dough as the 12” he makes at 13 oz. so we have:
13 oz +(2(13 x 1.77)) = 59.02 oz dough


Wanting to make only that much, knowing the percentage of each ingredient helps us determine:
59.02 oz dough
=162.5% (sum of ingredient percentages)
** right about now most of us wish we had neen using grams instead of oz, but I continue**
Flour = 59.02/1.625 = 36.32 oz
Water = 60% = 21.79 oz
Salt = 2% = 1.18 oz
Yeast = 0.5% = 0.182 oz


By using percentages, people can easily share information, making whatever size batches they like while knowing the formulas are near exact. Of course, of the process and temperatures are different from the original, differences will probably show up.


These are tools. I’m with you that our grandmothers did not operate this way. Mine would have made Giuseppe giver her some dough.  ;D Welcome to the forum. You’ve had a busy week here. Hopefully you will like it and stick around.


-Tony

Offline Lisa

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: UK
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 11:27:36 AM »
Thank you. I definitely intend on sticking around. :)

Offline 02ebz06

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3844
  • Location: Rio Rancho, NM USA
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 01:02:34 PM »
The fine measuring is for consistency.
Whether you have good or bad results, you know where you are, and can make adjustments one at a time to get to your desired goal.
Bruce here... My cooking toys --> FGM 800-B Pizza Oven, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, Propane Griddle, Propane Grill

Offline Jon in Albany

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2538
  • Location: Albany, NY
    • Jon In Albany Blog
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2021, 01:15:50 PM »
One other thing is that a lot of the calculators have a "bowl residue" factor you can add. It ups the weights of everything proportionally to compensate for the bits that stick to your fingers and the mixing bowl.

But I get what you are saying with the accuracy. When I weigh out flour, water, and salt the scale accuracy is +/- 0.5 grams. Then the yeast is to the hundredth of a gram. There's some wiggle room in there.

My day job is as a civil engineer. There's an expression:

Measure with micrometer.
Mark with chalk.
Cut with axe.

Seems how some things get built.

Offline TXCraig1

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 27804
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Pizza is not bread.
    • Craig's Neapolitan Garage
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 01:33:49 PM »
I can't imagine anyone in a pizza restaurant let alone maestro pizza makers bothering to the tenth or less of a single gram as I doubt they even have the time to worry. Why the need for such accuracy?

It's a matter of scale not precision. 0.1g precision on a batch with 250g flour is the same as 10g precision on a 25kg (full sack of flour) batch. Do you think the maestro pizza makers might bother to be within +/-10g in their yeast measurement?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 30346
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2021, 02:40:55 PM »
Lisa,

I can fully understand what you are coming from. As a bit of background, and as I have stated before, I was always intrigued by the science and math aspects of pizza making, such as how something that was once alive (wheat) is made dead (flour) and is then resurrected by yeast (wild or commercial) that then gives up its life to make something delectable. That was the beginning of my journey to try to learn as much as I could about pizza making. But shortly after joining the forum, I saw that there was a big problem. The problem was volume measurements. That meant that we lacked a good way to communicate with each other because volume measurements were all over the place simply because there are many ways to measure out ingredients volumetrically (more on this below).

I remember having to go into my kitchen to weigh out ingredients to help members with their many questions that came up because they were using volume measurements. This became tedious so I decided to come up with a scientific approach to the problem by introducing baker's percents. At first, I came up with a basic spreadsheet for basic recipes but what I really wanted for the forum was to have calculators that members could use by themselves to come up with their own recipes, and also to modify them, for example, along the lines that Tony mentioned in an earlier post. 

After a lot of research on ingredients and their weights per unit of volume, which took us several months--including looking at a lot of dough recipes, and time spent at the SELF Nutrition Data website at https://nutritiondata.self.com/ and looking at ingredients labels in supermarkets--another member, Mike (Boy Hits Car), and I created four calculators during 2006 and 2007: the Lehmann NY style dough calculating tool (named in honor of the late Tom Lehmann, from whom I learned just about everything I knew about pizza at the time), a natural preferment dough calculating tool, a deep dish dough calculating tool, and an expanded dough calculating tool.

And to show you how thorough we were, the expanded dough calculating tool had--and still has--41 ingredients. And, for all of the dough calculating tools, and except for flour and water, we converted teaspoons of ingredients to weights (ounces). And we went out to six or seven decimal places. To cite an example, one teaspoon of Morton's Kosher salt weighs 0.1693122 ounces. I should add that there was a reason for many of the numbers being carried out to several decimal places. All of the dough calculating tools could be used to come up with numbers for up to 999 dough balls. This is something that could have value for professionals. But the large numbers meant that there had to be enough spaces in the blocks to handle the much larger numbers for 999 dough balls. But if we entered just one dough ball, the numbers will go out to two decimal places after the whole number, just as it would with 999 dough balls. The tools did not try to round the numbers.

All of the dough calculating tools also allowed for use of thickness factors, by which members could play around with dough skins of different thicknesses, and all of them had bowl residue compensation capability to add a bit more dough to a given dough recipe to compensate for minor losses incurred in making the doughs, as member Jon mentioned. But to get the right final dough ball weights, members would have to weigh the doughs on scales and trim off any amounts of dough above the desired amounts.

The point of the above discussion is to show how reliance was placed on weights rather than volumes. And once the conversion data was built into the calculators, it would be there forever for anyone to use. Unfortunately, the four dough calculating tools were recently retired because they were based on Flash technology that is no longer being supported by Adobe. But all is not lost. A couple of our members have created new versions of the tools. They can be found, along with several other dough calculating tools, in the thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59104.msg592940#msg592940

I honestly doubt that I would have stayed with the forum had Mike and I not come up with the original dough calculating tools simply because working with volume measurements would have eventually done me in. We needed a better way and the baker's percent approach was our way of meaningfully communicating with each other.

As a final note, I should mention that another member, November, and I collaborated to find ways of converting volumes of certain ingredients, most notably, flours and water, to weights. I literally took hundreds of weighings of certain brands of flour that member November then used to create algorithms to calculate the conversions. One of the major reasons we did all of this was to be able to convert ingredients given in recipes by volumes to weights (and vice versa). However, in order to do this we had to know how ingredients were measured out volumetrically. You can see the final result, called the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator, at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/FoodSim.htm

Note, in particular, the Measurement Method pull-down menu and how it applies to the different ways that flours can be measured out volumetrically. I personally have used the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator when a recipe is recited in volumes, and especially for flours, but even then I have to try to find out how the flours were measured out volumetrically. I viewed what November and I did was to leave no stone unturned.

Peter


Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2524
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
  • I stole my avatar from the British Museum website
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2021, 06:47:59 PM »
Peter, thanks for those links to the dough calculation tools.  I have missed the original on-site tools since flash went awol. 

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59104.msg592940#msg592940

https://www.pizzamaking.com/FoodSim.htm
Reesa

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 30346
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2021, 07:00:06 PM »
Peter, thanks for those links to the dough calculation tools.  I have missed the original on-site tools since flash went awol. 

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59104.msg592940#msg592940

https://www.pizzamaking.com/FoodSim.htm
Reesa,

You will note that I edited Item 1 in the thread at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59104.msg592940#msg592940. I did that because each of the four dough calculating tools had its own detailed description, for which I provided links. The description are still useful in my opinion even though the replacement calculating tools differ from the original tools. By my edit, I also wanted to clarify that the preferment dough calculating tool is for natural preferments, not the preferments like poolish, biga and sponge that include yeast as a component, although the final dough can include yeast in addition to the natural preferment. That option was added because some of our members use commercial yeast in the final dough.

You will also note the Mixed Mass Percentage Calculator that is on the right side of the page at https://www.pizzamaking.com/FoodSim.htm. That is a great tool because it allows you to combine different flours and also different brands of vital wheat gluten to achieve a particular final protein content. As with the other tools, the numbers are very precise.

Peter

Offline texmex

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2524
  • Location: out in that West Texas Town.....
  • I stole my avatar from the British Museum website
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2021, 07:13:16 PM »
I'm just glad there's a bunch of them to try and I can find so many in one place. I never noticed the list in the forum, either.
I have some of those tools and others bookmarked, but sometimes they aren't well suited to certain baking needs, so this allows me more ways to test dough ideas on.
Reesa

Offline QwertyJuan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 713
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 09:33:47 PM »
As a pizza place owner... our batch of dough is (15kg)33lbs of flour. Sometimes we make 2 per day. And yes... I measure everything TO THE GRAM. I may be over or under by a gram or two. But that is it. Never any more than that. I want my dough as consistent as possible.  :chef:

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Offline Qapla

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 158
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2021, 07:36:36 PM »
Some of my craziest ideas have been my best efforts, but not always easy to replicate, because I did not keep good notes on ingredient amounts, or what all transpired in the moment.

I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen a while back where they were making cookies. They used an unusual method during the mixing. The mixed the dough for a minute or so then rested it for 10 minutes ... mixed for another minute or two and another rest. They did this several times. The result was some very nice cookies.

She explained that the way she discovered this technique was because they get very busy with several things going on in that kitchen. She had to keep turning off the mixer to go handle other problems and then coming back to what she was doing. When she baked the cookies and discovered their nice taste and texture she remembered having to "step away" several times so she recorded that fact into the recipe and added the several rest during the mixing process.

In other words - she stumbled upon something that worked and wrote it down.

Like @texmex said, sometimes we have unexpected results - good or bad - but failed to write them down so we cannot replicate (or avoid) then the next time.

While the weights and measures for pizza making are important, especially if the dough batch is small, the procedure is also important. Have fun in your journey and try to remember to write down the things that work AND the things that don't work.

Offline QwertyJuan

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 713
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Outside of engineering.
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2021, 09:54:57 PM »
I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen a while back where they were making cookies. They used an unusual method during the mixing. The mixed the dough for a minute or so then rested it for 10 minutes ... mixed for another minute or two and another rest. They did this several times. The result was some very nice cookies.

She explained that the way she discovered this technique was because they get very busy with several things going on in that kitchen. She had to keep turning off the mixer to go handle other problems and then coming back to what she was doing. When she baked the cookies and discovered their nice taste and texture she remembered having to "step away" several times so she recorded that fact into the recipe and added the several rest during the mixing process.

In other words - she stumbled upon something that worked and wrote it down.

Like @texmex said, sometimes we have unexpected results - good or bad - but failed to write them down so we cannot replicate (or avoid) then the next time.

While the weights and measures for pizza making are important, especially if the dough batch is small, the procedure is also important. Have fun in your journey and try to remember to write down the things that work AND the things that don't work.

So true... many of the "discoveries" we've found in our kitchen here at work have been the results of "mistakes"... many times mistakes have turned into learning lessons.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T