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Author Topic: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline Mouly

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What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« on: September 15, 2019, 04:33:17 PM »
I've been successfully using the Neapolitan dough recipe in the Pizza Bible (Tony Gemignani).  However the last two times the dough has come out extremely stretchy, way too stretchy, like the consistency of slime that kids play with.  The last time I couldn't even really pick it up out of the proofing box.  I folded it back in on itself like I was balling it and was going to attempt starting over but that folding then made it unstretchable.   So from one extreme to the other.

Now as far as I know I followed the procedure in the past that I have been successful with.  The only thing I have changed recently is a move from dry yeast to cake yeast and instead of proofing in plastic Tuperware containers I proofed on a metal cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap.  The only other variable is that this time the dough sat on the counter, after coming out of the fridge after two days, for a total of 3 hours instead of the planned 90 minutes.

Could any of the changes mentioned above be a culprit by itself, or  a contribution factor?  Or in general what sort of things to watch out for that can cause super stretchiness?

the dough is at about 65% hydration and I am using Caputo.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:07:57 AM »
I didn't see any mention of finished dough temperature which has a very high probability of being another variable, and one which has a significant impact upon the amount of fermentation the dough will receive in any given period of time. If the dough was warmer it could account for the difference, additionally, the 3-hours warming period after CF could also be a contributor. As for the differences in yeast, if the CY was fresh and used at the correct substitution level I wouldn't expect any issues, but if the CY was not properly stored or old, or used at the incorrect substitution level for ADY it could be a contributor. By the way, the correct substitution of CY for ADY is twice as much CY as ADY.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Mouly

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 01:07:07 PM »
I'm taking another shot at it tomorrow morning and will be logging all my temps.  My suspicion is that I am under mixing it.  I will try the window pane test after mixing.

The dough comes out so dang sticky I find it hard to do the hand mixing steps recommended when it comes out of the mixing machine.  I'll try oiling my hands a bit this time to reduce sticking, or will that be an issue on its own?  Is it preferable to instead put your hands in ice water?

I need to get confident in this stage of the process so I won't be worried inviting people for pizza. If the dough is no good, there is no recovery!

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 01:23:58 PM »
Forget the "window pane" test unless you're planning to make bread. If the dough is too sticky for you to easily handle just lightly oil your hands. You only need to mix the dough until the lumps are worked out of it, bio-chemical gluten development will take care of the rest for you.
After mixing the dough the temperature should be in the 70 to 75F range (achieve this by adjusting the water temperature). After mixing, immediately scale and ball, place the dough balls in your fermentation containers or lightly oil the dough balls and place in individual Food
Saver plastic bags (like bread bags) DO NOT use Zip-Lock bags. We have discussed how to use the plastic bags many time here so a quick search will give you full details on how to do it if you wish to go that route.
Be sure to lightly oil the top of each dough ball after placing it in the container and leave it uncovered for at least 2-hours, then apply the lid for the remainder of the time in the fridge.
When ready to usd the dough remove from the fridge at least 2-hours prior to use time. You want the dough to warm to an internal temperature in the 55 to 60F range before opening, once the dough has reached this temperature it will remain good to use for a period of 2 to 3-hours depending upon temperature.
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Offline DoouBall

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2019, 10:56:15 PM »
Tony’s NP recipe in Pizza Bible calls for a poolish. If your poolish was over-ripe that can also cause excessive extensibility. Try to reduce the number of hours you ferment the poolish - safer to use it a little early than too late.
Alex

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Offline DoouBall

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 01:56:03 AM »
I just noticed that you also mentioned a move from dry yeast to cake yeast. If your cake yeast is past it's prime, and it will very likely be if you bought it in a grocery store, then it will contain a good amount of glutathione from dead yeast cells. This relaxes dough and makes it stretchy and extensible. A little might be ok, but too much and you end up with the kind of problems you're describing. This happened to me recently when I froze some fresh yeast, defrosted and used it in a recipe - extreme extensibility.

The first thing I would do if I were you is to go back to dry yeast and see if that fixes your issue.
Alex

Outdoor Oven: Blackstone. Indoor Oven: Gaggenau.

Offline Mouly

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 08:36:41 AM »
One thing I hadn't mentioned is that I had also increased the hydration a bit by adding an extra 10 grams of water.  I cook on a Big Green Egg and can only get the temp up to about 700 and from what I have read you can compensate for the extra cook time required by not reaching 900 degrees by adding more water.  My cook time is usually about three and a half minutes.

Anyways, I did another try without adding the extra water and while the dough was still stretchy it was a tad bit more manageable and I was able to make some pizzas which came out great.  The other issue I am finding with stretchy dough is that even if I can stretch ok, get it on the peel, and top it, sometimes sliding it off the peel causes it to elongate and get very close to the edge of the cooking surface (sometimes even hanging over)

And I didn't mention it but yes I think the poolish older than the recommended 18 hours.  Didn't realize the full importance of this.

I'm going to go back to dry yeast, stay at the recommended hydration, and be more careful with the age of the poolish.

Will report back what happens.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 11:26:21 AM »
Regarding your peel issues, get your fermentation dialed in correctly and then, if you still have problems peeling the pizza into the oven begin incrementally reducing the dough absorption to tighten the dough up a little. Remember, every dough has a "sweet spot" when it comes to absorption, you can't just take an absorption percent and plug it into your dough and expect it to always work. This is due to lot to lot variations in flour absorption (we recently discussed this there) as well as differences in the specific way the dough is being managed as well as ones ability to handle a soft dough.
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Offline Yael

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2019, 07:37:49 PM »
Regarding your peel issues, get your fermentation dialed in correctly and then, if you still have problems peeling the pizza into the oven begin incrementally reducing the dough absorption to tighten the dough up a little. Remember, every dough has a "sweet spot" when it comes to absorption, you can't just take an absorption percent and plug it into your dough and expect it to always work. This is due to lot to lot variations in flour absorption (we recently discussed this there) as well as differences in the specific way the dough is being managed as well as ones ability to handle a soft dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I agree with that, and that's why recently I've been suggesting lower hydrations in my posts. I like to push the hydration even higher myself, but I also like having round pizza which doesn't have a big hole in the middle  ;D

I really like Craig's comment to my remark on reply 25 https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=57613.msg578701#msg578701
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline Mouly

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2019, 12:50:05 PM »
Went back to dry yeast, the listed hydration, and watched times more carefully.

This time much better, I could at least handle it successfully now.  But still stretchy to the point of lifting from the table to the peel made it stretch even more.  That's the minor downside I could adjust for, the upside is much much more even thickness dough when stretched out.

It the past other recipes have given me much tougher doughs that were hard to stretch out and would be uneven.  Since I hadn't tried other recipes I didn't even know that was something that could be addressed.

So now I'll be slowly decreasing hydration till I hit a dough responsiveness I personally like.

Thanks everyone, this is a great board!

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: What can cause dough to be too stretchy?
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2019, 02:48:06 PM »
Mouly;
You mention problems with transferring the prepared skin from the table onto the peel. You might think about getting a short handle wood prep peel. The opened skin is placed on the peel with a little dusting flour under the skin, the skin is then dressed right on the peel and peeled into the oven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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