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Author Topic: Sugar in Retarded Dough  (Read 3328 times)

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Offline charbo

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Sugar in Retarded Dough
« on: April 03, 2006, 12:15:08 PM »
A lot of people recommend adding sugar to a dough that will be refrigerated, as insurance against the yeast running out of nutrient before baking.  Does that mean that  longer retardation periods need more and more sugar?  What about using less and less yeast in the first place?  I've noticed that pizzamaking.com's recommended NY-style recipe does not include sugar, even though the dough is retarded. 

Confused.

Offline billneild

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 12:55:07 PM »
Take a look at Pete-eeza's post today on Tom Lehmann's NY style dough.

Offline Wallman

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 12:58:22 PM »
Most of the recommendations on sugar using the Lehmann NY-style dough are to add a small amount for dough that will rise in the fridge for more than 72 hours in order. See post 377 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.360.html. I'm sure Pete can weigh in with more details.

I just made some pizzas using the Lehmann recipe that rose for 4 days. I added a bit of sugar and the pies were great. I've also made pies using Peter Reinhart's recipe which calls for some sugar, and they were also quite tasty. The issue is partially one of preference, some people are not partial to a sweeter crust.  Also, if you add too much sugar, you may get too much browning if using a stone. However, I've used a stone with the Reinhart Neo-Neapolitan dough on a stone without burning. I posted results at: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2799.0.html

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2006, 03:12:51 PM »
charbo,

What Wally said is correct. And, your instincts are also correct. It is indeed possible to reduce the amount of yeast and dispense with the sugar. As a matter of fact, a while back I conducted an experiment using a trivial amount of yeast (0.17% IDY), cool water, and no sugar to test out the theory you have raised. I described the experiment at Reply 280 at page 15 at the Lehmann thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.280.html.

As an additional sidenote, I will mention that Tom Lehmann feels less strongly about the use of sugar in a dough intended to be baked in a home oven rather than in a commercial deck oven. From his comments on home ovens, which are almost never complimentary, I have concluded that as a general proposition he does not think much of home ovens for baking quality pizza. However, I think he underestimates what home bakers will do to juice up the temperatures and the operations of their ovens to reduce the operational differences between commercial deck ovens and home ovens--whether it is a thermostat adjustment, using multiple stones or layers of tiles, oven-within-ovens, etc. My take at the moment is that it is perhaps safe to use a small amount of sugar for a home-baked pizza dough but if it is to be baked entirely on a stone or tiles I would use only small amounts, maybe 1%. Using screens in conjunction with stones or tiles should allow for the use of even more sugar, especially if the pizza doesn't spend too much time on the stones or tiles where the sugar in the dough can caramelize and result in premature or excessive browning of the bottom crust.

Peter

Offline PizzaEater

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2006, 04:26:51 PM »
I find it interesting that Lehmann has such a low opinion of home ovens.  I usually add  small amount of sugar to my doughs and they turn out great, I really like the way the bottom of the crust gets darkly charred.  I will say you have to watch it very closely, 15 seconds too long and it's burned instead of charred.  Having said all that, my home oven makes a better pizza than 99% of pizzeria's I have ever sampled...including NY or anywhere else.

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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 05:24:28 PM »
Dave,

In light of your comment on home ovens, I decided to look at PMQ.com for a typical comment about home ovens from Tom Lehmann. Here is one: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/28112. As it so happens, the post is on the subject of use of sugar in dough. And here is another: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/1044.

Tom is also not particularly fond of home KitchenAid mixers. To give you an idea, this is what he said in response to a request from a poster on making dough in a home KitchenAid mixer:

To make the dough:
Suspend the ADY in the "WARM" water and let it set for 10 minutes, then combine it with the cool water and put in the mixing bowl, add the flour, then the salt and sugar, and mix at low speed for 2 minutes, add the oil and mix another minute at low speed. Now mix at medium or low speed for 8 minutes, or just until the dough comes somewhat smooth. Those little K.A. mixers are not well suited to this task so you might need to play with the mixing times and double check to make sure you sent in the warranty card on the mixer while you're at it. Since it's still not too late, you might want to give some thought to putting another K.A. mixer on your Christmas list, or better yet, a larger mixer better suited to mixing the tough pizza doughs.


Big Dave Ostrander once quoted a colleague who referred to KitchenAid machines as “stocking stuffers”: http://www.pmq.com/cgi-bin/tt/index.cgi/noframes/read/3577. I can’t say that I disagree all that much with Tom’s and Big Dave’s assessment of home stand mixers but the citations give you a pretty good idea of how they view them.

Peter

Offline Randy

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 10:08:12 AM »
One interesting thought in line with the professional consultants dislike of home equipment is the ever increasing interest in homemade pizza may be starting to make a tiny bite out of commercial pizza which is their business.  The decline in taste at some of the major pizza houses is the result of science taking over the art of pizza making under these pizza professor's tutelage.  Not saying these people are bad, they just know who pays them.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 11:19:04 AM »
We've gotten a bit off topic, but I generally agree with you Randy although I believe it is the pressure on the pizza industry, especially those beholden to public shareholders, that has led to an overemphasis on maximizing profits that has resulted in the decline rather than science per se. Often, the finger can be pointed simply to a cheapening of ingredients or taking shortcuts--hoping that no one will notice. If science will help them in doing this and maximize profits, they will adopt it in a New York minute.

The trend to the home oven is already very strong, as evidenced by all the frozen pizzas that are now available to the home consumer, along with take-and-bake, which is another growing trend in the direction of the home oven. It's rather amusing, but we spend a lot of time trying to make our ovens behave more like professional ovens whereas the frozen pizza and take-and-bake folks spend their time trying to adapt their products to the lowly home oven. I think we are still ahead.

Peter


Offline Randy

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 12:21:14 PM »
Peter, it could be the chicken or the egg.  You are probadly more right.

I have noticed the Food Channel has for the last year committing resources aimed at encouraging the return to cooking at home.  Grocery stores like WinnDixe have reached the end of their rope with the loss of sales to restaurants and pizza delivary.  I don't see them winning until the family reunites around a stay at home mother or even father.

Back to subject.  I have yet to experience a problem with too much sugar for a cold retarded dough and I think I have went higher on my test than anyone on this forum, but then I have used much higher yeast levels.  My last test used 1 1/4 teaspoons of yeast with the two tablespoons of sugar and one of honey and that seems to be perfect.  That is down from 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast,

Offline Danes Dad

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2006, 03:05:30 PM »
Randy/Peter - To continue your "off-topic" topic.  I recently read/saw somewhere that the number of cooking shows and people watching cooking shows has increased while at the same time the number of people eating out has also increased.  It seems we want to watch how things are done, but don't actually want to do it.  We are becoming a population of bystanders.  Although this forum is a good example of people getting involved.

I have to admit my wife and I love watching the Food Network (Everyday Italian is our favorite for some reason ;) ) and all the shows on HGTV, but we can't even get around to painting our kitchen.  One crew can "Fix and Flip" four houses before we can decide on a  shade of blue paint.  Oh well, atleast with the help of this forum we have eliminated the need to order out for pizza ;D

Danes Dad

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Offline RoadPizza

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Re: Sugar in Retarded Dough
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2006, 03:14:21 AM »
A lot of people recommend adding sugar to a dough that will be refrigerated, as insurance against the yeast running out of nutrient before baking.  Does that mean that  longer retardation periods need more and more sugar?  What about using less and less yeast in the first place?  I've noticed that pizzamaking.com's recommended NY-style recipe does not include sugar, even though the dough is retarded. 

Confused.


I really wouldn't mess with the amount of yeast in a dough recipe.  I'm used to using sugar, but some people use dry malt to add nutrients for the yeast.

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