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Author Topic: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy  (Read 1234 times)

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Offline dfinn

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Go easy on me, I'm kind of a newb.   ;)

My usual dough recipe is something along these lines (I think this is a variation of Normas):

KA bread flour
61% hydration
.16% IDY
2% Kosher salt
1% sugar
I usually also splash in some molasses because I was a big fan of mellow mushroom but I'm not sure it really adds much.

I'll leave that on the counter for about 30 minutes, then put it all in the fridge covered for a day or 2, then pull it out and ball it into around 300g dough balls and put into old yogurt containers and then back in the fridge for a few more days.

I don't hate my dough but it tends to be kind of dense and chewy.  The longer I leave it in the fridge the better it gets but I'm wondering if maybe I can adjust the recipe to the dough doesn't need to sit in the fridge for a week before it's at its prime.  I much prefer the dough from my local Whole Foods or Harmons (another high end grocer around here), they are lighter and less dense and I'm wondering if I can get my dough to be more like that.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.


Offline scott r

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2021, 10:43:29 PM »
yeah, that's low on the yeast for a cold ferment unless you are trying to use it pretty far into the future, but there are lots of factors that go into this.  Try upping the yeast and I think you will be where you want to be (and you will be there sooner).   Another thing to try is the red bag king arthur all purpose... its a little bit less chewy, but it wont be quite as fluffy. 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 02:15:10 AM by scott r »

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2021, 10:49:58 PM »
Thanks Scott, would you have a suggestion on what to try for the yeast amount?  Double it?

Offline scott r

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2021, 02:12:29 AM »
yes, try doubling it.  You can always tailor your yeast amount to when you want to bake.   I cant give you exact numbers because   Water temp, flour temp, friction factor in mixer, how long you mix, hydration, room temp, how fast you ball, how fast they go into fridge, what flour you use, and other variables all come into play.   Start by doubling the yeast amount and try using your doughs over a few days.  Keep notes on your best results.  Keep EVERYTHING the same each time and you will zero in on your perfect yeast amount.   

good luck and have fun!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 02:16:13 AM by scott r »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2021, 02:30:53 AM »
If you want your pizza crust less chewy add 2-3% oil into your dough.  Oil acts as a tenderizer.   Also don't over mix your dough.   
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 08:13:39 AM by Jackie Tran »

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Offline Yael

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2021, 07:06:46 AM »
Fat will definitely help you with softness (oil, milk powder...). Don't forget to bake when your dough is at its sweet spot (best fermentation spot, before it collapses and after it inflated and is soft enough).
ďLearn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artistĒ - Pablo Picasso

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2021, 08:04:44 AM »
Ok, this is some good info, thanks!  I canít remember where but at some point I read that adding olive oil would make the dough chewier. I used to add some but stopped when I read that. Iíll start adding some again. I think the recipe originally called for 1.75%.

Iíll try doubling the yeast and see where that gets me.

Offline jkb

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 07:17:21 PM »
AP same day 58% 3g of yeast.
John

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2021, 11:28:57 AM »
I ended up making a batch and tripling the yeast just to make a drastic change so I could see what would happen.

I did 5g of yeast and no oil.  In the fridge for 5 days.  It's pretty good, definitely closer to what I'm going for.  I'll try adding the oil back in next time.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50951199878_0b72c79ff5_b.jpg
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 12:53:49 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2021, 11:41:23 AM »
I've made a couple of batches since.  I've been doing:

KA Bread Flour
61% hydration
5g IDY
2% Kosher salt
1% sugar
1.75% pomace olive oil

on the counter for half an hour, in the fridge for a day or 2 as a big ball then 300g dough balls in yogurt containers for another couple of days. 

It's still chewier than I'm hoping for although upping the yeast and adding oil back in did help some.  It's just kind of dense.  I'm wondering if I should try some different flour types?  Open to other suggestions as well.

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Offline piesofsatan

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2021, 12:10:16 PM »
I've made a couple of batches since.  I've been doing:

KA Bread Flour
61% hydration
5g IDY
2% Kosher salt
1% sugar
1.75% pomace olive oil

on the counter for half an hour, in the fridge for a day or 2 as a big ball then 300g dough balls in yogurt containers for another couple of days. 

It's still chewier than I'm hoping for although upping the yeast and adding oil back in did help some.  It's just kind of dense.  I'm wondering if I should try some different flour types?  Open to other suggestions as well.

Try KA All Purpose. It has a higher protein content than most other AP flours, and is great for pizza. I used KA BF for a bit and didn't like it, maybe you'll find the AP to produce the crust you're looking for.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2021, 05:32:55 PM »
I've made a couple of batches since.  I've been doing:

KA Bread Flour
61% hydration
5g IDY
2% Kosher salt
1% sugar
1.75% pomace olive oil

on the counter for half an hour, in the fridge for a day or 2 as a big ball then 300g dough balls in yogurt containers for another couple of days. 

It's still chewier than I'm hoping for although upping the yeast and adding oil back in did help some.  It's just kind of dense.  I'm wondering if I should try some different flour types?  Open to other suggestions as well.
dfinn,

Can you tell us how much flour you used? Also, can you tell us about your oven type and configuration and how you baked your pizza and at what temperature and for how long?

Peter

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 12:26:12 PM »
Absolutely!  I used 1000g of Flour, it makes the rest of the recipe real easy with the bakers percentages.  I bake at 550 in the oven with a steel.  I didn't time these but I'm guessing somewhere around 5 minutes.  Sometimes I'll finish with broil on hi for just a bit, sometimes it's not needed, depending on how well the bottom is cooking compared to the top.

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2021, 12:28:37 PM »
One other thing that may be worth mentioning, and I was wondering about this after reading one of your threads @Pete-zza, is my mixing method.  I don't have a mixer, I do it by hand.  I was surprised to read in one of your threads just how long you are mixing the dough for.  I don't do a ton of hand mixing, basically until all the flour is incorporated then I leave it along.  Maybe I'm not doing a very thorough job of mixing?  I'm sure that is hard to say without seeing though.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2021, 02:08:37 PM »
Absolutely!  I used 1000g of Flour, it makes the rest of the recipe real easy with the bakers percentages.  I bake at 550 in the oven with a steel.  I didn't time these but I'm guessing somewhere around 5 minutes.  Sometimes I'll finish with broil on hi for just a bit, sometimes it's not needed, depending on how well the bottom is cooking compared to the top.
dfinn,

You can try using KAAP flour as piesofsatan suggested but you can also try boosting the hydration of the KABF by a couple of percent, which that flour can handle. Using a bit more oil might also help reduce the chewiness of the finished crust.

You can read more on this topic at Reply 2 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=52888.msg532503;topicseen#msg532503

Peter

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2021, 02:16:50 PM »
One other thing that may be worth mentioning, and I was wondering about this after reading one of your threads @Pete-zza, is my mixing method.  I don't have a mixer, I do it by hand.  I was surprised to read in one of your threads just how long you are mixing the dough for.  I don't do a ton of hand mixing, basically until all the flour is incorporated then I leave it along.  Maybe I'm not doing a very thorough job of mixing?  I'm sure that is hard to say without seeing though.
dfinn,

Photos always help but what you might try is to mix the dough by hand as you indicated in your last post but then let it rest and finish with some stretch and folds. This is a method that member scott r discussed recently but in his case he did the initial light knead with a mixer rather than by hand. The post where he discussed this approach is Reply 3 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=68541.msg662904#msg662904

Peter

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2021, 12:58:10 PM »
I made 3 changes and there was quite an improvement but I'd still like it less chewy and lighter.

- I mixed the yeast with the warm water before mixing with the other ingredients
- I gave the dough 3 or 4 folds, about 20 minutes apart after mixing
- I tried KA AP flour

KA AP Flour
61% hydration
5g IDY
2% Kosher salt
1% sugar
1.75% pomace olive oil

The dough had a much nicer texture, looked smoother and more cohesive.  It was in the fridge for 5 days, on the counter for about 4 hours then baked at 550 on a steel.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51073228523_807407da31_b.jpg

Any suggestions on next things to tweak?  More oil, more IDY, more hydration?

« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 01:39:09 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline DreamingOfPizza

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2021, 06:31:57 PM »
you can try an autolyse
also try bumping up the hydration to 62-70% as an experiment. the more water you add the harder the dough is to handle but the very light and fluffy doughs tend to be higher hydration.
i see you have added oil which is good for conditioning the dough.

 also, i am not sure how your dough prep may go but the more you knead the dough the stronger it will become. if you are kneading the dough for 10 minutes maybe only do it for 5, or even less and see if that helps with the chewiness.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 06:47:37 PM by DreamingOfPizza »

Offline TurkeyOnRye

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2021, 08:35:24 PM »
The biggest contributors to tenderness include fat, long fermentation, high hydration, and high baking temperature. I've had great results by placing a steel on the very top rack of the oven and broiling the pizza at the very beginning of the bake and throughout most of the baking process. It's essential to provide a sudden blast of heat to the dough in order to create a crisp exterior with a tender well-aerated interior. The broiler-steel sandwich is the best way to get it in a home oven, based on what I've tried. I'm currently using 3% oil in my recipe and it works quite well.

I don't recommend an autolyse for recipes with oil. Once the dough is fully-hydrated, it can make adding the oil difficult.

Below is a photo of the crumb from one of my recent pizzas using all of the above techniques.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 08:50:21 PM by TurkeyOnRye »

Offline dfinn

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Re: My dough needs some help. Looking to make it lighter and less chewy
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2021, 12:25:49 PM »
I had a dough ball leftover from my last batch.  It was 7 days old.  Much improved and pretty close to what I'm going for.  I did also try the broiler method that you mentioned @TurkeyOnRye.  Not sure if the improvement was from the dough fermenting longer or the possible higher temps on my steel but either way I liked it.

I made a new batch of dough and this time I decided to try a totally different recipe than what I've been working with, just to see what would happen.  I went with the Baking Steel 72 hour dough recipe which is a much wetter dough, uses a 24 hour room temp ferment and also does not use any sugar.  Interested to see how it comes out compared to what I've been working with.

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