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Author Topic: Various troubleshooting questions  (Read 2690 times)

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Offline gijoe985

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Various troubleshooting questions
« on: May 18, 2010, 12:46:51 PM »
Hey all, I've been making pizzas via recipes from this site for about a year now. Everyone loves my pizzas, but I always see room to improve. I used to follow the recipes religiously, and now I kinda king it. I use Lehmann dough as a starting point, but I've ended up with salt @ 3%+, Oil at near 4%, and hydration typically between 65-70%. This isn't all at once, I just change a variable here or there each time I do it. I may have added sugar once or twice.

Anyway, I had some questions, that I'm sure have been answered before, but they are just general ones that might help me with my exploring...

*Fresh Mozz vs part skim low moisture? I only tried the soft fresh mozz a couple times. It is way more expensive and I wasn't horribly excited with results, but I was curious if anyone wanted to give me their compare/contrast. Typically my favorite cheese is a Sams Club blend of Mozz, Ched, and Prov. 

*Dough shrinks on peel- I toss a decent size pizza, typically 16", but it always shrinks on my peel. I seem to have to overcompensate to avoid this. I toss a 18" pizza and by the time my toppings are on and I've slid it around a few times to avoid sticking, it shrinks back down. Any thought?

*Seasoning in crust? I play with this. Recently I added garlic to my crust which made the rim tase like bread sticks. It was kinda nice. I didn't know if many others played with this?

* Should I adjust my yeast % accordingly if I know that my cold ferment time will be longer or shorter? Like go in the teens for 5 day ferments, but in the twenties for 48 hours? Just a thought... I only use Fleisch's IDY at this time.

*How much cheese fo a  16" pie? Just curious how many oz you use?

That's it for now, but I'll be back... ;o)

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 01:35:49 PM »
Quote
*Dough shrinks on peel- I toss a decent size pizza, typically 16", but it always shrinks on my peel. I seem to have to overcompensate to avoid this. I toss a 18" pizza and by the time my toppings are on and I've slid it around a few times to avoid sticking, it shrinks back down. Any thought?


That is quite common. Some doughs may be more prone to this than others. I usually compensate by making the skin a bit larger than the final desired size. I remember reading that Domino's was once accused of shrinking their pizzas in order to reduce costs and maximize profits. It apparently turned out that the pizzas shrunk during baking.

Quote
* Should I adjust my yeast % accordingly if I know that my cold ferment time will be longer or shorter? Like go in the teens for 5 day ferments, but in the twenties for 48 hours? Just a thought... I only use Fleisch's IDY at this time.

Yes, that is a good idea.

Quote
*How much cheese fo a  16" pie? Just curious how many oz you use?

There are no hard and fast answers to this question. However, for some guidance you might take a look at the Burke portion guide at http://www.burkecorp.com/images/stories/pdfs/guides/Pizza%20Toppings%20Guide.pdf.

Peter


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 01:48:01 PM »
What Peter said.  I also like to sprinkle a little garlic powder on just the rim prior to baking.  I like it but don't always do it.   I have tried mixing garlic powder into the dough before.  I didn't like it.

Havn't tried any other crust toppings though.

Offline gijoe985

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 03:03:01 PM »
What Peter said.  I also like to sprinkle a little garlic powder on just the rim prior to baking.  I like it but don't always do it.   I have tried mixing garlic powder into the dough before.  I didn't like it.

Havn't tried any other crust toppings though.

I've put Italian seasoning in as well as garlic. Or basil. It was fun to "mix it up."

Offline Tampa

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 04:57:21 PM »
To avoid dough shrinkage, we place the stretched dough on a clean countertop for a few minutes to let the skin "relax"  before placing it on the the peel.  That seems to help significantly.

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Offline gijoe985

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 03:56:38 PM »
How much should I adjust the yeast percentage according to days of cold fermenting? Like I think I've done around .25-.33% for a shorter 24-48 hour ferment. Maybe I could go down to .15-.2 for 3-5 days? I've really been kinda winging it lately. I used to follow the Lehmann recipe closely, but I can't even remember what the traditional Lehmann %s are anymore...

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 08:14:05 PM »
How much should I adjust the yeast percentage according to days of cold fermenting? Like I think I've done around .25-.33% for a shorter 24-48 hour ferment. Maybe I could go down to .15-.2 for 3-5 days? I've really been kinda winging it lately. I used to follow the Lehmann recipe closely, but I can't even remember what the traditional Lehmann %s are anymore...

I think you have the right idea on yeast usage. However, I wouldn't go too low since that can lead to insufficient fermentation for the 3-5 day window you mentioned, and I would pay close attention to getting a finished dough temperature of about 75-80 degrees F. That means using water at the right temperature and not having the temperature of the dough to rise too fast during mixing and kneading the dough. How cold your refrigerator is and what other items you have in your refrigerator, and what kind of storage container you will use to store the dough during fermentation, will also have an effect on the extent and rate of fermentation.

Peter

Offline gijoe985

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2010, 05:34:44 PM »
and I would pay close attention to getting a finished dough temperature of about 75-80 degrees F. T

To reach that dough temp, what water temp do you advise and should I just check dough temps periodically as it kneads and continue kneading until it hits that temp? Along with my hydration/tossing question in another thread, I have been curious if I have been kneading enough.

Offline gijoe985

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 05:43:46 PM »
I think you have the right idea on yeast usage. However, I wouldn't go too low since that can lead to insufficient fermentation for the 3-5 day window you mentioned, and I would pay close attention to getting a finished dough temperature of about 75-80 degrees F. That means using water at the right temperature and not having the temperature of the dough to rise too fast during mixing and kneading the dough. How cold your refrigerator is and what other items you have in your refrigerator, and what kind of storage container you will use to store the dough during fermentation, will also have an effect on the extent and rate of fermentation.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 06:53:05 PM »
To reach that dough temp, what water temp do you advise and should I just check dough temps periodically as it kneads and continue kneading until it hits that temp? Along with my hydration/tossing question in another thread, I have been curious if I have been kneading enough.

gijoe985,

I have written on the subject of finished dough temperature on several occasions, with a typical post being the one at Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7180.msg61973/topicseen.html#msg61973. As you will see from that post, there are many factors that go into calculating what water temperature should be used to achieve a particular finished dough temperature. One of the biggest factors in my experience is room temperature. Room temperatures vary with the season and the part of the country where one lives. That means that one will have to use colder water in the summer (or where it is especially hot) and warmer water in the winter (or where it is especially cold) in order to achieve a particular finished dough temperature. For example, where I live in Texas I will use water cold right out of the refrigerator--maybe 45 degrees F--in the summer to achieve a finished dough temperature of between 75-80 degrees F, and a temperature of around 65-70 degrees F to achieve the same finished dough temperature in the winter. Those numbers are based on using a basic KitchenAid stand mixer with a C-hook. One of the things that I learned that came as a big surprise is how fast the temperature of the dough approaches room temperature during its preparation, whether it is the temperature of a cold kitchen or a hot one. Summer seems to be tougher than the winter so I work fast to make the dough and get it into the refrigerator as quickly as possible.

In your case, you will have to assess your particular situation based on where you live and your kitchen temperature. What some people do is start with a water temperature that is about 65-70 degrees F and adjust up or down in later iterations. Over time, you will develop a sixth sense on the water temperature to use, including water temperatures between the typical values I noted above.

There are a few members who monitor the temperature of the dough as it is kneading and stop when the dough reaches the desired finished dough temperature. I believe that Bob1 is one such member. If the dough is properly and adequately kneaded, then that method seems to have merit.

Peter

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Various troubleshooting questions
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 01:21:19 AM »
The only time I monitor the dough temp is when I mix with my food processor. When I use that, I'll start with ice cold water (no ice) and monitor the temps throughout the process and stop before I get to 80f. I have also been known to put the doughball in the freezer for a minute or two to cool it back down before I finish the dough with some stretch and folds and balling.

When I hand knead, I don't monitor the temps.

You are likely kneading enough as I find  it easy to overknead and get a dry crumb despite a very high hydration ratio.   

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