Author Topic: Question on dough structure.  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

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Question on dough structure.
« on: January 03, 2006, 07:44:26 PM »
I had tried a new recipe/technique the other day. While doing some searches on dough ball storage I found an old post by canadave with the following recipe.

From canadave's post:
"I basically used Steve's recipe: 2 pounds high-gluten flour, 20 ounces water, 2 tsp yeast, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 2 Tbs mild olive oil.  The one big difference from how I did things before?  I used cold water.  I'd estimate the temperature to be at around 45-55 degrees F."

I decided to give it a try and ended up with way too wet dough. In all fairness I did deviate from the recipe and one of the things I did not do right was the water temp, and by the way, that is what this earlier thread was all about. But I proceeded anyway with the following deviations.

I am not sure what the starting water temp was but the finished dough was about 60 degrees going into the fridge.
No high-gluten flour so I added 5 tsp. of VWG in place of equalivent weight of flour. (Combined weight of flour and VWG was 2#)

The dough went into (4)1 gallon re-sealable bags, lightly sprayed with oil and into the fridge for a 48 hour rise. I removed two of the bags and allowed 2-3 hour counter rise and had an absolute horrible time trying to just get this stuff out of the bags so I put one of the two back in the fridge, worked thru the other one, and then took the remaining two out and allowed only about 1/2 hour on the counter. They were much more manageable and actually all three balls made very good pies.

Now here is the twist in all of this. The one (of the first two) that had the 2-3 hour counter-rise I actually had to reform the ball before putting it back in the bag and in the fridge, and I was unsure if it would be any good or not but figured it couldn't hurt since I had destroyed the gluten structure upon re-forming I knew it was not going to be usuable for the meal in process. So by re-forming this ball it got an extra work-out, it also got some additional bench flour combined with it. The following day, around noon, I looked at it and was pleased to see it had risen slightly and appeared to be ready for another attempt. I took it out of the fridge and allowed about a half-hour counter rise and went to work making another pie by simply hand stretching and forming and onto the cornmeal dusted peel etc. (All the above were produced this same way). But amazingly, this crust was phenominal. It was hands down the best textured crust I have made to date. Very crisp, thin shelled bottom then a nice tender but chewy middle and a fantastic cornice.   I am likely to repeat this procedure and see if it is a consistent process.

Has anybody here experienced this additional "workout" and had similar results?


Offline chiguy

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Re: Question on dough structure.
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 08:33:27 PM »
 Hey pizzadanman,
 I can see by the recipe that the ingrediants are in order to make a great pizza. I know canadave does his homework on his recipes. The reason that you're dough seemed a little wet was because you used a flour other than high gluten. At 63% hydration it will be above the recommended ranges for an all purpose or a bread flour.  This makes for a very soft dough and difficult to handle at times. As you can tell it is still possible to get an excellent pizza even though you exceeded the hydration ranges. I assume the addition of the VWG helped.  I have had to re-ball a dough after it was stretched poorly and damaged the Gluten structure. This usually happens with higher hydration doughs or a over fermented dough(not the case for you). The dough ball can be covered and left out on the counter for maybe an hour and should be ready to be restretched. It is no surprise that the dough continued to rise in the refridge, the yeast is active and will remain that way until it reaches temperature extremes. The fact that you're finished dough temperature was so low 60F, is why you were able to go 48 hrs let it rise 3 hrs back in the refridge for 12 and warm to room temperature for 1/2 hour. A finished dough temp of 60F may be able to last a week in the fridge. I am glad to hear it turned out great for you, this happened to me recently. I made a better than normal pizza, the only thing i did differently was i let it ferment in fridge for 48 hours vs my usuall 24 hours. This may have contributed to you're great finished crust.   Chiguy     
« Last Edit: January 03, 2006, 09:27:46 PM by chiguy »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Question on dough structure.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 09:00:29 PM »

It wasn't clear from your post whether you remove the dough from the storage bag before putting it on the counter to warm up. I have found it easier to handle the dough when it is out of its storage bag. It is usually at its coolest then and handles better than when it has warmed up and spreads out. I just gently remove the dough from the bag, dust it lightly with bench flour, and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap until I am ready to use it.

Sometimes reballing or re-kneading a dough becomes inevitable. It messes up the gluten structure but is rarely fatal. I do just as chiguy recommends. You can also put the dough in a warm spot, as in an oven at its lowest setting, to help the gluten relax enough to handle it again. If there is enough food for the yeast, the added fermentation time, whether at room temperature or in the refrigerator, should not be a problem. As you experienced, the results can be surprisingly good, especially in the flavor department.


Offline PizzaDanPizzaMan

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Re: Question on dough structure.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 10:38:44 PM »
I guess I didn't consider the difference in hydration ability between the two flours. I just figured the added VWG would bring the bread flour closer to the protien properties of KASL, which it does but as you point out there is more to consider.

Once again you have enlightened me. How is it that sometimes the obvious can be so obscure? I have always simply allowed the dough to counter rise in the bag and I suppose due to my previous low hydration mixes it wasn't really an issue. Now I can see why bringing the balls to room temp while outside the bag is a better option. I certainly will do that from now on. My big surprise here was really the texture of the dough and the difference the additional "working" of the dough produced (I don't know whether it was the additional working or the additional 18 hours in the fridge that made the difference or even the combination of the two but I assure you there was a dramatic difference in the finished crust.) I am considering trying another batch with the same process and see if I can replicate the results.

On another note, I finally got over to Goldberg and Solovy today and picked up a bag of KASL. I am so excited to give this stuff a try. I will use this in the above noted recipe and still process as discussed. I will report back on the results.