I know there were too many variables to figure out why the De Lorenzo/Sloan frozen dough ball worked out yesterday. I really don't want to put my home mixer right through more tests right now even though I know my home mixer can mix a lower hydration dough. I don't think I am willing to use my Hobart at market either. I don't know how much dough I would need to mix in that mixer, but know from the past that the Hobart needs at least 5 NY style dough balls to be able to mix right. I think that would translate into too many test lower hydration dough balls and I would not know what to do with all of them. I know our home mixers might not be able to replicate what De Lorenzo's are doing with their commercial mixers.
Your post as quoted above sent me back to the drawing board. But, this time, it was in respect of the Sloan dough. And, in that vein, I made two Sloan clone test dough balls. The results are in for the first Sloan clone test dough, which I will discuss below, and the results for the second Sloan clone test dough are pending, with completion of that test dough expected tomorrow. However, the results go beyond just a Sloan dough. The implications go beyond that specific dough, as will become evident below.
To refresh your memory, you will recall that you conducted several hydration bake tests with the large Sloan dough ball that you purchased from De Lorenzo/Sloan when you and Trenton Bill visited that location and had one of their pizzas. You might also recall that I did a similar hydration bake test with a Sloan clone test dough that I created, with results that were very similar to the results that you achieved with the last two hydration bake tests you conducted on the purchased Sloan dough ball. If we assume that our results were valid, those results suggested that De Lorenzo/Sloan was using a relatively low hydration value. What we did not know is what other ingredients beyond flour and water were used to make the Sloan dough. I think it is safe to say that yeast in some form, and most likely salt, were also ingredients used to make the Sloan dough. Sugar and oil would have been logical candidates, but there was no evidence of such use. I concluded from some number crunching that I conducted at the time using the expanded dough calculating tool that something in large quantity was needed in order to make the total numbers work. I decided that oil was perhaps the missing link. So, my latest tests were calculated to see if a low hydration dough with a lot of oil will together create a dough with a good balance of elasticity and extensibility, and hopefully with little or no bubbling of the dough and skin formed therefrom.
The first Sloan clone test dough was constituted as follows:
Olive Oil (1%):
Vegetable (Soybean) Oil (4%):
|188.66 g | 6.65 oz | 0.42 lbs|
99.99 g | 3.53 oz | 0.22 lbs (43 degrees F)
0.75 g | 0.03 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
3.3 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.59 tsp | 0.2 tbsp
1.89 g | 0.07 oz | 0 lbs | 0.42 tsp | 0.14 tbsp
7.55 g | 0.27 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.66 tsp | 0.55 tbsp
302.14 g | 10.66 oz | 0.67 lbs | TF = N/A
Note: The dough (10.5 ounces) is for a single 14" skin; the corresponding thickness factor = 0.0683; the bowl residue compensation = 1.5%
As you will see from the above formulation, I selected a hydration value of 53%. The oil was a blend of 1% olive oil and 4% vegetable oil, for a total of 5%. I could have used all vegetable oil, which might be what De Lorenzo/Sloan uses, but I decided to mimic the blend that De Lorenzo/Robbinsville is said to use. That way, I could compare the performance of the Sloan clone dough with the results I have gotten with my De Lorenzo/Robbinsville clone test doughs. I used 0.40% IDY because I was after a one-day cold fermented dough. For my test, I used KABF as supplemented with vital wheat gluten to achieve a protein content of 12.9%, which is the protein content of the Pillsbury Best Bakers Patent Flour. Procedurally, I made the dough using the same methodology as described in Reply 745 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg281529.html#msg281529
. Again, that would allow me to compare the performance of the Sloan clone dough with the De Lorenzo clone test doughs. Since you used 10.5 ounces of the Sloan dough to make your pizza, I used the same dough ball weight. That meant that the thickness factor of my Sloan clone test dough was the same as yours, 0.0682.
As I expected, the latest Sloan clone test dough ball increased quite dramatically in volume over the next day (I started the dough at night). It more than doubled in volume. However, there were no fermentation bubbles in the storage container I used (my standard Pyrex glass bowl). I decided to use the Sloan clone test dough ball after 18 hours of cold fermentation. I let the dough temper at room temperature for about a half hour, at which point the feel of the dough suggested that it was ready to be used. I then opened up the dough ball to form a skin. I had no difficulties doing so, using the edge of my countertop and gravity to open up the skin until I could lift it and stretch it out to size. Before I was done, I was able to stretch the skin to over 20". I was able to hold the skin at the edges although I don't believe that I could have tossed the skin. There were some soft bubbles in the skin but they more or less disappeared as I let the skin rest on my countertop. I would say that the Sloan clone test dough performed as well as the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville clone test doughs with much higher hydration but with small amounts of oil.
What the above test demonstrates is that extensibility isn't solely a function of hydration. Oil used in large quantity can produce the same effect. Of course, the two factors combined (58% total in this case) are both implicated in the extensibility of the dough in which both water and oil are used. The other point I will make is that I could not have made the Sloan clone dough in my stand mixer if I did not use a lot of oil. It was knowing that that I decided to increase the amount of oil dramatically. It is also questionable whether I could have used my food processor to make a dough with low hydration and little or no oil. Even commercial mixers can struggle making low hydration dough (typically below an absorption rate of 50% or less), without oil, with caution being advised not to use anything beyond the first speed to mix and knead such doughs.
My pending Sloan clone test dough uses considerably less yeast and a slight reduction in the amount of oil. Everything else will remain the same. This test is intended to establish whether the small amount of yeast will result in a dough that is easy to open and stretch and is also free of all bubbling, including when opened to form a skin.
Of course, I have no way of knowing whether De Lorenzo/Sloan uses oil in its dough, or in what amount if they do indeed use oil in their dough. But we can safely say that the combination of low hydration and high oil will yield a skin that is nicely balanced between elasticity and extensibility.