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Offline Dptdpt

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Dough trays
« on: November 23, 2015, 02:03:34 AM »
I've been using dough trays like these, for storing my dough balls for a cold ferment prior to making pizza.

I love the concept, it makes storing and transporting the dough balls to the fridge in the other side of my house easy and convenient. However, I struggle with removing the balls. I have been making 240 gram balls, and they inevitably spread into each other and stick together.

What do other people do?  I'm thinking I will have to switch to a separate bowl for each dough ball. But, I know people do use these proofing trays, so I wonder if there's something I need to do differently to make them work.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 02:57:38 AM »

Offline mrmikemgm

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 08:30:55 AM »
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CI8X3A/?tag=pmak-20

I recently got some of these and have used them three times. I have had some dough balls come right out and others that I had to coax out. I spray very lightly with EVOO and proof for 24 hours generally at 65F. Not sure if small variations in final proof temperature might be affecting the release. 
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Offline Dptdpt

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 09:25:33 AM »
Thanks. I've seen those, they look nice. Seems like a lot to spend, though, I'd need at least 12 of them.

Anyone use the dough proofing trays without the problems I've been having?

Offline derricktung

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 09:40:21 AM »
I've been using Cambro dough proofing trays with no problems at home.  A sample version can be found here.  http://www.webstaurantstore.com/cambro-db18263p148-18-x-26-x-3-white-polypropylene-pizza-dough-proofing-box/214DB18263P.html

I picked mine up through Craigslist I think?  Or it might have been RCI auctions... either way, you can definitely get them for fairly cheap.

In the summer when we catered with these, we would throw down some flour before setting the dough balls in... but from what I've been doing recently, that's probably not necessary.

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Offline Dptdpt

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 09:47:04 AM »
That's the same link I posted. How long do you keep your dough balls in them?  Warm or cold ferment?  That might be the difference. I do a two day cold ferment, after which the "balls" aren't balls any more. They spread out and run into each other.

Offline TXCraig1

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 10:36:09 AM »
For NP, I'm sold on the wood boxes: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14249.msg384573#msg384573

For low cost, convenience (nothing to wash), space efficiency, and non-stick certainty, you can't beat cheap plastic bags with a really light spray of oil. Just cut it open and roll the dough right out. Unlike metal and white plastic, you can see the bottom of the ball and can judge the development. Other than NP, 100% of my pizza ferments in a plastic bag.
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 10:54:02 AM »
12 hour ball?

Can't recall that exact batch, but rarely do less than 48 hours. Will do an "emergency" 24-hour ferment at a little higher temp every once in while.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 10:58:34 AM »
Can't recall that exact batch, but rarely do less than 48 hours. Will do an "emergency" 24-hour ferment at a little higher temp every once in while.

I was just referring to the time in balls - not the total time. When I was using plastic tubs, 12 hour balls would always come out easily but 24 hour balls would often take more coaxing.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 11:00:33 AM »
I was just referring to the time in balls - not the total time. When I was using plastic tubs, 12 hour balls would always come out easily but 24 hour balls would often take more coaxing.

Sorry. Ball time ~4-6 hours.

Offline derricktung

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 12:06:35 AM »
That's the same link I posted. How long do you keep your dough balls in them?  Warm or cold ferment?  That might be the difference. I do a two day cold ferment, after which the "balls" aren't balls any more. They spread out and run into each other.

At home, I've been toying with a 65-68 degree bulk ferment for 24 hours, followed by a balled rise in trays at same temps for 24 hours.  No problems coming out.

At a couple different restaurants I worked at, they did cold ferments at whatever temp their walk in was at, typically between 1-4 days (depending on the place).  It's odd that they're running into each other on your cold ferment... how cold is your fridge?  And what's your dough recipe?  Perhaps you're not developing enough gluten in the mixing phase so it's spreading out?

Even if they run into each other though, you should be able to separate them out with some maneuvering and a good spackling tool. 

Offline Dptdpt

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2015, 08:56:25 AM »
I'm doing a 62% hydration with Caputo flour in the red bag, following Jeff Varisano's recipe. Mix 75% of the flour with the yeast, salt, and all the water in he Kitchenaid on low for a few minutes, rest for 20 minutes, then slowly add the rest of the flour and mix for about 10 minutes, rest for 20 minutes, ball and put in the fridge.

I can separate them, but it's a hassle, and sometimes leaves the balls in a rough state where it's hard to stretch them into round pies.

Offline stormholloway

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 10:11:00 AM »
Easy peasy. Sprinkle a bit of flour in each dough tray and scrap them up with a bench scraper so that some of the flour gets nudged under the ball and it lifts up. Doughs rising/expanding into each other is normal. If they're hitting each other (and in my experience in commercial settings they always do), sprinkle a little flour where they touch and cut them apart with the bench scraper, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VRTHGBO/?tag=pmak-20

Offline derricktung

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 10:37:28 AM »
Here's a video of how they separate dough balls at Spacca Napoli.  It's pretty much the same anywhere though... Note how they use a tool to cut the dough where they join together, and then go under to lift the dough out.  When he pulls, he probably could've had a slightly cleaner cut since you see there's still some dragging of the dough.



If you pack your dough balls right, they will still touch (as Storm mentioned) but you should be able to separate them with a simple cut.  A joint knife/spackler should help siginficantly:  http://hydestore.com/hyde-tools-01850-black-silverr-flexible-ss-hh-joint-knife-6.html

Make sure you're flouring the top of the dough, as well as the tool slightly, before cutting/going under the dough.  This helps ensure it doesn't stick when pulling it out. 


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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2015, 11:03:37 AM »
That's the first time I've seen a piazzialo spread sauce with his finger. I find it distasteful for some reason.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline derricktung

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2015, 03:12:21 PM »
That's the first time I've seen a piazzialo spread sauce with his finger. I find it distasteful for some reason.

I would agree... though the logical side of me says that anything entering that 800+ degree oven is going to burn off anyway probably.  (Ten again, does the sauce hit that temp?) 

Don't worry Craig... I promise I won't spread the sauce with my fingers when you come visit us in Chicago.   :-D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2015, 03:54:01 PM »
It's not the touching part or a food safety thing - we touch pretty much every other part of the pie with our hands. For some reason it just seems uncivilized not to spread with a spoon.

I'm looking forward to visiting you in Chicago!
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline D C

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2015, 09:55:07 AM »
Easy peasy. Sprinkle a bit of flour in each dough tray and scrap them up with a bench scraper so that some of the flour gets nudged under the ball and it lifts up. Doughs rising/expanding into each other is normal. If they're hitting each other (and in my experience in commercial settings they always do), sprinkle a little flour where they touch and cut them apart with the bench scraper, something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VRTHGBO/?tag=pmak-20

I just use tupperware.  I usually make Neo, 400g per ball.   One ball per tupperware tub, stack well enough in the fridge for a nice long ferment.  To remove them, I do as mentioned above.  Dust with flour, and work free with a spatula, working the flour down and around the ball. 

Offline Dptdpt

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Re: Dough trays
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2015, 11:13:10 AM »
Wow - that's a big ball for a neopolitan pizza!  What do you use for a peel?  With my peel and a ball that size, I'd risk par of the pie drooping over the edge.

How long do you ferment in the fridge?

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