Author Topic: "Dead" Dough - Help a Newb Out!  (Read 1918 times)

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Offline Finnegans Wake

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"Dead" Dough - Help a Newb Out!
« on: January 17, 2007, 04:46:50 PM »
My last batch of dough was odd.  By way of background, I'm probably on about my 8th batch since fall, so just finished pies 29-32, or so.  Using the Italian starters, switching whimsically from Ischia to Camaldoli and back.  IIRC I used the Ischia here, and my starters had gone a while without feeding.  They seemed "grumpy," as I've termed it, thick level of hooch, but seemed to revive as usual. 

My theory is that they weren't as lively as I supposed.

I've been working off a basic recipe from Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb" to establish consistency as I now work through topping improvements, and I plan to go back to the crust soon to try different styles.  My crusts have been coming out good, then better, and of late very good if I may say so.  I took up some poster's advice on stretching the dough and got the pies thinner and larger last time, my crowning doughs. 

So I was puzzled this time when I took 2 doughs out after a few days of retarding in the fridge and found them, well, what I was calling "dead."  I shaped a disc, then picked up the dough to stretch, and it just shredded.  Second disc, same thing.  I was about ready to throw them away in disgust, when I thought "No, I'll eat my failures."  Oddly, when I combined the doughs and made a larger single pie by patting it out by hand, not only was the dough alive, but it had a very nice rise to it.  Clue one was that it was much more sour than previous doughs.

I had thought that the doughs might have needed more time to warm up prior to handling, but the next 2 doughs from the same batch reacted the exact same way.  Fell apart, combined to a larger thicker pie offered decent rise, much more sour than usual.

I also considered that I might have overworked the dough. 

Do the pros here think it possible that there was a combination of overeworking the gluten and perhaps a starter that wasn't fully revived, or one of those possibilities alone?

I'm finding that starters are very much a "feel" thing, and that I get different responses each time, though this was the farthest from the norm...

Thx in advance...
Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge. --
Mark Twain

Offline eric22

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Re: "Dead" Dough - Help a Newb Out!
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 03:12:41 PM »
I would post this on the 'general board' since more read it.

Did you kill your yeast with high  temp  water?

Proportion of flour to water?