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Author Topic: 80% hydration dough  (Read 817 times)

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Offline cosgrojo

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80% hydration dough
« on: June 11, 2019, 11:32:44 PM »
I recently saw an article on pizzatoday.com with an 80% hydration dough formulation proffered by a Mr. John Arena. I generally don’t work with a formula or a recipe, and have developed a “feel” for the dough I prefer to work with out of my home oven (Max 550 degrees). I decided to see what a super high hydration dough was like to work with. I broke out the still in the box digital scale I received as a wedding present 15 years ago, and set to the task of following a dough formulation for the first time ever. Super cold water, very little kneading (mostly because it was too sticky to really work with), bulk cold fermented (810 grams of dough for 3 270 gram dough balls) for 72 hours.  Able to knead it cold out of the fridge with only a little bench flour, shape the dough into 3 balls, put one back in the fridge for another 24 hours (just for experiments’ sake), Put one back in the fridge to rest for a couple hours, and brought one up to room temperature. The room temperature one was absolutely impossible to deal with. I’m no professional pizzaiolo, but I know my way around a standard pizza dough. In order to have worked with this dough, I would have had to use so much bench flour that I might as well have made a 60% hydration dough.  It was a mess and I had to toss it. The one straight out of the fridge stretched like a dream and was a delight to work with... but I don’t think my 550 degree oven with a preheated stone for an hour had the power to turn that cold dough into the crisp yet fluffy product I had promised myself it would be.

This is a long winded way to ask... where is the hydration cut off for making a pizza in a standard home oven? Short of purchasing a wood fired oven, what is the highest hydration dough that is workable at room temps? I could of course go down the rabbit hole and trial and error myself into pizza oblivion... and I just may do that regardless of any answers I get here... but I thought that this is something you, or others on this forum have already experimented with. I appreciate any feedback.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 12:03:15 AM »
I hope it makes you feel a little better to know that I tried 80 based on that article and had a sticky unbakeable mess headed straight for the garbage can. What is the point??..unless for square pies where no stretch is needed..then, sure.

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 12:08:34 AM »
I hope it makes you feel a little better to know that I tried 80 based on that article and had a sticky unbakeable mess headed straight for the garbage can. What is the point??..unless for square pies where no stretch is needed..then, sure.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who failed miserably at it!  It was wonderful to work with cold out of the fridge. If you have a high temp oven, it might be worth another shot at it. But to answer what is the point... what is ever the point? Curiosity mostly... it was fun experimenting with such an extreme dough!

Offline Rolls

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 08:53:05 AM »
This is a long winded way to ask... where is the hydration cut off for making a pizza in a standard home oven? Short of purchasing a wood fired oven, what is the highest hydration dough that is workable at room temps?

In my opinion, it's not so much that high hydration doughs are incompatible with your home oven, as it is, perhaps, that high hydration doughs are not compatible with the type of pizza you're trying to make.  As JPB has already mentioned, you can make pan pizzas, such as teglia Romana, at 80% hydration with great results.  For a long time, there seemed to be a pervading opinion among many forum members that higher hydration = better pizza.  This probably came from the bread world, where high hydration, no knead doughs became very popular in recent years.  Currently, it seems to me that there has been a shift back to "normal" hydration rates for pizza, somewhere between, let's say, 55-65%.  Such doughs would certainly be easier to handle.



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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 11:09:30 AM »
I agree with Rolls that for most home ovens with limited temperature capability a dough absorption in the 55 to 65% range works best. My personal "go to" absorption for most of my home pizza making is 62% absorption unless I'm trying to make something different/special like ciabatta, and even then it's only in the 70 to 75% range. You also learned a valuable lesson too, colder doughs are easier to open/handle than room temperature/ambient temperature doughs, this is why we seldom allow a refrigerated dough to warm fully back to room temperature for opening, instead we only allow the dough to warm to something in the  50 to 60F range (internal dough ball temperature) before opening it into a skin.
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Offline vdempsey

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 12:03:06 PM »
This person made a 80% hydration dough in a home oven. Link below.

http://digg.com/2018/how-to-make-pizza

Edit: trying to add video link but having difficulty. Google - How to Make Pizza, The Highest Form of Cooking - Digg.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 12:14:30 PM by vdempsey »
Vida - Naturally leavened pizza made at home electric oven, iron pan too.

Offline Qapla

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 05:03:20 PM »
I could see that type of dough working for a "cast iron skillet" pizza that is started on the stove top before finishing it in the oven.

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 05:58:31 PM »
Thank you for all your responses! I did not have an actual goal other than to try my hand at an “extreme” dough hydration. It’s safe to say that an 80% dough is not going to be a steady part of my future repertoire! I was just seeing if anyone had determined what the highest hydration dough was that people were happy with the results in a standard 500-550 degree home oven.

Rolls- I’m not a particular fan of pan style pizza, so definitely am always aiming for a thin crust hand stretched round pizza in the “Nea-NY” hybrid arena. I think I’d like to see what one of those cold 80% hydration doughs do in a 900+ degree WFO though...

Tom- this is the first dough I’ve made that it was easier to open straight out of the fridge. This 80% dough was incredible out of the fridge, spread out like butter. I’m attributing that to the increased hydration. I freaked out a bit after my room temp disaster and rushed the shaping and topping bit because I was petrified of it absorbing all the semolina and sticking to the peel (in retrospect, I think I had more time than my anxiety was screaming at me). This is also the first time I ever measured anything. So I’m not sure what my “standard” hydration is. I can say that what I usually make by “feel” is wetter than a store bought dough or one from our local “house of pizza” place... but not nearly as wet as this. So you find that cold doughs are generally easier to work with? That’s interesting to me. I’m not an aggressive dough handler (which probably means not a very good dough handler!), so maybe I lean towards a warmer/softer dough ball?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 07:48:26 PM »
crosgrojo,

To add further to the high hydration discussion, you might want to take a look at the following recipe for a ciabatta pizza dough recipe that uses a very high hydration value (I estimate around 95%) and shows and explains how to make the dough:

https://sites.google.com/site/hollosyt/quickrusticciabattapizza

Some of our members took a stab at making ciabatta pizzas. If you go to the sticky at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=8297.msg71576;topicseen#msg71576 and go down to item 12 under General, you will see links to their creations.

Peter


Offline john_k

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 08:14:58 PM »
I have a home oven also, and I don't find 80% dough necessarily to be a big problem. I bake it at 510. I prefer no-knead to using a mixer; it just seems easier that way.

The dough _is_ a little loose after 24 hr cold ferment (using bread flour and maybe 10% whole grain), but stretching and placing into a pan is not so bad. I would not try to stretch it like a New York style, or spin it in the air :-). And the flour needs to be able to absorb the water.

My point is to say that I think there is a way to approach 80% dough that makes it workable and not-that-big-a-deal. I came at it initially from trying to make Pizzarium pizza, but pretty soon it became clear that there are a number of different approaches, and I am still working out which approach makes most sense (for me).

It is a real joy to handle the dough, watch it transform under the hands from glop to well-structured dough, put the dough into a "containment vessel", put that in the fridge, handle it a little more the next day, parbake it, then decide what to do with it.

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Offline Qapla

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 10:28:52 PM »
I don't find 80% dough necessarily to be a big problem. I bake it at 510. ... parbake it, then decide what to do with it.

That parbaking sounds like a good idea for hydration of this amount (or higher)

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2019, 12:42:40 PM »
FWIW, here at work we are currently using a 68% hydration dough WITH 2% oil... (so basically 70%) hydration and we are doing an American/NY style pizza that is stretched and topped on a paddle, then slid on a stone to bake. So 70% is perfectly fine to do this style of pizza... I'm guessing anything more than that and you're going to run into some issues.

Offline dmckean44

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2019, 01:31:59 PM »
I use leftover baguette dough that I never got around to baking into baguettes for pizza all the time. That dough is in the 77% hydration range. You just need to go slow with stretching and not pick the dough up all the way up or you'll end up with thin spot or tears. I also sometimes roll this dough out with a rolling pin and make thin crust. I like to start them on pizza steel to get good rise and then move them off to a rack before it gets too much color on bottom.

My only problem as been randomly getting really tough and chewy crusts from this dough. For example, Ill make three dough balls and handle and cook them identically and one will end up really tough.

Offline Carmine Abramo

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 09:38:13 PM »
80% hydration is never 80% because I would think there is bench flour to handle the dough.


Offline Yael

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2019, 09:15:52 AM »
80% hydration is never 80% because I would think there is bench flour to handle the dough.

Usually high hydration doughs are handle with cold water instead of flour. So the HR could even be higher  ;D
You'll need bench flour to open it, but it shouldn't be such a high amount.
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Offline Cajunman

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 03:07:34 PM »
I am hardly an expert on this subject but I have made it quite a few times. I use a 44% Hydration Biga proofed in the fridge for 24 hours. My end hydration is 75%. I turn the cake batter looking dough out, scrape up on the sides with wet dough knives to get it into a round lump of batter and I cover it with plastic for an hour. After the first hour, remove the plastic, use wet dough knives to pick up the whole mess from two sides, allowing it to stretch under it's own weight and fold it over. i do the 2 or 3 times, round it back out and cover with plastic again. Wait one hour, if the dough is still in a batter state, pick up and fold the dough again and wait another hour. Now you can ball the dough and serve in about 3-4 hours.
The folding action helps to develop structure, it works. What was once a gooey mess turned into a ballable dough with some stretching.
I am cooking at about 750 degrees floor temp.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: 80% hydration dough
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2019, 04:40:41 PM »
I"m a firm believer in the joy of high hydration..and what you are describing sounds pretty much like high hydration bread...which is great. But since it's for pizza, can you discern a positive difference between it, and a dough, say 5 to 10 points less wet...with a far more efficient workflow   Also, what kind of flour are you using...and can we see some pix please? :)

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