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Author Topic: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough  (Read 425 times)

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Offline dashawn

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Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« on: December 18, 2019, 11:39:39 AM »
Iíve been exploring dough recipes and trying to understand how the different variables affect the dough and the finished crust. One of the more confusing elements to me is oil. Iím mostly talking about evoo, but I guess this is applicable to any oil.

What Iíve heard about oil as a dough ingredient is that it interferes with flour hydration and limits gluten formation(Iím not sure if those are the same thing. My understanding is that hydration happens first and gluten is developed later during kneading). A lot of recipes call for evoo, especially NY style doughs, and some of them even indicate that the point of the evoo is to hinder gluten formation:
Quote
Oil coats individual granules of flour, effectively lowering the total amount of gluten formed and thus creating a more tender finished product, even though it takes a longer time to bake than a neapolitan crust
https://slice.seriouseats.com/2012/07/the-pizza-lab-three-doughs-to-know.html

Other sources say that evoo should be added after an autolyse, but wouldnít that be counterproductive to getting the desired effect of limiting gluten formation? Should I do an autolyse with flour, water, and evoo?

Online The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2019, 12:10:54 PM »
The purpose of adding oil is not to hinder gluten formation but instead to provide flavor both directly (flavor of the oil) and indirectly (oil holds/retains flavors). It also lubricates the dough for improved expansion properties as well as coating the cell structure for improved gas retention both of which result in better oven spring. Oil also exerts a tenderizing effect upon the crumb resulting in a less chewy finished crust which is achieved through the lubricating effect as mentioned above.
Old school is to add the oil to the water and mix together (why?) it will not form an emulsion. The oil immediately separates from the water and floats to the top of the water, when the flour is added the oil is absorbed into the flour rendering a portion of the flour incapable of forming gluten which leads to perceived inconsistencies in dough absorption and very real differences in dough handling properties. By using the delayed oil addition mixing method the water is added first (salt and sugar can be added to the water if desired) and then the flour is added along with the yeast, it is then mixed until no dry flour is observed in the bottom of the mixing bowl, the oil is then added and incorporated while mixing at low speed, once the oil is incorporated at low speed the dough is mixed at a higher speed to develop the gluten to a point where the dough takes on a smooth, somewhat satiny appearance. This is all the gluten development needed or desired for pizza dough production that will be further subjected to a period of fermentation. Putting oil into an autolyze is, in my opinion counter productive since the function of an autolyze is the achieve better hydration of the flour, this is especially so when high dough absorptions are employed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2019, 12:27:42 PM »
Iíve been exploring dough recipes and trying to understand how the different variables affect the dough and the finished crust. One of the more confusing elements to me is oil. Iím mostly talking about evoo, but I guess this is applicable to any oil.

What Iíve heard about oil as a dough ingredient is that it interferes with flour hydration and limits gluten formation(Iím not sure if those are the same thing. My understanding is that hydration happens first and gluten is developed later during kneading). A lot of recipes call for evoo, especially NY style doughs, and some of them even indicate that the point of the evoo is to hinder gluten formation:
Other sources say that evoo should be added after an autolyse, but wouldnít that be counterproductive to getting the desired effect of limiting gluten formation? Should I do an autolyse with flour, water, and evoo?
dashawn,

As a new member, you may find this thread of value:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=48803.msg490020#msg490020

Peter

Offline dashawn

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2019, 03:07:51 PM »
So, serious eats is just posting misinformation I guess? Thatís actually not too surprising.

Offline megan45

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 04:14:32 PM »
So, serious eats is just posting misinformation I guess? Thatís actually not too surprising.

The SE article calls out the effect: it says nothing about cause or purpose. Mr. Lehmann's post doesn't contradict the SE article: if anything, it confirms it:

Quote from: Serious Eats
Oil coats individual granules of flour, effectively lowering the total amount of gluten formed and thus creating a more tender finished product, even though it takes a longer time to bake than a neapolitan crust
https://slice.seriouseats.com/2012/07/the-pizza-lab-three-doughs-to-know.html

In other words, less gluten is formed than would have been had the oil not been added.

The oil immediately separates from the water and floats to the top of the water, when the flour is added the oil is absorbed into the flour rendering a portion of the flour incapable of forming gluten which leads to perceived inconsistencies in dough absorption and very real differences in dough handling properties.

The unhydrated flour that absorbs oil is incapable of forming gluten, meaning there's less flour available to form gluten, so effectively, less gluten is formed than would have been formed otherwise.

Same result, two different ways of describing it.

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Online The Dough Doctor

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 04:53:20 PM »
But, keep in mind that when using the delayed oil addition method of mixing the gluten development isn't impaired.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline megan45

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2019, 08:56:30 AM »
Be that as it may, in the SE recipeóand, until recently, many, if not most, recipes here that incorporate oil in the doughóthe oil and water are added simultaneously. (And in several of the Chicago DD recipes the oil is mixed with the flour before the water is added, specifically to inhibit gluten formation.)

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Using oil to intentionally weaken dough
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2019, 09:02:25 AM »
So, serious eats is just posting misinformation I guess? Thatís actually not too surprising.

Shortening isn't called shortening because it makes the gluten strands longer...
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

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