Author Topic: Questions about dough  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline smarttowers

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Questions about dough
« on: May 30, 2009, 04:51:09 PM »
I just recently made some Lehmann 65% hydration dough and had forgot the 1% oil in it. Now the question I have is the dough was much chewier then my previous Lehmann doughs that were lower hydration, is this because of the higher hydration or the lack of oil. Another thing I'm wondering is it possible I kneaded the dough too long and that would cause the chewiness?

Anyway because of the dough quality and the difficulty i had stretching it to form the pie I'm going to probably go back to the 63% hydration and make sure i remember the oil in it may even up it to 2% if that is what makes the crust less chewy.

Offline rsimon719

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Re: Questions about dough
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 12:06:02 PM »
The oil does keep the gluten from being as tight, so leaving it out will make for a tougher crust. Also keep in mind, oil isn't included in the hydration calculation. So a 63% with 2% oil isn't the same as 65% water.
- Rich

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Questions about dough
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 12:34:44 PM »

At 1% oil, I wouldn't expect that that small a quantity should have much effect on the finished crust. I think the higher hydration is more likely to have an effect on the finished crust, possibly by extending the bake time to allow the bottom to get crispy and of the desired color and for the top of the pizza to be properly baked. Tom Lehmann has discussed some of the effects of dough hydration toward the end of his PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=45476#45476. Chewiness is an attribute that is most commonly associated with the protein level of the flour. A crust made using a high-gluten flour will be chewier than one made with bread flour which, in turn, will be chewier than one made with all-purpose flour. A dough that has been overkneaded to the point where it is stiff and dense can also result in an overly chewy crust. But, at relatively high hydration levels, I think you would have to do a lot of kneading to get the dough to the point where it is stiff and dense.

With fairly low levels of oil, say, below a few percent, usually there is no need to be concerned about adjusting the hydration level. However, oil does contribute to the "wetness" of the dough and can't be ignored entirely and some reduction in the hydration may be prudent. For example, when I made Papa John's clone doughs with about 7% oil, I found that I could not use a hydration in line with the absorption value of the flour I was using. Instead of around 62-63% hydration, I had to use around 57%. If I were using 3-4% oil, I might consider reducing the hydration by about a percent or two from the level I would use if no oil was used.