The Fresh Loaf

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dough elasticity

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bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

dough elasticity

Hello everyone, I am making pizza for a living and have run into something that I have never experienced. My dough seems to not be developing enough gluten, or so I think. My pizza is not stretching evenly and it is tearing easily. I am using caputo 00 flour, making a 55# batch at a time. the weather is hot, so I add a little ice to the water and I cold ferment the dough overnight in the walk in. I then pull the dough out in the morning and let it rest a couple of hours before I roll my dough balls. I mix the dough 10 minutes and check for elasticity, I then mix it between 8-9.5 minutes longer. I use a starter, salt and water in addition to the flour. Any ideas would be most appreciated. Thank you!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Humm, interesting.  If not the starter then, maybe something to do with the flour and/or 'ice' water.   Try a different bag from a different dated batch...but I think it's probably the starter or the use of ice water.


Sylvia 

wally's picture
wally

You're mixing your dough for nearly 20 minutes which is a very long time for anything other than brioche.  I suspect that combined with the protease activity in your starter (and over the span of the overnight fermentation) all these are combining to destroy your gluten network.


I should think using a commercial spiral mixer, that 3 - 4 minutes on speed 1 and another 3 -4 minutes on speed 2 should be sufficient to form a moderate gluten network.  You can then always add a stretch and fold before retarding overnight if you feel you need a little more strength in the dough.  (But you probably don't want to develop too much strength, or you'll lose the extensibility you need to shape the pizzas).


I'm also wondering why you don't just shape the dough balls when you take the dough out of the retarder, instead of giving it even more fermentation time prior to initial shaping?


Anyhow, my 2-cents worth.  Good luck!


Larry

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

I agree with Wally.  Given you are commercial and stretch and fold is difficult, try 10-12 minutes on the mixer, the max I use for my whole grain breads.  Given you are using white flour, your times should be a couple of minutes shorter.  Keep us posted...  And as SylviaH says, you may have a bad batch of flour...

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Is the method you describe the way you have always done it?  If yes, then how long have you been using this method?  I ask these two questions because if you have been using this method for 20 years and "just recently" you are experiencing this problem says something much different than "I have been using this method since January of this year ..." 


I would vote for over mixing since if you are making 55# batches you are not in the same bag of flour for long.  Will be interested to hear more. 


Ben

bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

Wow, what a great website! You are all so wonderfully quick with your responses. I really appreciate them. I have been cooking for many years, but pizza making is new to me. I am working in a place that has been doing the same method for about five years. The first 5 months I have been here the dough has been pretty consistent. It has been my colleague just recently that has run into this problem. I am now taking over as dough maker and wanted to solve this problem before it happens to me. I am not sure why we ferment over night other than developing flavor. We take the dough out a couple of hours before so as to bring it to a more workable temp.


Interesting that I may be working it too much. I never would have thought of that. Thank you all once again. I will see if I can sneak the lower mix time into affect. It seems that our bowl is too small for the amount of dough. I am not sure how big our Hobart is.

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

BC, a couple of more thoughts:


1) whatever you do, please do not go away from overnight fermentation!  I can't tell you how many supposedly gourmet pizza places I've been to with brick ovens, fresh mozz, best ingredients, etc that have totally horrible dough and crust - pure white with no flavor, dead.  Those places go with fresh yeast and direct to mixer without an overnight fermentation.


2) Not sure about Hobart, but when you go to Globe Mixer site, their machines handle the same amount of flour- meaning for pizza dough a 50 quart machine handles 50 pounds of flour per batch, 25 qt handles 25 pounds of flour the same, etc.   I would think you could look at the serial number plate and call Hobart or Google to see the capacity size- serial number plates should have capacity listed. 


Bottom line is a smaller batch size as you suggest may also be on point (in addition to kneading too long as others have suggested)


Keep us posted!!


 

bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

Could the ball rollilng have any affect on this? If the dough is not rounded tightly enough, or too tightly.


thanks again. I will keep you all posted. All in all we have a fantastic dough and our pizzas are cooked in a wood oven.

wally's picture
wally

In a word, no.  It's about ingredients or the mixing based on your description.


Larry

bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

Last night I had wonderful dough, some of the best I have had since starting my pizza endeavor in Feb. I tried a lower mixing time on one batch. 4 min on high and 8 min on low. The other batch I did my normal mixing time. I changed two factors other than mixing time. Normally there is a 10 minute window between mixes, plus a five minute window after the dough is mixed before taking it out of the bowl.


I did not wait 10 minutes, rather trimmed it to five.


No wait after the mix was done.


I proofed the dough in a colder fridge.


 


Both batches produced wonderful dough.


My dough must have been over proofing during this process. Keep in mind where we mix our dough it is very hot during the summer months.


 


Does this sound probable?


 


Thanks everyone!

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

I personally would not think the one factor you changed last night really explains the situation.  Last night did you use ice in the water? In my experience mixing dough there are two factors I am not hearing:


1. you mix the dough to "feel" - your hand should tell you when the dough is mixed and this "dough memory" - dough feel - is what will ultimately generate highly consistent results.  Are you feeling the dough you mix ?


2. Mixing time - and room tempature - and dough type and the type mixer all have a factor in how long the dough needs to be mixed.  Normally, you are concerned about the "final" dough temp (i.e. the temp of the dough when mixing is completed).  For most pizza doughs I would think that a final temp of 75 to 78 F would be good to shoot for.  This temp is high enough to ensure that the yeast is comfortable and fermentation will not occur too quickly.  Are you measuring the temp of the dough at the end of the mix with a food grade thermometer ?  To really get good results you should record this temp on a batch to batch, day after day to build some historical data along with the water and room temps


The temp data will provide you the information to know how cool the water you add should be based on the room temp - and some even factor the flour temp as well (e.g. if the room temp is 80F and the flour temp is 77 and you want the final dough temp to be 76F then the water temp may have to be 70F - the reason I say "may" is that now the fourth component of this simple equation is the "friction" factor of your specific mixer.  The friction factor is how much heat is generated when mixing the dough which is a factor of the type dough and the size of the batch.  Most people don't get really scientific on this but over time figure out a rule of thumb for their mixer - say 20F. 


The use of ice to chill water is ok but the ice should be completeely melted in the water "prior" to putting the chilled water in the dough.  You need to measure the temp of the chilled water - in fact, based on the formula above - you will be chilling the water to a "specific" temp based on what you require to reach the desired "final" dough temp.  Water at two different temps combined will result in a temp that is proportional to the weights of each water and it's temp (e.g. 10# 70F added to 10# 50F results in 20# of 60F) - this is not true for combining water and ice.  Also, adding ice to dough mix will damage glutene as it develops - so should not be done.


All this may sound like a lot of trouble but if you want to get consistent dough from your mixer day in and day out it is necessary. 


I will be interested to hear your reply and other's comments too.


Ben


 

pattyfermenty's picture
pattyfermenty

try mixing on low about 8 minutes. don't worry about a gluten test. in my opinion if you have pass a gluten test after mixing, you have over mixed.


what is happening is that the extended fermentation period in the refrigerator is adding development in addition to an already way too long development and you apparently found the point of the dough breaking down.


 

bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

thank you. Why 8 minutes, have you experienced the same issues?

bcsverige's picture
bcsverige

Thank you Baker Ben,


I am feeling the dough I mix, however I am not sure what I am looking for.


I am using a food grade thermometer.


I really appreciate the indepth answer. I am sorry that it has taken me a while to get back for results. I have been concentrating on final temperatures, thus resulting in a lower mixing time 13 min total. The ice in the water is completely melted when the yeast is added. Our tap water is around 65 degrees and our room temperature is 90F during the hotter days.


Dough Memory: I am sort of on my own making the dough better. the owners think that since they have been doing it for 5 years the same way it should be that way. They mix it a total of 18-19 min. I don't have much experience with dough and knowing how it should feel. I understand the science of baking, so please any detailed information will not confuse and or scare me. I apply the same principals to cooking.


Adding Ice: I add ice to the water and let it melt, I then pour that water into the mixing bowl, add my dry yeast (7oz - 55# of flour) and my starter dough.


I will start jotting down a dough /water temp log.


Yesterday  my dough was very velvety and easy to stretch. The pizza was very crisp, but more of a bread texture. The dough was mixed for 13 minutes. 6.5 rest 5 then 6.5.


Do I really need to rest the dough in between times?


 


thanks so much everyone!