The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Struggling with Dough that just doesnt want to Stretch!...Being very Rubberband like

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Struggling with Dough that just doesnt want to Stretch!...Being very Rubberband like

Hi all...Im new today. But I have read this forum a few times before


 


 


I have a quick question....Im never really sure of the proper steps of storing, shaping then stretching out the dough before baking.


 


I always seem to be having a struggle with my pizza dough snapping or retracting back to a smaller pie when Im trying to stretch it out...then it seems to get overworked and Wrinkly by trying to keep stretching it out.


 


 


My technique has been....mix the dough a day or 2 prior, then ferment the entire dough in a gallon sized ziplock back in the fridge for 1 day or 2 days.  Then I will take it out 2 hours before baking. I usually punch it down from its gassy state and cut it and shape it into balls.  Usually its pretty floppy and lifeless when I do this.  But once I ball them....thats when they seem to get all tight afterwards.  Even after about 2 hours, I try to poke them and spread them, they seem very resistant to staying stretched


 



Anyone care to assist?....Thanks again, and great site!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

If your dough keeps snapping back at you, let it rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes to relax the gluten.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Prefermenting a stiff dough bring flavor, but also strength. Prefermenting a liquid dough (poolish) will allow for extensibility. Try that, and Rest your dough too.


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So another answer is just don't ball the dough.  Cut off the pieces and pull to size.  As Mebake suggests, put a little bit more water into your initial dough mix.


If you are hard pressed for space in the fridge as the dough expands, leave out the yeast, add it later after it's sat at room temp 1/2 a day or a day or two in the fridge.   

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

thanks guys for the feedback.....another question I have is that for some reason I can never get my pizza dough as elastically SMOOOOOTH as the pizzaria gus when they stretch their doughs out, they look so silky thin and even.


 


When I stretch my doughs, some of it is thin but some of it is bulky and if you hold it up to the light, you can see thin areas of light coming thru while other areas are dense.  I am having difficulty just spreading and shaping the dough in one consistently even smooth pie.


 


Even tho most people tell me my crust tastes delicious and my pies come out fine, Im a perfectionist and I am having quite the fight with my doughs when trying to shape them. Im using Reinharts updated Neo Neopolatan Pizza dough recipe from his newer book; " Pete Reiharts Artisan breads ever day" and the recipe is:


 


680g bread Flour ( I use King Arthur Bread flr)


14g salt


1teaspoon of Fleishmann's instant yeast ( I sometimes use Hodgson's Mills)


1.5 Tablespoon of Honey


482g water room temp


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil


 


 


I knead the dough in my bread machine on the dough cycle completely and it yields a very wonderful tacky, baby bottom, hydrated jiggly dough that I dump into a lightly oiled Ziploc Gallon sized bag and toss into the fridge for a day or 2.


 


I think my problems arise after that.  When I remove the dough, its wonderfully gassy and expanded into a mushy wet blob of shapeable dough.  I ussually coat my hands with Flour and give it a quick shape and cut it into the shapes I am going to ball.


 


Then when they ball at room temp for 2 hours or so, the problems seem to really face me.  These wonderfully shaped balls are very rubbery and elastic to the point that they fight me every inch of the way.   If I stretch and pull, they slowly spring back and wrinkle.  If I finally get them to the right size shape, they arent consistent in texture if you hold them up to the light.  They are thick and thin in areas and dont have that compleletly smoothed stretched surface that you see in the pizzarias.


 


Can anyone offer any more advice based on all this info I have provided?...recipe?, methods of shaping?....fermenting techniques? ...any help would be greatly appreciated


 


Am I doing this right?


 


thanks!


 


 


 

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

A couple of videos on stretching:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuOzvmQkZgs


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPQHX91t9Zo&feature=related


There's no way I can stretch a large pizza like the second video. lol


Try not to knead the dough when you form them into a ball. Handle the dough gently when you remove it from the bag. Cut them into squares and gently tuck the corners under. Allow them to rest on the counter. If two hours aren't enough, then try letting them rest for three or four hours.


Just practice. The more pizzas you make, the more you get the hang of it.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

bread flour is too rich in gluten, you had better use a more appropriate flour for your pizza, especially a more extensible one. Requisites for a pizza dough are different from those for bread. Pizza dough must be spread easily, bread dough is at the opposite side: it must be elastic to keep the shape (and lucky you for having that tenacious flour!).

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

thanks for all the feedback.  Another problem I seem to have is that my dough also develops a rough alligator like surface skin to it as it snaps back and I struggle with it.   Any thoughts on how I can also avoid that?


 


 


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so it doesn't dry out?  


You could try mixing your high gluten bread flour with AP.  Sounds like you got too much gluten in the recipe.


Mini

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

so it doesn't dry out?  


You could try mixing your high gluten bread flour with AP.  Sounds like you got too much gluten in the recipe.


Mini

madruby's picture
madruby

Rico,


I started to make PR recipe from his book ABED and I am facing the exact same problem as you...plus, my dough actually tares.  Mind you, I substituted the bread flour with Italian type 00 flour.  I too do not know how to stretch-roll my pizza dough and in the end, I often end up with small holes in my dough.


Why does that happen?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

if your dough tears when you spread it  probably your flour is too weak, with too little gluten. I had much better performance with my 00 flour adding a small amount of lecithin in the poolish (2% respect to the total amounf of flour of the dough). Lecithin helps weak flours to spread better without tearing and it doesn't taste in such small amounts. Actually it's scary how much my dough improved with so little additive.


Anyway a blend with a stronger flour would probably help more.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think you are over working the dough. The recipe you are using is a 70% hydration formula which should be fine for pizza dough. As Mini suggested, AP flour would be better for this use. You don't need a high gluten flour for pizza. If you want to use the KA-BF, add an additional 2% water (14g). The key with having your dough be extensible and easy to shape is not over working it. The process of stretching is already a lot of work for the gluten to endure. Just cut the amount you need and push it out as flat an d round as you can on a floured counter, without tearing it. Cover with a bowl or plastic wrap for 10 or so minutes. It will start to warm and also loosen up. Then start dimpling the dough out with your fingers from the center outward to expand it. When you get to the point where it is resisting you, stop and cover for a few minutes. Next use the technique in the videos in the links above or stretch easily by hand. Just don't tear and try to do to much at one time. The circle will always contract a little so you have to plan on that when you are stretching. Make it a little larger than you want or be happy with the size after it contracts. You can always pull the edges out a little but don't get side tracked on the perfect shape.


Once the dough is stretched and placed on the peel, getting it into the oven quickly is important. The longer you dally saucing and applying toppings, the more likely the dough will stick on the peel. Remember, less is more when it comes to sauce. Have everything ready in advance so you can quickly top the pie and get it in the oven.


Eric

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Thanks Eric and others for the feedback.....I definitely think its a matter of me just struggling with the timing of my pie shaping.   I dont think I am letting the doug rest enoug out of the fridge.  Even tho its usually 2 hours or even a bit longer, the work flow that I am using (cutting up the dough then balling the dough right before the 2 hour rest from the fridge) seems to make the dough very tight again.


 


I wonder if I just cut the sizes I want, stretched them a bit to discs, then let them rest 2 hours, if my doughs would be alot more relaxed?


 


I have actually worked with very soft and relaxed dough when shaping pies before so I know what I am looking for, its just that I havent found that consistency every time yet.  But I will take some of your suggestions and try them out.  I like the idea of using a percentage of AP flour in my dough recipes.  I think I had very good results with dough manageability when using a 50/50 ratio mix of Bread and All Purpose flour for my pizza doughs....I just havent tried it in so long so I'll have to give it a shot again and observe the differences


 


 


Also, Im using a Kitchen Aid mixer to knead my doughs....Is it possible that Im not kneading it long enough,  or Im overkneading it??   I watched a video of Tony Giermanni stretching his doughs out in a tutorial and I couldnt believe how smooth yet rubbery and strong they were.  He was able to take his 2 fists and literally stretch them like garbage bags with no tearing.....any thoughts?

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Hey All!!............I made a fantastic pie!    Thanks to all your feedback!


 


 


I used my exact recipe above but this time I kneaded the dough yesterday on a oiled counter rather than a floured counter.  The extra moistness of the dough seemed to pay off today when I baked them.   Also and probablly more importantly, I made sure that I cut the dough and balled them immediately after removing them from the fridge and WAITED until they passed the finger poking test!  It was only about 2 hours perhaps 2.5 hrs but the dough had a much more workable texture and feel to it.


 


It was like night and day difference from the other days when I was prematurely fighting it to stretch and dousing it with flour and overworking it.


 


Today, I simply waiting till it had that rested squishy doughy feel to it when handling, and I was able to stretch it almost triple the size of the ball I created!  In fact, I was able to stretch one of the discs to fit an entire 14" pizza screen completely with little resistance but yet still it had a nice hydrated elasticity to it....it wasnt just limp....but it was workable.


 


It also had a wonderfully doughy silky texture to it....not like that rough alligator skin I seemed to create recently when fighting with my other does to stay stretched


 


 


I wish I had taken a picture of the pizza after it came out....It was an exact replica of your typical NY style slices with the slightly charred crust underneath yet a kind of limpy...perhaps flexible chewy, foldy slice you with just a hint of the oils dripping off the tip when you hold it up.   It was great...thanks!


 


 


 

madruby's picture
madruby

Congratulations Rico.  It is always a great victory to attain the goal that one has set for oneself...I am encouraged.  I have a few of these balls frozen and I will take them out and give it another try.  Thanks for letting us know that this last bake was a success.  Hope I can match your own!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Glad to hear you had some success with your pie. The more you make, the better you will be at shaping. Considering how thin a pizza is, I don't think you need to wait 2 or more hours. You should be able to make a disk soon after removing it from the cooler. Then give it 10 minutes and start shaping, waiting and shaping. It will warm up quickly.


Eric

Rico Laguna's picture
Rico Laguna

Actually your very right Eric,....I've observed that if you actually wait too long to stretch after taking out the dough balls, there is a diminishing effect of the dough....it will start to get over proofed out on your counter and starts to get mushy and limp