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Pizza dough shrinks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Forno Bravo Forum Community,

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Pizza dough shrinks

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  • Pizza dough shrinks

    Hi there, tutto a posto?

    I live in Costa Rica and I built an 106m oven a few months ago. The area in which I live is quite rural and near the pacific ocean by Jaco. Here, there is not much of a job oportunity so I started a pizza express out of my house and so far I'm still trying to get accepted by the comunity. I have made the pizza dough with three different flowers (I have the limitation of only being able to get the flower the local store brings): i first tried Golden medal and it worked good but I cant get it any more. Also a bread flower that I found a bit hard and often it shrank once I placed the pizza in the oven. Lastly I got a finer flower (winter flower) but I still get the same result, it shrinks in the oven and a 12" pizza becomes a 10" one. That does not look good to customers since it comes in a 12" box. Do you have any advise you can give me?. It would be greatly appreciated.

    Im making the dough recipe that comes on the pdf "How to Make World-Class Artisan Pizza In Your Forno Bravo Pizza Oven " downloaded from Forno bravo. Im using an 8 quarts (7.6 lt) mixer.


  • #2
    Re: Pizza dough shrinks

    If you are happy with the flavour of the crust, How about rolling out the dough to 14 inches and end up with a 12 inch pie?

    Another thing are you cold rising your dough in the cooler over night or making your dough for use the same day? A cold rise should give better gluten development and more stability.



    • #3
      Re: Pizza dough shrinks

      There might be too much moisture in your dough if I had to guess. Your high humidity makes everything wetter, your flour will have a higher percentage of moisture content just based on where you live. Try reducing your water in your dough a percent or two and see if that makes a difference. Out of the mixer, pizza dough should feel drier than bread dough, but after an overnight ferment, the yeast will gobble up protein and release some water making the dough feel right.


      • #4
        Re: Pizza dough shrinks

        Just tought I'd put in my too bits...Hope your not using a rolling pin... it only overworks the elastic glutin in the flour. The dough needs to be stretched into shape by working the edges gradually and cant be forced by basically squashing it witha rolling pin. There are quite a few good clips on U-tube and no you don't need to do any fancy dough throwing to get a good pizza

        Regards Dave
        Measure twice
        Cut once
        Fit in position with largest hammer

        My Build
        My Door


        • #5
          Re: Pizza dough shrinks

          Thank you all. I will try to reduce the water bit by bit and see what happens. As mrchipster suggests, I figured to do a larger pie on a 15" tray that doesn't come out as round but its very presentable and delicate. I have not changed the pie weight (270gr) yet.
          After preparing the dough I divide it into 6 bons of aprox. 270gr each and then place them in the refrigerator. I take the pies out as people call to order, same day or the following. Either way I let it rest for, at least, an hour before working it into a pizza.

          When I'll get it to work just right, i will post my finding.

          All ideas are welcome.



          • #6
            Re: Pizza dough shrinks

            When I come to face the same problem, I cover the dough with something clean (a towel or plastic wrap will do fine) and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes without touching it, just as my mother taught me to do.The gluten should relax and you can go back to shaping the crust again. If that doesnt solve the problem, then its likely that you need to knead the dough longer in the beginning phases of your recipe.

            Hope that helps
            youtube downloader


            • #7
              Re: Pizza dough shrinks

              Thank you hKane, I will try it out.


              • #8
                Re: Pizza dough shrinks

                There is a "delicate dough" mentality that seems to permeate this forum that is IMO simply misplaced. While I would agree with Dave that using a rolling pin is hardly the epitome of good dough handling, properly made and proofed dough can be handled amazingly roughly and still give great results. I have deliberately used rolling pins and rough handlng to see how much degassing of the dough I could achieve. And with great dough it can be surprisingly difficult to tell the difference.

                As a result, I have taken this position before and I will take it again. If you are having problems with your dough and pies and want to use a roller, feel free to do it. If your dough is great it will survive. If it is mediocre or over the peak it won't do as well. But that has more to do with the dough than the roller.

                That said, dough that can be easily rolled is naturally mediocre for it will tend to be too low in hydration. Still, really wet doughs can be rolled, just as they can be shaped by hand. Learning to deal with wet dough is part of the game. IMO all is fair while you are struggling to learn the game!

                So I could hardly care less if you use a rolling pin, hands or a hydraulic press. All pies shrink to some extent. Coping with shrinkage is part of the game. And in a commercial setting a far bigger element of the game than in a backyard.

                As others have suggested, flours are differnt and have different needs. And unless you are using a BIG VOLUME flour like Gold Medal, KA, or Pillsbury, you are likely to see variation over the seasons that demands adjustments. You cannot, in a commercial environment, fix on ONE formula and method and maintain consistency. YOU have to learn what works and alter that formula as the flour changes.

                Good Luck!


                • #9
                  Re: Pizza dough shrinks

                  There is a tendency, I think, in this forum to equate proofing time to flavor. And while that is valid at least for the most part, focusing solely on flavor and extended proofing tends to ignore some of the negatives that come from extended proofing - one of which is that the dough loses its resiliency.

                  My bread background long ago taught me that well made dough would have oven spring even if you treated it rather roughly. That lesson was heavily reinforced at SFBI where we vigorously degassed dough while forming loaves - and made loaves with beautiful, open crumb. Dough near peak proof has substantial CO2 and volatile alcohols dissolved in the dough that come out of solution and migrate to pockets to contribute to oven spring. Overproofed dough tends to have relatively little gas in the dough as it has mostly migrated to the pockets or out of the dough. As a result overproofed dough is far more fragile such that you don't want to lose any of the remaining gas. Use of a rolling pin on overproofed dough will tend to create a flour tortilla rather than the puffy crust we tend to want.

                  Ultimately IMO there is nothing wrong or right about any of this so long as you get a crust that you like/want. And if you aren't getting what you want, then you should explore other techniques/methods to get something you like better. And if, as a commercial kitchen you want really round pies, that tends to push you in different directions than someone who wants max flavor - especially if your staff doesn't know how to or have the skill to make a pie by hand! I would personally push the staff to learn to make great pies by hand but.....I think there is plenty of room for each of us to have our own quirks and methods!

                  Bake On!