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Another newbie dough question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Another newbie dough question

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  • Another newbie dough question

    Hi all,

    I've been practicing with various dough recipes for my newly build WFO. I kind of created my own recipe by taking bits and pieces from other recipes. I think I'm close to something that I'm going to be ultimately happy with, but not quite there yet.

    Before I ask my question, please take a look at my ingredients:

    2.2# bag Caputo 00 flour
    1 g yeast
    1 oz salt
    20 oz water

    (I know, a mix of volume and weight measurements, but that's what I ended up with after experimenting with different recipes.)

    Then, my steps:

    1. Dissolve yeast in the water (warm). Let sit for 3-5 minutes.
    2. Pour yeast into Kitchen Aid mixer.
    3. Add flour and mix with dough hook on low for 10 minutes.
    4. Add the salt and continue mixing for another 5 minutes.
    5. Take dough ball from mixer and let rest on the counter (covered in plastic wrap) for 40 minutes.
    6. Make 6 9.5-ounce dough balls.
    7. Put dough balls into covered plastic bin. Leave on counter for 4 hours.
    8. Put plastic bin into refrigerator overnight.
    9. Three hours before cooking, remove bin from refrigerator and put on counter.
    10. Hand stretch ball into flat disc, add sauce and toppings, bake in WFO.

    Now, here's my issue. :-)

    When I look at the dough balls in the plastic bin (right before I'm going to stretch one out), they look nice and smooth...a bit flattened out from when they originally went in, but smooth none the less. However, when I take a ball out of the bin, it turns ugly. It's almost like it goes back to what it looked like when I first took it out of the mixer. I am able to manipulate it as I stretch it into the flat disc, but I'm guessing there's something wrong at this step.

    Also, when I stretch it, it doesn't look like the pretty doughs I see in all of the videos. It is very pliable, though, and I have very few holes, if any. It just doesn't stretch nicely and as roundly as I would like. Again, I'm thinking there's a problem with the rise time (fridge or counter) or maybe something else.

    Can any one see what I'm doing wrong here?

    I know I'm not going to have dough like all of the youtube video chefs I see online, but I'm hoping to figure out what I'm missing here so that I can get close.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

  • #2
    Re: Another newbie dough question

    It all looks correct to me. Are you oiling the plastic tubs? You may also want to try using the balls straight from the fridge, that is how I do it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Another newbie dough question

      I am not oiling the tubs. I did try sprinkling tops with flour in a previous batch, but I'm not sure that made a difference. Honestly, it was a different recipe so I'm not sure it's a fair comparison. Would oil or flour help with the spreading?

      So you shape the balls right from the fridge without letting them come to room temperature? I stretches easily? I would think that it would be very elastic (bounce back when you try and shape it). But, what do I know...I'm a newbie. ;-)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Another newbie dough question

        Hello,

        I have a couple of comments on your potential issues. First,I would highly recommend a tried and true recipes available right here on the forum that are bullet proof. Once you become skilled at using a proven recipe then I would suggest messing with it and making it your own if necessary.

        Secondly, my guess is, your problem is a combination of a few things. One, letting it rise on the counter for four hours prior to putting it in the refrigerator, I think you maybe exhausting your yeast. As soon as you ball it, put it in the chill chest to slow ferment for a couple of days then pull it out an hour or two prior to use. Slow fermenting your dough will improve your texture and flavor. Two, when I look at your yeast quantity if I'm reading your post correctly that your using 2.2 lbs of flour, the yeast quantity looks too low, I use twice what your recipe says.

        When looking at a pizza dough recipe pay attention to the percentages of the ingredients based on weight. My current recipe is using around 67% water to flour ratio. I would highly recommend weighting all your ingredients, but especially your flour and water.

        Here is my recipe, substitute what ever flour you want and it will make a great pie but I prefer the high gluten flour.
        2 Size: 13-14" pizzas
        • 370g High Gluten Flour
        • 250g 80 degree water
        • 1 tsp rapid rise yeast
        • 1.5 tsp fine sea salt
        Last edited by hodgey1; 07-07-2014, 10:40 AM. Reason: Calculation error
        Chris

        Link to my photo album:
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/hodgey...7646087819291/

        Link to my build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...nia-19366.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Another newbie dough question

          I think the core of your issue in you need oil in your containers. You want enough that you simply flip the container upside down and the dough falls out.

          Outside that I will say you've got a lot of techniques going on with that recipe. You are doing a true autolysis, a rest, room temperature fermentation, cold fermentation. If it works for you thats great. If you continue to have issues with it maybe a return to basics is in order. A simple dough mixed in one step, balled and fermented at room temperature for a couple days can make some of the best Neapolitan pizza around.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Another newbie dough question

            Thanks to everyone for their comments. I'll start by oiling the bin and see if that helps. If it isn't enough, I'll move on to a simpler recipe and go from there. Thanks again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Another newbie dough question

              True Neapolitan is not cold fermented, they bulk and ball it and keep it all in the range of 68-80 degrees for 8-30 hours. It also depends upon many other factors, like yeast type, proofing trays, etc. Too many variables to even begin.


              For typical home use, cold ferment is more predictable and reliable, as well as flexible. The best pizza I have ever had was a sourdough room temp 30 hour done in a home setting, but the workflow is exacting, plus the skill and effort required for the starter. That is why for most people cold fermentation is the best choice: It is easy, predictable and forgiving.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Another newbie dough question

                I agree with what everyone here has said. My recommendations would be:
                1. Supermarket Yeast (Active Dry/Instant Dry) does not need to be "activated" any longer & is an unnecessary step.
                2. Your mix time seems a bit too long, but then again I hand mix my dough.
                3. Like everyone else has stated, apply the KISS principle: Keep It Simple,Seriously or if I knew you I would use Stupid.
                4. Cold ferment will always yield consistent results unless you have 4 kids going in & out of your refrigerator 50x's daily.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another newbie dough question

                  OK, so if I go with the cold ferment method for simplicity, how long do I let it rest on the counter (if at all) before splitting up into smaller balls?

                  And then how long should it sit in the refrigerator once it's been balled?

                  Thanks!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Another newbie dough question

                    Originally posted by pfhlad0 View Post
                    OK, so if I go with the cold ferment method for simplicity, how long do I let it rest on the counter (if at all) before splitting up into smaller balls?

                    And then how long should it sit in the refrigerator once it's been balled?

                    Thanks!
                    Hello,
                    My method is as soon as the kneading is finished to divide into your portion size, form into a ball and immediately place them in a lightly oil round 2 qt container and into the refrigerator. I also spray oil on top of the dough. I then let them slowly rise over a couple of days but have also done overnight and also up to one week with great results. Pull them out an hour ahead of stretching and your good to go. If you don't have the time for a long ferment, don't refrigerate it and let it rise on the counter and use the same day

                    As far as the simplicity comment, I don't think a slow, long fermentation process has anything to do with simplicity and actually it's a pain because of storage and such. I'm not a fermentation or baking expert but the changes that occur to the dough using this method are great. I have found that it vastly improves the flavor and also the texture of the dough. I'm sure if controlled, cool temperatures where available to the ancients they would have been using the same method to raise their dough.

                    The difference between a Ale and a lager beer is one is fermented at room-ish temps and the other is cool fermented at cellar temps. The changed in beer character are profound when the fermentation temps are changed in beer just like dough. "This is a fun test" Drink a cold fermented clean crisp German lager and then pour yourself a fruity English ale and let me know if fermentation temp had any effect. Both are made from the same basic ingredients but are completely different in flavor.
                    Chris

                    Link to my photo album:
                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hodgey...7646087819291/

                    Link to my build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...nia-19366.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Another newbie dough question

                      Great advice, thanks! I will definitely try this next time and see what happens. I'll report back soon!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Another newbie dough question

                        The difference between an ale and a lager are different types of yeast as well as methods (top ferment VS bottom ferment).

                        It is not a matter of how long it sits on the counter before balling, it is a matter of the dough doubling in mass. Once it doubles, dump it on the bench, ball it, and put it in the fridge. If you have the amount of yeast right, it will double once again in the fridge in the range of 24-36 hours, and then stop. Too much yeast and it will continue to grow in the fridge.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Another newbie dough question

                          Originally posted by Tscarborough View Post
                          The difference between an ale and a lager are different types of yeast as well as methods (top ferment VS bottom ferment).

                          It is not a matter of how long it sits on the counter before balling, it is a matter of the dough doubling in mass. Once it doubles, dump it on the bench, ball it, and put it in the fridge. If you have the amount of yeast right, it will double once again in the fridge in the range of 24-36 hours, and then stop. Too much yeast and it will continue to grow in the fridge.
                          Take either Ale or Lager yeasts and change their fermentaion temps and you are going to change their flavor profiles. The key to becoming better at home brewing is taking control of your fermentation temps. Good quality recipe will include these temp ranges, run your Belgian style ferm temp to warm and you'll produce some nasty hot alcohols. My only point I'm trying to get across is, if you want a consistant good quality dough, take control of your process including your ferm temps.
                          Chris

                          Link to my photo album:
                          https://www.flickr.com/photos/hodgey...7646087819291/

                          Link to my build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...nia-19366.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Another newbie dough question

                            Control of process and environment is the key to consistency. In lieu of expensive equipment, the fallback is to learn the dough and adjust a occhio e mano. By eye and hand.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Another newbie dough question

                              A bit of guesswork here but I'm taking the bag of flour to be 1 kg 2.2 lbs and the fluid to be US ozs which is only 591 ml or grams. This mixture is too dry. the ratio which is recommended is 2 to 3. the dough will be difficult to spread if too dry and will spring back.
                              As already suggested weigh all the ingredients in the same format preferably grams as the smaller unit is more accurate.
                              For what its worth an italian woman suggested to me using 10% semolina with my 00 flour and I like the result.
                              I now mix 75% of my flour with the water and fresh yeast, leave for 20 to 30 minutes and then add the rest of the flour and salt and hand kneed for 10 minutes. I have personally found a huge improvement with the dough by hand kneading. I allow the dough to prove in the fridge for at least a day and two hours before required I ball the dough and put into trays at room temperature. This allows them to rise and and easy to work.
                              I tried balling immediately and using the small containers with oil and for me I am getting a much better dough ball now. Also I don't like to have to use any oil.
                              I would love to be able to get the half size dough trays that are available in the US suitable for domestic size fridge which again wouldn't need oiling.

                              Comment

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