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Crust Diagnosis - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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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:
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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.

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Crust Diagnosis

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  • Crust Diagnosis

    I am a newbie trying to nail the proper crust. Using Peter Reinheart's Neo-Neopolitan recipe. Here's my issue:

    Using his proportions I end up with a dough that may be too dry,. The dough comes out of the KA mixer a bit on the dry side (though in my newbie state how would I know??). I cut it into four equal hunks and then try to shape each into a ball with a smooth top. This is where my problem appears.

    The dough balls seem rough and still have lots of seams and fold lines from the mixing and kneading process. I am really unable to get a smooth ball shape out of it...these fold lines won't blend into themselves.

    The "sheen" you see in these pics is largely from the light coat of EVOO that the recipe calls for.





    So...was the mix too dry?

    Should have worked the dough more?

    Exactly the way its supposed to be?

    Should I expect these to disappear after the dough has risen?

    Bad karma?

    I eagerly await the verdict.

    Thanks in advance for your help...I really am getting into this and want to get good at it.
    Last edited by bobframe; 10-01-2010, 08:45 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Crust Diagnosis

    Looks pretty oily to me. Hold the dough ball in both hands with your fingers curled upwards and into the ball. Roll your palms and thumbs over the top, pulling the dough down and under, and rotating it a 1/4 turn each time. After 5 or 6 turns, you will have a nice smooth ball on top. You will have to either oil or flour your hands, I use flour.

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    • #3
      Re: Crust Diagnosis

      It does look at little to oily. A couple of drops in the palm of my hand, rub hands together and then rub dough ball, the less oil the better, IMO.

      It almost appears that it was oiled before shaped into individual balls? If that is the case, divide balls first then oil.

      John

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      • #4
        Re: Crust Diagnosis

        I guess it does look oily...this is what PR's recipe calls for. Tried your rolling, pulling and rotating technique and it helped...so thanks.

        Would you normally employ this technique before refrigerating the dough balls?

        Would you suggest not oiling the balls and simply flouring them (then using the "ball shaping technique you suggested) before they go in a zip lock bag and into the frig?

        I think the olive oil coating step was to prevent sticking in the bags. Maybe flouring them would address the sticking issue?

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        • #5
          Re: Crust Diagnosis

          Originally posted by JAG View Post
          It does look at little to oily. A couple of drops in the palm of my hand, rub hands together and then rub dough ball, the less oil the better, IMO.
          Ahhhh...makes sense.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Crust Diagnosis

            The only oil I use is a little in the storage containers. I have a series of photos I will try and post in here showing all the steps I do.

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            • #7
              Re: Crust Diagnosis

              First pic is just mixed dough
              Second is bulk rise, note the flour around the rim to release it.
              Third is bottom of dough from bowl, dumped onto bench.
              Forth is in the process of kneading, I will fold it 6 or 8 times.
              5th is bulk balled.
              6th is divided.
              7th is balled for cold fermentation.
              8th is in the storage containers.
              9th is 24 hours later.

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              • #8
                Re: Crust Diagnosis

                The rest of the pics.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Crust Diagnosis

                  T,

                  Really helpful. I wish I could be on hand as an experienced person goes through this. My key issue is how wet and sticky should the dough be at step #5?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Crust Diagnosis

                    The outer skin is floury, but as you can see when I divide it, the interior is very wet and sticky. Then when I re-ball the individual skins, the skin is floury again, but the interior is still wet and sticky.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Crust Diagnosis

                      I've seen something like your dough before.... Hmmm... ...Oh Yeah!!


                      You need to work that dough a bit more, Bro.
                      Last edited by PizzaPolice; 10-01-2010, 11:15 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Crust Diagnosis

                        Helpful. Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Crust Diagnosis

                          Originally posted by PizzaPolice View Post
                          I've seen something like your dough before.... Hmmm... ...Oh Yeah!!


                          You need to work that dough a bit more, Bro.
                          So, should this batch have spent more time in the KA? Or is it time for hand-to-hand combat?

                          The balls have been in the frig for a couple of hours...too late for this batch?

                          BTW, leave my girlfriend (Pretty in Pink) outta this, OK?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Crust Diagnosis

                            Originally posted by Tscarborough View Post
                            The outer skin is floury, but as you can see when I divide it, the interior is very wet and sticky. Then when I re-ball the individual skins, the skin is floury again, but the interior is still wet and sticky.
                            T, can you share a recipe that yields this kind of result?

                            Thanks so much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Crust Diagnosis

                              Autolyse....


                              Think of it as a siesta for the dough after it has been mixed about half way or so. A riposa is certainly necessary for a smooth and elastic outcome.

                              You will notice immediately after the rest that the dough is much smoooother. Continue mixing until its done.

                              Have fun and good luck.

                              Comment

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