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Dry/Tough outer skin on dough - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

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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Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

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  • Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

    I have no problem with my dough. I have a recipe for 8 balls that I make the day before and put in a large flat plastic tray with lid and store in the frig. over night. My dough comes out perfect and when I use it from the tray I never have a problem. Now...here's my question, sometimes I don't need all 8 balls so I take what I need and put them in individual plastic containers, plastic bags, wrap them in saran wrap, etc. and place the rest in the freezer. When I try to use the balls that I have moved to a second receptacle sometimes they have a tough/skim outer skin. When the dough is rolled out it has the tough blemishes all over them. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix them?

    Pizza Man

  • #2
    Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

    You may be having a problem with overhandling: if you anticipate a need to freeze you may want to do your second rise in individual snap lid containers instead of a tray, and a transfer. Also dough degrades in unpredictable ways in the freezer, because modern frost free freezers have little thaw cycles that remove surface frost, but play havoc with yeast dough hydration. I find that much more than a week in the freezer makes dough much less workable.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

      thanks for your reply but I don't think I am over handling. Usually it comes from placing the ball in another container with some flour. Something happens with the additional flour and it causes dry hard spots on the ball.

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      • #4
        Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

        Sounds to me like your dough is drying out. Try changing the way you store your dough. I've found that I can put dough balls in plastic bags, and they peel right out if you don't rush them. Get all the air you can out of the bag, and then fold it around the ball. If you fold and don't tie, the bag will give a bit when the dough tries to rise. If you freeze the dough, leave it in the bag and put the bag in one of the plastic containers.

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        • #5
          Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

          Usually it comes from placing the ball in another container with some flour
          Ahh, that's the missing piece. Your bench flour is coagulating onto the surface of your ball, making your dry hard spots. As Unconundrum says, try it without the added flour. You don't want your bench flour to touch your ball until right before you form it.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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          • #6
            Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

            I spay some canola cooking spray on the inside of a plastic bag, pop in the dough and chuck it in the fridge. The dough does not crust and slips out easily when you want to use it.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

              Nope... Just surface to air exposure. All dough will "skin" when it is exposed to air. It seems to accelerate in the fridge as it is a dehumidifier. Freezing is the nasty extreme cousin to unprotected refrigeration. Freezer Burn.
              Sticking the dough in a snap lid container in a fridge works well because at those temps, the humidity is working for you. The same guy in a freezer becomes a nightmare as the humidity freezes. The ice crystals form and suck out what perfectly balanced hydration you worked so hard to achieve. Leaving you with a thick, hard skin that no force on earth can reverse. Much like Uncle Jack's ex-wife.
              The key to home freezing is wrapping tightly and avoid tossing in warm stuff.
              Cool it down first (fridge) so that the water stays balanced. Warm stuff in a freezer causes it exude water vapor quickly, as the heat leaves from the center to the surface. If it is wrapped tightly, you will have an ice coating. Much like the exterior of Aunt Jill's heart.

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              • #8
                Re: Dry/Tough outer skin on dough

                I think DMUN hit it. I will try that. Thanks,

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