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  #11  
Old 07-01-2013, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

no worries pizzafun, let's start again, tell me what your looking for and the problems your having. Be as specific as you can because one little detail can have a huge effect on your dough.

It's not my time of month so you are safe for now. ;-)
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2013, 02:22 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Hi pizzafun!

I apologize if my earlier response seemed harsh but the dough attempt you described gave no evidence you had made any serious attempt to make a good dough other than that you used what was probably an expensive flour. Your time seemed to be about 4 1/2 hours as I recall (far too short), your hydration was rather low, and you complained about the dough sagging (which it should). You told us very little that we need to know to give you useful feedback. I acknowledge I didn't take that very well.

I begin by standing by my recommendations though for I do not believe there are any shortcuts to great dough (for pizza or bread). And there is no substitute for experience, repetition, and refinement. Having someone to show you what great dough feels like and looks like is an immense help but only you know what you want and can ultimately decide when it is right. I strongly believe Reinhart's book is a great place to start and encourage you to avoid the newbie tendency to experiment a lot. Start with a good recipe and make it perform - consistently. If you can be consistent you can't learn when you make changes. And that is really important if you want to improve your results.

As Faith indicated, there are about a zillion things that contribute to final results and changing any one can have significant impacts on the results.

Some basic facts:
- great dough needs time for the enzymes and yeast to do there thing. There is no great quick fast approach. The basic minimum is about 24 hours. Six to eight is "okay" maybe but four hour doughs have verly little character (unless they rely on additives for flavor).
- different flours do best with different methods
- different toppings and combinations work better with different doughs.
- dough extensibility is a function of dough hydration, flour, salt level, and additives (milk, oil, eggs, chemicals, etc.) Even water from differnt locations/hardnesses etc. can have an effect.
- different ovens work best with different doughs

The recipes in American Pie are for 24 hour doughs. Yes they can be used the same day (not as good) or up to about two to two and a half days after mixing with good results.

Gimmick (and this is repeated from prior threads), mixing the dough tightens the glutens which is what makes it stretchy and rubbery. Given time it will relax. Given time, enzymes will also break down the starches and gluten and reduce the elasticity also. For his Neopolitan dough Reinhart uses an AP flour. He bulk ferments and forms the balls about two hours before use and then lets them finish. That works well for moderate and lower gluten AP flours (and Italian 00) (actually for KA Italian also) but not so well for KA AP which has higher gluten than most APs. The KA AP dough will still be too tight two hours after balling and will fight you when you try to spread them.

For his Neoneopolitan, Reinhart uses bread flour (BF) with OLIVE OIL to improve the extensibility of the dough. He has you ball that immediately and proof it for a full 24 hours or so before using (yes he discusses how to proof it for use the same day but again one loses flavor relative to the longer times). After 24 hours that dough made with KA BF will be reasonably extensible. If you follow the Neopolitan dough schedule with the Neo formula and bulk proof/ball late it will be quite rubbery and will NOT COOPERATE. It will be very difficult to spread.

This is part of why I went ballistic over the local fresh 00 flour. First of all you don't want fresh flour. Flour needs to be oxidized and it should be at least two to three weeks from milling. Second, you are in California and there is no meaningful 00 standard in the US. Even IF I assume this means it passes the 00 sieve process, it tells me nothing about the wheat, protein, gluten, ash, or additives used to give it whatever properties the purveyor ascribes to "00 flour". So what you are telling me is you made dough with a flour that no one (except the purveyor) has any idea what is or how it should behave or anything else. As a result it is virtually meaningless for me or anyone else to suggest how you should work with that flour. Without a LOT more info on the flour I cannot say anything meaningfully specific about that flour other than based on your comments it needed higher hydration.

The way you describe the dough suggests to me the flour is based on a wheat appropriate for bread flour. But this interpretation is complicated by the relatively low 62% hydration you indicate you used. A low hydration AP dough will be relatively rubbery too.

Your complaint that your dough spread a bit is IMO totally misplaced. While you may not want your boules to spread, you want your pizza dough to be loose enough that it will spread. It has to be able to for it to be extensible enough to be spread into a proper pizza.

To help answer what pizza dough should feel like, try to find a good WFO pizza place (I assume you are WFO oriented) and ask them to give you or sell you a ball or blob of dough. Play with it, handle it. It may not be great dough but it almost certainly won't feel like the 62% hydration dough you wrote about.

And therein lies an important point. Dough that isn't right won't make pies or bread that is right. That doesn't mean I can't make a good pizza from a 62% hydration dough made with your 00 flour. If forced to I would roll it out with a rolling pin and as repugnant as that is to some on this thread, if it is great dough you should still get a cornicione. But I would have never been there in the first place for I would have added more water so it had reasonable feel and extensibility when I mixed it.

This brings us back to my mantra on this thread, "There is no substitute for experience". Some people get lucky and do great quickly and learn quickly what works and doesn't work. Others take longer. The main thing is to start with a reliably good recipe/method and to keep repeating until you are consistent. Then begin making changes one thing at a time to refine the method and recipe to what you want.

Good Luck!
Jay
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2013, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Awesome post Elmer! :-)
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2013, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Did I miss the OP asking about Neo-neapolitan doughs? The advice given is of zero help to anyone trying to make real Neapolitan pizza, which is what it seems they were after. If you are indeed after Neapolitan pizza start simple.

100% Caputo Flour
60% Hydration
3% Salt
Enough fresh cake yeast to allow for 24 hours fermentation in your environment(something like 0.1% as a jumping off point)

Weigh out the water
Completely mix in the salt
Completely mix in the yeast
Slowly add the flour until incorporated
Allow to rest a half hour
Lightly knead or do a few stretch and fold's
ball the dough and ferment for 24 hours at room temperature

Once you get this basic but fairly traditional workflow down you can branch out into more advanced dough that incorporate things like your local flour, bulk fermentation and starter cultures in place of yeast.
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2013, 07:41 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Hi Shuboye!

The original question was not about recipes but about overly elastic dough. NeoNeopolitan is appropriate because the flour they used appears to be BREAD FLOUR and needs helpt to be elastic. I pointed them in a direction that will build the knowledge and experience to not have to rely on others for their opinions.

IF they want to make more standard Neopolitan dough I have not problems with your recipe but that is NOT what the original post states AND we have NO evidence yet that pizzafun is actually making dough for a WFO vs a conventional oven. Without more information I think your suggestion is unnecessarily presumptive and your criticism of my surfacing NeoNeopolitan is inappropriate.

You are welcome to your opinions but all you had to do was start by saying "If you want ot make a Neopolitan dough I would suggest..." and not suggesting that my mentioning NeoNeopolian is inapprorpriate when you haven't read the original message and addressed the information in that message and the question it posed!

I am out of here for a while!
Jay
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  #16  
Old 07-01-2013, 08:25 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

One last post to pizzafun...

I go back to one fundatmental. Choose a recipe that is appropriate to your oven (whether conventional or WFO) andl learn to make it work (varying hydration is fine). That includes choosing a flour and sticking to it. And if you want WFO dough there is nothing wrong with Neopolitan dough made with Caputo flour. But KA AP is more widely available and in my expeirence more consistent (and that helps, but Caputo has its appeal). My inclusion of NeoNeopolitan doughs was to provide perspective on how different flours impact dough behaviour and use of additives to compensate for the characteristics of a given flour.

Real Italian flour is amazingly differnet from US flour and presents its own set of issues. KA Italian is IMO an amazingly similar flour to Caputo. But other than that I think you should approach every flour as being unique until you establish otherwise.

The most consistent flours I have used are IMO KA AP and KA BF with Gold Medal a not bad second (not IMO great flour but at least consistent and consistency is really important while you are learning. (One of the reasons I am NOT a big Caputo fan is lack of consistency - I have had Caputo flours require up to 10% shifts in hydration due to the water content of the flour (and the commercial pizzaria I consult with has had similar issues. Note: I love to work with Caputo, it has some wonderful characteristics. Consistency does not seem to be one of them. And for beginners and people wanting to refine their doughs consistency of the flour is rather critical IMO. (Okay, let's see, we add water, salt, and yeast to the flour. Which three are likely to be more consistent??? Flour is clearly the bigger variable! Reducing that varibable is really helpful which is why I encourage beginners to use KA!)

Not that I am opposed to other flours. Other flours can be a lot of fun but they can be REALLY frustratiing. Especially if they are inconsistent or weird. (Example, I just finished off a couple of bags of AP (not KA) that required me to drop my hydration by almost 20 percent to make a (sort of) comparable bread dough. I made some amazingly decent loaves of bread from it but I swore at the damn flour every time for I simply could not convince myself it was really that strange. If I had followed a recipe for the dough it would have been a disaster for it was sticky and liquid and you would almost certianly end up wearing it. Is that unique? Well sort of. By far the worst I have experienced. But flour varies a lot and the less variation you face the easier things will be. So I suggest KA.

As I said in the previous email, I am out of here for a while. Faith and others know the ropes and will provide good advice!

Good Luck!
Jay

Last edited by texassourdough; 07-01-2013 at 08:31 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2013, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Texas, Texassourdough, don't go! "Remember The Alamo"! Remember Shane!
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2013, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

I could never fill your shoes Jay. Don't want to see you go either.
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

This has turned into a very informative thread. When I started making bread, about 30 years ago I found that I needed to make dough almost daily for awhile to really learn from experience. If I waited a week or more between batches, I would not really recall the dough feel from the last batch and my breads while appreciated (almost any bread still warm from the oven is well received), my bread making skills showed only slow improvement. Similarly, about a year ago I set the goal of improving my pizza skills, and again only when I began making pizzas several times a week did I make significant gains. So I agree with Jay that experience is the key, but add that in my case learning was best when I made dough on a frequent basis. Keep at it and you will find the recipes and techniques that work for you. Bruce
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2013, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Dough questions for the experts

Pizzafun,

I looked at some of your earlier posts, did you solve your issues with heat management? Hope you are enjoying your WFO.
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