#11  
Old 02-10-2010, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

Do you possibly have a good recipe for no-knead?

I know there are quite a few around, but it would be good to get one recommended. I may do a small batch alongside the 3 kg of dough I will be making for the party on the 20th.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2010, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

One of the biggest lightbulb moments that has come from my adventures in sourdough-similar to the no-knead lightbulb for Dmun- is that gluten develops all on its own. Sourdough starter goes from wallpaper paste to a stringy, gluten-y cohesive mass in about a day just sitting in the jar. So in my mind, that means it's obviously about the hydration of the flour, NOT the kneading. Kneading just speeds along what would happen all on it's own using friction to unwind the flour proteins faster.
A kneaded dough is like a ball of yarn in a messy knot...the strands are there but they're wound up on each other and more knitted together, vs. no-knead which I think of like a nice tidy hank of yarn where the strands are organized, relaxed and easy to work with. You can almost follow the individual strands from one side of the mass to the other. Overworking means you've pulled on the yarns in the knot and made the whole thing into a tighter ball.

I think with pizza dough, you want a bit of a combination between the two. Loose and organized for extensibility and tenderness, but with just enough jumble so as not to get holes and thin spots and to lend a bit of chew.

I am a very firm believer in portioning my dough immediately after kneading and then doing nothing to it besides dusting with flour and stretching it into round at pizza time, but more most of the time I am doing a conventional kneaded yeast dough. I think Dmuns method of resting and portioning after the fact works best for a no-knead because the gluten network is so loose and relaxed in a no-knead that it really needs that little bit of working to tangle it up a bit for cohesiveness.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

and to answer your last question, Rossco, you could use the "standard" recipe posted here as no-knead, just mix it and leave it in the fridge for a day or two.

500g. flour
375g. water
10g. salt
4g. IDY

Or, just use whatever kneaded formula you've been using except stash it in the fridge instead of kneading.

The only difference between any/most no knead recipes and the old skool kind is the higher hydration which you already have with any proper pizza dough recipe anyway.
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

Thanks splat - great info...

I was under the impression that the kneading process is necessary in order to develop gluten.

This has got me thinking now. Perhaps I am indeed overworking my dough in the big mixer. I was kind of mesmerised sitting watching it pounding away at the dough so maybe I let it go too long. It was definitely firming up well and then seemed to lose some of its firmness all of a sudden.... so this could be the key.

OK so just to clarify... assuming that cut/ball right occurs after kneading ... do you do an overnight fermentation? Plenty of info around (including Rhinehart) that suggests that overnight fermentation improves the properties of the dough. Why I ask is because when I have cut/balled my dough and let it rest in the fridge it seems to lose some of its firmness. I have allowed it to get to room temp so I am not sure why this would be. Strangely, I get the best firm/workable dough when I make the dough in the morning, allow 3-4 hrs to rest at room temp, into fridge for a few hrs, then get it to room temp before using.

Tks also for the N-K recipe - I will definitely give it a go this weekend for comparative purposes.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

I think most of the world has been under the impression that kneading was necessary to develop gluten. I know I was, even in the post-no-knead bread phenomenon era. It wasn't until I started working with sourdough starter that I really GOT what was happening.

I don't really have any intelligent observations with regard to overkneading as I haven't experienced what you're describing. FWIW, I use larger capacity KA mixer and find that a 10-20min. rest/hydration after combining the flour/water/yeast followed by adding salt and ~8 mins. of kneading gets me what I want. I will say that my kneading times tend to be a bit longer now that it's winter and the humidity is so low which supports the idea that gluten development is really more about the water.
What I know based on Reinhardt and my own adventures in bread is that gluten moves on to break down after a period of time. For sourdough starters, I observe that at about day 3. I think that is also what you're seeing only in your case it's happened for slightly different reasons, i.e. overworking. Basically what we're saying here is that kneading just speeds up a process that would happen anyway, so that makes sense. OTOH, without seeing the dough, who knows.

So, to answer your questions, I typically do the 90 minutes start to finish method I first learned here, meaning I mix and knead, then portion and let stand at room temp for 90 mins. before use. I refrigerate leftover portions so they are effectively getting a one to two day cold retard that way. In that case, they are looser and floppier but work just as nicely -although a bit more care is required- up to about day 3. After that they become difficult to work because the gluten is losing it's gluteney-ness, aka breaking down.

For an all white flour dough, I don't find much of a detectable flavor difference between the freshly made and the retarded. If anything, I like the un-retarded flavor better for pizza. With whole wheat flour doughs it's more noticeable. In that case if time permits, I use the Reinhardt overnight "soaker" method on the WW flour but I don't consider that an absolute necessity. This is 50% WW dough which is the highest % I'm happy with for pizza crust in the VPN genre.

Have we discussed what hydration % you're using? Just based on what you've said, I'm wondering if you're just used to a dough that would be underhydrated by my/our standards...? I ask because I would never use "firm" to describe a desirable characteristic of my dough. Loose and floppy, baby. It should never need bossing around to get it to do what you want.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

Hydration is pretty high - about 66 - 67 percent I reckon.
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  #17  
Old 02-12-2010, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

yep, that's mine, too.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

I am back! Sorry to have been gone and out of this...

Different flours seem to prefer different treatment. At issue to me is what the dough handles like at forming the pie and the results I get.

Truly overworked dough gets too hot (say above 80 degrees while mixing which introduces oxygen which oxidizes things in the dough and supposedly contributes to the rubbery toughness). I find that difficult to believe but dough that gets too hot IS wierd. The big advantage of spiral mixers is they don't heat the dough and as a result give really nice dough.

In my experience, I find that bread dough likes to be balled early - say a half hour to hour after mixing and then bagged ala Reinhart. Its extra strength from extra gluten benefits from having more time to relax IMO and makes it easier to handle the next day and form pies. AP is much more forgiving and I like to bulk retard it and ball it about two hours before I begin baking. It is softer and balling at 2 hours gives it a nice (IMO desirable) level of "toughness". Caputa is IMO wierd. It is low protein but it seems to toughen easily - not so noticable as dough but definitely in bite if it is balled at 2 hours. So I ball it ahead also. I used to bag my dough but now I ball it, put it in plastic trays with lids and sprinkle lightly with flour and retard the trays in the refigerator (for bread and Caputo flour).

The amount of mixing is an interesting question. Gluten forms in ten to fifteen minutes, twenty outside to a good level IF you hydrate it thoroughly (i.e. no dry spots which will be problems later). An important factor is QUICK, even hydration, and let it sit for twenty minutes. Give it a few folds to organize the gluten and you are ready to go - that should be all the mixing you will need - but retarding will give you better flavor. When Reinhart was here I watched him really carefully on his mixing and he pretty much followed what I said. Vigorous mixing with a fork or spoon to uniformly hydrate the dough. Then a couple of minutes of mixing with a mixer or some folds, and then just let it sit for 20 minutes. Then some more folds. And the dough texture was really nice. No danger of overworking or anything else. The quick, uniform hydration seems to be a big help in getting "windowpane" dough. Use wet hands. Don't use extra flour - it screws up your hydration and tears the gluten.

Hope this is useful!
Jay
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

This has turned into a really informative thread - thanks Splat & Jay.

Based on this info an am rethinking my current dough making process.

BTW does Reinhart do all his dough mixing by hand?? Just wondering because I use the paddle attachment on the mixer for a minute or so to combine the flour, water, yeast and salt before allowing 20 mins for autolyse. Perhaps the mechanical mixing process pre-autolyse produces a different effect?

I have alse been doing a knead of 5 minutes using 75% of flour + water, salt & yeast in the TBird, adding the remaining flour over the next three minutes. Is this method OK?
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Overworking Dough?

Reinhart can go any direction. I think he does most of his dough by hand but he uses mixers in class because most people do.

A REALLY interesting perception I hope to test soon is that his dough was very much like the spiral dough I have experienced. Very soft and smooth and "creamy" (the last is just to emphasize the smoothness. I am convinced that his quick hydration to uniform level is a key contributor (but may not be) and that keeping dry flour away from the dough is also important. More soon!
Jay
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