#11  
Old 12-09-2011, 03:23 PM
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Location: saugerties, ny
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

I am in the habit of mixing flour & water, autolyzing for 20 minutes the adding whatever leavening and salt. I do it for some breads too. So that's already part of the practice. So I'll go with the 2% and take it from there.
Thanks
Kim
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2011, 08:34 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

Do you do it by hand? The tactile transformation when you add the salt is amazing!
J
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2011, 03:01 AM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

No. Am I missing a beautiful thing?
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2011, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

The gluten acts just like you do when you get salt in a wound. It (and you) go OUCH in a spasm of pain!
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

I have noted somewhere previously that you add salt after, just when exactly is "after", at what stage is it added?
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2011, 01:18 PM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

Mix the water & flour just enough to wet the flour. Let it rest - autolyze - for 20 minutes. Then add the salt and leavening.

(How'd I do, Jay? )
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2011, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

That is it! Just mix it so no loose/dry flour and let it sit. It can sit pretty much as long as you want. The gluten will form much faster than if the salt was added and should be pretty complete in 20-30 minutes. (Gluten is rather sensitive to the electrolytic nature of the water including as I understand it hard/soft water factors.) But the gluten will be very weak and the dough will feel "loose" until you add the salt.

Once I started doing this I do it a lot. I think I get better gluten with much less working of the dough.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2011, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

Just a curious aside, I believe - don't really know - that if you have hard water in your house you add a salt solution of some sort to "soften" it. Would salt in our dough have any similar reaction if we have hard water? I only ask this question to further complicate the discussion. Antagonist that I am.
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  #19  
Old 12-11-2011, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

Good question... Not quite sure. I know distilled water is not good - you want a reasonable amount of electrolytes. As a result RO (reverse osmosis) water is generally not preferred for it tends to be too soft. However, in San Antonio we have super hard water and a water softener which means we have way too many Potassium ions and a salty taste to our regular water so we use RO. I haven't done a test on our water but the guys that service our water system say that due to the high inlet concentration our RO is actually more "normal" than most. I haven't a clue!

Super hard water is not supposed to be good - will supposedly toughen the gluten somewhat like excess salt. But I don't have the detailed knowledge or experience to give a good answer. I probably should do a batch of dough with our unsoftened water. I definitely don't like the softened water but I haven't done a head to head test to see if it gives a tougher crumb - that is what I would expect.

Maybe early next year after my year end baking!
Jay
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  #20  
Old 12-12-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

Ok, Jay, time to report back.
I did a slow and shorter (5 m.) mix of the dough (flour & water; rest 20 m.; 1.5% salt; 15% SD starter). That was the biggest change to my recent method. I let the dough rest an hour, did one S&F (though I could do another one or two I suppose) then I balled it and refrigerated it right away. It never actually got a chance to rise. About 18 or so hours before baking it I took it out of the refrigerator only because I wanted it to get that chance.
I have a pizza stone I almost never use but I wanted to test only one pizza so I did it in the house oven, temperature up all the way and pre-heated about an hour. And really, the only thing I was interested in was the dough's ability to stretch or not.

Well, Jay, I have to say, that baby stretched and stretched... I wonder if I could have torn it if I tried. Sure didn't want to tear. It was by far the best pizza-stone in-house pizza I"d ever had. And that was nowhere near what I was trying to do. I'm dieing to get back at the WFO as soon as I can. We have a winner!! I can be grateful the Genzano is so good it flies out of here and I'm forced into another baking day of both bread and pizza. Things could be worse.

Jay, tons of thanks. I believe it was the mixing time, handling the dough much, much less. Slower mix too. I wish you could have been here. Hats off..
Thanks
Kim

Last edited by KEmerson; 12-12-2011 at 07:49 AM.
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