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bobframe 10-01-2010 08:12 AM

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.

Tscarborough 10-01-2010 08:41 AM

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.

JAG 10-01-2010 09:09 AM

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.


bobframe 10-01-2010 09:16 AM

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 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?

bobframe 10-01-2010 09:17 AM

Re: Crust Diagnosis

Originally Posted by JAG (Post 100017)
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.

Tscarborough 10-01-2010 09:23 AM

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.

Tscarborough 10-01-2010 09:51 AM

Re: Crust Diagnosis
5 Attachment(s)
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.

Tscarborough 10-01-2010 09:53 AM

Re: Crust Diagnosis
4 Attachment(s)
The rest of the pics.

bobframe 10-01-2010 10:03 AM

Re: Crust Diagnosis

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?

Tscarborough 10-01-2010 10:15 AM

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.

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