#31  
Old 10-01-2010, 04:31 PM
Peasant
 
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Location: georgia
Posts: 31
Default Re: Crust issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by splatgirl View Post
.
A properly developed dough will stretch to absolute tissue paper thinness without tearing. Assuming you've got good gluten development, you just need more practice.
I have never experienced this...it is now an objective.

I saw a picture on someone's forum of some dough that was stretched thin enough to be able to read a flour bag's directions through it. Wow.
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  #32  
Old 10-01-2010, 04:39 PM
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: minnesota, usa
Posts: 472
Default Re: Crust issues

Yep. Don't be afraid to err on the side of overworking at the mixing/kneading stage when you're just learning. It's a great way to get a feel for what's what, and even if you end up with tough dough at least you'll know whereas without having seen and done it, you'd have no idea. You've seen/done the windowpane test, yes?

I've always found it's helpful to take notes on the process to really tease out the ideal process for your recipe, ingredients and technique.
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  #33  
Old 10-01-2010, 04:46 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: georgia
Posts: 31
Default Re: Crust issues

I am aware of the windowpane test...but have yet to successfully execute it. I sorta tried it this morning as I mixed up my "Sunday dough". But I really didnt feel like I succeeded at it.

Good thing to learn to do??

Note taking...good idea.
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  #34  
Old 10-01-2010, 05:26 PM
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Location: minnesota, usa
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Default Re: Crust issues

It's just an easy visual test for adequate gluten development if you're not sure. Once you have more hands-on time, you'll know a dough is right just by look and feel.
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  #35  
Old 10-03-2010, 11:49 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Crust issues

Hi bobf!

Sounds like wet is not the issue - oil can definitely be.

It is fine to use convection for heating the oven. The moving air accelerates the heating of the stone. But switch it to bake when you are ready to bake. That way the stone and air will be at the same temp. The top will still cook faster as a result of the heating elements but it will be more balanced.

Splatg's suggestion of using parchment is good. As she also says, if you can handle it it is okay! Don't be afraid of overstretching it or ripping... You can still make pies from late balled bread flour. It is more that it will fight you and you may need to let it rest in the forming process so it won't shrink back to the original size. One of the nice things about wetter doughs is they relax faster so...

If you really want to have some fun, take some NeoNeopolitan dough and make a pie. Work it as thin as you can. Don't worry about tears or anything else. Then try to ball it back up and make a new pie. Even an hour or two later it will be VERY resistant to anything you want to do to it. It will act a lot like a piece of rubber (exagerrated but....)

A lot of this simply comes down to experience and learning the "touch" of things. And different ones of us like different dough consistencies. I make fairly round pies from really soft dough, but I occasionally blow it and make a pie more like Maine or Connecticut (which I actually like because they are clearly not commercial cardboard!)

Don't sweat the details too much. Just keep making pies. The details will make sense and come into alignment with time and practice!

Hang in there!
Jay
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  #36  
Old 10-03-2010, 12:04 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: Ausitn
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Default Re: Crust issues

I made a skateboard shape last night, but it was OK, I just made it pepperoni and fed it to the kids.
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  #37  
Old 10-03-2010, 12:39 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: georgia
Posts: 31
Default Re: Crust issues

Jay,

I enjoy your posts...thanks for taking the time to expand on your thoughts. I have yet to make a pie that I wouldn't eat- isn't that the point?

To your point, I find that whenever I attempt to learn how to do something there's no better approach than to simply "do it" a bunch of times. The fine points suddenly begin to make sense and I quickly develop my own style. Fun stuff.

The boys are home from school for Sunday dinner...take a guess what's on the menu?
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  #38  
Old 10-03-2010, 06:44 PM
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Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 1,015
Default Re: Crust issues

Bob,
I agree with splatgirl about the oil. My pizza dough sees no oil until I form them into the final small balls and then, it's only PAM with the lightest spritz on bottom (I try for sides and it's mostly bottom) of small zip-lock tupperware type containers. I don't find I need any oil for initial or "ball fermentation" and I think that's because I use a fairly 'wet' (high hydration) dough, oil is just not necessary at that point.

But...as a relative newbie...I HATE THE WINDOW PANE TEST. Never have done it well, never have 'passed' the test. I truly hope it's living in an arid desert like SoCal and not that the Gods of Baking have cursed me. That said, I discovered that my lumpy, chunky balled doughs, relax thru a long and slow fermentation and turn silk and "happy" on their own now.

Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread a bakers book of techniques and recipes" really helped me understand how gluten can form with my incomplete or less-than-perfect initial mixing and that the final product is a wonderfully silky dough that me and my KA, kitchen aid, mixer could never get on our own.

It's a wonderful learning process and in the next few weeks, I'll test myself to see if I can slide a pie off a wood peel with semolina instead of rice flour (and not get burnt 'popcorn' dust all over my oven...(thanks Jay: you've reminded me that cooking as all about discovering the new or the old, whatever makes it work better or taste good .
-Dino
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  #39  
Old 10-03-2010, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Crust issues

I don't do any testing, much less one to see how thin my dough is, I just makes 'de dough and beats into something like a circle. But then, I don't weigh ingredients and seldom make the same thing twice. Eye and taste is better than recipe.

Edit- Semolina burns, but it has no flavor when it does so.
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  #40  
Old 10-03-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Crust issues

Quote:
That said, I discovered that my lumpy, chunky balled doughs, relax thru a long and slow fermentation and turn silk and "happy" on their own now.
Bingo!
And as an added benefit, you can put away your million dollar mixer, cold retardation makes everything smooth as silk.
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