#1  
Old 08-21-2009, 05:57 PM
brokencookie's Avatar
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Default Folding dough

I have long been frustrated by pizza dough. Although my dough making has improved 1000% ( thanks forum gurus) it continues to be a challenge. I have been using a bread machine for mixing since I do not have a large kitchen aid or other appliance. Whether I use the bread machine or hand kneed I always seem to end up with some odd lumps and other strange artifacts. I saw the link for folding dough here

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/10/m...gh-7581-2.html (Making large batches of dough)

and followed it to here ( credit were credit is due)

Sourdough Home - Stretch and Fold - A Gentle Way To Develop Dough

I have had great success with the no-knead bread so I thought this could work

I used the standard forno bravo recipe using 1 kg of flour. Mixed briefly by hand ( first the dry ingredients and then added the water ) Let it sit for 45 minutes. Pulled it from the bowl. stretched and folded it all of 30 seconds and plopped it back in the bowl. After 45 minutes I did it again. 45 minutes later I divided the dough and made dough balls.
The resulting dough was about the best I have made. It was easy to work with, no lumps or artifacts and tasted great. It seemed to be very delicate since it got very little handling.
This was so simple that I find it had to believe that it actually works. However, I think I will be making all of my dough this was from now on.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009, 06:39 PM
egalecki's Avatar
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Default Re: Folding dough

I've been folding my doughs for some time as well. It does seem to work better for me. I still can't figure out why a couple of folds over the course of a few hours works better than the endless kneading I used to do. Of course, I also make a lot more high hydration doughs than I used to as well, and that probably has a lot to do with it, but it sort of does seem like magic.

I put my doughs in a plastic cake carrier with a lid to rise- I oil the bottom lightly and I can actually fold the dough in the carrier. I don't have to move it out at all. When I'm making pizza, I move the dough out to the counter to size the balls and I put them back in the carrier to finish up in the fridge. (Thanks, Asudavew, for the tip on the cake carrier!)
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:10 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Folding dough

Folding the dough creates layers that reinforce the gluten structure. It's really the same principle as layering in Damascus steel, carbon fiber or fiberglass.

This is one of the key secrets to making a great baguette, but personally I don't like folding pizza dough as it makes the crust too bready for my tastes. Anyway, here is another video that shows the folding, in this case for Ciabatta - YouTube - Ciabatta Folding

.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:55 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Folding dough

I use folding a lot for bread but not for pizza. With Italian flour I want to do the handling all up front - NO work of any kind until the forming of the pie because it seems to create a tough crust.

I am disturbed by the issue of lumps and such. Sounds like bad mixing which doesn't make sense given your experience level. I almost never use a mixer any more. Between bread batches too big for my mixer and getting used to hand kneading, that is simply the way I go. There has to be something fundamental going on. This isn't rocket science. Dough wants to absorb water and even out over time. Tell us what recipe you use and how you "mix" it and we might be able to help!
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:39 AM
ksm ksm is offline
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Default Re: Folding dough

Just a thought -- which I am a bit hesitant to offer since I'm so new to this forum ....what about clumps in the flour from the get-go? I used to find little lumps of white flour in my bread (even using KA flour -- and they are just up the road in VT, so I'm sure we're getting fresh sacks here). Wouldn't see or necessarily feel the lumps (probably because we tend to make bread w/ lots of whole grains), but they were hiding in the flour nonetheless! So I started whisking the flour before making bread and that did the trick.

Then, when I went in search of Caputo flour for making pizzas, what I found locally seemed to have been on the shelf for a while and had noticeable small hard lumps in it. Whisking helped, but hand mixing/kneading as Jay (aka TXSD) advocates also was important in locating by feel those little artifacts (I love that term!).

Kathy
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Folding dough

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksm View Post
....what about clumps in the flour from the get-go?
Use a flour sifter. They're only a few dollars and will get rid of any clumps.

.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Folding dough

Quote:
Originally Posted by texassourdough View Post
I am disturbed by the issue of lumps and such. Sounds like bad mixing which doesn't make sense given your experience level. I almost never use a mixer any more. Between bread batches too big for my mixer and getting used to hand kneading, that is simply the way I go. There has to be something fundamental going on. !
I think there are several things going on. I sifted the flours I use and there they were......LUMPS!!!! Ok first problem solved.
Second
I have been using the knead cycle on my bread machine. I first add all the water and 1/2 the flour, run it for 2 minutes and let it rest for 45 minutes. Everything looks pretty good at this point. However, I stuck my fat little piggy fingers into the batter and found LUMPS !!!!

Finally
Add the rest of the flour, salt and yeast. I think that I am right at the outer limits of the machine capacity when I use 1kg of flour. The mixing container is square and I always have to reach in and move unmixed flour from the corners to the middle.

So
Initial flour lumps, poor mixing, square container... I think I have solved the problem. I will either knead by hand or using the fold method from here on out. The bread machine can be retired to the old appliance graveyard under the counter.
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Last edited by brokencookie; 08-23-2009 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Folding dough

Quote:
Originally Posted by egalecki View Post
I put my doughs in a plastic cake carrier with a lid to rise- I oil the bottom lightly and I can actually fold the dough in the carrier. I don't have to move it out at all. When I'm making pizza, I move the dough out to the counter to size the balls and I put them back in the carrier to finish up in the fridge. (Thanks, Asudavew, for the tip on the cake carrier!)
Great tip Elizabeth, thanks

How many times do you fold yours and at what intervals ?
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Folding dough

When I'm making bread I usually fold twice- most of my dough is sourdough, and the rise times are in the 2 to 2 1/2 hr. range, so I fold at 45 minutes and 90 minutes. When I use regular yeast, I just figure on doing it twice in the allotted time.

Remember, you're just dumping the dough into your proofing bowl- no hand-kneading beforehand. These are wet, sticky doughs I'm talking about- you have to either oil your hands or wet them before you fold them, at least the first time. Somewhere in there, the magic happens and what was a sticky mess becomes lovely soft dough.

I was looking at the pizza recipe, and I don't think I fold that one- it doesn't call for it, and I think Jay is right about the extra folding maybe making the crust tough. I think you've already figured out the problem with the lumps, though. Some flours really are lumpy. There's one local brand here that always has lots of lumps, every single bag I've bought. I just sift it. Dunno if it's the way they mill, the wheat they use or what, but that brand is just that way.

I've been having trouble with my pizzas not being, well, pizza shaped, and I was originally thinking that folding might help develop the gluten in a better "shape", but after doing some thinking, I am leaning toward refining the way I shape the dough balls. I think more "pushing the dough thru the hole" style shaping might help my gluten framework more than the way I've been doing it. I've been rounding it in my hands on the countertop. At any rate, I'm giving it a try... no one complains about the shape but me, anyway.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:54 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Folding dough

Hi Elizabeth!

Methinks the acceptability of early/late forming of the pizza balls is a function of the flour. I see no problem with late forming of AP balls. They will relax in an hour or two so allowing forming them out of the refrigerator after retarding. Bread flour and its higher gluten doesn't seem so accepting. Working it late seems to not be desirable so I always make balls from bread flour before retarding so they will be totally relaxed and pillow-like.

The weird one for me is Tipo 00 Caputo. That flour is low/moderate gluten but I think it dislikes late handling almost as much as bread flour. It seems just downright weird to me! I make balls with it before retarding so it is really relaxed when I am ready to shape.

WRT shaping, have you tried shaping totally in a pan of flour (I started with a jelly roll pan with about a cup of flour) Do the shape shaping motions in the videos where they are forming the pie ON the bench surface - i.e. flatten the outside edge first and leave the "hump" in the middle. Then work the pie to a bigger shape by stretching on the bench/in the pan. You should have no problem making it round. And it won't stick to anything! Just knock off the excess flour before putting it on the peel and topping it. I did that three or four times using the pan and now I simply flour the ball up good and form on the bench, but I recommend using the pan at least once just to get the feel of it. It seems almost foolproof! (those dangerous words! )

Best Wishes!
Jay
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