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Old 04-26-2008, 12:00 PM
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Default 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

I just made two batches of 1kg Caputo pizza dough back to back using the same techniques and times. 3 minute mix of flour and water on low (1), 20 minute rest, add yeast and salt, and 8 minute mix on low (2).

The first one was 645 grams of water and the second 625, and the difference is big. The 645g batch was too sticky, and I ended up having trouble hand mixing it on a cold granite counter, and it really stuck to my wet hands. I barely got it into the bowl for bulk fermentation and never really made a nice boule shape out of it.

The second as 625 grams of water, and it was much better. It is well hydrated, but I was able to max a boule using Jim's (Cannuck) technique for primary fermentation and it didn't stick fo the final hand kneading.

Is there a tipping point? Do you go right up to the edge and then fall over?

Or, does it have something to do with lunar cycles.

Anyways, it's an interesting experiment. I'm doing the third batch at 62.5%.

James
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

I have been using the blue caputo and have been at 69% every time with no handling issues. I also give it a 20 min rest before adding salt...I don't bulk ferment at all, I use cold water and shape it immediately after kneading...wonder why yours was so hard to handle when mine was fine...
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

I too made a batch of pizza dough last week and put in too much water. I refrigerated it overnight in anticipation for my pizza party. The next day, one hour before the party, I was going to shape my dough balls. They were goo, it was a disaster. I said a prayer, and made another batch of dough, putting about 1/2 cup less water in that batch. Then I combined the two, and let them rise together for about an hour. Miraculously, the dough performed correctly, and the party was a success. That taught me a big lesson that I really need to measure the water!
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

Wouldn't humidity and altitude make a difference with hydration percentage, esp in Colorado?
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

It absolutely makes a difference...we always reserve a bit of the measured water, maybe 2 ounces...it is much easier to add a bit more water if needed rather than try to create a well mixed dough by adding flour later adding flour later...the additional time in the mixer will heat up your dough and to a certain degree the additional bench kneading would also
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Wouldn't humidity and altitude make a difference with hydration percentage, esp in Colorado?
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

I agree with that. High/low humidity changes everything. If the dough doesn't seem quite right, I add more water or flour till I get the consistency I'm looking for.

I might end up overworking the dough occasionally, but for pizza, at least for me, its less important than in bread. The sauce and toppings hide the errors in the crust a bit.

I love great crust but I'm not going to throw away a Kg of flour 'cause it didn't mix up normally. When things go bad, work on trying to get it back to what the dough looked and felt like the last time I made it.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

After a bulk fermentation, I still found the one batch of wet dough more difficult to work with, so I mixed all three together. It's fun working with about 10 pounds of pizza dough on a stone counter. I cut and shaped 250 gram dough balls, and everything went fine.

I guess I have to think more about my overly wet batch. Who knows, maybe I just can't measure. :-)

Still, I think the idea of mixing each batch together before making your dough balls has a lot going for it.

James
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

Kind of like mixing epoxy ...in the end you end up with a hydration of approximately 63.5%...our formula uses 63%...and it is a lot of fun working with a lot of dough...here at home we have gone up to about 20 pounds when we had a pizza party for my wife's swimmers
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Originally Posted by james View Post
After a bulk fermentation, I still found the one batch of wet dough more difficult to work with, so I mixed all three together. It's fun working with about 10 pounds of pizza dough on a stone counter. I cut and shaped 250 gram dough balls, and everything went fine.

I guess I have to think more about my overly wet batch. Who knows, maybe I just can't measure. :-)

Still, I think the idea of mixing each batch together before making your dough balls has a lot going for it.

James
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

I know that humidity makes a difference and it is very here in Colorado, but I thought that measuring by weight took humidity out of the equation. Am I mistaken there? James are you measuring with scale?

Drake
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:57 AM
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Default Re: 62.5% vs 64.5% hydration -- big difference

Drew,
This was all done using my handy FB digital, measuring the water and the flour.

If the flour is damp (which the Monterey peninsula is; it's really foggy here), then the flour would be heavier, and some of that weight would be water.

Possible?

James
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