Dough Trouble


Hello pizza community. I'm a big fan of Tony's. I ate at his North Beach restaurant many times when I lived in San Francisco. I bought his previous collaborative book co-authored with Diane Morgan and had much success with his Neapolitan and New York pizza dough and sauce recipes. I recently purchased the Pizza Bible and was intrigued by what seemed to be the added complexity of starters, and the addition of Malt. With my first attempt using a starter, the pizza ended up like cafeteria pizza--way too bready. The only deviation was that I cooked it in a gas Pizza Pronto oven--which has been great for my Neapolitan pizza's with fresh yeast from Tony's previous book. With the Pizza Bible Master dough recipe, both the starter and the dough seemed dry. Two days ago I tried the Master recipe w/o starter. Did the bulk fermentation, balled the dough and did a slow rise in refrigerator. I just made a pizza and the dough again ballooned up on the crust area pushing the toppings to the middle (see attached photo) I'm hoping to benefit from your collective wisdom. Any advice?

Medium fat pie

Brian Dietrich
posted about 2 years ago

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On page 19 Tony mentions that "the recipes are guidelines, not rules, and you're the boss".

In other words, experiment with the dough, tailor it to your needs and most importantly, your oven. I lowered the hydration and yeast amount on mine and it works beautifully for me and my home oven.

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Mike K.
posted about 2 years ago


Mike, thanks. I was being a pizza bible fundamentalist! ;-) I'll reduce the yeast and bump up the water a bit. The oven seems hot enough. I appreciate your reply.

Brian Dietrich
posted about 2 years ago


Brian, I'm afraid that if you bump up the hydration you'll end up with even more oven spring. But by all means, give it a shot and see how it works for you.

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Mike K.
posted about 2 years ago


Hi Brian, looks a little puffy, but I'd still eat it. :-) In all seriousness, it looks pretty good.

A few questions for you so we can help troubleshoot:

1. What kind of flour are you using?
2. Do you have a scale that measures with grams?
3. What is the size of the dough ball and the final size of the pie (diameter)?

I suspect the dough isn't being stretched thin enough. But, it's just a hunch. Once we find out more, we can go from there.

Raj

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 2 years ago


I wonder about the accuracy of your scales. I recently bought The Pizza Bible and have been amazingly successful. But I found that my scales were off and couldn't be calibrated.

I threw away my old scale and purchased new ones. You may want to see if a gram is a gram and if ten grams is actually ten grams.

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Tony B.
posted about 2 years ago


Thanks for your replies Mike, Raj and Tony.
Mike - thank you for the cautionary note on the hydration. I'm afraid any less my mixer will be spinning pebbles.
Raj - The dough ball is 13 oz, about the size of a softball. I stretched it to about 12" I do have a scale that shows grams but its not very good (see note to Tony below) the flour I'm using is All Trumps, unbleached, high gluten.
Tony - I think your on to something with scale calibration. The one I have is not very good. I'll purchase a new one and see how that goes.

Again thanks for the feedback/guidance

Brian Dietrich
posted about 2 years ago


I have two scales made by American weigh scales and they work amazingly well. The 1/100th scale I got is about the size of an iPhone 4 and is recommended by the guys at modernist cuisine. The other one I have is a simple one from the same company which measures FL oz, oz, g, lb, kg

If you want, I can link both of them for you

Gil W.
posted about 2 years ago

Actually, the links will help they have hundreds of scales!

- Brian   about 2 years ago

My bad, no kg but that shouldn't be an issue

- Gil   about 2 years ago


Thanks for the recommendation Gil. I'll google them.

Brian Dietrich
posted about 2 years ago


Be advised that those scales are jeweler's scales, which measure from micrograms to 200 grams (limit) respectively. Good for yeast amounts, sugar, salt, etc, but completely useless for water amounts, flour weights and cheese.

I have the same Gil posted and they are great. If you need a perfect scale for doughs get the MyWeight KD-8000 with the Baker's Percent feature.

http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my-weigh-kd8000.html

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Mike K.
posted about 2 years ago

For the basics, those two in combination can weigh out what you need and they fit well into my knife bag which is also why I got them

- Gil   about 2 years ago

Gil,

My bad. I was talking about the first one you posted. Got the exact same one and it's very nice.

The KD-8000 has Baker's Percentages and goes up to 8kg/17lbs without a hitch. Plus it has a memory feature so you won't have to recalculate every time your favorite dough formula. I have it for years and it's one of the best on the market.

While the KD-8000 won't fit in your knife bag, it's still a great scale. The American Weigh is great when you have to measure on the fly and don't want that bulky stuff around. :)

Might have to get one myself.

- Mike   about 2 years ago


I was talking about both my scales :)

The kd-8000 is a bit too big for me right now even though it's around $80 CDN. Maybe in a couple of months since I'm just getting into making cakes now too

Gil W.
posted about 2 years ago


Brian, a quick comment on your dough ball weights. 13 ounces is somewhere in the range of 375 grams. That's the weight Tony recommends for a 13" pie. I tend to go a little less--around 325 grams. To a certain extent it's preference.

For a 12" pie, 13 ounces sounds like a lot. This, in combination with the high gluten flour, is probably causing a thicker, bready texture. If you're going with a 12" pie, you might try a 300 gram ball for one of your next experiments.

Raj

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Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 2 years ago


Hello Mike, Gill and Raj. Sorry the delay replying. Life keeps intruding on my pursuit of the perfect pizza...

I did order two scales per your recommendations: 1)Kitchen Scale - Bakers Math Kitchen Scale - KD8000 Scale by My Weight, Silver and 2)
American Weigh Scales AWS-201-BLK Digital Personal Nutrition Scale, Pocket Size, Black. I'll give the dough another try once I have these more accurate instruments. Thanks again for the recommendations.

Raj, regarding the weight/width ratios, I'll try stretching one one the dough balls from my currently-frozen, too-fat--pie batch. I'll try stretching it to 14" since I don't think I can cut away part of the dough once its been balled without untoward effects.

Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know how my next attempt pans out (pun intended) :-)

Brian Dietrich
posted about 2 years ago


For the pocket scale get yourself some small bowls like the ones below
http://www.pyrexware.com/10-oz-custard-cups-set-of-4/6001143.html#sz=12&start=41

They are good for weighing out the small amounts

Gil W.
posted about 2 years ago


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