Ask Tom Lehmann a Question

Discussion in 'Ask The Dough Doctor/Tom Lehmann a Question' started by Tom Lehmann, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. durbancic

    durbancic Active Member

    Jun 16, 2011
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    Barberton OHIO
    Do you actually use exactly 32# of water? (4 gallons * 8#) If so, that would be 64% hydration for your regular dough. We weigh water for every batch of dough. If it is off just a little bit it gets too tough or too gooey.
  2. Kevin Mann

    Kevin Mann New Member

    Jan 4, 2017
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    West Chester, PA
    Hi Tom and greater PMQ community,

    My cousin and I purchased a local pizzeria in my hometown a little over one month ago, and while both of us have solid experience in the industry (at the specific shop we took over), it has been a wild ride getting up and running to say the least. My personal primary focus has been on dough quality and management, and so far have had success improving on the previous owner's recipe, thanks largely to this forum and community (THANK YOU!!!!). I honestly don't know what we would have done had I not discovered this AMAZING resource in the weeks leading up to our opening.

    One aspect of the dough making process I've had some trouble finding clarity on is the use of oil, particularly vegetable oil as opposed to olive oil, which most of the recipes on this forum seem to use. I have been sticking to Tom's recommendation of 3% [olive] oil for a batch using a 50lb bag of flour, which comes to 2.87 cups of oil. I have been using Divo vegetable oil (inherited from previous ownership), which is 90% vegetable & 10% olive oil. My question is; Should the amount of oil used be adjusted based on the type of oil?

    Also, the way we were trained to handle dough out of the mixer involves using oil instead of flour throughout the cutting and rolling process (i.e. - small amount of oil on table where dough is set for cutting and rolling). The only explanation given to us has been "it's just how we do it." I'm not a fan of the type of mess oil leaves, and it seems to me the additional oil absorbed by the dough in this process could have a negative effect on the end product (pure speculation). Also, every single video I've seen about dough making has shown flour used on both the table and dough itself once out of the mixer. Is there any benefit to using flour as opposed to oil throughout the cutting and rolling process?

    Thank you!
    -K. Mann
  3. RichPugh

    RichPugh Member

    Feb 5, 2010
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    I'm having a mixing and proofing issue. I believe it's been going on for a lot longer than I realized.

    First, My Recipe:

    55lbs Flour (00 Caputo Antico Molino Pizzeria bags)
    25lbs water (including any ice during hot months)
    3.5lbs Cola (Yes, CocaCola... I worked at a Pizzeria 20+ years ago where the owner did this and we got rave reviews about our crust so I just imported it to my application :))
    2.5lbs Hot Water (100-110f, for yeast)
    (31 lbs total hydration / 56%)
    17.5oz (2%) Oil (was EVOO, now, we use a blend)
    17.5oz (2%) Salt
    3oz (.34%) Fleischmann's IDY

    I put all liquids in the mixing bowl with the flour and salt and mix for 3min on low speed. After it stops, we add the oil and originally we mixed it on speed 2 for close to 11 minutes. (At one point we were told by our mixer technician to NEVER run the dough on speed 2 so for a while, we just ran it for close to 14 min on speed 1.) The dough came out around 80 degrees f and we ball Small dough balls around 10oz for 12" shells and Large dough balls around 18oz for 16" shells. The balls go 8 to a tray for smalls and 6 to a tray for larges, then we oil the tops of the dough, offset-stack them for about 2 hours in the walk-in (too small to cross stack), then nest them.

    For service, we dont have an area where we can keep the proofed doughs to get them to room temp so for years, we've stacked about 8-9 trays in a reach-in refrigerator convenient to the pizza prep line and they grab them drectly from the reach-in, cold, and open to order. Essentially, they are refrigerated during service and even with us going in and out of that reach-in, they dont ever get up over 50f)

    We've never had any problems opening the dough or baking them. In fact, we have rave reviews for the texture and the flavor.

    (We open the doughs in neapolitan style... very thinly in the center, leaving most of the weight around the cornice for a larger pillowy cornicione, and we bake in a 625f Marsal MB90)

    Now for the Issues:

    1. Dough Blowing Out. After several months, we noticed an issue of the dough blowing out after barely 36hrs... definitely not lasting 48hrs. Typically we make dough today for use tomorrow, but if it ever goes beyond the 1st use day, the doughs just turn into dough-soup in the proofing boxes and we cant even come close to using them for pizza shells. I originally reduced the hydration and the yeast (they were higher before, around 60% hydration and almost 4oz (.45% IDY) but the problem persisted. We tried to start with colder dough (adding ice to the water) and that didnt do anything. This is problem #1... dough blowing out.

    2. Dough Mixing Consistency. The dough was coming out too cold only mixing on speed 1, even for as long as 14 additional minutes after the initial delayed-oil 3min pre-mix. So, I've gone back to the speed 2 mixing and have tried anywhere between 8min and 12 min and I still have the same issue. The dough, once mixed, proofed overnight and stretching open for a pizza shell, isnt smooth. The balls look wonderful on the outside but opening them up, the center of the dough looks like a spider web with noticeable cross-strands of dough and it gets super thin at points, almost popping holes.

    Even with these issues, we typically have a very solid consistent product that bakes well and everyone seems to love... but I would LOVE to figure out how to keep the dough from blowing out past 36-48 hours (so that we can use the dough we made a ton of on Monday, thru Tuesday and on Wednesday).

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017