Ask Tom Lehmann a Question

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

  1. wizarddrummer

    wizarddrummer New Member

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    Thank you Tom, you are a most gracious and inspiring person.
     
  2. wizarddrummer

    wizarddrummer New Member

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    Hi Tom,

    You were gracious enough to help me before, I hope you have the time once again. You must get thousands of requests a day.

    I need procedural information for making some pizza dough.

    A wee bit o background. I am financially in a very bad way and doing just about anything I can do to survive and I'm barely doing that. This means that I have to try new things to try and earn a living and I don't have any wiggle room for mistakes. A friend has a restaurant and we are going to see what happens if we can start selling pizza by the slice. (we're in Mexico so the pizza does not have to be perfect ). I hope I can start to make enough money to buy food :).

    I stumbled upon your article this morning about how salt kills yeast. Yikes; perhaps this is why some or most of my doughs have been poor performers and I also remembered the hundreds of references to recipes where everything was combined without any thought about the salt factor. It's time to ask the expert for some advice and clarity.

    I don't have any equipment other than a few pizza screens and a peel to take the pizza's out of the oven, a crappy scale and some stainless mixing bowls. Everything is done by hand.

    My mission is to make five dough balls so I can make five 14" pizzas.

    I would like the dough to be somewhere between a NY style thin crust and a Dominos / Pizza Hut dough.

    I would like to slow ferment the dough for minimum of 3 days; more if possible.

    When I transport them from my house to the restaurant, they need to be frozen because the trip is about 1/2 hour.

    I assume that the level fermentation for dough differs regarding 3 days in the fridge vs. 3 days in the freezer. This uncertainty means that I am unclear at what point I should freeze the dough to get the maximum flavor that results from a longer fermentation time. The dough will undoubtedly rise and I assume that you are not supposed to freeze dough that has risen.

    I am hoping you can tell me a procedure (with an aytolyse if possible) for mixing the dough (ie: when do I add the salt so I don't kill the yeast), approx. how long to knead, etc., using a cold temperature water if possible so that I can retard the fermentation and do it all by hand in a mixing bowl and table.

    I watched a video that you made at the institute using the gigantic mixer and saw that you portioned and made the dough balls right after mixing. I would need to know, for my little endeavor how best to approach this with the end result being frozen.

    Ingredients:
    I have Bay State Milling Company Premium High Gluten Pizza Flour, IDY, purified water, Vinegar, Iodized Salt, Sugar and vegetable oil at my disposal for the dough.

    I'll leave it up to you to decide what you think the best hydration %, thickness factor and final dough ball weight should be.

    I sure appreciate the help.
     
  3. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    WD;
    Go to the RECIPE BANK and use the search word "dough" and look for my home made pizza dough recipe and procedure. Since your scale is "crappy" stay with the volumetric portions called for for now. This recipe will make enough dough for about 3-dough balls, so you will need to double the recipe to make six dough balls. Follow the directions (not much mixing at all). After the dough has been fermented and turned out of the bowl for a second kneading (just a couple seconds of kneading), divide the dough into 15-ounce pieces and form into balls. oil each edough ball and place into a plastic bag (think bread bag), twist the open end into a pony tail and tuck it under the dough ball as you place it into the refrigerator. Refrigerate the dough for roughly 24-hours, then transport it to the restaurant (no need to freeze). Once at the restaurant, set the dough out at room temperature for another 1.5 to 2-hours, then turn the dough out of the bag(s) into a bowl of flour, open into pizza skins, brush very lightly with oil (olive oil), and apply a light sauce application (about half of what you would normally use), place into the oven and bake at 450F (deck oven) just until the crust is firm and is beginning to color. Remove the par-baked crust from the oven and place onto a screen to cool. Par-bake all of the crusts, then add the remaining sauce, cheese, and toppings, and bake on the screens at 500 to 525F until done. Remove from oven and cool on a screen or wire rack.Cut into the desired number of slices. To the order, remove a slice, and add a small amount of additional cheese, then place the slice into the oven, directly on the hearth and reheat. This will take 1 to 2-minutes. You may need to experiment a little with the times, but this will get you very close to where you want to be.
    Good Luck,
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  4. JavaMountain

    JavaMountain New Member

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    Sandwich Prep Table Problems

    Hi Tom, I'm having problems with my sandwich prep table. The bottom is nice and cold, about 35 degrees, but the top fluctuates between 45 and even low 50's. What to do?! Thank You.
     
  5. wizarddrummer

    wizarddrummer New Member

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    Thanks so much Tom.

    However I have only a small question. I've never done a par-bake before, actually i've only made a few pizzas :) why par-bake? What does that do? In other words why wouldn't I just bake the pie at 550 to begin with?

    I'm a person that likes to know the "why" of things.
    Thanks.
     
  6. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    By par-baking the crusts you will end up with a crispier finished slice presentation than you would if you were to fully bake the pizza and then just re-con (warm) it at the time of sale.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  7. dwighttbp

    dwighttbp New Member

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    Hi Tom- You helped me figure out the best way to mix dough in my Impasti S18 mixer a while ago (more dough). It's been a great little mixer. Today the chain that drives the rotating bowl slipped and it appears to have stretched enough that it does not stay on. I plan to call the used baking equipment shop I got this from to see if they can help me find the right sized chain but I also wondered if you or anyone you know had any experience working on these mixers so I can perhaps get some advice.

    Thanks-
     
  8. wizarddrummer

    wizarddrummer New Member

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    Hi Tom,

    Two questions.

    What is the primary cause for a dough that looks and feels like it would bake perfectly to finish being very hard, tough and over crispy? I seem to have this problem more than I have success.

    When I took the dough balls to stretch them into pies the dough felt very soft and pliable. The dough had risen nicely and there were some very small bubbles that you could seen on the surface. I gently pressed them down and I used my fingers to create a small rim. I used my hands to stretch the dough. It was extensible and stretched nicely without tearing, but when it came out of the oven the dough was very tough, crisp and not tender at all.

    Second question.

    I need to learn how to make dough that is like Foam Rubber.

    Not it's not a joke. That's the best that I can describe the texture.

    People here tend to like a pizza that has a dough that resembles foam rubber. Very, Very soft with not too much browning.

    I don't know how to do this because I only know about recipes for normal pizza dough that provide the chewy / crispy texture and to bake them at very high temperatures, so my stuff comes out, more often than not, a little on the chewy crispy side.

    I can't speak Spanish well enough to go and ask anyone that makes pizzas here that have the typical foam rubber pizza crust how they do it.

    Do you have any ideas?
     
  9. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Dwight;
    I'm betting that the chain is something that you might be able to get from an industrial supply house. Some times the chains are marked on the side plates indicating the size, or you may need to check with the manufacrurer to find out what size it is. You might even see if you can remove the master link and still get the chain ends to come together. This would indicate that you can have a link removed and be back in business without the expense of a new chain. Also, check to see if there is some provision for tensioning the chain.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  10. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Wiz;
    To answer your first question, it sounds like your oven is too hot. This will typically result in a crust that is browned, but still soft and chewy/tough in the center. It will not retain that crisp very long either.
    As for your second question. You want a finished crust like foam rubber? Well, lets begin by mixing the dough until you get a very soft, pliable dough, try stretching it between your fingers (window test) to see if you can stretch out a gluten film). You are looking for a well developed gluten structure just as you would if you were going to be making bread from the dough. Lets leave the sugar out for now (you said you don't want any color), no eggs or milk either. The fat content should be in the 3 to 5% range too. As for a baking temperature,
    I'd begin with a cooler than normal oven, so lets begin at 450F as this will allow you to bake the crust without excessive color development. As the internal structure will not be baked al lthat well, you should end up with a very soft, but chewy crust texture.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  11. wizarddrummer

    wizarddrummer New Member

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    Sorry it took so long to say thanks!
     
  12. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Wiz;
    You're welcome. Keep us posted on your progress.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  13. KevinK

    KevinK New Member

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    Dear Tom (and am cross posting to hopefully get an idea):

    Here in Colorado we have really only one decent pizzaria named Beau Jeaos. They do a really good mountain style pie.
    The NY style and Chicago style pizzarias (Anthony's, Belemonte, Pisquale's to name a few) just don't have the NY style going on. Mainly its the cheese. Ok, it IS the cheese. EVERY Colorado Pizza comes out of the oven and then served on your dish/napkin/paper plate with cheese that is like the rubber sole from your grandfathers loafers. Everyone of them. Its not hot, its not liquid, its not smoking. Instead, and from the oven to your plate (maybe 10 seconds), its a congealed, cooled mess that could all be lifted with one finger.

    I think it certainly has to do with our +5000' altitude and very dry semi arid environment.

    Sorely, everybody in CO complains about this especially after having authentic NY or Chicago style pizza. Here the cheese oozes, is smoky, is hot.

    Nobody has duplicated yet in Colorado.

    Any ideas on what is going on here in the mile high city?

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Kuczek
     
  14. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Kevin;
    First of, I'd like to see how Grande Fresh Mozzarella cheese works on those pizzas. Pealed, not cut, shredded, or diced please. In Denver, Aurora, and surrounding areas with similar elevation, when using a deck oven, you need to bake the pizzas LONGER than you would at sea level. Typically, about 15 to 20% longer, and at the same time you will need to reduce the baking temperature by about 20F. This will vary to some extent, depending upon the oven in question, but you see the pattern. This is all due to the fact that water boils off at a lower temperature at high elevation than at sea level, so there is greater surface cooling going on when you bake a pizza in Denver. Hence, to correct for this, you must bake longer, but to prevent burning anything, you will need to drop the temperature at the same time. With air impingement ovens, you will need to take a different approach, with this oven you will want to INCREASE the baking temperature by 20 to 25F and adjust the baking time accordingly so as to prevent burning the toppings. The reason for this approach with the air impingement oven is because of the high velocity air flow driving off more moisture resulting from the lower boiling point of the water. Increasing the temperature results in more efficient driving of the heat (baking). The drier air at the higher elevation doesn't enter into the equation.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  15. Cierlan

    Cierlan New Member

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    Good evening. I have a question, and I may even have my answer, but I would like a bit of advice if you have the time. I've worked at a pizza shop for the past 16 years, and I have owed it for the past 5. It wasn't really until the last 12 months that I started to question why we do certain things the way do. I simply did them that way because that's how I learned.

    My question involves the dough that I make. The recipe is very similiar to the tutorial posted on PMQ and includes high-gluten flour, yeast, salt, sugar, shortening (melted), and water. We've always gotten great usage from the dough, for the first day. The problem is, after 24 hours the dough does not act the same. I tweaked the previous owners recipe to include only half the yeast he used, and that seemed to correct the rather undesirable alcohol smell the dough balls acquired after a day in the cooler. But, my dough balls still cook a little differently (slower) after being in the cooler for 24 hours, and they lose their smooth texture. They get a bit - for lack of better words, wrinkly, convoluted, and the surface will have a lot of small "holes" which I assume is gas escaping. I'm thinking my problem is a storage issue, not a recipe issue. I do not currently use proofing boxes. As soon as the dough is ready, I cut the pieces to size, we flour them and stuff them into 6x3x15 poly bags. We do not tie the bags because the larger balls would rip them out while expanding.

    Do you feel that all others things being equal, using proofing boxes makes that much difference? My life (job) would become much simpler if I could make larger batches of dough that would work perfectly for 2-3 days. I am very interested in trying the boxes to gauge my mileage with them, but considering their cost, I would greatly appreciate your advice first.

    Thank you very much.

    -Jeff McCormick
     
  16. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Jeff;
    A couple questions to ask: What is your finished dough temperature (Dough temperature immediately after mixing), and do you oil the dough balls before bagging them?
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  17. Cierlan

    Cierlan New Member

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    I had a feeling you were going to ask about temperature, and the honest answer is I do not know. Although not as accurate, or precise, as recommended, I adjust my water by feel, taking the room into account. If I'm missing the 80-85 degree mark, it would be that I am coming in low.

    After cutting the dough balls we give them a roll in flour and place them directly into the plastic bags. What seems to be an obvious problem with this technique is that, since the bags are not tied, part of the dough balls' surface is exposed to an extent.
     
  18. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    Jeff;
    I'm betting that your dough is too warm. If water even feels warm, it is above 98.6F, and for example, last night we were making dough and we used 65F water, quite cool to the touch. Warm dough temperature will result in excessive fermentation, producing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide, alcohol, and acids. Carbon dioxide would explain the smell of your dough, and the excessive acid content would explain why they take longer to bake (acids reduce the ability of the dough to brown during baking, so you end up baking the dough longer). Now, dig out that thermometer that you so proudly display when you have a food safety inspection, and start checking the finished dough temperature as well as the temperature of the water going into the dough. Suggestion: Rather than rolling the dough balls in flour before bagging, try oiling them lightly instead. Then trist the open end of the bag and tuck it under the end of the tray.
    Please keep me posted.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  19. Cierlan

    Cierlan New Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions Tom. I will measure the temperature as recommended. If I remember correctly from the video, the oil used to coat the dough ball does not need to be anything expensive?
     
  20. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Well-Known Member

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    We typically put the "good stuff" in the dough, and the "cheap stuff" on the dough. Canola oil works great.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor