Ask The Experts: Question for Tom Lehmann

Tom, our small chain of delco pizza shops has grown to the size and volume that our supplier suggested that we have our flour premixed with the yeast, sugar, salt and dough conditioner mixed together in a ready to use bag. This was also necessary because we have our first franchise operation on the way. Since then we have had some comments from customers that are questioning why we changed our dough. Most couldn’t really identify what was different but a few mentioned that the dough wasn’t as yeasty or was just less flovorful. Is it possible that the flavor profile has been altered because the yeast is being consumed while in the bags. The average time the RTU flour is in the bag is usually under 60 days before usage, which doesn’t seem to long. What do you think?

Well…It all depends upon what kind/type of yeast is being used in the dry mix. You should have that information on your specification sheet for the dry mix. Also, please let me know how much of what kind of yeast you were using before you changed over to a dry mix as this will allow me to check on the math to make sure the correct amount is being used in the dry mix. Or, if you want, just give me a call at 800-633-5137 (ext. 165) and we can discuss so you wil lhave the answer right away. Also, what was your dough management procedure before the dry mix? What is it now that you are using a dry mix? How wide spread are the consumer reports? Were you getting consumer comments prior to the change, or just since the change? Are they system wide, or are they coming from specific stores? As you can see, there are a lot of questions to be asked, and I’m betting that you have the answers, we just need to discuss to get to the bottom of what might be happening.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

41 grams of active dry yeast and the batches are based on 32lbs of Hi-Gluten flour. FYI we havn’t changed any of our procedures. The only difference is that instead of making up a “dough ingredient packet” from scratch ingedients at each store, then adding that to the water, whisking (then waiting until a foam forms on the water which was usually less than a minute) then add the flour and later the oil. We now put the water in the bowl, add the all inclusive flour and later the oil. Balling and storage procedures are identical to before, so I don’t believe that would be a factor. The customer comments all came from one store which has been in business for over 20 years, so the customers at this location are very keen on how our pizza tastes versus some of the newer locations were our customers may not be quite as concerned (yet), so I believe the problem is system wide.

I think you just answered your question. The ADY that you are using is the wrong type of yeast for your application. You are most likely losing a good deal of the potential fermentative power of the yeast due to the way you are adding it to the dough (as part of the dty mix). ADY should always be hydrated by itself, or with just a very small amount of sugar in water at 100 to 105F. What you are doing is incorrect for ADY. Instead, you should be using IDY. Your procedure, and use in a dry mix is correct for IDY. To replace the 41-grams of ADY you should use 28-grams of IDY. Give this a try and lets see if there is an improvement.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks alot for the info, I’ll let you know how it goes.