Final Mixed Dough now Softer/Wetter ?

Hi Guys,
I’m wondering why our stores dough is all of a sudden softer and wetter ?
We use Tom Lehmanns Dough Management Method and the only thing that has changed is the weather.
It’s gotten colder.
Our Winter here on the east coast of Australia came on really quickly in basically a week.
The first few batches of dough that week I noticed the finished mixing temp was too low (around 77 farenheit)…and that’s when the dough came out softer and wetter.
Since then I’ve tried one batch with water that I’ve warmed up using one of Tom’s formulas (the 145 farenheit minus dough temp)…and there’s been improvement to a better finished mixing temp of 80 farenheit).
But I would say my observations are that it was still softer and little bit wetter. This doesn’t give us the cooked pizza characteristics we’re after.
Any thoughts appreciated ?
Oh…the other observation is that is was a smaller batch that we were trying for the first time. About 1/4 the usual full bag batch (for a very quiet monday night).

Unless you’re using a spiral mixer, a 1/4 size dough will receive less mixing action if you mixed the dough for the same time that you mix a full size batch.
Also don’t forget what I always say about hockey pucks and flour…Hockey pucks are always the same, flour is always different, so it is not unusual for the dough absorption to change by a couple percent up and down occasionally, not enough to cause a catastrophic dough failure but enough to cause you to see a slight difference, when you do it’s time make a slight adjustment to the dough absorption to bring the dough back home again.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for the reply as usual Tom !
Appreciate it.
Yep…I was thinking the same thing about the flour.
I might drop the water and oil in 1% increments until it gets back to it’s way it was before.
Oh, yes I use a spiral mixer.

Why the oil?
Water is the culprit and if you also drop the oil you will be affecting other aspects of your finished crust.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks Tom, it seems to have worked well without dropping the oil.
Quick unrelated question…
I’m wondering what my strategy should be to get my dough to last longer than a day.
At the moment I let it cold ferment using your dough management method for 24 hours.
After 24hrs its great, but after 48 hours it looks like its blown.
I use 0.6% instant dry yeast, 1.2% white sugar, 1.6% salt, 53% water, 6% olive oil.
Appreciate the help

Well, let’s see… your IDY level is twice of what it should be (0.3 to 0.4%) is the range but I use 0.375% for all of my doughs. Your salt level is too low too, if you go up to 2% you will get a better finished crust flavor and the higher salt level will regulate the rate of fermentation much better too. Adjust your water temperature to bring the dough off of the mixer at 70 to 75F and make sure you get all of the dough scaled, balled and into the cooler within 20-minutes of removing the dough from the mixer and you will have a dough that will be good to use out to 3-days if you do your part.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Ahhh, thanks for that Tom.
I’m just wondering about your finished temp range of 70 - 75.
I thought you recommended 80 - 85 ?
The main reason I’m asking is that I noticed my dough only gets that satiny texture at about 80. If I stop at 70 - 75 it would look under mixed.

Yes it will…you said “if I stop at 70 - 75 it will look under mixed” which say you are controlling the finished dough temperature through mixing/dough development time which is the wrong way to go about it, instead the finished dough temperature is controlled through adjustment of the temperature of the dough water. Even if targeting a finished dough temperature of say…65F, you would still mix the dough to that just satiny appearance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I am in Perth Western Australia
Tom’s recipes are great but be aware of different types of flour in the USA to Australia which can make a difference to the finished product. We use 12.5kg bags of Milano Pizza flour which we find as great and used by most of the top operators here. Weight per bag is consistent so you can use it without the worry of weighing each bag to make sure it is the stipulated weight on the bag
It is very hard to get apples vs apples so slight adjustments to get your finished product as you want it is the way to go. Base it on Toms recipe and adjust for local conditions
We mix 25kg flour at a time with 12lts of cold water. The water is stored in the coolroom (2c). Would recommend the same rather than use it from the tap (too much temperature variance) for consistency.
Our dough also has a milk based sour dough additive plus we add 3 eggs to the mix.and store in the coolroom to build flavour, but that is our type of dough, different from standard mixes.
We roll it out the next night into small, large and family balls onto bakers trays and tightly cover with garbage bags and store in the coolroom for the next afternoons roll out. Sometimes the bulk dough is in the coolroom for 48 hours or more before being balled for the next days use.
A tip for keeping your bases fresh once rolled out is to put the base on screens on racks and cover with garbage bags. They stay if prime condition right through to close.

Hi Tom,
My longer and slower cook is giving the crust a drier feel on the mouth that isn’t as nice as the quicker cook.
Wondering if you can think of anything I can experiment to address this ?
Hoping to have the best of both worlds…a crisper crust in the centre with the better slower and lower cook, but also without making the pizza crust (especially not he outside edge) drier.
Appreciate any ideas to play with.

Is spiral mixer consume more quantity of dough rather than 1/4 size dough ?..

A spiral design mixer will effectively mix doughs as small as 25% of stated bowl capacity.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom,
Thanks again for all the help, appreciate it.
Just wondering if you prefer 70-75 degrees or 80-85 degrees for final mixed dough temp?

If I’m making the dough for use after 24-hours I will use 80 to 85F, but if I’m making the dough to use from 24 out to a maximum of 72-hours (which is the case with most pizzerias) I use 70 to 75F. Remember, these numbers are based on a walk-in cooler, if a reach-in cooler is used those temperatures are reduced by at least 5F, maybe 10F in some cases. If it’s a commissary operation making dough for use from between 24 (actually more like 48-hours) to as far out as 144-hours it’s usually in the 65 to 70F range but that can change as there are just so many variables to be considered between different commissary operations.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks Tom,
Getting some great consistency with our dough now, so appreciate all the help.
Just finessing it as much as I can now.