I’m having an issue with our dough I’m hoping to get help with… We used to have a 60qt mixer but went down to a 40qt and cannot seem to get the right consistency with the final product…

With the 60qt the recipe was:

1- 50lb bag flour
1- cup olive oil
1- cup salt
29 grams yeast
14 liters H20

I basically cut that in half for the 40qt mixer and it’s pretty hit or miss how it comes out… Is there something I’m missing here?

What you need to do is convert all your ingredients to weight to use bakers percentages. Then you use your flour weight as 100% and each of the other ingredients weights are a percentage of that. First let us convert all the ingredients to the same measure.

Flour – 50lbs = 22680g = 100%
Olive oil – 1 cup = 216g = .95%
Salt – 1 cup = 220g = .97%
Yeast = 29g = .12%
Water – 14L = 14028g = 62%

Flour = 11340g
Olive oil (11340 x .95%) = 108g
Salt (11340 x .97%) = 110g
Yeast (11340 x .12%) = 14g
Water (11340 x 62%) = 7030g

As you can see not all the ingredients work out to exactly 1/2 of the original measurements. This is likely why you are getting an inconsistent dough with your smaller batch.

Daddio, cutting the recipe in half should still use exactly half of all of the ingredients. You’re getting a difference because of rounding.

For the water, you divide 14028 by 22680. The result should be .61852, not .62. There are five significant digits in the numerator and denominator, so you should take the answer to five digits.

.61852 x 11340 grams of flour is 7014.0 grams of water (5 significant digits), which is exactly half of what he was using.

The yeast is 29 / 22680 or .001276… which should be rounded to .0013, not .0012 (two significant digits, but you rounded incorrectly).

I think the problem may lie more in the difference of the mixer than halving the recipe. Not only is the batch smaller, but it’s also going to have a different friction factor than the 60qt, and that will change the necessary input temperatures and probably the required mix time as well.

Reducing the size of the batch means the mixer will add heat more quickly than a larger batch, and mathematically would make the finished dough temperature more sensitive to smaller changes in the starting temperatures.

Basically, the margin of error has decreased with a smaller batch size so you’re seeing more pronounced variations in the finished product. You’ll have to do a little experimentation to find the difference in the friction factor of the mixer and then you’ll have to be a little more exact with your starting temperature than you were before.

The friction idea sounds like it has merit as the dough sometimes comes out flat looking and even after 24 hours resting in the cooler doesn’t seem to “come up”. Then a few minutes into baking it looks almost like fresh dough, Hardly any rise, bubbles and a cardboard like texture… BTW we hand toss our pies.

One other question, I’m in NY and lately the temps have been below zero. I was thinking the water wasn’t warm enough but from your answer it sounds like the opposite?

I think it’s tough to tell what’s going on. Too cold of water would definitely leave you with dough that isn’t rising much. Maybe that’s the entire problem and it’s just a coincidence that it happened at the same time as the mixer change?

Do you take the temperature of the finished dough after mixing? If so, have you seen a big difference?

We use a method that Tom Lehmann taught us. We take our ambient air temperature and flour temperature, plug those two numbers into an equation which also includes the friction factor, and it spits out what our starting water temperature should be for a given desired dough temperature.

It varies widely based on season. In the summer the water is in the 65 degree range, but in the winter it’s often over 100. In any circumstance, our dough usually comes off within half of a degree of our desired temperature (usually 85).

You may have two different things going on at once here - the change in mixer and the change in water temperature could both be wreaking havoc.

That will show you how to calculate your friction factor by backing it out of a batch of dough. After that, use the formula for making every batch of dough and you’ll see consistency. I didn’t do this for my first 6 years or so, but it made a huge difference in our product.

I have 3 charts in our kitchen that tell the staff what temperatures to use… One if we’re shooting for 80 degrees finished, one for 83, and one for 85. They get the ambient air and flour temperature, find where those two meet on the chart and it tells them what water temperature to use.