question for Tom Lehman

I was watching your video on how to make pizza dough and you take a small piece of dough, roll it and then push it down and apart to test the gluten production. You say when it has been properly mixed there will be no tearing. So now my issue is my dough always tears when I try this. I mixed it for an eternity today and was never able to achieve the proper results. What could I be doing wrong?

Tell me something about how you mixed te dough. When using low speed to mix the dough it can easily take 20-minutes or more to get the right level of gluten development. When mixing at 2nd, or medium speed, we typically see the correct amount of gluten development after about 8 to 12-minutes of mixing. This is with a reverse spiral dough hook. If a conventional “J” arm is used you may not be able to ever achieve the amount of gluten development shown with anything short of a full bowl of dough. This is due to the fact that with the “J” arm, the dough has a pronounced tendency to just grab onto the hook and go for a free ride around the bowl without being developed. Not to worry though. Pizza doughs are typically at their best when undermixed. The only advantage to achieving the level of gluten development shown is that the dough is easier to cut/scale and ball at the bench since it is a bit less tacky. Use a little extra dusting flour and all is good if you can’t achieve that level of gluten development with your mixer. By the way, the dough will achieve full gluten development through biochemical gluten development, during the fermentation process in the cooler. So don’t sweat it too much if you can’t mix to that level of gluten development. It’s nice to have if you can get it, but not a deal breaker if you can’t. Just mix the dough until it begins to take on a smooth, satiny appearance, and then call it good, fermentation will take over from there to give you a well developed gluten structure on the following day.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor