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Dough breaks, doesn't stretch - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • #16
    Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

    Mix the water & flour just enough to wet the flour. Let it rest - autolyze - for 20 minutes. Then add the salt and leavening.

    (How'd I do, Jay? )

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    • #17
      Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

      That is it! Just mix it so no loose/dry flour and let it sit. It can sit pretty much as long as you want. The gluten will form much faster than if the salt was added and should be pretty complete in 20-30 minutes. (Gluten is rather sensitive to the electrolytic nature of the water including as I understand it hard/soft water factors.) But the gluten will be very weak and the dough will feel "loose" until you add the salt.

      Once I started doing this I do it a lot. I think I get better gluten with much less working of the dough.

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      • #18
        Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

        Just a curious aside, I believe - don't really know - that if you have hard water in your house you add a salt solution of some sort to "soften" it. Would salt in our dough have any similar reaction if we have hard water? I only ask this question to further complicate the discussion. Antagonist that I am.

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        • #19
          Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

          Good question... Not quite sure. I know distilled water is not good - you want a reasonable amount of electrolytes. As a result RO (reverse osmosis) water is generally not preferred for it tends to be too soft. However, in San Antonio we have super hard water and a water softener which means we have way too many Potassium ions and a salty taste to our regular water so we use RO. I haven't done a test on our water but the guys that service our water system say that due to the high inlet concentration our RO is actually more "normal" than most. I haven't a clue!

          Super hard water is not supposed to be good - will supposedly toughen the gluten somewhat like excess salt. But I don't have the detailed knowledge or experience to give a good answer. I probably should do a batch of dough with our unsoftened water. I definitely don't like the softened water but I haven't done a head to head test to see if it gives a tougher crumb - that is what I would expect.

          Maybe early next year after my year end baking!
          Jay

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          • #20
            Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

            Ok, Jay, time to report back.
            I did a slow and shorter (5 m.) mix of the dough (flour & water; rest 20 m.; 1.5% salt; 15% SD starter). That was the biggest change to my recent method. I let the dough rest an hour, did one S&F (though I could do another one or two I suppose) then I balled it and refrigerated it right away. It never actually got a chance to rise. About 18 or so hours before baking it I took it out of the refrigerator only because I wanted it to get that chance.
            I have a pizza stone I almost never use but I wanted to test only one pizza so I did it in the house oven, temperature up all the way and pre-heated about an hour. And really, the only thing I was interested in was the dough's ability to stretch or not.

            Well, Jay, I have to say, that baby stretched and stretched... I wonder if I could have torn it if I tried. Sure didn't want to tear. It was by far the best pizza-stone in-house pizza I"d ever had. And that was nowhere near what I was trying to do. I'm dieing to get back at the WFO as soon as I can. We have a winner!! I can be grateful the Genzano is so good it flies out of here and I'm forced into another baking day of both bread and pizza. Things could be worse.

            Jay, tons of thanks. I believe it was the mixing time, handling the dough much, much less. Slower mix too. I wish you could have been here. Hats off..
            Thanks
            Kim
            Last edited by KEmerson; 12-12-2011, 07:49 AM.

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            • #21
              Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

              Super!

              I find that in many activities, people's approaches evolve over time, shifting a little here and a little there, an idea from another planet that seems to make sense, and things get out of whack and it can be very hard to figure out what it is because you often don't realize what you did different! About a year ago I had a couple of bread batches that lacked oven spring. First batch I questioned my new flour and hydration. Next one I got serious because they were worse so I was careful. Third batch I took a closer look at the whole process and decided my sourdough leaven was not fully active. Now, it was expanding fairly well overnight but it still lacked oomph. So... I fed it three times (every 12 hours) and it was the wildest I had seen it in years. Huge loaves on the next batch...
              Looking back, my steal 100 grams to start the bread and feed the rest and refrigerate after about 30 min to an 1 hour was slowly "killing" it. Now I take it, feed it all the morning before I bake, Divide that and feed the starter portion/refrigerate it, and start the bread with the rest. Now I really don't need the double feed because what I pull out of the fridge is much more robust, but...I also get very consistent results.

              Self diagnosis is really hard - even when you "know the rules" and what is "supposed to happen". Glad it worked for you!

              I will be baking tomorrow - mainly my regular boules to give as Christmas presents. But I will be dreaming of Genzano!

              Bake On!
              Jay

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              • #22
                Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

                I've had similar experiences. One irony here is that my original recipe has me mixing slowly for only five minutes. I think that as I changed from ADY to SD I made some other tweaks and sort of lost my way.

                As I said, I can't wait to get to the WFO with this. Next week? Again, thanks.
                Kim

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                • #23
                  Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

                  Jay & friends,
                  Last night was the first time back at the WFO with the new, improved dough. I feel as though I'd been on a path and took a detour on my own into ungroomed trails and I simply lost my way and couldn't tell where I'd left the trail. Now I feel I've been helped back onto that familiar path and it took me home only a little off schedule but none the worse for wear. And of course, the experience, frustrating as it was, was also educational. I learned from my mistakes which can only add to the value of making mistakes in the first place. And like I've said before, making mistakes, even though I wouldn't want to live there, is an ok place to visit and may even be a required stop along the way.
                  So thanks for the input, Jay.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

                    What to me feels good is to be back to the familiar! We all have "detours" and it feels good to be back to "normal"!

                    Thanks!
                    jay

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                    • #25
                      Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

                      Oh, Jay, I also did a dozen Genzano boules. Nice bake day all around. I was thinking of you as I made the first slice.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Dough breaks, doesn't stretch

                        D
                        r
                        o
                        o
                        l
                        !
                        Last edited by texassourdough; 12-19-2011, 12:01 PM.

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