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I'm having trouble getting my pizza crust light , airy and crispy. I'm not sure if it's the mixing of the dough because I'm using a smaller mixer 20qt as opposed to my old 60qt. The bowl is not smooth and shiny and the dough hook doesn't appear to get close enough to the bottom of the bowl. It looks like the bowl was used to for everything except for making dough.

Do these sound like conditions that would cause my crust to be tough? The dough is stiff and is difficult to work with when I remove it from the refrigerated proofing box. It's elastic like.

This is frustrating because I owned a pizza shop a year ago; I had a recipe from New Haven and my crust was perfect: light, airy and crispy. I now reopened in a new location with a different oven and I'm still using my old recipe and the pizza crust is awful and I can't figure out why.

The recipe is as follows:

4-gal water
4oz yeast cake
12oz salt
50 lbs flour-gold medal bromated bleached flour full strength

The recipe is fine since I had a perfect new haven style thin crust using it for a year at my old location.

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Could you post the recipe you're using? –  ElendilTheTall Sep 21 '12 at 10:14
Never used one of the large commercial machines, but it seems like the hook height ought to be adjustable. Maybe the manufacturer or distributor could tell you the proper hook/bowl clearance, so you could be sure if its right? –  derobert Sep 21 '12 at 13:30
what temp is your proofing box at? what speed setting were you mixing each dough at? At what temp is the dough rising to before you work it? Are both mixers Hobart or something else? are you using screens or cooking on a stone or a metal shelf? –  sarge_smith Sep 22 '12 at 7:30
How far from previous location has pizza maker moved? Still New Haven? Different water source? Different water pipes? And of course, for instance, if move was considerable diff in elevation, that would make all sorts of difference. Heat source? How much different? I'm rather suspecting the oven and not the mixer. But I'm no baker--just thinking what I'd suspect. What about other external factors--such as building temps? –  user14089 Oct 28 '12 at 23:49

1 Answer 1

Your 60 qt mixer is going to mix dough at a much different rate than your 20 qt, even if their rotation speeds are the same. Your hook to bowl clearance shouldn't be an issue unless you're getting an excessive amount of crusty dough on the bottom of the bowl. The condition of the bowl is negligible too. Most likely your issue will be over/under development of your dough.

Does the dough from your other location pass a windowpane test? How about your new dough? Assuming your relative humidity, proofing box temperature, and oven temperatures are the same, its going to be dough development. Experiment with different mixing times until you find the sweet spot. Also, if you are scaling a recipe down, occasionally you'll need to adjust hydration levels just a touch.

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He shouldn't need to scale the recipe down at all. –  sarge_smith Sep 22 '12 at 7:27

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