Advice needed please. My son has a small pizzeria, a family run affair. Since 2011 we have made several thousand pizza, one size fits all. A problem we are hitting now is inconsistency of dough mix. Hydration has been varied over the years starting at 59% and now at 56%. Even at this lower figure it seems the dough is now coming out too wet for our needs. We use zero zero flour from the same supplier in 25 kg bags. Oil added at the end of the mixing. All ingredients have stayed the same for the last 3 years, no improvers are added. Our local temperature while mixing the dough is between 29C and 35C and humidity from 65 to 75% based in central Indonesia. All items into the dough are measured within one gram We work accurately so I must assume that it’s the variation of temperature and humidity that is making the dough sticky. I have cross checked the scales with gold scale weights and it’s accurate. If my assumption is right about humidity and temperature being a factor; is there a table where I can refer to adjust the hydration?
1How about proofing time? Has that changed?– dpollittNov 1, 2015 at 13:10
1Dear readers, please note that comments are not intended for giving answers. An answer is not expected to be complete, but as soon as you have a suggestion which is likely to be the cause of the problem, please post it as a real answer, not as a comment.– rumtscho ♦Nov 2, 2015 at 20:55
Thanks for the replies. I have experimented a bit with hydration with a 2 kilo of flour batch. I found reducing the water by 25 grams to have 1100 gram of water gave better dough. That was at shade temperature 29.5C and 90% relative humidity. The reason I started the question is a friend’s son worked for a large pizza franchise and they had correction tables for temperature and humidity changes. Yes it is possible the flour mix has changed but they are the only supplier available so I cannot try another brand yet. I have not measured the water PH. I do know it is high in calcium and magnesium salts. It’s from a bore 33 metres deep. It’s been used for pizza dough for 2 years but a change in its make up is possible. I will try the longer kneading, maybe that will work. Our present system is ‘just in time’ dough making as we are running out of fridge space. Water at 40C is weighed out part is used to activate the yeast which takes minutes. When mixing of the dough is done it is proofed in covered stainless steel bowls. First rise takes about 40 minutes. It is turned over and punched down. Then it stays in a refrigerator up to 2 days. Using cold water is not an option as we sell thousands of pizza a year.
It's possible a change in the flour mix has changed from the vendor. Also, the water that you normally use may have changed. I would try using a small batch of dough with water of a different PH, and if you have a litmus strip test you can see where your water sits.
Kneading time is also very important. 8-10 min should be enough to develop a good gluten structure.
To check if there is enough protein in your flour mix make a firm ball of dough. Also well knead. Soak it in a bowl of cold water for 10 min and then start to wash off the starch. Change the water 6-8 times until you are left will only the protein. It should be about 10-12% of the original mass.