Hot answers tagged

91

Oh, those cooking myths! Whenever you think you have heard them all, there's a new one. In a yeasted dough, the yeast is perfectly fine with being tossed, beaten and generally mangled. The little yeast cells couldn't care less about what you do in the initial stage of mixing and kneading. (That's obviously different when you consider the dough after the ...


57

A lot of it depends on the type of pizza you make. Where I worked we did thin crust pizza, and these were the reasons we tossed: Speed. Trying to roll or pat out a 17 inch pizza would be very time consuming. Consistency. Was easier to make the crust a consistent size and shape. Space. Rolling or patting a person needs the table space 100% of the time. ...


36

I don't see anything in the question that is peculiar to pizza dough. Anything I answer will apply to any kind of yeast-risen, glutenous dough. The goal with any such dough is a well hydrated protein matrix that has been arranged in sheets that will trap the gas produced by yeast. If the yeast is dead it won't be able to produce gas and your bread will be ...


33

Those who favor throwing pizza argue that it is the best way to stretch and shape the dough without risking a puncture or tear. Some claim this extra exposure to the air helps the dough retain moisture, while drying the surface. This improves the crust. ...and of course, there is the show. On the other hand, simply shaping dough on a floured surface ...


31

It's not drastically important in making it workable, it's more important in the texture of the finished result. When you roll out pastry dough, you are created interleaving layers of fat and the flour/water mix. When you cook it, the fat melts, leaving pockets in the dough, causing it to form flaky layers. This results in a crisp, light pastry. For this ...


24

The goal is to keep the surface of the bread from drying out. A wet towel works fine but plastic wrap is cheaper and easier than constantly cleaning wet towels. I have used both methods and haven't noticed a difference in the bread produced. In very dry climates, when I made bread with multiple rises I sometimes had to redampen the towel which was an added ...


21

Donuts are a deep fried food. The texture of deep fried food is unique and cannot be duplicated by other methods. If you bake doughnut dough, you will get small rolls, which will have a similar aroma, but not the same combination of moist, soft inside and fat-crispy outside. You could bake it, as with any other yeast dough, only nobody will recognize it as a ...


20

I don't think you're doing anything wrong, I think the dough is just more slack than you're used to. As @Jay noted, it can take some practice to work with a wet dough. But once you do, you'll be rewarded with a much more open crumb and a better final product. In my experience, I've found wetter dough and higher oven temps = better artisan bread (in ...


20

There may be a few batters that are sensitive to shocks or loud noises, but most will not be (see Stephie's answer for more detail). In my household, the real reason for not beating the spoon was always clearly about protecting the dishes, not the food. Mixing bowls can chip, crack, or dent (depending on the material). If the bowl has a lid, then damage to ...


18

What do we look in a pizza dough? There are many styles of pizza: Italian Vera Pizza Napoletana, Chicago style, ... All of them have something in common in their dough: it should be stretched without tearing, and shouldn't stretch back. Also, some recipes call for long fermentation times: 6, 9 or more hours at room temperature. With this you get a more ...


14

Breads get their structure from glutens--a type of protein formed by the combination of glutenin with gliaten. Kneading and resting the dough helps the formation of glutens--I assume by shifting glutenin and gliatin molecules around, this increases the odds of bindings occurring. Oils can bind to glutenin and gliatin and inhibit these reactions, so fats--...


14

You can refrigerate all kinds of yeast-bread dough. Right after kneading, before the dough has had a chance to rise, oil the dough lightly, cover with plastic wrap or use a ziplock, and place in the refrigerator. As the dough cools in the refrigerator the action of the yeast will slow down until the dough has reached refrigeration temperature. At that point ...


14

Yes, preparing discs of dough ahead of time, separated by parchment, wax paper or clingfilm does work. The biggest risk is that the dough tends to dry out a bit, so keeping the whole mass wrapped up in clingfilm and possibly in wide closable containers may be worthwhile. I don't know how long it would take you to pre-portion 20 pizza doughs; I'm not super-...


13

Put a serving plate over the bowl. Normal way up so it doesn't slide off and doesn't need washing. Easy! A small amount of surface drying is not going to ruin a bread dough. Think of the millions of bread making machines out there, no plastic wrap required with them, just a reasonably fitting lid that stops air drafts, hence why the towel method worked fine


13

Your metal bowl sitting in your 70°F room is 70°F (at least, if its been sitting there for a bit). Your plastic bowl, or glass bowl, or ceramic bowl, or any other bowl sitting in the same room is also 70°F. They're all actually the same temperature. Now, given, when you touch the metal bowl, it feels cooler than the plastic one. This is because your finger ...


13

Adding inclusions like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meats to bread loaves and rolls is usually done either during the initial mixing stage or during shaping. When you should add the inclusions really depends on how large the ingredients are and how you want them distributed in the final loaf. When adding inclusions at the initial mix it is advisable to add ...


13

There are plenty of fermentable sugars in the flours commonly used in pizza making. Additional sugar is completely unnecessary.


12

Cookbooks describe the state as "smooth and elastic" I think this is a reasonable description. When the dough is first mixed it is very wet and sticky. As it is mixed you can see a lot of clumps and heterogeneous textures. As the proteins in the flour mix with water they form gluten and the kneading folds the elastic gluten over itself again and again ...


11

I think I finally found a solution, which worked for me: I started with @monte-hill's notes about how the dough is too wet, causing it to stick, and added something I learned elsewhere. My mistake was that I was dumping all the liquids into the mixing bowl right at the start. The best solution I found that works is to GRADUALLY add the liquids. I put a ...


11

Let me suggest a totally different approach: Why not work with the cool conditions instead of against? You could let the dough proof for a long time, e.g. overnight in the fridge. This allows for a lot less yeast and hence a less yeasty taste, which is usually desired. Also, more complex flavors develop during long proofing times. (There is a reason ...


11

Ok, this is going to be long. And you just wanted to fire up your oven and slap the sauce on the dough...but bear with me. Gluten The Holy Grail of elastic dough that can trap all these nice bubbles: CO2 from the yeast and steam from evaporating water. Fact is, gluten is basically a protein (ok, scientifically speaking not exactly, but close enough). If you ...


11

Options With yeast-leavened dough, there are two approaches you can take: par-bake refrigerate With chemically-leavened dough, you can't refrigerate, but you get a third option: don't mix. (probably not applicable) I'll explain all three: Par-baking Here, you go ahead and bake the rolls tonight, but only until they're mostly done. You want the dough ...


10

Sourdough is a combination of yeast (which provide rising power) and bacteria (which make the starter sour and keep other nasty things from growing in it). New starters will usually establish strong bacteria growth long before they get strong yeast growth. The bacteria growth will start within the first couple days, which will make your starter begin to ...


10

I had this exact same problem for years. And it was all about letting the dough relax. I'd get beautiful crusts, but never EVER pass the windowpane test. I was so confused. Turns out, all I had to do was leave it alone for about 10 minutes, much less and I'd still run into issues. The window pane test is intended to show that enough gluten has been ...


10

I found a link that will provide the explanation you are looking for: http://www.mymexicanrecipes.com/ingredients/masa-harina.html Here is a direct quote from the site: Masa is dried corn that has been cooked in limewater (cal), soaked overnight, and then ground up while still wet. Sold in this form, it's called fresh masa, and it makes the lightest, ...


10

The skin forms because water evaporates from the surface of the dough. The middle doesn't dry out because the drier dough skin is less porous, and so the rate of moisture loss slows down as the skin forms. It's perfectly okay to eat it, it's just the same dough but drier. Whether it is pleasant to eat is another matter of course. It won't become unsafe ...


10

I've made 8-10 pizzas a few times for large parties at my house. Unless you have someone to help, you're not going to get to mingle much while you're baking. And even if you have someone to help, you'll need to really work well together and know who's keeping an eye on things and keeping the process moving. It also depends on your desired pace. I've only ...


9

You're alluding to the correct answer: running it through several times basically kneads the dough and develops gluten. Gluten provides strength to dough. It forms a flexible, elastic 'net' (the 'net' portion isn't really relevant to pasta dough though) , allowing it to stretch more and is much, much less brittle. Even better, would be to put it through ...


9

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_burrito Two key technologies that made the San Francisco burrito possible are the large flour tortilla and tortilla steamers, which together increase the flexibility, stretch, and size of the resulting tortilla. The tortilla steamer saturates the gluten-heavy tortilla with moisture and heat, ...


9

While many bread and pastry products do depend critically on the formation and management of gluten from wheat flours, this is not universally true. Some types of pastry have structure dependent more on the starch networks which is the other major component of wheat flours; the texture and properties of these pastries is often dependent on the gross ...


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