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Help! I'm a dough Dodo -- Knead advice re elasticity

 
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Help! I'm a dough Dodo -- Knead advice re elasticity Reply with quote

So I made some dough for naan for the first time last night. I've never used yeast before, and never made bread.

The dough rose and I punched it down and kneaded it for a few minutes. Made a bunch of golf-ball sized balls and let them rise for an hour or two.

Rolling them out was a nightmare! Never mind that the dough stuck to everything despite covering myself and the kitchen in flour -- the big problem was the dough's elasticity! It just kept shrinking back and I couldn't make very good "pancakes" for cooking.

So what's the deal here? What am I doing wrong? Will the elasticity decrease with more kneading? Should I add oil? Drench everything in even MORE flour?

Thanks,

Jim
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 998
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>too wet
could be - I always use the same flour and weigh ingredients, including the water. that makes for min. issues - but it can still happen.

>>too elastic
hush. there be people who'll be happy to take that dough off your hands,,,
roll/press it out, let it relax, roll/press again.
use a dusting of flour on the surface and the tools - don't try to mash it "all in one go" - doing a bit and flipping it, little dusting.... that'll get you there.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. I did use a scale, 5 oz. to the cup of AP flour.

I did some reading, and I think the trouble was too much kneading -- it developed the gluten (whatever that is!).

Next time, I'll try as little kneading as possible.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1618
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Cooley wrote:
Thanks for the tips. I did use a scale, 5 oz. to the cup of AP flour.

I did some reading, and I think the trouble was too much kneading -- it developed the gluten (whatever that is!).

Next time, I'll try as little kneading as possible.

The high elasticity of the dough is probably due to "too much" gluten from kneading, but don't worry about that. Roll the dough into a ball, let it rest for a few minutes then roll the dough into a disk and let it rest for a few more minutes. (5 minutes should be fine). You can cover it with some plastic wrap while resting to prevent drying out. The resting period allows the excessive gluten bonds to break down (from the weight of the dough itself) allowing you to roll it out without it bouncing back like a rubber band. Any time your dough starts to snap back, set it aside for a minute or two and then roll again. It will respond differently. Generally, while one piece of dough is resting, I'm working on another piece of dough - by the time I'm done with rolling the last one, the first one is ready to be rolled again.

As for the wetness of your dough - you probably aren't using enough flour. 5 oz per cup is a good starting point and many professionally written recipes try to use that as the standard, but in most recipes designed for home cooks 5.7 oz per cup (160 g) works better. I'm not sure where the 5 oz per cup comes from because when using the scoop and level technique, I never get 5 ounces. Triple sifting flour gives me around 125 g per cup (4.4 oz) and settled flour gives me 160-200g per cup (5.7 - 7 oz). I think I can get 140g (5 oz) per cup when I sift just right using only the measuring cup to "fluff" the flour before scooping it out of the container.

Also, the amount of flour needed could vary on a day by day basis due to humidity.

I find that the proper texture for naan dough is slightly tacky but pulls away cleanly from the skin. (any bits of dough on your skin should be "grabbed" by the dough you are rolling/kneading) Keep adding flour until you get that to happen.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes a lot of sense. As Sherlock Holmes would say, I'm guilty of "seeing, but not observing" because in India they ALWAYS let the dough balls for chapatti or naan or parotta rest before rolling them out as you can see below.

THIS is how it should be done. BTW, those are parotta, not chappati he's making...

I'll also check the amount of flour.

They came out tasty enough, so I'm eager to try again.
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