“Shiny Ball” VS. “Melted Mozzarella” - Focaccia help
Posted: 03 December 2010 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am using the cookbook, “The Bread Bible”.
 
  I am making Focaccia, recipe page 206.
 
    I have measured all the ingredients with a very accurate scale. My dilemma is that it says in paragraph #1 that the dough will be transformed into a “...shiny ball”. Then in paragraph #2 it says that the dough will look like melted mozzerella. I think that the look of a shinny ball and melted mozzerella are very different. I have now tried making the dough twice and both times it comes out very liquid, sort of like REALLY melted mozzarella, but it is not forming into anything like a ball. In the second batch I even added a little more flour, and still no shiny ball. Has anyone else had problems with this recipe turning out too runny?

 
  Thank you very much for your help!
 
  David

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Posted: 03 December 2010 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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dhj1971 - 03 December 2010 06:01 PM

In the second batch I even added a little more flour, and still no shiny ball. Has anyone else had problems with this recipe turning out too runny?

I’d back off the liquid next time; adding more flour can make the bread rather bland, since you aren’t adding more salt or other enhancements.  The absorption of water will vary among flours, so if you’re using the full amount of water in the recipe, it doesn’t surprise me if the consistency is a bit different from what the recipe describes.

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Posted: 03 December 2010 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ve made this bread several times.  There is a visible change in texture near the 20” mark for kneading.  I would describe the final texture as melted mozzarella, shiny, holds together into one (kind of flat) mass but still has plenty of flow to it.  It does not hold its shape like a firm ball with sides. 

This is the highest-hydration bread in the entire book.  The finished texture is wonderful, but it’s a soupy mess until it comes together, and even then it’s still much wetter and softer than an average bread dough.  You might want to check the protein content of your flour, and consider moving up to 11% or so if it is low.  You can do that by switching flours (King Arthur unbleached AP) or by substituting a little bread flour for some of your regular.

Hope that helps.

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Posted: 05 December 2010 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I reviewed the recipe and it is specific about the brands of flour. All of them are higher protein flours. If you only have low protein flours available you can hand knead these very wet doughs. It is actually faster than the machine though it still takes some time. You dump the mass out on a clean counter and with a bench scraper you scoop and fold to the center. Work your way around the mass scooping and folding. You may find two scrapers work best. Scoop and scrape the scoop clear with the other scraper. I judge the dough ready when a pinch of dough doesn’t dissolve in my mouth. Instead it will be like soft bubble gum and never dissolve.

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