Saturday, April 09, 2016

Dough Hydration Secrets Revealed Interview

Here is the complete transcript of the Tim Huff Interview: 

Albert: Albert Grande here from and  legends I have cornered my old friend Tim Huff and I wanted you to talk a little bit about the hydration of flour. That’s something that's come up a lot in my video, I did a previous interview with you. Could you address that Tim,

Tim Huff:  You bet. When it comes hydration it's the amount of water that goes into formulation and when we look at that we compare that to flour weight so it’s in Baker's percent.

In these days I see a significant influence from the artisan baking industry we’re used to higher hydration doughs and so a lot of the folks that are baking Neapolitan style pizzas these days I see ranges from 60 may be close to 70% hydration so that be 60 to 70 pounds of water to hundred pounds of flour.

If you're talking kind of traditional New York style crust a lot of the folks I talked to they may be around 55% absorption but I think they're leaving money on the table by not hydrating the high gluten flours to the extent they could be. Pushing up to 60% is certainly very doable.

In a lot of ways, I think it actually makes the crust bake out better. The more you hydrate a dough the softer that dough is. It actually expands quicker in the oven and bakes more efficiently. So a lot of the folks that have a soggy dough or say hey I have a gum line I can't figure it out. I keep taking away water and keeps getting worse and that's why it's getting worse cause as her take water away it makes the dough stiffer, the dough doesn't expand when it hits the oven.

If a dough has higher hydration, it's a little bit looser it pops quicker on the deck when you put it in the oven actually bakes more efficiently so pushing the hydration on those is something I think a lot of pizza operators could do.

Albert: So I've also heard Tim that using a higher hydration will make your pizza crisper? Is that true?

Tim Huff: Exactly and that's the reason that it is crisper because it is baking more efficiently and it seems counterintuitive if I add more moisture to something how could it be crisper? The reason it is, is because it's opening up the cell structure of that dough as it hits the oven it expands quicker when you have that expansion you're essentially developing more little air cells, the bubbles there. It's easier to bake something that's airier versus baking something that’s dense.

And so it bakes more efficiently therefore gives it a crisper crust

Albert:  Okay great and what are some of the flours that you recommend from General Mills

Tim Huff: Sure sure I mean when I think of the quintessential New York style pizza I think of All Trumps. All Trumps is a 14% spring wheat high gluten flour that's predominately used in the New York market.

 Right now with the advent of a lot of the Neapolitan style pizza as we came out with a flour a couple years ago called Gold Medal Neapolitan it's a 12% winter wheat protein. It's actually what I call and they can flour we have no treatment on it so it's no bleach, no brominated but it also has no malted barley flour.

With some of these high heat applications what they're wanting is a something that reduces a little bit of that browning because the oven does such a great job with the browning so we took away the malt so that you don't get those additional residual sugars in there. So those two are some of the big ones right now

Albert: Okay what percentage than of Baker's percent do you recommend

Tim Huff: Baker's percent is in with regard to what?

 Albert: For Pizza dough?

Tim Huff:  Okay you know it if I think of a New York style thin crust I'm thinking All Trumps flour. Flours obviously at a. hundred percent, hydration is usually around 60%.  Nowadays I love to suggest instant yeast. Instant yeast to me is foolproof. For dough that I'm making today using tomorrow I'm probably going use instant yeast in a range of a half percent to ¾ of a percent I'm usually using salt close to 2%. I'm usually using sugar maybe one in 1 to 1 ½ % and if I'm using in any oil at all (A lot of New York guys don't use it but I like to put it in there) about 2 to 3% compared to flour weight just to help in the stretching that dough, makes it a little bit more elastic.

 Albert: For the home theater pizza chef, you know, we are not able to get All Trumps, you think Better for Bread is a good flour?

 Tim Huff: It is that's what I use at home. Cause one of things with high gluten flour at home your generally don't have the mixing ability to fully develop that gluten structure so like if I use my KitchenAid at home I really can't fully develop an All Trumps. I use Better for Bread at home, it's a 12 1/2% protein winter wheat flour.

One of the things that I changed: my wife got tired of me burning up the KitchenAid so I actually use a Cuisinart to make my dough I can make set out in about 60 seconds using the dough blade attachment and I really enjoy what I what the outcome is with that so I make up the night before and give it a good at least 12 to 18 hour fermentation in the refrigerator and it makes a wonderful dough.

Albert: Tim Huff from General Mills thank you so so much I greatly appreciate you taking time to talk to me. If people have questions, can they contact you?

Tim Huff: You bet probably the easiest way would be my email address at General Mills and that’s tim.huff

Albert: Thanks a lot Tim you’ve added a lot to everyone that makes pizza from the professionals to the home is awesome

Tim Huff: Awesome, thanks

Here is a link to the General Mills Baker's blog

you can watch a video of this interview, listen and and download the audio (if you wish) at the bottom of this page.
of the Tim Huff Interview HERE.

If you are interested in different flour Click HERE

Or check out these resources:

General Mills All Trumps High Gluten Flour - Unbleached Unbromated - - 7 lbs REPACK

Larger size?
No problem:

General Mills Gold Medal All Trumps High Gluten Flour, 50 Pound

And if you are looking for Pizza T-Shirts, we have you covered! Go Here.

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