Author Topic: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION  (Read 7208 times)

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Offline erwinjohnbbq

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NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« on: January 28, 2010, 09:39:53 PM »
Hello to everyone.  I'm a new member in this forum and I have been reading a ton of very informative posts that has indeed increased my knowledge in pizza making.  Starting it out as a hobby, I'm now inclined to turn this hobby into hopefully, a profitable business venture.   Thank you to everyone who has contributed greatly in this forum, every topic I've been reading has all the more convinced me in pursuing my goal.

I'm JOHN from the Philippines and an avid pizza lover just like everyone here.  I've started taking notes on every important aspect in pizza making, from the formulation of the dough up to the cooking the pizza in the oven.  First up is the dough formulation.  With the various types of pizza doughs and crusts that I've carefully read in the forum, I was convinced that the NY Style Pizza dough is what I will be striving for, specially after reading the Tom Lehmann NY Pizza.

Yesterday I made a 14" pizza dough made out of bread flour (sorry guys no KASL, AT kinds of flour around here but the supplier told me that their bread flour is 13.5% protein manufactured locally and being used by almost all the bread shops here, the brand.. SUNSHINE.  I can't wait to see what this flour has in store for me).  Using the very dependable expanded pizza calculator, I made one batch of dough consisting of 271.5 g of bread flour, 163.05g water at 80 deg F temp and 60% hydration, 0.68g IDY (.25%), 4.76g of salt (1.75%) and 2.75g olive oil (1%) with a baseline TF of 0.1015.  I opted to do hand kneading for this dough since I'm only making 1 batch. I followed the basic guidelines of mixing the ingredients if doing hand kneading by Pete-zza in his Roadmap to Lehmann's NY Style Recipes (Thanks Pete-zza, that was a very informative thread).

Following his instructions, I mixed the flour, salt and yeast in one bowl and put the room temp water in another bowl.  I gradually stirred in the flour until a ball of mass is formed.  I placed the ball in a lightly floured counter and kneaded the dough gently until all the flour has been absorbed by the dough.  I then added the oil and kneaded the dough further until it becomes smooth and shiny. Dough temp was 85 deg F and the weight of the dough was 436 grams, good enough for a 14" dough.  I formed the dough into a disk, placed it in a plastic container and left it in the fridge uncovered for an hour and then covered it for the rest of the fermentation.  Everything was done in about 30 minutes at about 330pm.

When I woke up this morning I checked the dough and found that a portion of the dough had a very huge bubble, evidently from the gas forming from the fermentation.  I'm attaching a photo of the dough.  My question is... Is this size of a bubble normal during fermentation?  I was confident with the way I kneaded the dough (or was i?  :o). What shall I do with it?  Should I prick it to take out the gas now or should I live it as is and wait till I use the dough?  Is this dough with its 60% hydration good enough to be slapped and hand tossed? Almost all of the pizza restaurants here use a dough sheeter or a rolling pin.  I would like mine to stick to the more authentic slapping and hand tossing of the dough.

I just finished building a firebrick oven and I can't wait to cook my first pizza in it.  This dough will be its first baby so to speak and will be the basis of my future tests for me to create my own kind of dough that I'll be using for my future pizzeria.

Thank you for any help that you can offer and for sure I will be raising more questions in the future.  I'm very grateful that I've stumbled into this forum because it has raised my interest in pizza making to another level and has convinced me to turn my hobby into a hopefully profitable business in the future.

KUDOS TO EVERYONE!

JOHN
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.....


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 10:15:12 PM »
John,

I am not sure what caused the bubble in the dough. That is not common for a low-yeast cold fermented dough like the Lehmann NY style dough, and certainly not after only about a day or so of cold fermentation. I would just pinch the bubble shut or put a pin into it to deflate it. From your photo, it looks like the rest of the dough ball is firm. If that is the case, I would view the bubble as an errant bubble and not worry too much about it.

You should be able to slap and hand toss the dough. However, since the deflated bubble may leave a "crease" in the dough, you may have to work around it as best you can so that a thin spot or other irregularity doesn't form in the skin.

Let us know how things turn out.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 10:28:05 PM »
John,

I rarely get large bubbles like the one you showed but a few years ago I made a dough that exhibited some large bubbles. In that instance, the yeast was about three times what I normally used for the Lehmann NY style dough. You can see a photo of the bubbles at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2238.msg19652.html#msg19652. In that case, I just deflated the bubbles and proceeded as planned.

Peter

Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 10:39:14 PM »
Thank you for the quick reply Pete-zza.  I really appreciate it a lot.  I'll pinch the dough after posting this note.  I'll be making another batch and do the same procedure and see what if that will happen again.  If not, then I guess it is one of those "rare" times the yeast gets to be "so very active".  But for sure I didn't go over so far as yeast is concerned since it's only .25% per formulation.  I'll take the dough out of the fridge and shape in at about 4pm to complete the 24 hour fermentation.  The next batch I'm going to make, I'll ferment it further to 48 hours.  I promise to post pictures and update you on how the skin fared after the 24 hour fermentation.

Another question, I would like to practice my slapping and hand tossing techniques.  A youtube video that I watched mentioned that for hand tossing practice purposes, I use very cold water to mix with the flour and triple the salt content, eliminate the sugar and yeast to make a strong though.  Is this accurate? And if so Id like to ask they % hydration that I'm going to use so I can make a hand tossing practice though.  I'm pretty sure that after mixing the ingredients I can start using it already since there is no yeast involved.

Thanks and best regards.

JOHN
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.....

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 10:54:46 PM »
John,

I haven't seen the YouTube video you mentioned but if you do an Internet search you might find a dough recipe for acrobatic dough. Some time ago, I posted on this subject at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1399.msg13697/topicseen.html#msg13697 but never actually made or tried the acrobatic dough myself. Another member, Road Pizza, who has taught many pizza makers, once suggested a simple method using a square towel, as discussed at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,223.msg1791/topicseen.html#msg1791.

Peter

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 11:02:13 PM »
I'm not one to give advice here but isn't that bubble because of over fermenting. I have seen a couple post on here where people have showed pictures of a bubble like that. Those couple posts I saw had a post right after of either Jeff V. or Marco saying that it was because of over fermenting. Those times I thought to myself that it was because of over fermenting and seeing posts from Jeff V. and Marco confirmed my thoughts. This doesn't make sense to me because you only had it in the fridge for a day and that bubble showed up so it wouldn't be from over fermenting. Peter could over kneading do that and have the same effect as if it was over fermented? Just spit balling... tell me if I am wrong.

Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 11:11:25 PM »
Hi Brickoven,

Yes you're right. In fact as of this moment, the dough is fermenting for roughly 21 hours only.  We both have the same hunch, that I might have over kneaded it.  I was very cautious in achieving the smooth and shiny characteristic that I might have kneaded it more, although I was quite sure by feel, that I didn't.  I have however, pinched the bubble right after my reply and back to the fridge it went. 

I just wonder if that might indeed be the cause.  Thank you for the advice on the hand tossing practice dough Pete.  I forgot to mention that the videos was from Tony Gemgiani as well.  Just trying to verify the accuracy of the advice (and to think it came from the master twriler himself, silly me).

JOHN

Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.....

Offline norma427

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 11:28:15 PM »
John,

I had problems like you are experiencing, when I first started making pizza.  Mine were mostly not know how to manage my dough, but since you are only having a one day ferment, it wonders me how the bubble formed.  It could be from over kneading the dough, but I not an expert.  Here is a picture of a 5 day ferment when I also was having problems.  Mine was due to not having a low enough dough temperature and letting it ferment for 5 days.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8341.msg75733.html#msg75733

Good Luck in your pizza making adventures,

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 11:40:12 PM »
David,

Quite often a bubble will appear because of overproofing/overfermenting. A pretty good indicator is if there are also a lot of bubbles on the bottom and sides of the dough. However, to see those bubbles you need to use a storage container that is glass or plastic that you can see through. To give you an example of what appears to be a bubble due to overproofing/overfermentation, see the photos at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1189.msg10682.html#msg10682. If you scroll down to Reply 16 in the same thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1189.msg10833.html#msg10833, you can also read Marco's (pizzanapoletana) critique of the bubble.

A bubble or two can also suddenly appear even after long periods of fermentation. See, for example, the second photo in Reply 29 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg36081.html#msg36081. In that example, the dough was over 12 days old. The dough surrounding the bubble was still firm so my recollection is that I just pinched the bubble to deflate it. The bubble was most likely due to overfermentation but the pizza turned out very well as I noted in that post.

If I had to guess, I would say that John's bubble was perhaps due to a kneading issue that led to a weakened or thin gluten structure at the point where the bubble formed. I don't think that it was an overfermentation problem.

Peter


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 11:49:14 PM »
That was the post I was talking about in my reply, I just didn't remember where it was so I didn't bother looking.


Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 11:59:07 PM »
Norma,

Thank you for the advice.  I concur with you and David's observation.  Maybe I over kneaded the dough. I guess I just have to work harder to improve my dough management.  I've read your thread and i gathered some info that I will apply in my next dough, which is in a couple of hours.

Some more help or advice please, in kneading my dough, can I please get some info or some useful notes to see and check if I'm done with the kneading part of the dough besides looking for the smooth and shiny stuff? What must the texture be for instance? I'm kneading the dough quite gently.  Should I knead it with a little more force?  It's getting to be a little bit hotter and humid here so I also have to adjust my water temperature.  Pete, if room temperature is around 90 deg F, what has to be the water temp so I can achieve an 80 to 85 deg F dough temp assuming that I'm kneading for at least a total of 20 minutes?  I can feel that my hands are getting warmer as well so I guess have to add that as a factor.

Moreover, I would like to ask what cross stacking is and how is it done? I would like to know this in advance since I will be making pizzas commercially in the future.

David, Norma, Pete, thank you for all the advice.  I hope you won't get tired dishing out more in the future.  I really appreciate it a lot.


JOHN
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.....

Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010, 12:58:17 AM »
Please disregard my question regarding the cross stacking and down stacking procedure. I got it already.  Thanks. 
Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.....

Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2010, 06:02:17 AM »
After 24 hours of fermentation, I took the dough out of the fridge and let it rest in the counter at room temperature for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I then shaped the dough into a 14 inch crust.  The dough was very extensible. I slapped it a few times and tossed twice and it immediately grew to a 15 inch diameter.  I reduced it to 14 but the crust was so thin already.

I topped the crust with just garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and I tried cooking the dough in my drum smoker at 600 deg F.  It cooked for 7 minutes.  I really have a lot of adjustments to make.  For one, there were so much bubbles on top of the crust.  I didn't dock the crust unfortunately.  I noticed there was not much browning on the top and the edges of the crust.  Maybe I need to add sugar or rub a little oil?  The bottom of the crust was ok so far.

I didn't rotate the pizza frequently hence the hotspot caused the browning on one part of the pizza.  The pizza crust is so thin and crispy.  I can feel and taste some chewiness of the crust but since it was so thin, it was not very evident.  But the taste was so wonderful though even with the simplest of toppings!  You can't even fold the pizza and the tip was not even drooping due to the crispiness of the crust.  I even felt I made a foccacia bread instead of a pizza crust... lol

But then again, I'm quite happy with my first try even with such so so output and I'm dead set on achieving my desired NY style pizza crust for my future pizzeria.  On one hand, I would really need to do a lot of testing and tons of advices and help from the pizza experts here.  Any comments, bad or worse, is greatly appreciated.

I just finished kneading 2 balls of 14 inch doughs with 58% hydration, with water temp at 50 deg. F and with the dough temp ending at 82 deg F.  I should've tried a higher thickness factor but I completely forgot all about it.  Maybe my next batch again, which is tomorrow.  My purpose of using a 58% hydration is for me to check if I can easily slap and toss the dough compared to my first batch.

Here are some photos of my first try.  Comments are appreciated.

JOHN


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Offline norma427

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010, 06:07:46 AM »
John,

I work in very different ambient temperature from season to season.  I still have some problems with getting the desired dough temperature between 80-85 degrees F.  I am usually within this range, but can be off by a few degrees.  Sometimes I had to heat my water in the winter and in summer have to add some cold water from the deli case.
When mixing dough at market, I first add water, then flour, sprinkle the IDY and Kosher salt on both sides of the flour and mix until all the dough is picked up from the bottom of the bowl, then drizzle olive oil down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing just until my dough looks well mixed.  
As for proofing my dough, Tom Lehmann recommended for me to use plastic bags.  I just divide my dough, weigh, ball, brush oil all around dough ball, and then put into a plastic bag, (mine are food safe 8"x15") and then twist ends of bags and fold under dough. I then put them straight into either the deli case or pizza prep refrigerator. This has helped me save space in my deli case and pizza prep refrigerator.  In my case, this is because I have limited refrigeration.  I had problems before with over-proofing my dough and not getting it to cool down quickly enough.  
As I stated before, I am not an expert and still learning.  
Other members will be able to help you along with you process.  If it is hot where you live and your hands are hot, that might be what is giving you the bubble problems.

edit: On the pictures you just provided it looks like your dough is way above 58% hydration.  Is the the hydration you used for the pictures you provided?  If it was then it looks like your dough is over-fermented.  It is just my opinion.
 

Norma
« Last Edit: January 29, 2010, 06:17:26 AM by norma427 »
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Offline erwinjohnbbq

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 06:30:33 AM »
Hi Norma,

Thank you for the feedbacks. I'll sure keep those in mind.  the photos were from my first batch of 60% hydration.  I don't really know if I over fermented it since the fermentation time was exactly 24 hours.  My ref isn't up to par with regards to its cooling capabilities I guess, but I think it would be enough to delay its fermentation even for a day or 2.

My second batch with 58% hydration this time, went to a better cooling fridge and I was planning to ferment it for 48 hours this time.  I was really very cautious with the dough temp this time and I made sure it was in the range of 80 to 85 deg F.

Since I have available plastic containers, I used them for fermentation but I'll try to place the doughs in food grade plastic bags next time to check the difference.  Thank you for that advice.  Yes my hands tend to be warmer than the usual so I soaked my hands first in cold water before I started to knead my second batch and this time I kneaded them for a shorter period of time, just enough to achieve the smooth and shiny characteristic of the dough.

I still have a long way to pizza crust perfection, but with one day of testing at a time and with your help, I'm sure I'll be getting there in no time.  Thanks again.

JOHN
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Offline norma427

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 06:39:39 AM »
John,
I am sure you will get there.  :)  You really don't need to use the plastic bags.  They are just what I found worked out for me in my situation. Plastic containers are great.  I use them if I am doing test doughs. 
Having a refrigerator that keeps the dough cool enough is important, also. 

Great to see how you are progressing,

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 09:58:50 AM »
Pete, if room temperature is around 90 deg F, what has to be the water temp so I can achieve an 80 to 85 deg F dough temp assuming that I'm kneading for at least a total of 20 minutes?  I can feel that my hands are getting warmer as well so I guess have to add that as a factor.

John,

If room temperature is around 90 degrees F where you are making your dough and you are hand kneading for abut 20 minutes, you are going to have a difficult time achieving a finished dough temperature of 80-85 degrees F, even if you use water that is quite cold. You will be surprised how quickly a dough can rise in temperature when exposed to a room temperature of around 90 degrees F. I have also found that the simple water temperature calculations used to calculate water temperature to achieve a specific finished dough temperature are not reliable for hand-kneaded doughs, and especially for a period like 20 minutes. At 90 degrees F, you really want to work fast and get the dough balls into the refrigerator as fast as possible. It is possible that your original dough ball overfermented somewhat if it went into the refrigerator warm and/or your refrigerator did not cool the dough down fast enough. The high degree of extensibility of the dough you experienced is some evidence of this possibility.

If you are serious about becoming a professional, you might want to at least invest in a stand mixer of some sort since that will allow you to make the dough faster and reduce the rise in temperature of the finished dough. You will also want to be sure that you have a refrigerator that can cool the dough balls fairly rapidly. For a home refrigerator, I usually recommend a finished dough temperature of around 75-80 degrees F to compensate for the fact that a home refrigerator tends to run several degrees warmer than a commercial cooler. The 80-85 degrees F range of finished dough temperatures is for a commercial cooler. Finally, you may want to use a home oven to do your testing rather than a drum smoker (which I assume is used for BBQ) since I assume (maybe incorrectly) you will not be using that kind of device to make pizzas commercially. It is quite common for professionals to do dough tests at home and use their home stand mixers and ovens even though the results will be different than what they will get at work with their commercial equipment. But that is how they usually develop new recipes and test them out. In your case, you should try to mimic as much as possible the conditions that you are likely to have in a commercial setting.

Peter

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 11:42:20 AM »
I got my PMQ magazine yesterday and was reading it this morning and there is an article that might interest you. It is the Jan/Feb issue when you go into the PMQ site its right there. When you click on it go to page 16 and read the article, I think it might help you.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 01:42:13 PM »
The substance of the article by Jeff Zeak at page 16 of the PMQ Magazine mentioned by David has been the subject of many posts on this forum, including the frequent reference to an article by Tom Lehmann, Jeff Zeak's partner in crime at the American Institute of Baking, at http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml. What I did find interesting and hadn't given much thought to before is that it is better to use F (Fahrenheit) numbers rather than C (Celsius) numbers in the water temperature calculations. That makes sense since some F numbers can have negative C values that will cause an erroneous result when plugged into the water temperature calculation.

As a practical matter, the water temperature calculation method described in the PMQ article and in Tom Lehmann's article really has the most value in a commercial setting. That is because there are fewer variables in such a setting. For example, in a typical pizzeria where dough is made there is usually only one mixer, the dough batches are pretty much fixed in size, there is usually only one or two types of doughs, and there is usually only one or two friction factors. In a home setting, where it is common for the members to make different types of doughs, in different batch sizes, and using different mixers, one should really calculate the friction factor for each type of dough, each dough batch size, and each mixer. This is not that hard to do but it means that you have to take the temperatures of everything involved in the dough preparation process. Most people don't have the tolerance for this sort of exercise. As noted previously, the water temperature calculation method also does not make much sense for a dough kneaded by hand, for the reasons previously mentioned. The method also does not work properly when an autolyse or autolyse-like rest period(s) is used, or some other delay is introduced into the process, like leaving the dough unattended to talk to someone on the phone or to do something else. It is possible to use the method when preferments are used, but the calculations become more complicated and one also has to take into account the temperatures of the preferments.

So, while interesting, I wouldn't get too excited about using the water temperature calculations in a home setting, although for those members who tend to make only one dough batch type and dough batch size, using the same mixer, the use of the method should have some value once the friction factor for the mixer is ascertained.

Peter

EDIT (1/25/13): Since the link to the above Lehmann article is no longer operative, see the Wayback Machine link to the same article at http://web.archive.org/web/20070502014430/http://www.pmq.com/mag/2003spring/tom_lehmann.shtml
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 05:03:02 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline RoadPizza

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Re: NY STYLE PIZZA DOUGH FERMENTATION QUESTION
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 01:19:21 AM »
Hi Brickoven,

Yes you're right. In fact as of this moment, the dough is fermenting for roughly 21 hours only.  We both have the same hunch, that I might have over kneaded it.  I was very cautious in achieving the smooth and shiny characteristic that I might have kneaded it more, although I was quite sure by feel, that I didn't.  I have however, pinched the bubble right after my reply and back to the fridge it went. 

I just wonder if that might indeed be the cause.  Thank you for the advice on the hand tossing practice dough Pete.  I forgot to mention that the videos was from Tony Gemgiani as well.  Just trying to verify the accuracy of the advice (and to think it came from the master twriler himself, silly me).

JOHN



I wouldn't advise acrobatic hand tossing to beginners - it teaches newbies bad habits and actually keeps many pizza makers from becoming better.  You just need to work on your muscle memory.  Learn how to "throw" the dough first (while allowing it to move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise manner) and learn to catch it.  If you can do that in a steady rhythm, that's all you really need.  Keep your hands near the edges - you'll overstretch it quickly if your hands are near the center of the dough.  You don't even need to move your hands to stretch the dough further, the simple act of releasing it in to the air and catching it will allow gravity to do a lot of the work for you.