When the Naturally Risen
video was posted back in September, I thought there was now enough information available to make a faithful attempt at reverse engineering UPN dough. Here is my best guess.Referenced in this post:
1. the Pure and Simple
(the “P&S video”)
2. the Naturally Risen
(the “NR Video”)
3. the UPN printed flyer http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9339.msg81103.html#msg81103
1. I use King Arthur AP flour not Caputo Pizzeria.
2. I don’t have a WFO though I come close with my BBQ mod described here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=8a4af2003690ce92f37c6dc5dbd503ea&topic=9614.0
3. Yes, there are a lot of guesses and assumptions in here.
First I’ll put forward my best guess how UPN makes their dough based on the information available - trying not to leave anything in either video or the flyer unexplained or unaccounted for, and then I’ll give an adaptation using Ischia culture (as I typically don’t have any old dough around when I want to make pizza). Method
In general, I believe the basic process used by UPN is as follows:
1. Day before - Mix a quantity of day old dough with flour and water and allow it to ferment for 24 hours (the “Preferment”).
2. Mix the risen Preferment with additional flour, water, and salt and work into the final dough (the “Final Dough”).
3. While the final dough is mixing, mix the Preferment for the next day.
4. Bulk rise the Final Dough for ~4 hours.
5. Knead a few times, form balls, and allow them to rise for another 4-8 hours for a total of 8-12 hours rise of the Final Dough. Preferment
The containers used in the videos to mix and (presumably) ferment the Preferment are common 12”x18”x9” plastic food boxes (such as Rubbermaid 3304). They have a 5 gallon capacity. In the P&S Video at 0:50, the container appears to be holding a little less than 2gal of highly hydrated dough – I’m guessing ~1.8gal. A similar container appears to be almost full (~1 inch from the top or roughly 4.5gal) before its contents are added to the Final Dough in the NR Video at 0:43 suggesting an increase in volume of the Preferment of 2.5X. This is consistent with my experimental results as discussed below.
At 0:30 in the NR Video, you can see what appears to be an 8 cup measure with a little less than 7 cups of water in it which seems like way more than might be needed for adjusting the hydration of the final dough. The only other thing I can think of that it might be used for is making the next day’s batch of Preferment. The last time you can see the measuring cup full of water is at 0:42 as the Preferment is about to be poured into the Final Dough. At 0:49, as the mixer is started, you can see the empty preferment tub, but it is blocking the view of the where the measuring cup was. When the dough is about to be removed from the mixer at 0:52, the preferment tub is gone and the measuring cup is empty under the table. In the P&S Video, the preferment container appears to have wet dough on the sides most of the way to the top – like it had just been emptied – suggesting that the Preferment may have been recently added into the Final Dough as seen in the NR Video at 0:43. I’m, speculating that the next day’s Preferment is made in the same tub (sometimes anyway) while the current day’s dough is mixing. It would make sense that they did this step off camera in the NR video as sticking your hands in a bunch of wet dough is not as romantic as the rest of the video.
I experimented with preferment hydrations ranging from 85% to 100% trying to match the consistency of the unrisen Preferment while also giving consideration to how closely the experimental preferment, post-fermentation, matched the characteristics of the ready UPN Preferment (viscosity, gluten structure, etc). While it is difficult to compare small scale tests (150ml) to the video of the full batch, I believe the hydration of the preferment is in the 90-95% range. In my experiments, I had approximately 2.4-2.5x rise in my 90-95% hydrated experiments which would imply that the 4.5 gallons of risen Preferment started out at about 1.8 gallons as noted above and is generally consistent with what can be seen in the P&S Video. My 90-95% hydrated experimental preferments (unrisen) had a density of approximately 1.17g/ml or 4,430g/gal. As such, 1.8 gallons would weigh approximately 7,974g. This figure was about the same using old dough or yeast culture.
Seven cups does not seem like a lot of water with respect to the ~1.8 gal of unrisen preferment shown in the P&S Video. To get to a 90% hydrated preferment with only this amount of water, the Preferment would need to be mostly old dough. If this is right (and it’s a big if) I would guess that ~1610g of water (the ~7 cups) and ~795g flour (incidentally, that would be 1.75lbs – possibly why the scale poise was set to 12oz at 0:30 in the NR Video?) are added to about 5,500g of chopped up old dough making 7,905g (17.4lbs) total Preferment – pretty close to the 7,974g estimated above. 5,500g of old dough would be 19 (10oz) dough balls which seems like more than indicated in the Flyer which states “a piece of dough from the day before,” but who knows? A big piece is still a piece I suppose. It would be right at 15% of the total dough weight which is generally in line with the “less that 15%” suggested by Pete’s conversation with Anthony summarized here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=cd07e02ea6ba8f6571c92dcb50c0a19f&topic=9339.msg81055#msg81055
I tested this method at small scale, and it worked quite well when the old dough was stored in the refrigerator after 12 total hours of proofing at 56-60F (to proof, I put my dough balls in covered containers (2 per) and put them in a ice chest with a frozen water-filled half-gallon screw-top juice bottle which holds them at a constant 56-60F – room temperature here in Texas can be well over 70F even in the winter). The texture of the preferment the old dough made appeared almost identical to what is seen in the videos, and the flavor and texture of the baked final dough was very similar to my memory of UPN crust. The first time I tried this old dough method, I let the old dough continue on at ~60-65F until the next morning and it was badly over fermented. The enzymes and acids that had accumulated in the preferment dissolved the gluten in the final dough into a useless wet sloppy mass.
All this being said, if I had to pick one part of this project that I thought most likely to be wrong, it would be the old dough method as described above (not that all of it couldn’t be way wrong).Final Dough
The NR Video at 0:32 shows a 55.1lb bag of flour being torn open and 8lbs being removed. At 0:37, the remainder of the bag is emptied into a mixer. When the bag is emptied into the mixer, it appears that the bag is torn open much further down than when it is originally opened at 0:32. My speculation is that 8lbs of flour is removed twice leaving 39.1lbs. In the video, when emptied into the mixer, the bag is ripped open down to about the 4th of 10 wheat ears (printed on the blue strips on the sides of the bag). Assuming the flour is roughly at that level, approximately 70% of the bag would be left or ~38.6lbs which is consistent with 39.1lbs that would be left after removing 16lbs as speculated above (see Figure A below).
After the flour, salt (presumably the salt is added right before mixing the flour at 0:30 in the NR Video) and preferment are added, an amount of water is added. The container shown in the NR Video is an 18 qt round plastic food container (such as a Cambro RFSCW18). Analysis of the picture shows there to be about 2.6 gallons in the container (see Figure B below). I suspect the water was measured by weight rather than volume. Assuming the Preferment described above and 39.1lbs of additional flour, to make a 63% hydrated dough would require approximately 2.65gal (22.1lbs) of additional water. This appears to be consistent with the amount of water in the 18qt container.
My observations and the math suggest a final dough formulation something on the order of 17.4lbs of risen preferment is added to 39.1lbs flour, 22.1lbs water, and 1.0lbs salt (for 2.5%). This would result in about 79.6lbs of dough or enough for 124 10oz balls after 2% waste. Take out 19 for the preferment as discussed above, and you are dangerously close to the 100 pies/night number cited in http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/02/FD9HS7D6R.DTL Rising
After the Final Dough is removed from the mixer, it is briefly kneaded and placed into a dough tray. I’m speculating that there is a bulk rise of ~4 hours based on the look of the dough when the dough balls are formed and also based on the size of the balls – you get a good look at the dough at 1:50 in the NR video. My dough had a similar appearance and size when cut and when formed into balls after 4 hours of bulk rise.
The balls don’t look all that much bigger at 2:58 when the pizza is made – 70% or so. My guess is the pie in the NR Video was made early in the evening. I’m guessing the first balls of the night have about 8 hours total rise (4 bulk and 4 in balls) and the last about 12. I know this not what is written in the Flyer which calls for “a minimum of another 12 hours,” but I don’t see how they could have 12 total hours unless it is really cool where they are stored. Also, in the P&S Video, it looks like it is a little bit cold outside. There are still leaves on the trees, but many have changed color to yellow. I’m guessing the video was shot in mid-fall – October perhaps. Sunrise in NYC that time of year would be around 7am or later. In any case, this video was not shot at 5am which is what time he would have to be done with the dough if it were to rise for 12 total hours before the restaurant opens at 5pm. In my tests, I had similarly risen dough balls after 4 hours bulk rise and 4 hours additional on the balls.Ischia Culture Formula
I don’t typically have old dough around, and liking the results, I wanted a formula I could use any time, so I adapted the method to use Ischia culture instead of old dough. To come up with a culture-based preferment, I experimented with preferments starting with active culture (~90-95% hydration) between 5% and 30% by weight of the preferment flour. I also separately varied the preferment hydration from 85% to 100% (not taking the hydration of the culture into account) and the salt from 0.0% to 0.3% (of preferment flour) - the range suggested in http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9339.msg81176.html#msg81176
. I evaluated the tests on three criteria: 1) time to reach maximum volume and begin to fall, 2) volume after 24 hours, and 3) flavor and aroma. I found that at 92.5% hydration, 10% starter, and 0.1% salt achieved peak rise, aroma, and flavor at approximately 24 hours at my room temperature: 72F now – this will go up (and preferment culture % down) in the summer. I’m currently doing some experiments with 48 hour preferments which may more closely match what is really happening with the UPN Preferment (if my guesses above are correct) that uses old dough as a major ingredient. I’ll post the results later.
I also found that regardless of preferment hydration, amount of starter, and length of ferment, I did not like the flavor of the preferments with greater than 0.2% salt. At levels below 0.2%, the preferment had a very lively sour flavor and yeasty aroma. Over 0.2%, I found the preferment flavor and aroma to be far less desirable – almost musky in some cases.
To make the dough with Ischia culture per the formula in Figure C below:
1) combine the preferment flour, water, salt, and culture; mix very well, cover, and let it ferment for 24 hours at 72F. It may be necessary to adjust the culture % up or down based on room temperature variance from 72F or the activity of the culture.
2) after 24 hours, combine the second mix flour, salt, and water (40F is what I like) with the preferment; mix them into a shaggy dough and let it rest for 20 minutes. I use a KitchenAid K5 with a dough hook to get everything well mixed and generally smooth (3 minutes or so on speed 2).
3) Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and wait another 10 minutes before giving it 15-20 hand kneads. After another 7 minutes rest, I give it another 8-10 kneads. If it’s not silky smooth at this point, I give it another 7 minutes rest and a few more kneads. Repeat one more time if necessary, however I’m in favor of erring on the side of under kneading particularly with very long, slow rises.
4) Bulk rise at 60F for 4 hours,
5) Divide into balls, and then give them another 4 hours or so at 60F until the they are about 1.7x risen. Thoughts
In general, I’m pleased with how the crust came out and that all the numbers and assumptions seem to tie out to the observations made in the videos and other sources referenced. I think the baked crust is quite similar to UPN. Perhaps not quite as sour and a little more tender than what I remember.