Author Topic: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro  (Read 19444 times)

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Online Matthew

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2010, 08:54:06 AM »
Matt,

You made me chuckle again.  :-D  I have also made those mistakes when talking about panini and biscotti.  I really do need Italian lessons. 

I wanted to ask you a question.  Did you ever eat this kind of pizza when you were in Italy?  If you did what is it supposed to look like and taste like as far as the bottom crunch and thickness factor?  When I tasted this pizza at Sullivan St. Bakery, this was the first time I ever tried a pizza like this.  Although mine wasn’t exactly like Sullivan St. Bakery, I would be interested if hearing more about this type of pizza. Do many people eat this type of pizza in Italy and is there a specific name for it even with different ingredients as toppings?  Do people in Italy mostly eat this type of pizza cold?  When I associate pizza in Italy I always think of wood-fired pizzas or Sicilian pizzas.

Thanks for the Italian lesson.  ;D

Norma

This type of pizza is similar to what you would find in a bakery in Italy as oppose to a pizzeria.  The idea is to take regular bread dough & top it with the freshest ingredients available.  I think that the intent of Jim's recipe is so that the average person with little or no experience can make a somewhat decent replica of this pizza at home.  I totally understand the logic behind his method, but let's just say....it's not for me.  As I mentioned to you, I made it & thought that it was just okay.  For me the crust was flavorless & far to underdeveloped making it very difficult to digest.  I think that all the pizzas recipes in his book would make really really good pizzas atop a nicely fermented & well developed dough.

Matt


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2010, 09:17:55 AM »
Sorry to detract from the thread but Matt's comment about digestibility is really interesting to me.  I don't know anything about it but can appreciate a pizza that is digestible versus one that feels like it just sits in your gut.  Is there a direct correlation to degree (or length) of fermentation to digestibility?

Peter? Matt?

Thanks,
Chau

Offline norma427

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2010, 09:19:20 AM »
This type of pizza is similar to what you would find in a bakery in Italy as oppose to a pizzeria.  The idea is to take regular bread dough & top it with the freshest ingredients available.  I think that the intent of Jim's recipe is so that the average person with little or no experience can make a somewhat decent replica of this pizza at home.  I totally understand the logic behind his method, but let's just say....it's not for me.  As I mentioned to you, I made it & thought that it was just okay.  For me the crust was flavorless & far to underdeveloped making it very difficult to digest.  I think that all the pizzas recipes in his book would make really really good pizzas atop a nicely fermented & well developed dough.

Matt

Matt,

Thanks for your answers.  :)  When you made this type of pie, did yours look anything like mine?  I agree with you that Jim’s recipe was intended so an average person could have success at home with this type of pizza.  The pizza was easy.  I had made different other thin crust pizzas, and most of them had a bland taste in the crust.  The one I made yesterday, didn’t have that bland taste, but sure wasn’t like one made that is naturally leavened.  I think my dough was almost overfermented, when I went to roll the dough yesterday.  There were lot of little bubbles in the dough and they kept cracking when I was trying to roll the dough gently.  I then proceeded to pick up the dough and open it the rest of the way by hand.  The dough then felt like there were lots of little honeycombs in the dough.  I did manage to open it okay though. 

What would your ideas be to improve on this dough?  Would you suggest less yeast and a longer ferment?  Do you think my pizza was too thin?  What I ate at Sullivan St. Bakery the pizza was a little thicker and the crust did have a good taste.  I can understand Jim wouldn’t want to give his exact methods in making this type of pizza.  I also thought the hydration could be upped a little.  What are your thoughts on that?

I must have a gut of steel, because no matter what kind of pizza I eat, I never have problems digesting it.   :-D

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Are you going to try this type of pie again and what changes would you think about making if you make another one.

Norma
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 09:23:41 AM by norma427 »

Offline norma427

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2010, 09:21:00 AM »
Sorry to detract from the thread but Matt's comment about digestibility is really interesting to me.  I don't know anything about it but can appreciate a pizza that is digestible versus one that feels like it just sits in your gut.  Is there a direct correlation to degree (or length) of fermentation to digestibility?

Peter? Matt?

Thanks,
Chau

Chau,

You know anyone can ask anything on my threads.  We are all here to learn.   :)

Norma

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2010, 10:13:53 AM »
Do you think my IDY is getting weak?  I had expected the dough to rise and be ready sooner, but I kept watching it and the dough didn't look like it was overfermenting.  I think in my next attempt I am going to lower the yeast so the dough can room ferment longer.  Maybe get some new yeast, too.  :-D

Norma,

The Lahey dough is an "emergency" dough but it might be gentler and kinder to refer to it as a "short-time" dough since no actual emergency is involved. However, an emergency or short-time dough usually involves using a lot more yeast than normal and water at an elevated temperature that will yield a finished dough temperature of around 90-95 degrees F. A typical amount of yeast for an emergency or short-time dough might be around 0.80-1% IDY. The Lahey yeast quantity is quite a bit more than that so one would expect an even faster rise. The downside of an emergency or short-time dough is that it won't hold out forever at normal room temperatures and will start to go downhill pretty fast and oftentimes become completely unusable (except possibly to use the dough to make garlic sticks and the like). You can read more about this subject from Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5037&p=29623&hilit=#p29594.

Based on your further description of how your dough fermented, it quite possible that it was overfermented. That might have explained why it took so long to bake the pizza to get the desired degree of bottom crust coloration and possibly the thinness of the crust that you got. It might also explain why the crust had flavor. After a good part of the day at room temperature, you could expect a lot of fermentation byproducts to contribute to crust flavor.

My advice, for what it is worth, is to repeat your experiment but try to get a dough that is usable after about two hours, or maybe three if you do not use water at an elevated temperature (which the recipe does not require). If the yeast you have been using cannot be used, then fresh yeast should solve that problem. To be faithful to the recipe, I would not change the thickness factor at this time. If you are able to successfully replicate the recipe next time, then, based on your results, you can make whatever changes you would like to make, whether it is the crust thickness or fermentation time or method.

I also notice that in the Lahey video he rolled out the second dough skin with a rolling pin and with ample bench flour. I don't know if that was simply an alternative method to forming the skin for placement into the sheet pan or if it was an important step to making the zucchini pizza. Did you use that method also?

Peter

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2010, 10:36:12 AM »
Sorry to detract from the thread but Matt's comment about digestibility is really interesting to me.  I don't know anything about it but can appreciate a pizza that is digestible versus one that feels like it just sits in your gut.  Is there a direct correlation to degree (or length) of fermentation to digestibility?

Peter? Matt?

Chau,

The member who has posted and commented most often on the digestibility matter is pizzanapoletana (Marco). Based on his posts on the subject linked below, it appears that the duration of fermentation is a major component of digestibility of a crust (from the standpoint of protein and starch/sugar) but also the nature of the leavening system (e.g., natural starter) and the strength of the flour.

Reply 46 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2951.msg26062/topicseen.html#msg26062

Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1942.msg17216/topicseen.html#msg17216

Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1330.msg12136/topicseen.html#msg12136

Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,656.msg11520/topicseen.html#msg11520

Reply 17 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2873.msg24774/topicseen.html#msg24774

Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,970.msg8715/topicseen.html#msg8715

See, also, the thread on this subject at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8986.msg77745.html#msg77745.

Of course, not everyone, and that apparently includes Norma, has a problem with digesting pizza crust.

Peter

Online Matthew

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2010, 10:59:16 AM »
Matt,


What would your ideas be to improve on this dough?  Would you suggest less yeast and a longer ferment?  Do you think my pizza was too thin?  What I ate at Sullivan St. Bakery the pizza was a little thicker and the crust did have a good taste.  I can understand Jim wouldn’t want to give his exact methods in making this type of pizza.  I also thought the hydration could be upped a little.  What are your thoughts on that?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Are you going to try this type of pie again and what changes would you think about making if you make another one.

Norma

I would probably go with my standard focaccia formula & up the dough weight by about 100grams.  The pic below should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.

Offline norma427

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2010, 11:38:49 AM »
Norma,

The Lahey dough is an "emergency" dough but it might be gentler and kinder to refer to it as a "short-time" dough since no actual emergency is involved. However, an emergency or short-time dough usually involves using a lot more yeast than normal and water at an elevated temperature that will yield a finished dough temperature of around 90-95 degrees F. A typical amount of yeast for an emergency or short-time dough might be around 0.80-1% IDY. The Lahey yeast quantity is quite a bit more than that so one would expect an even faster rise. The downside of an emergency or short-time dough is that it won't hold out forever at normal room temperatures and will start to go downhill pretty fast and oftentimes become completely unusable (except possibly to use the dough to make garlic sticks and the like). You can read more about this subject from Tom Lehmann at the PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5037&p=29623&hilit=#p29594.

Based on your further description of how your dough fermented, it quite possible that it was overfermented. That might have explained why it took so long to bake the pizza to get the desired degree of bottom crust coloration and possibly the thinness of the crust that you got. It might also explain why the crust had flavor. After a good part of the day at room temperature, you could expect a lot of fermentation byproducts to contribute to crust flavor.

My advice, for what it is worth, is to repeat your experiment but try to get a dough that is usable after about two hours, or maybe three if you do not use water at an elevated temperature (which the recipe does not require). If the yeast you have been using cannot be used, then fresh yeast should solve that problem. To be faithful to the recipe, I would not change the thickness factor at this time. If you are able to successfully replicate the recipe next time, then, based on your results, you can make whatever changes you would like to make, whether it is the crust thickness or fermentation time or method.

I also notice that in the Lahey video he rolled out the second dough skin with a rolling pin and with ample bench flour. I don't know if that was simply an alternative method to forming the skin for placement into the sheet pan or if it was an important step to making the zucchini pizza. Did you use that method also?

Peter

Peter,

I agree that is kinder to refer to the Lahey dough as a “short-time” dough.  I never have an emergency when making any kind of dough.  I had a finished dough temperature of less than what is called for in an emergency or “short-time” dough. 

I believe I probably either had or almost had an overfermened dough, from your explanations.  I was thinking while the pie was baking, how could this pie take that long to bake, when it was so thin.  Even the olive oil should have helped the bottom brown faster.  I could also see there wasn’t enough rise, if the dough was overfermented. 

I will take your advise and try the same dough at market.  I do have fresher yeast there, and I can easily weight out the ingredients there and mix the dough by hand.  I don’t know what to expect in my deck oven, but will put the dough in the same sheet pans I have at market and bake on a screen. That method seems to work at market.  I know baking in the deck oven will give another variable, but Jim Lahey seemed to be baking in a deck oven. 

I also wondered why Jim Lahey formed the skins in two ways.  One with gently opening it and the other with flour and rolling the dough.  I did use the method of flouring my table and rolling the dough, but I didn’t use a lot of flour.  I don’t know if this was a step to be just used for the zucchini pizza or not, but wanted to follow what Jim Lahey did.

Norma

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2010, 12:06:43 PM »
I would probably go with my standard focaccia formula & up the dough weight by about 100grams.  The pic below should give you a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about.

Matt,

Your standard focaccia looks great.  :)  Let me know how the the formula turns out if you up the dough weight.  I do really like focaccia.  Doesn't your focaccia, have a nice and airy crumb?

Norma


Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2010, 01:18:12 PM »
Chau,

The member who has posted and commented most often on the digestibility matter is pizzanapoletana (Marco). Based on his posts on the subject linked below, it appears that the duration of fermentation is a major component of digestibility of a crust (from the standpoint of protein and starch/sugar) but also the nature of the leavening system (e.g., natural starter) and the strength of the flour.

Reply 46 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2951.msg26062/topicseen.html#msg26062

Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1942.msg17216/topicseen.html#msg17216

Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1330.msg12136/topicseen.html#msg12136

Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,656.msg11520/topicseen.html#msg11520

Reply 17 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2873.msg24774/topicseen.html#msg24774

Reply 18 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,970.msg8715/topicseen.html#msg8715

See, also, the thread on this subject at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8986.msg77745.html#msg77745.

Of course, not everyone, and that apparently includes Norma, has a problem with digesting pizza crust.

Peter


Thank you for the links Peter.  Reading through his comments, it appears that Marco list 2 reasons for easy digestibility of pizza dough.  1) protein content and 2) long fermentation times.

1) Protein content makes a lot of sense to me. 
2) length of fermentation doesn't make sense to me.   First fermentation is highly dependant on the amount of yeast in the dough and temperature.  If there is a high amount of yeast and a high temperature, fermenation occurs faster.  A slower fermented dough would have either less yeast or be fermented at lower temps or both.  However, at the point of usage, both doughs would have gone through a comparable amount of fermentation whether fast or slow.    Secondly, I have notice over and over again, that when a dough is overfermented, whether fast or slow, the acids strength the gluten and I get a tougher heavier texture.   No doubt this would equate to a heavier feeling in the gut.    So what am I missing here? How does length of fermentation aid in getting a more digestible dough?  Is there something else going on during the long fermentation?   Are more of the proteins broken down from the acids?

Thanks,
Chau

Online Matthew

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2010, 02:06:25 PM »
Matt,

Your standard focaccia looks great.  :)  Let me know how the the formula turns out if you up the dough weight.  I do really like focaccia.  Doesn't your focaccia, have a nice and airy crumb?

Norma

Thanks Norma.  I prefere focaccia genovese which is thinner & has a nice crunch.  Although I have made it several times I'm not a huge fan of really thick focaccia, which I refer to as focaccia bread.

Matt

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2010, 02:30:53 PM »
Chau,

I think that there are quantitative and related time aspects involved. For example, if I make an emergency dough with a lot of yeast and very warm water, by the time the dough is ready to be used (say, after a couple of hours), there will perhaps have been insufficient time for a lot of conversion of starch to sugars to take place (or for any added table sugar to be broken down into simple sugars). Also, the protease enzymes might not have had sufficient time to attack and degrade the protein gluten structure. Remember, also, that in Marco's case, I believe he was speaking in reference to using a small amount of natural starter (or an equivalent amount of commercial yeast), up to five percent of the weight of water, and he was also using 00 flour, which is a fairly weak flour, and not allowing his dough to overferment. Marco often spoke of the action of protease enzymes and being careful not to allow them to degrade the gluten structure to the point where the water was released from its bond, leading to a wet and slack dough indicative of excessive fermentation. In Marco's case, there may have been greater bacterial action also.

Since there are so many different dough formulations, I don't know how you would determine where the crossover point is between a dough that will produce a hard-to-digest crust and one that will produce and easy-to-digest crust. I think the crossover point would differ from one dough formulation to another.

Peter

Offline Jose L. Piedra

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2010, 02:45:42 PM »
With respect to digestibility, if it helps I've learned (the hard way) that under-kneading decreases digestibility, and to the extent that the dough is underkneaded.

JLP
Scarsu d'ogghiu, e riccu di provolazzu ::)

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2010, 05:13:11 PM »
Thank you for the links Peter.  Reading through his comments, it appears that Marco list 2 reasons for easy digestibility of pizza dough.  1) protein content and 2) long fermentation times.

1) Protein content makes a lot of sense to me. 
2) length of fermentation doesn't make sense to me.

One thing that helps me understand the connection between fermentation and digestibility is the self destructive nature of wheat (and grains in general).  As wheat reaches maturity, it begins to generate enzymes that will convert almost all of it's components to sugar as food for the budding germ.  Basically, Momma wheat sacrifices herself for baby germ. Farmers go to great lengths to harvest wheat before too much of these enzymes are produced (hence the importance of the 'falling value') so that the components don't degrade too quickly when a dough is formed. Some flour producers then take another self destructive grain, barley, carefully take that past maturity in order to generate an abundance of enzymes and then add that to wheat.  These plants basically generate the necessary enzyme cocktail to break themselves down, so the enzymes in protein deficient barley will spare the valuable gluten forming protein in wheat flour.

Every type of enzyme attacks one type of target.  They only break down the specific constituents that they're made to break down.  It's like puzzle pieces.  Water activity carries them around until they find the type of molecule that they 'fit' into and then they split it apart. There's a host of different enzymes slicing and dicing in pizza dough, but the biggest player, by far, is the starch degrading amylase. Malted barley flour supplements this amylase even further.  The amylase attacks the available starch in the dough and converts it to sugar. There's also, as Peter mentioned, protease.  There's not a lot of protease in flour, but there's enough that if you make a dough and let it sit for a very long time, the gluten will eventually be consumed.

One important concept to grasp is that fermentation involves two major processes- yeast activity and enzyme activity.  The yeast are generating some enzymes themselves, but, for the most part, yeast activity is about CO2 and alcohol, while enzyme activity is about entropy.  All the constituents in the wheat are on the slow train to becoming simple sugar (glucose). The entropy from enzyme activity represents a pre-digestion of the dough.  The further the enzymes break down the dough, the less work your stomach has to do to digest it.

Enzymes are favored by colder temps.  As you lower the temperature of dough with cold fermentation, the yeast become dormant, and, although the enzymes slow down as well, the enzyme train doesn't slow down quite as much.  A huge part of the 'additional' flavor/popularity of cold fermented dough is simply the extra sugar generated from the relatively faster acting enzymes (and other byproducts that add complexity, but, imo, I think the additional sugar-without physically adding sugar, is a big part of it's appeal).

Enzymes are favored by time.  As you dial back the yeast to produce dough that doubles in a longer amount of time, you're giving the enzymes more time to do their thing.

With unmalted/enzyme deficient Italian flour, time, as Marco points out, is critical.  You want enough enzyme activity to break down the flour so that it sits well in the stomach, but not so much that the gluten structure is compromised.  Kneading/gluten formation, hydration (water activity), dough temp, and the characteristics of the wheat from which the flour is milled are all going to impact the manner in which enzymes perform their tasks, but the bottom line is that an emergency dough with minimal fermentation (less than 6 hours) may contain a ton of added yeast/generate lots of CO2 and blow up quickly, but the enzymes will never have enough time to produce a crust with good digestibility.

The protease is, imo, the main player when it comes to digestibility, so even protease deficient, amylase rich, malted American flours still need plenty of time to reach peak digestibility.

A baker has a tremendous amount of control over yeast activity.  You can add more, add less, increase the temp, decrease the temp, and make sure the yeast train reaches it's destination exactly when you want it to.  The enzyme train, though, is not so easy to manipulate.  On the commmercial level, huge bakeries add pure enzymes to dough and manipulate enzyme activity with relative ease, but, for the home cook with a set amount of enzyme in their flour, you're pretty much stuck with extending the fermentation clock if you're looking for an ideal dough.

Now, just a quick aside, I have been researching some of the pure enzymes that commercial bakeries are using and I think there's ways for the home baker to utilize these ingredients and shorten the fermentation clock (imagine a 3 hour dough that has all the properties of a 3 day cold fermented dough), but I'm not there yet.

Summing up, fermentation is not just about yeast.  It's easy for the beginning baker to look at a dough that's doubled and assume it's ready.  It's also a common pitfall to look at a dough that's deflated and incorrectly assume it's overfermented.  Volume/CO2 production paints a portion of the fermentation picture, but not all.  If the yeast quantity was high or the dough was warm, it might have doubled in a short amount of time and will not have had the necessary enzyme activity to be properly fermented. The only way to really know your dough is to learn to recognize the signs of enzyme activity.  Clear plastic proofing containers will reveal the enzyme degradation if you learn how to recognize it.  There will be plenty of bubbles, but the slivers of dough that make up the bubbles will start to look wet and a little bit gooey. That's when the dough is properly fermented.  The finished crust tells the story as well. If you end up with a toothy/knobby crust, you took the dough too far.

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2010, 06:13:02 PM »
scott123,

That is a great post !!

Peter

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2010, 06:45:00 PM »
The only way to really know your dough is to learn to recognize the signs of enzyme activity.  Clear plastic proofing containers will reveal the enzyme degradation if you learn how to recognize it.  There will be plenty of bubbles, but the slivers of dough that make up the bubbles will start to look wet and a little bit gooey. That's when the dough is properly fermented.  The finished crust tells the story as well. If you end up with a toothy/knobby crust, you took the dough too far.

Scott,

I enjoyed reading your post.  :) I have watched many different kinds of doughs and wonder how you can determine when the dough is properly fermented if no bubbles form on top of the dough ball?.  I would also like to be able to test what you have posted.  I can see the bubbles forming on the bottom of containers, but have never seen the slivers of dough that look wet and a little gooey.  Could you explain this more?  My whole bottom of my dough ball, if left in a container does look wet, no matter how many bubbles form.

Thanks for your post.

Norma

scott123

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2010, 07:07:48 PM »
scott123,

That is a great post !!

Peter

Thanks!  Although I've been picking up enzyme info here and there for years, it was your comment directing me to protease a few months back that really jump started my enzyme research binge. I still have a long way to go (the more you know, the less you know :) ), but I wanted to share some of the things I picked up recently.


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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2010, 08:00:32 PM »
Scott,

I enjoyed reading your post.  :) I have watched many different kinds of doughs and wonder how you can determine when the dough is properly fermented if no bubbles form on top of the dough ball?.  I would also like to be able to test what you have posted.  I can see the bubbles forming on the bottom of containers, but have never seen the slivers of dough that look wet and a little gooey.  Could you explain this more?  My whole bottom of my dough ball, if left in a container does look wet, no matter how many bubbles form.

Thanks for your post.

Norma

You're welcome Norma.

As you're looking at the bubbles on the bottom, as the fermentation progresses, they'll go from fairly rigid to a tiny bit squiggly and then eventually they'll lose their integrity altogether. The very slight amount of squiggliness is the gooeyness I'm referring to.  And although they do look wet after a brief stint in the fridge, there's a point where the dough becomes noticeably wetter. That's the happy place  :)

Below are a couple of photos from member Jerrym. Can you see how, on the first photo (day 1), the bubbles are still pretty round (but not perfectly round) and the top of the dough is smooth while, on day 3, the bubbles are less defined and the top of the dough has weak areas where a small bubbles are beginning to show through? These two pics are, imo, basically the difference between just about the right amount of enzyme activity (day 1) and too much (day 3). Day 1 is, to me, the perfect amount of enzyme activity- enough entropy to be digestible/flavorful, but not too much to lose structure.

Norma, I see all the photos you post and I think, without scrutinizing the minutiae as much as I do, you have an excellent feel for when the dough is ready/enzymes have done their thing. I think you might be past the point of worrying about this particular detail.  I think you, like the rest of us, have come to understand the value of at least overnight fermentation (this thread being a rare exception), so that pretty much covers any underfermentation issues and I can't recall seeing you bake up any toothy/knobby crusts, so I think you're fine on the overfermentation side as well.

If memory serves me correctly, Marco mentioned that one of the reasons why digestibility is so important to the Italians is that eating pizza before bed is commonplace. Digestibility has come to a head for me personally due to my predilection for eating a lot at one sitting.  I think these are the only two instances where you're really going to notice the digestibility of a dough. DiFara's, for instance, uses notoriously young dough, and yet no one complains all that much about it sitting heavy in their stomachs.


« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 08:11:38 PM by scott123 »

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2010, 08:51:18 PM »
Thank you Scott for that in depth explanation.  I will have to read it again over the next few days and see if I can't digest that info.  :-D   Does this dough look gooey to you?   Is this what you are referring to? Or is this overfermented?

Chau

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2010, 10:26:19 PM »
You're welcome Norma.

As you're looking at the bubbles on the bottom, as the fermentation progresses, they'll go from fairly rigid to a tiny bit squiggly and then eventually they'll lose their integrity altogether. The very slight amount of squiggliness is the gooeyness I'm referring to.  And although they do look wet after a brief stint in the fridge, there's a point where the dough becomes noticeably wetter. That's the happy place  :)

Below are a couple of photos from member Jerrym. Can you see how, on the first photo (day 1), the bubbles are still pretty round (but not perfectly round) and the top of the dough is smooth while, on day 3, the bubbles are less defined and the top of the dough has weak areas where a small bubbles are beginning to show through? These two pics are, imo, basically the difference between just about the right amount of enzyme activity (day 1) and too much (day 3). Day 1 is, to me, the perfect amount of enzyme activity- enough entropy to be digestible/flavorful, but not too much to lose structure.

Norma, I see all the photos you post and I think, without scrutinizing the minutiae as much as I do, you have an excellent feel for when the dough is ready/enzymes have done their thing. I think you might be past the point of worrying about this particular detail.  I think you, like the rest of us, have come to understand the value of at least overnight fermentation (this thread being a rare exception), so that pretty much covers any underfermentation issues and I can't recall seeing you bake up any toothy/knobby crusts, so I think you're fine on the overfermentation side as well.

If memory serves me correctly, Marco mentioned that one of the reasons why digestibility is so important to the Italians is that eating pizza before bed is commonplace. Digestibility has come to a head for me personally due to my predilection for eating a lot at one sitting.  I think these are the only two instances where you're really going to notice the digestibility of a dough. DiFara's, for instance, uses notoriously young dough, and yet no one complains all that much about it sitting heavy in their stomachs.




Scott,

I find you explanations interesting, but I still don’t understand how these tests can show when the dough is fermented at the right point to be ready to baked.  I see the pictures you posted of Jerrym’s and I can see what you are posting about, but Jerrym’s dough looks like they are fermentation bubbles on the top also. I can see by those pictures that his dough might be overfermented.

If you look at my pictures of my dough at Reply #1 in this thread, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12542.msg119876.html#msg119876 you can see there are no top bubbles and the bottom of the dough wasn’t even wet.  Of course it was a “short-time” dough, but Peter and I still thought this dough might have been overfermented or close to it by how the dough baked. 

I usually take pictures of all my doughs, so anyone can see how they look, both top and bottom right before the bake and other times.  I don’t really think I have a feel for different doughs I make and can’t really tell when they are ready to bake, exactly at the right time.  I have learned dough management, but if you read over my different natural leavening threads, I am not getting the right crust coloration, although I do have decent oven spring and the dough does open well.  There is still something going on in that dough, that I don’t understand.  The top of the dough doesn’t look overfermented and even the bubbles on the bottom of the naturally leavened dough look okay.  I don’t know if you looked at those doughs or not, but if you have time, or are interested in looking at those doughs, you can see what I mean. 

Have you made any doughs that don’t have crust coloration and if you did, what is your theory on what is happening in those doughs? 

I have tried different experiments to see how long different doughs can last and still be able to be baked into a pizza.  What I learned from those experiments was the dough becomes almost limp and honeycombs when opening the dough.  Those doughs also had no crust coloration, although they still were decent in the taste of the crust. 

I have had doughs already that look like they might be overfermented and then reballed them and they were fine.  I don’t know if then the naturally occurring sugars were redistributed or not. 

For me, understanding all that goes into fermentation, and what goes on in the dough over the fermentation period, is still somewhat of a mystery to me, although I do understand some of the concepts.

If you can answer anything about what I posted, I would appreciate it.

Thanks for your ideas,  :)

Norma
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 11:19:57 PM by norma427 »

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #45 on: December 12, 2010, 10:54:18 PM »
Do the container size of where the dough rest/proofs,sometimes have an effect on the size of the bubbles?

It almost seems as if the smaller the container,the bigger the bubbles may form and the higher the dough seems to rise since it has no place to go but UP?

This is going by pictures on here.Just wondering.
 :)
-Bill

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #46 on: December 12, 2010, 11:23:18 PM »
Do the container size of where the dough rest/proofs,sometimes have an effect on the size of the bubbles?

It almost seems as if the smaller the container,the bigger the bubbles may form and the higher the dough seems to rise since it has no place to go but UP?

This is going by pictures on here.Just wondering.
 :)


Bill,

I have used different containers and even plastic bags to ferment my doughs.  I haven't seen much of a difference in what the dough is in, when it comes to fermentation.  I could be wrong though.  See if anyone else answers your question.  It is more about finished dough temperature and dough management in my opinion.

Norma

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2010, 04:48:35 AM »
Thank you Scott for that in depth explanation.  I will have to read it again over the next few days and see if I can't digest that info.  :-D   Does this dough look gooey to you?   Is this what you are referring to? Or is this overfermented?

Chau

Chau, that's a little more oil than I'm used to working with, which is making the wetness/gooeyness a little hard to detect, but I would say, no, that's not overfermented.

scott123

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2010, 06:05:52 AM »
I find you explanations interesting, but I still don’t understand how these tests can show when the dough is fermented at the right point to be ready to baked.  I see the pictures you posted of Jerrym’s and I can see what you are posting about, but Jerrym’s dough looks like they are fermentation bubbles on the top also. I can see by those pictures that his dough might be overfermented.

The first pic (Day 1) has black specs on the top of the dough, but the top is still smooth/not showing any bubbles.  The second pic shows very clearly the bubbles pushing out the top through the obviously weakened gluten.

If you look at my pictures of my dough at Reply #1 in this thread, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12542.msg119876.html#msg119876 you can see there are no top bubbles and the bottom of the dough wasn’t even wet.  Of course it was a “short-time” dough, but Peter and I still thought this dough might have been overfermented or close to it by how the dough baked.

Norma, are you sure that link is correct?  The pizza at the beginning of this thread shows absolutely no signs of overfermentation.  It would be physically impossible, imo, to overferment a 6 hour dough.   

I usually take pictures of all my doughs, so anyone can see how they look, both top and bottom right before the bake and other times.  I don’t really think I have a feel for different doughs I make and can’t really tell when they are ready to bake, exactly at the right time.  I have learned dough management, but if you read over my different natural leavening threads, I am not getting the right crust coloration, although I do have decent oven spring and the dough does open well.  There is still something going on in that dough, that I don’t understand.  The top of the dough doesn’t look overfermented and even the bubbles on the bottom of the naturally leavened dough look okay.  I don’t know if you looked at those doughs or not, but if you have time, or are interested in looking at those doughs, you can see what I mean. 

Have you made any doughs that don’t have crust coloration and if you did, what is your theory on what is happening in those doughs?

Predicting coloration is not an easy task.  Sugar is a big player, both added as an ingredient and generated from enzyme activity.    Baking times also have a large impact on coloration.  As you lower the temp and increase the clock, you lose some oven spring, but the crust browns much more evenly. As you decrease the clock and venture toward the Neapolitan realm, even browning goes out the window and you just get the uneven speckling that we all know as leoparding. Are your 'naturally leavened' doughs using sourdough starters?  Sourdough introduces acids and acids are well known to inhibit browning. The acids might also be impacting enzyme activity. I have to admit that although I've done extensive research on non sourdough bread/enzyme chemistry, as you get into the lower pH world of sourdoughs, I'm at a bit of loss.

I have tried different experiments to see how long different doughs can last and still be able to be baked into a pizza.  What I learned from those experiments was the dough becomes almost limp and honeycombs when opening the dough.  Those doughs also had no crust coloration, although they still were decent in the taste of the crust.

In a non sour environment, the longer you ferment, the more residual sugar is generated.  At least, that's what I believe is occurring.  The only time where yeast consumes large/noticeable quantities of sugar is in the high water activity environment of beer making (and that's a lot of yeast and a decent amount of time).  So... overfermented doughs contain a lot of sugar and should color very quickly.  Now, gluten does trap water, so as the gluten begins to fail, the dough will get much more slack, and, when you attempt to bake it, the water will take longer to evaporate, which will delay browning, but once the surface has dried you should have plenty of coloration due to the abundance of sugar.  Not that you'd want that kind of coloration because you'd pay in other ways, like poorer oven spring, an alcohol-y taste and an uneven toothy appearance.

I have had doughs already that look like they might be overfermented and then reballed them and they were fine.  I don’t know if then the naturally occurring sugars were redistributed or not.

In what way did the dough look overfermented?  Was the dough deflated?  Like I said earlier, deflation is not a reliable indicator.  As long as a lot of time hasn't passed and the enzymes haven't had much of a chance to break down the components, doughs can rise/fall, be re-balled without care.  Re-balling will generate gluten, which, imo, may not be a good thing, but it's not impacting fermentation.  The negative traits that one sees from overfermentation (toothy appearance, less spring, uneven coloring, alcohol-y taste, sticky/hard to handle dough) are not a result of yeast/CO2/volume, but of enzymes eventually laying waste to everything in sight. 

Beyond visual indicators, there's also smell.  As the dough ferments, on the yeast side, you can smell the alcohol, but enzyme generated sugar will give off a sweet smell as well.  I switched to opaque containers a while back, so that's what I rely on- to an extent.  If you work with clear containers enough and vigorously control the variables (flour brand, yeast quantity, dough temp, proofing temp, proofing time, hydration, kneading time/intensity, etc),  the enzyme activity and yeast activity will track in such a way that you can use the yeast activity indicators to tell you when a dough is ready.  In other words, if the enzymes atrophy a dough exactly the way I want it (digestible but still structurally viable) and, at that magic moment the dough had doubled, if I do everything the same the next time, I can wait until the dough doubles and be reasonably certain that the enzyme activity will be where I want to be.

At times, I sort of miss the training wheels of clear containers, but the stackable opaque containers I use are much wider (less contact with the side/easier to remove the dough) and have no issues whatsoever with releasing pent up gas, so it's a trade off I'm willing to make.

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Re: Quest for Pizza Pomodoro
« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2010, 09:06:56 AM »


Norma, are you sure that link is correct?  The pizza at the beginning of this thread shows absolutely no signs of overfermentation.  It would be physically impossible, imo, to overferment a 6 hour dough.   

Predicting coloration is not an easy task.  Sugar is a big player, both added as an ingredient and generated from enzyme activity.    Baking times also have a large impact on coloration.  As you lower the temp and increase the clock, you lose some oven spring, but the crust browns much more evenly. As you decrease the clock and venture toward the Neapolitan realm, even browning goes out the window and you just get the uneven speckling that we all know as leoparding. Are your 'naturally leavened' doughs using sourdough starters?  Sourdough introduces acids and acids are well known to inhibit browning. The acids might also be impacting enzyme activity. I have to admit that although I've done extensive research on non sourdough bread/enzyme chemistry, as you get into the lower pH world of sourdoughs, I'm at a bit of loss.

In a non sour environment, the longer you ferment, the more residual sugar is generated.  At least, that's what I believe is occurring.  The only time where yeast consumes large/noticeable quantities of sugar is in the high water activity environment of beer making (and that's a lot of yeast and a decent amount of time).  So... overfermented doughs contain a lot of sugar and should color very quickly.  Now, gluten does trap water, so as the gluten begins to fail, the dough will get much more slack, and, when you attempt to bake it, the water will take longer to evaporate, which will delay browning, but once the surface has dried you should have plenty of coloration due to the abundance of sugar.  Not that you'd want that kind of coloration because you'd pay in other ways, like poorer oven spring, an alcohol-y taste and an uneven toothy appearance.

In what way did the dough look overfermented?  Was the dough deflated?  Like I said earlier, deflation is not a reliable indicator.  As long as a lot of time hasn't passed and the enzymes haven't had much of a chance to break down the components, doughs can rise/fall, be re-balled without care.  Re-balling will generate gluten, which, imo, may not be a good thing, but it's not impacting fermentation.  The negative traits that one sees from overfermentation (toothy appearance, less spring, uneven coloring, alcohol-y taste, sticky/hard to handle dough) are not a result of yeast/CO2/volume, but of enzymes eventually laying waste to everything in sight. 

Beyond visual indicators, there's also smell.  As the dough ferments, on the yeast side, you can smell the alcohol, but enzyme generated sugar will give off a sweet smell as well.  I switched to opaque containers a while back, so that's what I rely on- to an extent.  If you work with clear containers enough and vigorously control the variables (flour brand, yeast quantity, dough temp, proofing temp, proofing time, hydration, kneading time/intensity, etc),  the enzyme activity and yeast activity will track in such a way that you can use the yeast activity indicators to tell you when a dough is ready.  In other words, if the enzymes atrophy a dough exactly the way I want it (digestible but still structurally viable) and, at that magic moment the dough had doubled, if I do everything the same the next time, I can wait until the dough doubles and be reasonably certain that the enzyme activity will be where I want to be.



Scott,

To answer your questions to your different observations.  The link was correct for the dough I made in this thread.  In my opinion, it is possible to overferment a dough in 6 hrs.  This dough had a lot of IDY added, and even though this dough should have been ready to baked into a pizza much sooner, I believe I did overferment the dough by the feel of the dough when opening it.  There were many bubbles in the dough and when I picked it up to open by hand, there were many honeycombs in the dough.  I almost created holes in the dough when opening it. I know the dough doesn't look like it was overfermented.  I had no visual indicators that the dough in this thread was overfermented, until I started to open the dough.

I agree predicting coloration isn’t an easy task.  I have learned that there can still be enough residual sugar in the dough enough to have oven spring and good handling properties, but the doughs still can have problems with coloration.  I even have tried lowering my bake temperatures (much lower) and baked longer and there still was oven spring, but not much more coloration.  All the doughs I am having problems with in terms of coloration are sourdoughs, made with different starters.  I am using poolishes in different amounts in my sourdoughs.  My opinion right now about the poolish doughs is that the biological activity in the poolish doughs consumes so much sugar and then leaves too little for good coloration. This could be what Professor Calvel talks about suffering from limited Maillard and caramelization reactions. Professor Calvel also states “If it too acidic to begin with, then that will lower the final pH at the time of baking.” and “The presence of an appropriate amount of residual sugars in the dough at the time of baking is extremely important” and “Other findings indicate that the smaller the original quantity of yeast in the dough, the greater the percentage increase in cell numbers during the fermentation, with all other conditions being held constant  This is not surprising given the fact that at the lower yeast level, the competition for nutrients is far less than at the higher yeast levels. Thus, each yeast cell has access or at least the opportunity for access to greater food supplies during fermentation.” I have tried adding honey and malt powder without much success to the poolish sourdoughs for crust coloration.  Non of my sourdoughs have a sour taste in the crust or a real alcoholy smell in the dough balls.  Sourdoughs are harder to understand.  I have baked some of the same sourdoughs in my friend Steve’s (Ev) oven and you are right there doesn’t seem to be any problems with crust coloration in a WFO.  The higher bake temperatures do then cause leoparding.  I did have one sourdough baked in Steve’s oven, that didn’t show leoparding but did brown nicely.  These are some reasons why sourdoughs are so hard to understand.

Thanks for you ideas and observations,

Norma
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 09:09:15 AM by norma427 »


 

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