Author Topic: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?  (Read 2744 times)

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Offline Atticus

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Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« on: August 19, 2011, 08:52:55 AM »
Well, I'm slowly progressing in my skills and am feeling more confident with each new effort.

This morning I made a batch of dough which will hopefully becomes pizzas/calzones tomorrow.  However, unlike previous attempts, this batch was stuck in the fridge as one big ball of dough.  I did not divide it into separate portions.

The question:  are there any advantages/disadvantages to splitting the dough before or after the final ferment?

I'm sure I'll find this out for myself in time, but I would love to know what others' experiences are.  :)


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 09:53:18 AM »
I prefer to break them down for the fridge, that way when I am ready to use them (or just 1), they are ready.

Offline JJP

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 10:11:28 AM »
I take it that dividing the dough has little or no effect on the fermentation process?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 12:54:12 PM »
There are some members that ferment and refridgerate their dough in bulk.  I did it a few times myself, but settled on doing a short rise in bulk at room temp, then scaling and balling, then to the fridge.  It always seemed like a refridgerated bulk dough, when scaled and balled, left the dough "degassed" . I am not good enough to tell the difference in the final product, but some might.

1) as to answer your exact question.  My suspicion is that it does not have anything to do with the fermentation or proofing of the dough.  But it does change the effects of the fermentation (air bubbles) in the final dough ball.

Peter answered a similar question I had one time, let me go find his answer.



Here:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12320.msg116878.html#msg116878

« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 01:19:55 PM by Jet_deck »
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scott123

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 02:52:04 PM »
There are exceptions, but, generally speaking, bulk ferments are a Neapolitan thing, while balled ferments are NY.

Atticus, you should never split the dough after the 'final' ferment. Bulk ferments are always part of a two stage process. Bulk, ball, then a secondary ferment.  If you bulk, ball, then form, the dough will not have had a chance to relax and it will be incredibly difficult to stretch.

Fermentation generates heat, which, in turn, accelerates fermentation. In a big chunk of dough, the center is insulated from the outside, so it will have a tendency to get warmer and ferment faster.  You can compensate for this, to an extent, by starting off with colder water/colder dough. The biggest advantage of bulk ferments, by far, is space.  In a restaurant where space is a premium, bulk dough takes up a lot less space than balled dough.

Cold fermenting bulk dough doesn't really work, imo. When Neapolitans bulk ferment, it's always room temp.  Bulk dough takes forever to chill and forever to warm up to a sufficient temp so you can ball it. You don't want to ball cold dough because the coldness will make the gluten tight and more easily torn.  The long cool down, the long warm up, the (generally) overnight cold ferment, the post balling minimum 6 hour room temp ferment to allow the dough to relax- it all adds up. Sure, you can start off with ice water, so the cool down is quicker, but you're still talking about extra steps, extra hassle and, imo, greater room for error. I also believe that cold bulk fermentation introduces the potential for widely varying levels of fermentation in the dough mass (depending on how large it is). Mix, knead, ball, cold ferment, warm up, form- much more simple, and, imo, much more flexible, as long as you have the space. In order to achieve the best pizza possible, pizzeria architects really need to think a bit more like bakery architects and include additional proofing space (preferably refrigerated) in their designs.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 02:57:42 PM by scott123 »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 03:09:40 PM »
There are exceptions, but, generally speaking, bulk ferments are a Neapolitan thing, while balled ferments are NY.


Scott,

Most of the time I do a 12hr cold bulk rise and then I divide into individual balls and do another 12hrs cold rise for a total of 24hrs.

I guess you could call that the New Yorkapolitan approach.... ;)
Mike

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 04:47:24 PM »
Atticus did not specifically state what kind or style of pizza he is trying to make, other than to note that he has the bulk dough in the refrigerator, but I think that scott123 stated the case as well as can be stated without getting into the chemistry and physics of bulk versus individual dough balls.

I have been reading about the bulk vs. individual dough balls question for years and offhand I can only recall a single instance where a professional pizza operator fermented dough in bulk in a refrigerator or cooler. That case was a professional pizza operator in Australia and he did the bulk cold ferment because of space issues. Also, in his case, he ran the individual dough pieces cut out of the bulk dough through a sheeter and put the skins on screens (and, later, on disks, I believe). His approach is discussed, by wa dave, at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8555&hilit= and at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8867&hilit=#p60319. Tom Lehmann also tackled the subject at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4398&p=24132&hilit= and also at the end of his PMQTT post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2846&hilit=#p14182.

About the only member of the forum that I can think of at the moment that uses bulk cold fermentation is Mike (Essen1). That method might work out OK for him for a small number of dough balls, but it would be impractical, if not impossible, to use if a hundred or a couple hundred dough balls were to be made at a single whack. The method would work, however, if the individual dough pieces are run though a sheeter, as wa dave does in Australia.

I think one of the more interesting questions--one that was not specifically asked--is why a bulk rise is used for the Neapolitan style dough before dividing and shaping into individual dough balls. pizzanapoletana (Marco) insisted that there was a good reason for the bulk rise but would not specifically say why. See specifically Marco's response to scott r's comment at Reply 54 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2088.msg24291/topicseen.html#msg24291. At the time, I believe Marco was planning to write a book and did not want to say too much on the subject, and many others, on the forum. Maybe this subject is best left to another day and another thread where it might be tackled head on inasmuch as I believe that there are some members who have done the division up front for the Neapolitan style.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 04:56:49 PM »
Peter,

I use the cold bulk fermentation mostly do to necessity (smaller fridge).

But besides that, I never make dough for more than four dough balls at a time unless I have a party or friends request more. Either way, I have had good results with bulk rises but also have occasionally done the individual fermentation.

I guess bulk fermenting the dough has become more of a habit which I need to change up a bit.  :-[
Mike

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Offline Atticus

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2011, 09:49:26 AM »
Wow!  Many thanks for all of the helpful replies. :)

Being new to this I've been cobbling together ideas and methods that have been posted on other threads. Who would have thought pizza making could be so complex!  One forum member on another thread referred to the "Alice in Wonderland" journey that comes with the learning the pizza craft - how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

To get to some specifics, my dough recipe is based on the collected pizza entries found in "Leith's Baking Bible."  It's my wife's cookbook and it's given me a solid start so far.  I've been augmenting the process with bits and bobs of info collected here.

As far as pizza style goes, I've basically been aiming for something edible.  I would say I've roughly been making New York/American style pizza.  It may not be the best pizza I've ever tasted, but it sure beats anything that's available either fresh or frozen in the supermarket, AND it's 1,000 times better than those Chef Boyardee pizza kits my mom used to lay on us in the 70's.

But, when I refer to "bulk", the amounts are basically what would come out of one batch in a standard Kitchenaid mixer.  So, no great loss if I have to chuck the dough and start again.

But, tonight the dough challenge will be put to the test.  We were supposed to do the pizzas last night, but some friends invited us to an impromptu BBQ yesterday.  The dough will now have rested in the cold for 2 days, so I'm very anxious to see how this will play out.

I'm learning by doing, and once again many thanks for your helpful advice and consideration.

Offline JConk007

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2011, 02:26:30 PM »
Looks like I also have to try a few things differently. example make (neapolitan)dough 11:00 am friday I do a bulk 4-5 hrs room rise then in the same same containers Bulk into the fridge table for 14-17hrs @41degrees. 4 pm Then in the I take out the containers8:00 am  let then sit out covered for about 1 hour depending on heat and humidity. Then its ball time.  I do like 30 balls 30 min then into fridge balled and then 30-40 more balls/minutes depending on party. I take the balls out again based on the outside (2pm) temp minimum 2-3 hours prior to cooking. Cook time at (4-5pm) So far I have no issues with this proceedure and over 1000 dough balls.  Its more a convenience, and I just dont have the guts yets to go at my room temp 75 ish for 36 hours before serving. another Problem is the health departments are not exactly Fermentation specialists they are looking for that 41degree temp on the thermometer even if the evet is starting in 10 minutes?
so there are allways somethere will allways be some  interesting dough management challenges
Plan is to try a small batch from the same dough batch at 100% room and report the result . and or as mentioned ball from the room bulk ferment and into fridge this is als what vesta does 4 hr room ball into fridge. Any tips are allways appreciated
Thanks
John
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 02:30:22 PM by JConk007 »
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scott123

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Re: Cold Rising the Dough - one big ball or several smaller ones?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2011, 05:49:53 PM »
another Problem is the health departments are not exactly Fermentation specialists they are looking for that 41degree temp on the thermometer even if the evet is starting in 10 minutes?

John, you have to make the health department personnel into Fermentation specialists.  Put together a packet of information for them. Scour the health code to see if there are any regulations you can point out to the inspector. Get a signed affidavit from a local food science university professor stating the safety of room temperature fermentation.  Do mobile restaurants get different health department staff than non mobile restaurants?  I don't think there's a pizzeria in the state that has 41 degree dough within an hour of baking it, and I would say the majority most likely never has 41 degree dough since most pizzerias don't cold ferment. Should you, as a mobile pizzeria, have entirely different rules than a stationary one?