Author Topic: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough  (Read 4676 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« on: February 03, 2013, 10:42:33 PM »
Since TXCraig posted his Sourdough starter quantity predictive model http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22649.0.html I've been experimenting with cold fermentation in the fridge (35-40*F)

The purpose of these experiments was to test my assumption I could make a naturally leavened dough (no IDY/ADY/Cake Yeast) on any given night, and use it at my leisure during the week without the risk of over or under-fermenting the final dough. The quick summary is that I believe no fermentation occurs at fridge temps (under 40*F) The following is my initial findings:


*All dough made using 8.5% starter, 60% hydration, 550* NY Style*

Experiment #1 (control): 65* warm ferment only for 24 hours (no cold ferment). Great spring, mild flavor & color (due to lack of LAB effect)

Experiment #2: 84 hours cold ferment (fridge), then pull for 12.5 hours at 65* to verify predictive model. Dough seemed highly under-fermented. Poor spring, poor color. This was the initial experiment that started to raise my suspicions on whether a dough made with a starter did any fermentation in the fridge.

Experiment #3: 14 day cold ferment (fridge), 65* warm ferment for 24 hours. Although it would be a good assumption to say this dough would be way over-fermented, turns out that was not the case at all. This dough didn't start showing small bubbles until a minimum of 12 hours of 65* temps, and seemed about right around 24 hours. The spring and color were great. The only negative to this dough was the extreme extensiblility which was a catalyst for weak spots & holes. Other that that issue, the dough was perfect and this was the first time my suspensions were "verified" that little to no fermentation occurs at fridge temps.

Experiment #4: 5 day cold ferment (fridge), 65* warm ferment for 24 hours. This was a good middle of the road experiment to test between my control and my 14 day ferment. Although the dough seemed to be fully fermented, spring & color were very poor. I'm now beginning to suspect that the fridge actually damages the yeast in some way.  
Experiment #4 was thrown away due to learning I stored dough in sub-freezing temperatures during this "cold ferment"

Experiment #5 (TBD). I will take a complete guess and assume 50% of yeast are "harmed" when put into the fridge. I have no reasoning for this number, just a guess. Therefore, I will raise my original 8.5% starter to 12.75% and perform experiment #4 again.
Experiment #5 is also thrown away since first day was in sub-freezing temperatures. Dough was under fermented with 13 hour rise at 72*



« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 09:52:40 PM by JD »
Josh


Online R2-Bayou

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: DC
Re: Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 11:55:30 PM »
I wonder if a long room temp bulk ferment followed by balling then cold retarding would produce a more friendly use window but still provide spring, strength, and flavor...
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline dellavecchia

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2628
Re: Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 06:53:11 AM »
I wonder if a long room temp bulk ferment followed by balling then cold retarding would produce a more friendly use window but still provide spring, strength, and flavor...

Yes, absolutely. This is common practice.

John

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 07:36:25 AM »
Yes, absolutely. This is common practice.

John

It is?? Well I guess there is no need for this experiment to continue then. Can you share any links for my knowledge?
Josh

Offline bfguilford

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: Near New Haven, CT
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 09:13:34 AM »
JD: I have been experimenting with Ischia in a NY style pie, but haven't tried such extended cold fermentation times. I maxed out at 66 hours in the fridge. What I noticed when I did the cold ferment was that I didn't see much increase in the volume during the fridge time, but I got very good oven spring and decent browning on cordierite, and now even better on soapstone.

Here's the thread that I have going on it: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21530.20.html.

Barry

Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21269
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 09:39:33 AM »

JD,

This thread is where I experimented and used the Ischia starter in a Lehmann dough and cold fermented the dough for a extended period if you are interested.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11700.0.html

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline dellavecchia

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2628
Re: Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:48:31 AM »
It is?? Well I guess there is no need for this experiment to continue then. Can you share any links for my knowledge?


Retarding is done quite often in the bread making world, home and commercial alike. The basic premise is to extend the fermentation to bake at a specific time. This allows commercial operations that rely on room temp fermentation to have a consistent product and baking schedule. You do your bulk, shape and then retard. This slows down the fermentation activity, adds flavor character from LAB, and mitigates changes in humidity and temperature that would otherwise speed up or slow down a room temp ferment.

One factor you should consider is the amount of starter needed to make retardation happen as it is intended. Lower than 10% of flour may not be enough to generate the amount of activity needed before being placed in cold storage. All things being equal, the dough formulation informs the workflow, not the other way around.

Link to fresh loaf articles on retarding

John

Offline mitchjg

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 485
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 10:37:04 AM »
Sorry, if I may be slightly off the specific topic .  I often use Jeff Varasno's workflow to prepare my doughs.  He describes the use of yeast (in addition to the starter at 8%) as optional.  Pftaylor also uses a bit of yeast to boost the starter.

Neither does a bulk rise, they ball and refrigerate (although the workflow has a lot of waiting times they are not very long for starter).  The recommended warm up time is only about 80 or 90 minutes.

I have found that if I do not use the "optional" yeast, I do not nearly the rise I want.

So, I have been thinking of modifying their workflow with a bulk rise for a couple of hours and then proceeding. 

Thoughts?

Offline dellavecchia

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2628
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2013, 11:05:00 AM »
Sorry, if I may be slightly off the specific topic .  I often use Jeff Varasno's workflow to prepare my doughs.  He describes the use of yeast (in addition to the starter at 8%) as optional.  Pftaylor also uses a bit of yeast to boost the starter.

Neither does a bulk rise, they ball and refrigerate (although the workflow has a lot of waiting times they are not very long for starter).  The recommended warm up time is only about 80 or 90 minutes.

I have found that if I do not use the "optional" yeast, I do not nearly the rise I want.

So, I have been thinking of modifying their workflow with a bulk rise for a couple of hours and then proceeding. 

Thoughts?

Yes, a bulk rise at room temp will help. Be aware, though, that active fermentation at room temp may reduce the amount of time the dough will be viable even in cold storage. Retarding is meant to be used for less than 24 hours in my opinion. But if you balance the amount of starter you might be able to get a longer ferment.

John

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2013, 11:08:04 AM »
JD: I have been experimenting with Ischia in a NY style pie, but haven't tried such extended cold fermentation times. I maxed out at 66 hours in the fridge. What I noticed when I did the cold ferment was that I didn't see much increase in the volume during the fridge time, but I got very good oven spring and decent browning on cordierite, and now even better on soapstone.

Here's the thread that I have going on it: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21530.20.html.

Barry




Barry. I have kept up with your thread (pies look great by the way!)... but it looks like your lowest temperature is 55 degrees? EDIT: Went back and noticed you did a 40* Fridge ferment. My experiment is to determine whether fridge temps allow yeast to go nearly 100% dormant, I believe 55 is a bit too high for dormancy.

Looks like you got great results with 4% starter and a few days of fridge temps. This is opposite of my results so I suppose I need to keep experimenting.

Additionally my latest experiment was using steel, which in theory has a greater conductivity than cordierite or soapstone & would promote exceptional spring. I did not see that with my last dough, which is why I'm wondering now if fridge temps kill a certain % of the yeast?

JD,

This thread is where I experimented and used the Ischia starter in a Lehmann dough and cold fermented the dough for a extended period if you are interested.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11700.0.html

Norma


I am quite familiar with your work Norma! I hope to be able to make a pizza close to your abilities one day. I apologize for not reviewing the 15 pages of materials ;D, but could you tell me if you ever did a long cold ferment (4+ days) to see if the yeast went into dormancy and had no effect on the final warm rise?

Retarding is done quite often in the bread making world, home and commercial alike. The basic premise is to extend the fermentation to bake at a specific time. This allows commercial operations that rely on room temp fermentation to have a consistent product and baking schedule. You do your bulk, shape and then retard. This slows down the fermentation activity, adds flavor character from LAB, and mitigates changes in humidity and temperature that would otherwise speed up or slow down a room temp ferment.

One factor you should consider is the amount of starter needed to make retardation happen as it is intended. Lower than 10% of flour may not be enough to generate the amount of activity needed before being placed in cold storage. All things being equal, the dough formulation informs the workflow, not the other way around.

Link to fresh loaf articles on retarding

John


Thanks for the info John. It seems that many people are using cold ferment with a standard time in mind (such as 1-2 days). I'm attempting to prove that fridge temps allow doughs with natural starters to go into near-complete dormancy, which would allow for a much more flexible pizza making schedule if true (up to 2 weeks until dough breaks down due to enzymatic reactions which seemed to be the case on my 14 day dough)


Sorry, if I may be slightly off the specific topic .  I often use Jeff Varasno's workflow to prepare my doughs.  He describes the use of yeast (in addition to the starter at 8%) as optional.  Pftaylor also uses a bit of yeast to boost the starter.

Neither does a bulk rise, they ball and refrigerate (although the workflow has a lot of waiting times they are not very long for starter).  The recommended warm up time is only about 80 or 90 minutes.

I have found that if I do not use the "optional" yeast, I do not nearly the rise I want.

So, I have been thinking of modifying their workflow with a bulk rise for a couple of hours and then proceeding.  

Thoughts?


mitchjg: Varasano's recipe is exactly why I've decided to start this experiment. He claims that only 1-2 hours is required for final proofing of the dough after a cold ferment. My findings have always been completely opposite, that the dough was completely under fermented. I never use commercial yeast as a booster, so I believe cold "fermentation" doesn't quite exist with a natural starter
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 01:16:39 PM by JD »
Josh


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11790
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2013, 11:20:28 AM »
Sorry, if I may be slightly off the specific topic .  I often use Jeff Varasno's workflow to prepare my doughs.  He describes the use of yeast (in addition to the starter at 8%) as optional.  Pftaylor also uses a bit of yeast to boost the starter.

...

I have found that if I do not use the "optional" yeast, I do not nearly the rise I want.

It's very likely that Jeff's "starter" was primarily a culture of baker's yeast to start with (perhaps there is other flora in it as well), so what is optional for him in terms of adding additional baker's yeast in a cold environment may not necessarily be optional for you using a bona fide SD culture as you have obsered.

I don't understand the fascination with putting SD-leavened dough in the refrigerator. If you need to do it to make timing work, that one thing, but IMO, it results in sub-optimal flavor and texture. Jeff may have needed the fridge to get the flavor he wanted out of baker's yeast, but you don't need the fridge to get flavor out of SD - rather, it works against you in this regard.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 11:43:42 AM »

I don't understand the fascination with putting SD-leavened dough in the refrigerator.

Purely for a more flexible schedule. My "control" dough (no cold ferment) was superior as far as handeling is concerned, but lacked flavor & color. I'm sure if I followed a schedule similar to yours (low % starter, 65* for 2-4 days) I would find that perfect balance and make a perfect pizza.

I like to try new things and I think it would be beneficial if I could find a dough recipe that stands up to some time in the fridge, and be able to pull it out 24 hours before pizza night, regardless if it were 2 days or 2 weeks after I made the dough. I'm not suggesting a cold fermented dough will be superior to a "warm" fermented dough. Hope that's clear it up a bit.
Josh

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11790
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 11:56:10 AM »
Purely for a more flexible schedule. My "control" dough (no cold ferment) was superior as far as handeling is concerned, but lacked flavor & color. I'm sure if I followed a schedule similar to yours (low % starter, 65* for 2-4 days) I would find that perfect balance and make a perfect pizza.

When you do, please share your secret. I've been trying for a few years now, and I have not made a perfect pizza yet.  ;)

Quote
I like to try new things and I think it would be beneficial if I could find a dough recipe that stands up to some time in the fridge, and be able to pull it out 24 hours before pizza night, regardless if it were 2 days or 2 weeks after I made the dough. I'm not suggesting a cold fermented dough will be superior to a "warm" fermented dough. Hope that's clear it up a bit.

I guess I just see things differently. What is the benefit? Convienience? I don't see convienience as an acceptable tradeoff for quality. Just my $0.02.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 12:01:05 PM »
When you do, please share your secret. I've been trying for a few years now, and I have not made a perfect pizza yet.  ;)

Your pictures and sticky's would suggest otherwise!


I guess I just see things differently. What is the benefit? Convienience? I don't see convienience as an acceptable tradeoff for quality. Just my $0.02.

I understand what you mean. I suppose since I have a lot of unknowns in my near future where I'm sure my schedule is going to vary day to day and be highly subject to change, I don't want to risk throwing away a doughball because we had to make last minute changes.

I guess I'm looking for a family friendly recipe where things just don't go as planned. I know it will still be better than ordering from your local chain.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 02:54:32 PM by JD »
Josh

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11790
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2013, 12:04:02 PM »
I know it will still be better than ordering from your local chain.

No doubt!
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline bfguilford

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 616
  • Location: Near New Haven, CT
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2013, 03:45:47 PM »
Barry. I have kept up with your thread (pies look great by the way!)... but it looks like your lowest temperature is 55 degrees? EDIT: Went back and noticed you did a 40* Fridge ferment. My experiment is to determine whether fridge temps allow yeast to go nearly 100% dormant, I believe 55 is a bit too high for dormancy.

Looks like you got great results with 4% starter and a few days of fridge temps. This is opposite of my results so I suppose I need to keep experimenting.

JD: Thanks. Just to clarify, the 4% was in a cooler that was around 64 degrees. The fridge ferments were between 17 and 20 percent starter.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21269
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2013, 06:40:06 PM »

I apologize for not reviewing the 15 pages of materials ;D, but could you tell me if you ever did a long cold ferment (4+ days) to see if the yeast went into dormancy and had no effect on the final warm rise?



JD,

I did use a 25 day old cold fermented milk kefir dough ball to make a pizza.  The dough ball was warmed-up for 3 hrs.  If you are interested I posted about it at Reply 218 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12173.msg120993.html#msg120993 and the following posts.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 08:01:54 PM »
Thank you for the information Norma. I find the following quote very interesting:

John,

Thanks for saying the 25 day milk kefir pizza was picture perfect.  :) I never would have thought any dough ball could be cold fermented for 25 days and still have enough yeast in the dough to leaven a pizza.  Somehow it must be something in milk kefir that keeps the dough from fermenting too fast.  I will have to do more experiments using milk kefir.

Norma

I still stand by my suspicions that yeast go into dormancy while in the fridge. I know you attribute the extended fermentation to the milk kefir, but would you consider my statement to possibly be true, also considering you did nearly a 50% preferment?!
Josh

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21269
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2013, 08:25:29 PM »
Thank you for the information Norma. I find the following quote very interesting:

I still stand by my suspicions that yeast go into dormancy while in the fridge. I know you attribute the extended fermentation to the milk kefir, but would you consider my statement to possibly be true, also considering you did nearly a 50% preferment?!


JD,

I really donít know, but donít think starters go completely dormant while in the fridge, unless the temperature is too low.  I know I used a high amount of the milk kefir in that dough.  Maybe someday I will have to do another experiment with the Ischia starter and a lower amount of preferment.  I know other members methods of control temperature fermenting do give better results.

You might be right that a lower amount of starter in a dough will go dormant in the fridge.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline JD

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 982
  • Location: NE Mississippi, but NY born & raised
Re: Cold fermenting in refridgerator with sourdough
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2013, 10:08:14 PM »
JD,

I really donít know, but donít think starters go completely dormant while in the fridge, unless the temperature is too low.  I know I used a high amount of the milk kefir in that dough.  Maybe someday I will have to do another experiment with the Ischia starter and a lower amount of preferment.  I know other members methods of control temperature fermenting do give better results.

You might be right that a lower amount of starter in a dough will go dormant in the fridge.

Norma

Thank you for your additional thoughts. I think you're right that they do not go completely dormant. I'd like to find out just how much they do go dormant though.

I will continue my experimenting, mostly because I just enjoy the process. I am making a 12.75% starter dough tonight and plan to repeat experiment number 4 above. This is an assumption that a certain % of yeast have irreversible damage after being subjected to low temperatures for an extended amount of time.

JD
Josh