Author Topic: Why bulk ferment?  (Read 1469 times)

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Offline Mark436

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Why bulk ferment?
« on: September 17, 2013, 09:11:26 PM »
Hi everyone.  I'm new here with a new WFO and I'm trying to learn what I can to make some of those nice pies you are all posting pics of.

I was reading a bunch of threads on making dough and it appears that the preferred method of making pizza dough is to bulk ferment for a period and then ball for a final rest.  My question is what is the purpose of bulk fermenting?  Why not just ball the dough right from the mixer and give it a longer rest period?

Thx


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Why bulk ferment?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 09:16:58 PM »
Hi everyone.  I'm new here with a new WFO and I'm trying to learn what I can to make some of those nice pies you are all posting pics of.

I was reading a bunch of threads on making dough and it appears that the preferred method of making pizza dough is to bulk ferment for a period and then ball for a final rest.  My question is what is the purpose of bulk fermenting?  Why not just ball the dough right from the mixer and give it a longer rest period?
Mark436,

It might help to know what kind of dough you want to make and whether you plan to ferment the dough at an ambient temperature (e.g., room temperature), or in a refrigerator/cooler.

Peter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Why bulk ferment?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 09:20:20 PM »
Why not just ball the dough right from the mixer and give it a longer rest period?

You can do it that way - I usually do if I only do a 24 hour (room temp) ferment. I find more than 24 hours in balls can relax the gluten too much for my taste, so I do 24 in bulk and 24 in balls (room temp). Restaurants often do the first day in bulk because they may not have room to store several days worth of dough in balls. If you're going into the fridge to ferment, you might as well go all the way with balls if you have room as they are going to get all tight anyway.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Why bulk ferment?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 07:56:13 AM »
A lot of it will depend upon the flavor you're looking for in the finished crust. My personal preference is to take the dough directly from the mixer to scaling and balling and then directly into the fridge where I leave if cold ferment for 48 to 72-hours before using it. To use the dough balls that have been cold fermented I like to allow them to temper at room temperature for about 2 to 3-hours depending upon ambient temperature, then open the dough balls into pizza skins ready for dressing and baking. Allowing the dough to ferment partially or totally at room temperature will impart a different flavor to the finished crust. I'd experiment to see where your flavor preferences lie and to see what management procedure works best for you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Mark436

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Re: Why bulk ferment?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 08:37:14 AM »
A lot of it will depend upon the flavor you're looking for in the finished crust. My personal preference is to take the dough directly from the mixer to scaling and balling and then directly into the fridge where I leave if cold ferment for 48 to 72-hours before using it. To use the dough balls that have been cold fermented I like to allow them to temper at room temperature for about 2 to 3-hours depending upon ambient temperature, then open the dough balls into pizza skins ready for dressing and baking. Allowing the dough to ferment partially or totally at room temperature will impart a different flavor to the finished crust. I'd experiment to see where your flavor preferences lie and to see what management procedure works best for you.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for the replies.   I've been making the dough following Varasano's recipe for a neapolitan type of pizza.  The method above is how I've been doing it.....ball the dough then cold ferment for a few days and then room temp for a few hours before baking.    So from the replies, it sounds like there really isn't any major difference between bulk fermenting first or going to a cold ferment with balled dough....it's just more of a space issue which determines whether or not you do this.  Is my understanding correct?

Offline jwmadchef

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Re: Why bulk ferment?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 05:04:34 AM »
Mark

In my experience. If you ball dough right away it yields a more soft and tender crust with smaller leoparding. The dough balls are very relaxed and easily stretched. Granted i use a 67 percent hydration.
If you allow to bulk ferment and then ball it creates a pie with more structure, chew and is slightly more tight and not as easy to stretch as if you ball dough right away. I get more dramatic leoparding. Because balling after bulk fermentation is a form of retarding you are essentially pushing a reset button as to which the dough is a lot more developed at the point of balling. More gluten is developed as well.  I personally do not like to bulk ferment to long. The longer the bulk ferment for me the chewier the final product. I only like to bulk ferment in bulk batches of 20 pounds max. Resulting in a larger thermal mass that takes longer to cool down in my bakers refrigerator. There is a lot of development at this time. I usually go 4 to 6 hours max before balling just to cool down the dough.  I usually sling the pies in my wood burning oven anywhere from 19 to 30 hours from when the dough was mixed. Depending on the nature of my business that day.

Here is the recipe i use in bakers percentages.

00 flour from Italy not Caputo. I use Pivetti from emelia romagna (Higher gluten and protein than caputo)
65.5 to 67 percent hydration (I like to use cold water. Experiment with refrigerating water overnight and sometimes flour too in the summer)
2.66 percent Salt
12 to 15 % Preferment with a 50 percent hydration ( this is acting like a poolish but using all natural fermentation) I don't believe in using old dough because a true starter does not have salt.
IDY .25% ( This continues to to ripen the dough while cold fermentation)

Mix water and preferment in mixer ( I use a mecnosud spiral mixer)
Add 80 percent of the flour and mix until smooth and creamy. Let stand for 20 minutes to Autolyse.
Add the remaining 20 percent of the flour with IDY. Once incorporated and the salt. Do not over mix.

The dough should be very wet. And not warm but slightly cool to touch. 75 degrees is ideal.
Spray a bus tub with olive oil spray. And place in bus tub. Spray and cover again.
Bench Rest for 45 minutes. Place in refrigerator. (mine is stuck at 35 degrees) You might want to refrigerate right away if your refrigerator is at 41 degrees.
Once it rises about 30 percent ball and refrigerate.
Should be about ready to use in 10 to 12 hours.
Stretch Dough Cold to not let temper unless you need to. You get better leoparding with cold dough. I cook in my wfo at about 800 to 850.

Comes out amazing.