A couple of days ago, I discovered that I had a bag of Caputo Extra Blu 00 flour, which is a lower protein Caputo flour than the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour, in an out-of-sight part of my pantry. However, it was old and had a stale and musty odor and perhaps not suitable to use to make a pizza. However, I thought that it might be suitable to make a test dough, without commercial yeast, and to ferment the dough at an elevated room temperature (about 82 degrees F in my case) until the dough reached a particular threshold, specifically, a doubling in volume. I thought that this test might be a useful one since the Caputo Extra Blu flour, like all Caputo 00 flours, is unbleached, nonenriched and unmalted. Such a test would rule out any potential effects of bleaches (natural or chemical), vitamins and other enrichments, and malting. Maybe the age and condition of the flour would be a factor but not the other ones.
For purposes of the test, I decided to use the same dough formulation as I used the last time, as discussed at Reply 84 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7225.msg78779.html#msg78779
. Using the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
, the dough formulation I used was as follows:
|Old and Stale and Musty Caputo Extra Blu 00 Flour (100%):|
|265.5 g | 9.36 oz | 0.59 lbs|
151.33 g | 5.34 oz | 0.33 lbs
3.98 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 0.71 tsp | 0.24 tbsp
420.81 g | 14.84 oz | 0.93 lbs | TF = 0.096425
Note: Nominal thickness factor = 0.095; for a 14” dough skin; bowl residue compensation factor = 1.5%
I prepared the dough in the same manner as the last couple of doughs discussed in this thread, with the only difference being that the water temperature I used for the latest test was 46.9 degrees F. The finished dough temperature was 80 degrees F. To monitor the volume expansion of the dough during its fermentation, I used the poppy seed trick as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html
Based on the increase in the spacing of the poppy seeds as the dough ball fermented, the dough ball increased by about 55% after 24 hours. The rate of expansion accelerated at that point, and reached 81% after 27 hours, and 100% (a doubling) after 28 hours. I should mention that there is nothing magic about the doubling point. Although it is a common and convenient point to use a dough, I find it a convenient threshold in case I need to make adjustments to the dough formulation or methodology in future efforts. I might also add that one member, Robin, who has a pizza business in the UK and uses a long, room-temperature fermentation (a total of about 25-26 hours by my calculation, with a final proof of 5-6 hours after dividing the bulk dough), along with commercial yeast (IDY at 0.026%), prefers to use the dough when it has expanded by 60-70%. For those who are interested, a discussion of his procedures, which I found quite useful in my research, can be found at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5826.msg49588.html#msg49588
Although I decided not to use the test dough to make a pizza, I did shape and stretch it out to size (14” in my case). The dough coming out of the storage bowl was very gassy—more so than my last couple of doughs—and also sticky. In fact, some of the dough stuck to the sides of the storage bowl as I tried to remove the dough ball from the bowl. I simply scraped the stuck dough and added it back to the rest of the dough. The stickiness diminished significantly as I dipped the dough ball into some bench flour before trying to work with it. The dough was quite extensible but I did not have any problem shaping and stretching it out to size. The photo below shows the skin as I prepared it and placed it on my peel to see if would stick to the peel. It did not.
Before discarding the dough, I performed an additional test. I gathered up the skin and reformed it into a new ball and kneaded it until smooth. As I expected, that dramatically increased the elasticity of the dough. After about an hour proofing at room temperature, I tried forming another skin with the dough just to see if it would handle better after such a re-working. It did. I don’t know how it would have handled had I left the dough proof for several hours rather than one hour, as I did with the original dough discussed in the opening post of this thread.
What seems to be clear from the latest experiment is that it is possible to ferment a 00 dough at an elevated room temperature for 24 hours or so. The numbers using a fresh 00 flour might be different than mine using the stale and musty 00 flour, but the principles should be the same. There may also be variations unique to using the Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour rather than the Caputo Extra Blu 00 flour. The two flours have different deformation energy values "W" and have different tolerances to room temperature fermentation. For those who are interested in the arcana of W values, see Reply 12 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5496.msg46487/topicseen.html#msg46487
, and also the link embedded therein at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4986.msg42545.html#msg42545