Thank you for the explanation of the methods you used to make the dough from the formulation posted in Reply 209 (at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg83584.html#msg83584
) since what you did with your preferment did not register with any classic preferment with which I am familiar. However, to better assess your dough formulation, I did some calculations and used the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded_calculator.html
to come up with the following:Mike's Total Dough Formulation
Mike's Two-Hour Preferment
|50/50 KABF/SBBF Flour Blend (100%):|
Sea Salt (2.5057%):
Olive Oil (2.05011%):
Raw Honey (2.96127%):
|878 g | 30.97 oz | 1.94 lbs|
553 g | 19.51 oz | 1.22 lbs
4 g | 0.14 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.33 tsp | 0.44 tbsp
22 g | 0.78 oz | 0.05 lbs | 3.94 tsp | 1.31 tbsp
18 g | 0.63 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4 tsp | 1.33 tbsp
9 g | 0.32 oz | 0.02 lbs | 2.26 tsp | 0.75 tbsp
26 g | 0.92 oz | 0.06 lbs | 3.72 tsp | 1.24 tbsp
1510 g | 53.26 oz | 3.33 lbs | TF = N/A
100% 50/50 KABF/SBBF Flour Blend: 526.8 g (60% of total formula flour blend)
104.97% Water (95 degrees F): 553 g (entire formula water)
1.7084% Sugar: 9 g (entire formula sugar)
4.1762% Sea Salt: 22 g (entire formula salt)
0.7593% IDY: 4 g (entire formula yeast)
Total: 1114.8 gMike's Final Mix
Mike's Two-Hour Preferment: 1114.8 g
Remaining 50/50 KABF/SBBF Flour Blend: 351.8 g
Raw Honey: 26 g (entire formula raw honey)
Olive Oil: 18 g (entire formula olive oil)
Total: 1510 g
Examining the above, your preferment is not a classic poolish. The hydration of your preferment, at 104.97%, is a bit higher than the 100% hydration of a classic poolish, but you also included the sugar and salt, which is something that is normally not done with a preferment (other than old dough). Salt is sometimes used in a preferment to restrain the action of protease enzymes that might attack and soften the gluten structure but the percent is usually far less than the 4.7612% that you used. Since Professor Calvel has discussed the use of salt in preferments in his book The Taste of Bread
, I checked out all the preferments that I could find in his book in which he included salt and the amount was invariably 2% (of the preferment flour). Moreover, the bulk of the total formula salt went into the final mix, not the preferment. I checked several of the prefermented dough formulations in the Calvel book to see if there was a more or less fixed ratio but found that the allocation varied from one formulation to another.
I think the above analysis may hold some clues to the crust coloration issue that you have been experiencing. First, because of the high starting hydration of your preferment, coupled with the use of warm water (95 degrees F) and all of the formula IDY, it would be natural to see a rapid and substantial prefermentation of your preferment. Second, the presence of the high salt level might inhibit the protease enzymes and the rate of prefermentation, but the presence of the sugar might offset that to the extent that it is converted to sugars in a form usable by the yeast as food (in addition to the sugars from the flour) during the two-hour prefermentation period. Because of the intensity of the preferment biochemical activity and the long period of refrigeration, it is possible that even with the addition of the raw honey as part of the final mix, there might not have been enough residual sugar in the dough at the time of baking to contribute meaningfully to the final crust coloration.
How to proceed from here if you would like to conduct further preferment experiments will depend on what you want to achieve in the way of outcome and over what time frame. You would perhaps want to achieve a better balance of ingredients, quantities and temperatures for the preferment itself and in relation to the total time frame of your dough. I think that you can see how these factors are currently working at cross purposes. Of course, if you are happy with the current formulation and results, despite a few shortcomings, then there is no need to do anything further. To me, the last batch of pizzas looked just fine.
I also noticed that your dough preparation had shades of Varasano's methodology in terms of the mix/knead/rest periods. Whether that was intentional or not, it would seem to improve the dough quality. So, if you decide to try to improve the inherent balance of your preferment in relation to the total window of your dough, I think you might see improvement in your overall results or at least identify other possible improvements. For example, when sugar depletion is likely to be a problem, it is often recommended that diastatic malt syrup or powder be added to the dough as part of the final mix.