Author Topic: Sour dough starters  (Read 30101 times)

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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2005, 02:47:02 PM »
I usually consider to make about 10 Panielli (pizza dough ball) per each litre of water I use, with some small left over. each paniello should weight approximatelly 250g (in Naples nobody use a 180g ball as specified in the Disciplinare document).

This recipe is a semplified version of the method I use.

I developed my method over 6 years of research with the best pizzerias in Naples and on some books dating back as far as 1600s. It is very similar to the one used at Da Michele in Naples, but it remain original for many other reasons. I will reveal all about it in me book on Pizza Napoletana, which I hope to get published by the summer.

I would not reccomended it to a new student, as the use of small yeast quantities or Criscito, requires some experience.

Take care
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 09:30:30 AM by pizzanapoletana »


Online Pete-zza

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2005, 03:57:37 PM »
Pizza Napoletana,

Thank you for your reply.

While I was awaiting your reply, I did some calculations based on your recipe. Since I do not have a Criscito like yours, I used the fresh yeast version of your recipe to do the calculations. My calculations show the following baker's percents:

1650 g. Caputo 00 pizzeria flour (100%)
1 liter water = 1000 g. (60.6%)
2.5 g. fresh yeast (0.152%)
45 g. sea salt (2.73%)

With the above individual weights, the total dough weight would come to 2697.5 g. (The corresponding weight when using the 50 g. of Criscito would be 2745 g.). Converting from metric to the U.S. system of weights, I get the following:

58.08 oz. Caputo 00 pizzeria flour (100%)
35.30 oz. water (60.8%)
0.09 oz. fresh yeast (0.152%)
1.59 oz. sea salt (2.73%)

Adding the above individual weights yields a total weight of 95.05 oz. based on the U.S. system of weights.

If you are making 10 Panielli at 250 g. each, that would mean you are using all but 197.5 g. of your total dough weight for the Panielli (2697.5-2500 = 197.5). On the same basis, this would mean that of the 95.05 oz. calculated above, 88.18 oz. would be used for 10 Panielli, leaving an excess of 6.87 oz. That means each dough ball would weigh 8.82 oz.

You didn't indicate the size (diameter) of the pizza that a 250 g. dough ball produces. Can you provide that figure?

I noticed the extremely small amount of yeast your recipe calls for, either in the form of the Criscito or fresh yeast. Since I don't have access to really fresh yeast, I have been converting to instant dry yeast, at a ratio of about 1/3 (by weight) of the fresh yeast. The total amount of water might be increased a bit in that case, to compensate for the moisture present in fresh yeast. Do you have any reason to believe that instant dry yeast will not work, or work properly, in your recipe? I calculated that for the entire recipe, the amount of instant dry yeast would be 0.029 oz. (0.088/3 = 0.029), or a bit over 1/4 t. If my math is correct, for 10 Panielli, that would be 0.03 t. for one dough ball--or only a pinch between the fingers.

A final question for the moment. If only a single dough ball is made, what would be the fermentation time and the follow-up proofing time (you indicate 8-12 hours for a large batch and at least 3 hours thereafter)?

Peter

« Last Edit: May 03, 2005, 05:55:49 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Gils

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2005, 01:18:30 PM »
I was sitting here looking at those wonderful looking dough balls, when I realized that the recipe you provided was very similar to one that we used in one of the places I worked.

We used to take the fresh yeast & mix it with salt & a little water and put that into little containers in the refrigerator.   These were our dough starters. We would take one of these (they didnt sit for very long, we just made a few up ahead of time) and put it in the mixer. We would add the water needed and start the mixer.  We didnt have Caputo flour, in fact all I remember was a wholesale supplier brought a bunch of 25# bags of High Gluten flour.

We would begin dumping the flour in with a big scoop. You would add it and let it mix and then go back in a few and check and add more. This would go on for a little while until you achieved a smooth, but somewhat tacky lump of dough. The dough was all created by feel rather than specific amounts other than the yeast mix. 

The picture you provided was very very close or the same as what our trays of dough balls looked like. We actually measured them out to specific weight when we were cutting them, rather than having the ability to go by feel, but after a while you could get pretty consistent cutting them without scale.  One of my favorite places I worked as we cooked whole sausages by the trays and ground them fresh ourselves & all the ingredients were made fresh.  Other than the sauce. It started with fresh pressed garlic & oil but then we used a canned tomato paste like hunts or whatever was easily gotten for the pricing.

Were those dough balls in that picture refridgerated or allowed to proof at room temp?   Thanks for sharing.  Maybe I should move to your town and go to work for you. That was a time I really enjoyed the art of pizzamaking. Wasnt so commercial, but rather love shared through food to customers who really appreciated it.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2005, 07:06:59 PM »
Ok I'll try to answer all your questios:

Peter,

250g ball makes approximately a 30 cm diameter pizza (or about 12"). yes you will have just a lit a bit of dough left.
 The "recipe" is for a litre of water but it is an indicator for mixing  as little as half litre (less then a pint) up to 50 litres and the total fermentation/maturation time stays the same..
Mixing less then half litre it is not convenient as it would involve measuring too small ammount of ingredients, and what you suggest by mixing only paniello, is not reasonable in my opinion. I understand that making pizza at home doesn't require mixing large quantities, but I believe that mixing at least 1/2 litre it is ok as it resoults in at least 5 pizza or you could make fantastic bread rolls out of the remaining dough.

Regarding the Istant dry yeast, I don't really have something against it, but when use it  in very small quantities, the normal 1/3 ratio is not really true and you have to learn the differences. It sometimes act slower then fresh yeast and this may be an advantage. However I don't usually use it, as I do not think it is convenient measuring 0.8g per litre when mixing a small batch. If I had to mix at least 10 litres or more then I would consider it.
I have use IDY few times for small batches, and what I did was approximatelly dividing a 7g (available in UK) bag in 10 portions and use 1 portion per litre. The problem is that the remaining yeast would not keep for long, and in the following usage it would not act as the first time. You can still obtain  the Crisceto from Sourdough International and have a better try, as it is easier to measure 25g per half litre .

Gils

Using a too cold water is not positive as it does not help to form a good gluten. My dough never even see the refrigerator.
It is all done at room temperature, just by controlling the cold and hot spots in the pizzeria and/or home.

I appreciate your offer, and I would happily have you in my team, but I do not think you would move to London (UK) just to work for me. However there is a possibility of me moving to US for a very good project I was recently been ask to be part of.

PT:

I don't know any famous pizza house in italy using a biga. I know few people in the north of Italy using poolish for a different product then pizza napoletana. The Caputo pizzeria is studied to produce the best results with the direct method as it as a medium/low enzymatic activity and it is a flour of medium strenght (w240-260).

I do have an insight of the best Pizza Houses in Naples, the one serving 850-1200 pizzas a day, and I will reveal some of this insight in my book. What I can tell you, is that the really good places still use only direct method, slow fermentation at room temperature, and a very wet dough.

Ciao

Offline Steve

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2005, 09:18:38 AM »
My package arrived from Jeff (Varasano) the other day... he sent me some of his "Patsy's" culture.  8)

After several days of feeding his sample, I can now say without question that it is alive and kicking!

Here are my two thriving cultures (the one on the left is an Italian culture that I purchased from sourdo.com, the one on the right is the "Patsy's" culture that varasano sent to me.  ;D
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2005, 12:00:08 PM »
Steve

Sorry but  I am new and was wondering who is Jeff Varasano. I also did not know that Patsy's used a starter...

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2005, 12:08:35 PM »
pizzanapoletana,

I am not 100% sure Patsy's incorporates a starter either.

If they don't, then I would like to know how they consistently produce a crust which is light years ahead of any other pizzeria crust I have personally tasted. The crust is so light and possesses such a complex layered crunch, how else could they be doing it? One theory I have heard whispered is that they use a much higher hydration percentage than the other coal oven joints. Could that contribute to it as well?

I would also be interested in your professional opinion as to the viability of buying raw dough (from your favorite pizzeria) and using it as the basis for a home-made starter. With the thought being that you will then be able to replicate the pizzeria's crust flavor and perhaps some of it's properties. Would the pizzeria actually have to be using a daily starter for this approach to work?

I'm confused...
« Last Edit: March 05, 2005, 12:24:17 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2005, 01:01:00 PM »
PF

You must travel to Naples ASAP. Only then you will realize that soft/light Crust can be achieved easily.

The starter is a plus, that result in the best products ever, but I have friend that can make a soft/light pizza with commercial yeast. The secret is the idratation, a medium  strenght flour, and long, very long fermentation period at room temperature, which in turn means very little ammount of yeast.

With your last question you have touched a delicate argument for me... In fact it is the thesis behind the chapter on Natural leavening in my book.  I hope you will forgive me for not to be able to say too much about it, but let me tell you that if the occurance of few factors is consistent, what you suggest is a possibility.

Offline pftaylor

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2005, 01:18:06 PM »
I've got to buy your book. When will it be available?
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2005, 01:30:24 PM »
The book hopefully will be available in the summer.

Now, I have searched the forum and got around who is Jeff and the Patsy's starter.

As I said before, I have different starters at home and all behave different and taste different. The key is to avoid cross contamination.

Steve, therefore, I 'd like to advise you to read my early post, as it is my understanding that you will have 4 starters going, and this is a great risk for cross-contamination.

Jeff, reading your first post on the Petsy's and Johnny's starters, let me tell you that if one took over the other is because some cross contamination occurred and the patsy's strain was stronger. However if you take your current Petsy's starter in a laboratory for analisys, I am confident they will find some strains of yeast and bacteria from the Johnney dough. I am saying this because you said that at the time you were new and you lost Johnney one, but if you did something that cause crosscontamination, most probably you did it both ways.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2005, 09:37:42 AM by pizzanapoletana »


Offline varasano

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Cross Contamination
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2005, 04:25:54 PM »
After the cross contamination incident I gave up on the whole culture for a while and about 5 months later got a new Patsy's dough and started over again. So I think I'm clean.

Your pizza's look excellent. I think that yours and mine are the most neopolitan looking on the site.

----

Steve, I saw your mason jar photos. I'm sure you know this already, but check out my video on my page to see what the culture looks like when I actually use it. I don't use it if it has hooch.  I do at least 2 feeding cycles and get it all bubbly before using it.  I agree that a long slow rise is needed for a light crust. I do a cold rise. A long room temperature rise with very little yeast is very interesting. I'll try that someday. I'm interested in other's comments on it.

Jeff

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2005, 07:15:22 PM »
Thanks for clarifying the cross-contamination dubts.

Thanks also for the compliment about my pizza. Just one thing: Mine is a 100% Neapolitan pizza cooked in under 2 minutes in a  Neapolitan wood burning oven. I have changed the first picture I have posted because that pizza was cooked in an oven which was still cold, thus i baked for about 2 minutes something, almost burning on a side...

It is vital to use the starter at the peak of activity, especially when using tiny quantities.

Take care

Offline Steve

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Re: Cross Contamination
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2005, 08:22:18 AM »
Steve, I saw your mason jar photos. I'm sure you know this already, but check out my video on my page to see what the culture looks like when I actually use it. I don't use it if it has hooch. I do at least 2 feeding cycles and get it all bubbly before using it. I agree that a long slow rise is needed for a light crust. I do a cold rise. A long room temperature rise with very little yeast is very interesting. I'll try that someday. I'm interested in other's comments on it.

Peter Reinhart says to simply pour off (discard) the "hooch" before using it to make bread as the hooch adds a vinegary taste to the finished product. Ed Wood from sourdo.com says to stir the hooch back in and use it that way... I'm sure that Mr. Wood enjoys the tanginess of real sourgdough bread, but I dislike it and will be using Reinharts method.

By the way, I made two pizzas the other night. One with IDY, the other with the Patsy's starter. Let me tell you... there was a HUGE difference in taste. But, alas, I followed Mr. Wood's instructions and stirred the hooch back in before I used it. And, the pizza crust tasted like SF sourdough bread... very tangy.... I didn't like it, but my wife did. I will be trying again soon without the hooch.
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Offline varasano

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2005, 04:00:14 PM »
If your starter has hooch, it's at least one and possible several feeding cycles away from being ready to make dough.   It should be bubbly and have no hooch. Were you able to download my short video? It gets hooch after a few days in the fridge with no more flour to eat.

I stir the hooch back in, like Ed, but I feed and 'wash' it so it's diluted out most of the time.  I'm surprised you said it tastes like SF. Did you buy SF from Ed? It's possible that the patsy's is already dead. It may have been taken over already. It should taste nothing at all like SF. I hope that's not the case, but do you think it's possible?

Jeff

Offline varasano

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2005, 04:50:15 PM »
Hey Marco,

Well I can't compete with the wood oven, But I'm cooking very hot (825 F) for about a 2:15 pie.  Your pizzas look SO much better than that other person you were arguing with online ;-)

I've read over a lot of your posts now and I'm going to try out some of your methods. I'm too busy to do it this month but I'm going to get to is sometime. You are maybe the first person here I think I can learn from. Check out my webpage, if you haven't already.

Jeff

Offline canadave

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2005, 06:32:50 PM »
Quote
You are maybe the first person here I think I can learn from.


Glad you're here too.... ::)  I guess the rest of us here have to pick it up a notch, eh?

Offline Steve

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2005, 06:49:32 PM »
I'm surprised you said it tastes like SF. Did you buy SF from Ed? It's possible that the patsy's is already dead. It may have been taken over already. It should taste nothing at all like SF. I hope that's not the case, but do you think it's possible?

Yes, my crust was very tangy (it rose nicely). I ordered the Italian starters from Ed, no SF. I made sure that I used sanitized mason jars and kept them loosely sealed. I used different (clean) spoons to stir in the new flour/water, so I don't think any cross comtimination occured. I'm going to try again without the hooch and see what happens.
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2005, 07:03:39 PM »
Guys

Any starter if wrongly refreshed, may well become acetic. It is a matter of quantity of original starter vs refreshment,  temperature and time.

To correct this there are many ways,  which I am sure you may be aware of one from Ed book (I use a different method).

The presence of hooch, just show that the starter has become dorment. The strter should be used at peak of activity and that is way before the  hooch begin to form.


Jeff

Nice web page and nice pictures. I prefer fresh taste on pizza and I would suggest you trying not to bubble the cheese off.

Look at my pizza and all Ron's pictures from Naples on the other post, you will notice that the cheese is never over cooked or brown.

Ciao



Offline pftaylor

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2005, 08:49:27 PM »
pizzanapoletana,
Thanks for pointing out a few of the many differences between American pizza and authentic Italian neapolitan pizza. They truly are different animals aren't they? They don't even remotely look like each other. Must be due to, well, just about everything not just the bubbled cheese. From oven type, ingredients, and preparation technique.
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Offline varasano

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Re: Sour dough starters
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2005, 09:14:51 AM »
Hey Marco,

Lately I've been putting the cheese on in fewer, bigger pieces, rather than spreading it out. This is keeping it from over bubbling. But I am having a real problem finding quality fresh Mozz in my town.  You can kind of see the problem i'm having from the photo's.  The cheese is almost breaking down into ricotta.  It's weird.  Even if I put it on in big pieces, in just a minute under the 800F temps it's melted away, spread out and bubbling.   

I'm anxious to try your very little yeast method and I may even get to it this week.

Jeff