Hey everyone,
So, I'm beginning to gather up the supplies for my first batch of dough and wanted to run by some plans to see if anyone had any feedback or noticed any glaring errors or anything.
I plan to pick up a soapstone for baking on and will be using a conventional oven setup which maxes out at 550F but has a broiler. I read in another thread that preaheating to 550 and then running the broiler for a cycle will bring the stone heat up into the 700F range... I will obviously have to experiment and use a thermometer, but that is the current plan.
For simplicity, I'm going to just use IDY instead of a starter which seems slightly more complicated. I plan to do a cold rise though I'm not sure how long is best... I've seen people talk about 24 hours and just read through Jeff Varasano's wonderful site where he talks about doing 6 days at times. Since I've read that all cultures are different, I'm wondering if a commercially available IDY has a rough amount of consistency where I could ballpark do it for say 2 days with good results? I realize it's impossible to promise the best results without actually experimenting, but I'm just looking for a method where I'm not going to be completely butchering it is all.
After reading through the JV website and handmix threads by Petezza and Jackie Tran I've come up with this plan;
For 4 pies 16" TF of .085
Flour (100%): Water (66%): IDY (.2%): Salt (1.75%): Total (167.95%): Single Ball:
 1153.94 g  40.7 oz  2.54 lbs 761.6 g  26.86 oz  1.68 lbs 2.31 g  0.08 oz  0.01 lbs  0.77 tsp  0.26 tbsp 20.19 g  0.71 oz  0.04 lbs  3.62 tsp  1.21 tbsp 1938.04 g  68.36 oz  4.27 lbs  TF = 0.085 484.51 g  17.09 oz  1.07 lbs

Questions:
Would it be best to use cold or room temp water  or is 100110F water the right choice?
I chose a smaller amount of yeast in the range given on the Lehmann calc because I plan to let it cold rise 2 days  is this right?
MethodSo, from my reading through other people's handmixing suggestions it seems as though the following plan will work. Again, I'm only posting this because I've never made any kind of dough from scratch...
75% of total flour
? yeast now or after autolyse period ? Varasano says now, Tran says after, and I cant find Peter's thread right now
? mix all dry ingredients together throughly?
or
? mix yeast and salt into the water and gradually add flour?
so one way or another I get all (or most if I am supposed to add yeast later) my ingredients into a nice big bowl and I stir with a spoon for 68 minutes
cover the bowl (with a towel I'm guessing?) and let sit for 15 min
halfway through this autolyse period, I should be trying to incorporate the 25% remainder of the flour into the sitting dough
let it sit for another 15 min (so it's 30 min total)
Kneading
Here's where it seems like the methods diverge a bit more
Tran's makes a lot of sense though so...
2 cycles of 5 min knead, 5 min rest.
23 cycles of 510 folds, followed by 5 min rest.
divide dough and complete the balls with a seal and get them covered (bowl w/ plastic wrap or ziploc bag??) and into the fridge for 2 days
Take it out for 12 hours before use and make pizza!
Okay... so I know I sprinkled a lot of questions in there, but I feel like I'm trying to sort through a lot of different info with slight changes from one to the next and find a single composite method that will work.
Thanks in advanced to anyone who can take the time to read this and help out with any questions!
Sean