Author Topic: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe  (Read 870 times)

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Offline Letterpress Man

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Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« on: August 19, 2010, 08:10:56 AM »
Okay, complete newbie here so please be kind; that's why I'm posting here. I've been making pizza for 20 years, but my dough can't compare to the local 'Bella Napoli' bakery so I will often just purchase it fresh there. While scouring the internet the last few days I have been reading extensively about preferments (biga) and believe this might be a great help in improving my dough's flavour. But, what is difficult to find is a decent recipe or a website that actually explains how to create a preferment from an existing recipe. I found one sight where they say "it is made with at least 1/3 the water called for in the recipe, double its volume in flour, and a small amount of yeast (about 0.2 percent of the weight of the flour)." So the current recipe I have been using for almost 20 years is as follows:
  • 2 packages of ADY
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of EVOO
  • 7 cups of APF (875 grams)
When I follow the above guidelines for creating a preferment, what I roughly get is this:
  • 3/4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of APF (187.5 grams)
  • 37.5 grams of yeast???
The amount of the yeast can't be correct. From what I have read it should be 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoons for a preferment. So where am I going wrong? Last night I tried making the preferment using 1 teaspoon of ADY, but I now feel that was too much. Is this preferment usable or should I just pitch it and start fresh. And since there are so many experienced people here, is there someone who can explain a simple way of creating a preferment from an existing recipe?


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 08:19:41 AM »
Not sure whether you are talking the weight of the flour of the original recipe or of the preferment.
 
.2 percent of 875 grams of flour = .002 x 875g = 1.75g
.2 percent of 187.5 grams 0f flour = .002 x 187.5 = .4g
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 08:24:34 AM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Letterpress Man

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 08:33:14 AM »
I'm assuming they mean the preferment flour. Ironically, I was just messing around on the calculator with the figures thinking maybe I had the decimal point in the wrong place; after coming up with a new amount I checked back and saw your post and realized I did! See, sometimes a fresh view is all it takes. Definately a measurement of .4 grams makes much more sense and falls into that 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon range. So I guess my question is at this point, "Is the preferment I made last nite using a full teaspoon of ADY usable?" Or, should I just start over?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 08:43:49 AM by Letterpress Man »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 09:15:06 AM »
Letterpress Man,

If you are using one full teaspoon of ADY for 187.5 grams of flour, that comes to around 2% of the preferment flour. That is likely to be far too much and upset the biochemistry of the preferment and its timing of use. Given the small quantites in the preferment, I think I would pitch it and start over.

I'd also like to suggest that you read the following articles on preferments by Didier Rosada, at http://web.archive.org/web/20040814193817/cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food3_apr2004.htm and at http://web.archive.org/web/20050829015510/www.cafemeetingplace.com/archives/food4_dec2004.htm. Following those articles, you might also determine whether your basic recipe lends itself to adaptation to the preferment process. 

Peter

Offline Letterpress Man

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 10:13:17 AM »
Thanks for all the help! And, I'm open to any recipes that you could suggest for pizza dough and Italian bread. I've come across hundreds in the last week, but only a few that actually incorporated a preferment, and even then they called for a specific amount already made and measured in cups. Ta very much again for all the help.
:chef:

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 10:27:06 AM »
Letterpress Man,

You might like to take a look at the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.0.html, where there is a lot of information on using preferments to make a NY style dough in a commercial setting. It's a long thread, with many twists and turns, but I think you will learn a lot from it.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Help Creating a Preferment from Existing Recipe
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 11:09:56 AM »
Letterpress Man,

If you want to try a poolish preferment like I did, in the thread Peter referenced, that dough can make almost anything.  It can make bread, breadsticks, garlic knots and numerous other items from that preferment dough.  If you decide to try that preferment dough with that formula, I can help you if you have problems. I have experimented with that dough for awhile, so I think I understand how that dough works.  I had tried out a biga in that thread with the help of Tom Lehmann, (The Dough Doctor) and Peter. The preferment using the biga didnít work out for me.

If you also need any links in that thread, I will try to help.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


 

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