Would you mind discussing how you managed your dough both when you used a hydration at around 72-74% and your current hydration value? I assume that when you used the higher hydration values you did a bulk fermentation at room temperature and then at some point did the dough division. In such a case, how did you hold the dough balls pending use? Also, on the assumption that my analysis is correct, did going to the lower hydration value require you to do anything different from a dough management standpoint than what you did with the higher hydration doughs? For example, did you have to change the amount of salt?
As a frame of reference, can you tell us what a typical dough ball weighs, both when you used the higher hydration values and your current hydration value?
The system stayed the same, actually. We lowered the hydration for several reasons, the biggest one being that some of the new pizza makers were having a tough time stretching the skin to 18"+ with the high hydration. I think we were really pushing it the first three years with the higher hydration. No change in salt.
We scale 21 oz per 18"+... I say + because our pizzas hang over the edge of a 18" pan, so we are more like 19-20"
We used to scale around 22-23 oz with the higher hydration dough.
A day's process is this...
Make poolish at approx. 9:30 pm
At 10:30 am, mix poolish with remaining final dough ingredients. Mix on first speed with a spiral hook for approx 8-10 minutes. We want the dough to be around 80 degrees when it comes out of the bowl.
Divide dough into 2 separate dough tubs. By this point it is 11am
Stretch and fold every 45 minutes.
2:30 we scale and ball the dough. It takes us half an hour to do 110 skins.
At this point we evaluate the dough and whether it needs a chill in the walk in or not. On average, we may roll the dough into the walk in for 15 minutes.
If we did our job, dough should be ready to roll at 5pm
During production, put the rack of dough into the walk in for 10 minute periods. On hotter days, we may do this 3-4 times over the 5 hour production. Some nights, it might only be once or twice.