Author Topic: Pizza Shop Dough  (Read 9485 times)

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Offline StrayBullet

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Pizza Shop Dough
« on: October 01, 2010, 07:26:35 PM »
Let's say that you walked into your favorite pizzeria and the owner happened to double up on his meds that day and actually handed you a dough ball.

You promptly bolted out the door to get the gift home as quickly and safely as possible.

Besides making a pie with said dough, is there anything else that could be done?  Could a starter be made of out a piece of the dough, etc?  If so, what would that process look like?

Thanks!


buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2010, 08:17:36 PM »
In a word, nope, you won't get to make a starter from his dough. It has gone through the fermentation process. Now, if you were to wander into his place and he was complaining about having to throw out starter because of feeding said starter and you said " Well, golly geewillikers mister pizza shop man, that is such a shame, when little children are starving in the world, why don't you just give me the starter you are throwing away." Then you could go home and feed the starter,get it going, and then be able to use it. Maybe later find a way to feed the starving little children. Stranger things have happened.
Don

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 08:24:40 PM »
In a word, nope, you won't get to make a starter from his dough.

Not sure I would agree. Depends on the nature of the dough - natural starter or biga or poolish or straight commercial yeast - but I can't imagine why there wouldn't be a sizable population of viable microbes. Even though the dough has gone through the fermentation process, the yeast and associated bacteria could still be alive and kicking.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 08:43:08 PM »
Mark,

For purposes of this discussion, I will assume that your pizza shop's dough was commercially leavened (that is, not based on using only a natural starter culture) and that your purpose in trying to "clone" it would be to come up with something that would be the same as your pizza shop's dough and, most likely, be reproducible pretty much at will. If so, I would say that it is not possible to clone the pizza shop's dough.

I assume that your first step would be to take a sample of the dough and feed it with flour, water and more commercial yeast, presumably for the purpose of keeping the dough alive. However, unless you have the complete recipe and ingredient quantities, you would end up with something different. You would, in effect, be using the sample as "old dough" in the new dough. If you decided instead to just feed the sample with flour and water, with no added commercial yeast, eventually the remaining commercial yeast in the dough would start to die as its source of food (simple sugars) is depleted. At some point thereafter, and assuming continued feedings of flour and water, wild yeast would take over and start producing acids. If there was any commercial yeast left in the dough, it would die because commercial yeast cannot survive for long in an acidic environment. The wild yeast can. Eventually, the dead commercial yeast cells would be used as food by other elements in the dough. Maybe there would be some wild yeast in the final dough that was derived from the original sample, but I don't have any idea as to whether it would exist in sufficient quantity for the dough to be considered a clone. I would say not because when wild yeast and normal amounts of commercial yeast coexist in a dough, the commercial yeast will overtake the wild yeast in the biochemical processes. As a result, you won't even know that there was wild yeast in the dough.

This is not the first time a question like yours has been posed. The last time was about a week ago, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11944.0.html. You might look at my Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11944.msg111375.html#msg111375 and the various links therein and in the posts referenced from Reply 3.

If you think about it, if one could clone a dough from a simple sample, there would be a black market in clones of the doughs of famous pizzerias. You would be hearing about workers stealing dough or being bribed to sell into the black market.

Peter


buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2010, 08:44:15 PM »
Bill, good point. Of course unbaked dough as the potential to be expanded upon. I'm more than willing to listen to an opposing view. It's how we learn at times. But could I be certain the new starter did come from said pizza shop dough and not independently from the unbromated flour and water I used to feed the dough, now the new starter?
Regards, Don

buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 08:49:12 PM »
lol, I should have known Peter would reply much more eloquently than I ever could. ;D

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 08:57:23 PM »
The OP specifically asks:

Quote
Could a starter be made of out a piece of the dough, etc?

The answer is absolutely "yes". And, if the baker used a wild starter culture, then those organisms are likely still very active and they are certainly in concentrations orders of magnitude greater than anything in the flour or water.

OP needs to clarify question.

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 12:54:11 PM »
Bill, et al, thanks, I appreciate the input!

Bill, let's say for sake of argument that the dough was not commercially leavened, it was a wild starter/yeast.   I guess what I'm looking for, how I could use this as a base for making pies at home and how can I maintain what I create to keep using in the future.  I haven't read the link Pete-zza provided yet so I may find the answers there...thanks again for the help!


This is not the first time a question like yours has been posed. The last time was about a week ago, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11944.0.html. You might look at my Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11944.msg111375.html#msg111375 and the various links therein and in the posts referenced from Reply 3.


Thank you very much and I should have searched before posting as I do recall in my original reading of the site about "old dough."  I'll definitely check out the links and buckle down for some reading :)

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2010, 03:00:57 PM »
SB, you can definitely make new pizza dough from old dough.  This is how SF sourdough is made.  A piece of old dough (or the mother dough) is saved and added to the new batch.  You can culture the yeast in that dough but unless you have his exact dough recipe, your new dough will likely be different with the same yeast. 

You should be able to culture the existing yeast in that dough.  When you feed it with a mixture of water and flour, the dormant yeast in the feeding flour will not take over.  That yeast will take around 5-7 days to become active depending on the temperature. This is what happens when we culture a wild yeast from the air, raisin skins, or from flour.  The existing yeast in the old dough should take less than a day to take off and be the dominant culture.  If you can't make dough today, you can put that old dough in the fridge and it should buy you at least another 2-3 days.  That's how I understand it anyway. 

For now, take 1/2 of the dough ball and use it to make more dough to propagate the culture.  Take the other half and cut it into small pieces and soak in some filtered water with a bit of flour for 6 hours or so.  Come back and stir the mixture up periodically to get a very wet paste/batter.  Start feeding it 50/50 water and flour every 6 hours or so.  Keep it in a warm place (80's or so).  It should become active in less than a day.  That's how I would do it. 

SB, for fun you should do this experiment so we can all learn from it.  Should be interesting to see.

Chau
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 03:09:08 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2010, 03:35:10 PM »

For now, take 1/2 of the dough ball and use it to make more dough to propagate the culture.  Take the other half and cut it into small pieces and soak in some filtered water with a bit of flour for 6 hours or so.  Come back and stir the mixture up periodically to get a very wet paste/batter.  Start feeding it 50/50 water and flour every 6 hours or so.  Keep it in a warm place (80's or so).  It should become active in less than a day.  That's how I would do it. 

SB, for fun you should do this experiment so we can all learn from it.  Should be interesting to see.

Chau

Thanks Chau!  After all the great advice I've gotten from here, one little experiment is the least I can do to give a little back :)

Mark


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 03:46:38 PM »
Thanks Chau!  After all the great advice I've gotten from here, one little experiment is the least I can do to give a little back :)

Mark

Mark, will you be making new dough and culturing a starter or just one or the other?  Please document everything carefully and take pictures for us. 

You can use your favorite feeding regimen, but I like just using a tablespoon or 2 of flour and water until the starter becomes active.  After that I'll typically feed it more to get the volume of the starter up.  Don't add additional commercial yeast to it or it may take off and be the dominant yeast.  This experiment will either work or fail.  I think the assumption is that it will fail, but I'm pretty sure it will work.   Just keep in mind that the yeast you are culturing may very well be a commercial yeast and not a wild yeast. 


Good luck,
Chau
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 03:49:48 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2010, 03:52:42 PM »
Mark, will you be making new dough and culturing a starter or just one or the other?  Please document everything carefully and take pictures for us. 

You can use your favorite feeding regimen, but I like just using a tablespoon or 2 of flour and water until the starter becomes active.  After that I'll typically feed it more to get the volume of the starter up.  Don't add additional commercial yeast to it or it may take off and be the dominant yeast.  This experiment will either work or fail.  I think the assumption is that it will fail, but I pretty sure it will work. 


Good luck,
Chau

I think I'm going to try the culturing a starter route (the dough is a few days old, although refrigerated) and no problem on the pics!  I already have a wild yeast starter that I'm messing around with today and my kitchen isn't really big enough for multiple experiments :)

Since I'm so new to starters, I really don't have a "favorite" feeding method.  I'm going to follow the steps you outlined in the post above and we'll see what happens. 

Mark

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2010, 03:55:49 PM »
Mark,

I guess I concentrated too much on the part of the sentence after "etc" in: Could a starter be made of out a piece of the dough, etc? Since there are very few pizza operators who use natural starters/preferments to make their pizza dough, I assumed that you were thinking of an ordinary pizza place using commercial yeast, not an artisan one.

Given your clarification of your hypothetical, I think you could take a sample of the pizza shop's dough and feed it with flour and water and arrive at a starter that might later be used to make a pizza dough, much as any other starter could be used. However, I don't feel as comfortable as Chau in saying that the dominant yeast strain would be the one that was already in the dough and would not be overtaken by other wild yeast at your location. It could be. I just don't know. Dominant strains like those sold by Sourdough International may hold true to form but local strains may not. Apparently, Anthony Mangieri has his doubts about the stability of wild yeast based on the following excerpt from an article at http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeats/2009/57897/ (second page):

He doesn’t use yeast, either. Instead, in keeping with traditional methods, he lets the natural sugar in the flour pull the leavening bacteria from the air. The process takes more than a day. A piece of the previous night’s dough is used as the “starter” to kick off fermentation in the next batch. There are Neapolitan-pizza fetishists who keep their starter going like the eternal flame, smuggling out of Italy bits of dough with a supposedly unbroken 150-year bacterial pedigree. Mangieri doesn’t subscribe to this madness: “Once you add the water and the flour and the atmosphere of the new place, there’s nothing left of [the old bacteria].” But he admits to once having tried to keep a batch going while he took a three-week vacation. The resulting beige ooze ended up taking over his girlfriend’s kitchen.

Since you are in the Tampa area, you might want to visit Pete Taylor's place and, if he is willing, offer to buy a dough ball from him for culturing purposes. I know that Peter uses a local natural starter but am not quite as certain on whether he also uses a bit of commercial yeast. If you are ever able to come up with a functional starter, he might even let you bake one of your pizzas in his oven.

I don't know how effective using a dough sample for "old dough" purposes would be, at least over the longer term. According to Prof. Raymond Calvel, the old dough method "cannot be done indefinitely, or even over several generations, without producing undesirable flavors."

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2010, 04:15:19 PM »
Even if a starter could be made from old dough (which I'm pretty sure it can be   :P), it doesn't necessarily equate to making a good pizza dough or a good pie.  Yeast, whether it be commerical, cake yeast, or wild yeast is only one variable amongst many require to make pizza.  If everything else isn't as the shop does it, I would likely bet that your pizza dough will taste very much different from that shop despite having the same yeast culture. 

To duplicate any shop's pie, you would likely have to work there or know someone who does, know the recipe and fermentation times, use the same sauce and toppings, and re-create the baking environment (or bake it in the same oven).  It would be much easier just to order a pizza to go.   :-D

Even though it's fun for us hobbyist to try to reverse engineer pizzas, it is somewhat of a maddening process. 

Mark for fun, just go ahead and take a tablespoon or 2 of the old dough, and mix it in a generic pizza dough of say...200gm.   Let it rest at room temps covered for 12 hours.   I'm willing to bet in 12 hours that dough will have risen displaying that the yeast has propagated. 

Flour (100%):    118.82 g  |  4.19 oz | 0.26 lbs
Water (66%):    78.42 g  |  2.77 oz | 0.17 lbs
Old dough:           2 Tablespoons
Salt (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
Oil (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.26 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
Sugar (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.3 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
Total (170%):   202 g | 7.13 oz | 0.45 lbs | TF = N/A

Mark if you are successful in propagating this culture, I'm quite postive that using this newly acquire starter in your current recipes will yield an almost identical pie to what you are now making.  It won't likely make your pizza better or worse.  What it will do is maybe give you a slightly different tasting crust, but it will be very similar to what you are currently making. 

Good luck,
Chau
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 04:32:19 PM by Jackie Tran »

buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2010, 05:35:07 PM »
Ok, But is this a starter? My point is, if you take 2 Tablespoons of the pizza shop dough and you made the dough in this example, your going to have the same rise as the original? I don't believe the first batch recipe shown here will have the same rise as the orginal pizza shop guy had. Activity will slow down and eventually cease. Then repeat the process, see what happens.
Heck, I could perform the same operation with my own dough and I know what the outcome will be. I'll be sure to take some pictures.
Saludos, Don

Mark for fun, just go ahead and take a tablespoon or 2 of the old dough, and mix it in a generic pizza dough of say...200gm.   Let it rest at room temps covered for 12 hours.   I'm willing to bet in 12 hours that dough will have risen displaying that the yeast has propagated. 

Flour (100%):    118.82 g  |  4.19 oz | 0.26 lbs
Water (66%):    78.42 g  |  2.77 oz | 0.17 lbs
Old dough:           2 Tablespoons
Salt (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.25 tsp | 0.08 tbsp
Oil (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.26 tsp | 0.09 tbsp
Sugar (1%):    1.19 g | 0.04 oz | 0 lbs | 0.3 tsp | 0.1 tbsp
Total (170%):   202 g | 7.13 oz | 0.45 lbs | TF = N/A

Mark if you are successful in propagating this culture, I'm quite postive that using this newly acquire starter in your current recipes will yield an almost identical pie to what you are now making.  It won't likely make your pizza better or worse.  What it will do is maybe give you a slightly different tasting crust, but it will be very similar to what you are currently making. 

OK

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2010, 05:41:53 PM »
Since you are in the Tampa area, you might want to visit Pete Taylor's place and, if he is willing, offer to buy a dough ball from him for culturing purposes. I know that Peter uses a local natural starter but am not quite as certain on whether he also uses a bit of commercial yeast. If you are ever able to come up with a functional starter, he might even let you bake one of your pizzas in his oven.

Once again, I have to say thanks Peter!  I think I'll just create a signature stating that fact so I don't have to keep repeating it :D  The knowledge here is simply amazing and it seems the more I get into this, the more I'm getting in over my head!

I've talked with Peter once and was actually planning on stopping back by on Monday.  Great suggestions and based on my previous discussion, it's my understanding that he doesn't use any commercial yeast at all.  I can also vouch that his Pizza Raquel is quite delicious!

Mark

Offline StrayBullet

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2010, 05:46:24 PM »

Mark if you are successful in propagating this culture, I'm quite postive that using this newly acquire starter in your current recipes will yield an almost identical pie to what you are now making.  It won't likely make your pizza better or worse.  What it will do is maybe give you a slightly different tasting crust, but it will be very similar to what you are currently making. 


Thanks, I think I'm going to need the luck but at least I have other dinning options if this fails miserably  :-D

I'm assuming that once the new dough has been made and after the 12 hour rise, I would follow your previous steps of taking a few pieces of dough and feeding with flour/water to hopefully get the starter going?

The different tasting crust is what I'm after, just to see what's possible....and I guess to see if it's possible to isolate the wild yeast in the dough so I could incorporate into future versions of my own....at least that's what I was thinking.

Mark

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2010, 05:49:38 PM »
Ok, But is this a starter? My point is, if you take 2 Tablespoons of the pizza shop dough and you made the dough in this example, your going to have the same rise as the original? I don't believe the first batch recipe shown here will have the same rise as the orginal pizza shop guy had. Activity will slow down and eventually cease. Then repeat the process, see what happens.

Don of course you won't get the same rise.  I never said it would, especially with 2 T of old dough.  I just said as a teaser/tester experiment, if Mark were to do this, I bet it would develop some rise in 12 hours at room temp.   The big questions is, can a person culture or propagate a yeast from an old dough?  I believe the answer is yes.  Jeff Varasano claims to have done it and I believe him.

Now if you were wanting to get a certain (same) amount of rise in a given time frame, that's easy.  That depends on the % of yeast or in this case old dough you are using.  If you do an experiment using 50%-75% old dough, I bet it would be ready to go within 3-4 hour easy.   This depends ofcourse too on how "old" the old dough is.  How relatively fresh or old it is.  A really really old dough that is way overfermented would take longer.  How long? I don't know.  Mark said, suppose I got a dough ball, went straight home and stuck it in the fridge....That's a pretty fresh dough to me.  If you used 50-75% of this old dough in a new batch it would be ready to go in a short amount of time.   

Chau
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 06:06:40 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2010, 06:00:45 PM »
Thanks, I think I'm going to need the luck but at least I have other dinning options if this fails miserably  :-D

I'm assuming that once the new dough has been made and after the 12 hour rise, I would follow your previous steps of taking a few pieces of dough and feeding with flour/water to hopefully get the starter going?

The different tasting crust is what I'm after, just to see what's possible....and I guess to see if it's possible to isolate the wild yeast in the dough so I could incorporate into future versions of my own....at least that's what I was thinking.

Mark

Mark, if all other variables are kept constant, and you changed only the source of the yeast then you would get a difference in the flavor of the crumb.  This is also dependant on how long you ferement the dough for.  The difference in taste or flavor is a subjective one at best.  Some will say there is a huge difference where as others might say there is a negligeable different b/t 2 or 3 different starters.   If this shop is using a starter and you can successfully isolate their yeast culture, you would possibly get a different tasting crust than your current crust.  I say possibly b/c it will depend in part on your tastebuds ability to detect the difference in taste. 

Again, I'm quite confident you or anyone can isolate a yeast culture from a dough just as J. Varasano says he has done with Patsy's culture.  It may very well be that Jeff isolated either ADY, IDY, or cake yeast (depending on what Patsy's uses) since PFTaylor cofirmed that Patsy's isn't using a starter.   Would it make a difference to your pizza crust.  Not likely.  Sorry to rain on your parade, but that is my opinion. 

Yes the dough experiment is to simply show that you can keep the yeast going by refeeding it (with new dough).  It's to show that a (over)fermented dough still has loads of viable yeast as Bill said.   To make a starter you can either use the original old dough or the newer dough that you make.

If you want to use the newer dough (made from old dough) for pizza making, then you have to watch the dough carefully to judge when it will be ready.  I'm just throwing a random # at you by saying 12h.  I pulled that out of my behind.  I haven't done this experiment so I don't know the outcome BUT I highly suspect that it is not hard or a big deal to culture yeast from yeast.  It's easy! but it doesn't get you any closer to a better pizza than the yeast you've been using.  I would watch the dough and when it has seemingly doubled in volume, divide and ball it, and let it double again, then bake. 

Chau
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 11:10:10 PM by Jackie Tran »

buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Shop Dough
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2010, 07:52:18 PM »
Start of pizza shop dough experiment. Oh, and this dough was made from one of my starters. No yeast. So maybe a 24 hour room temperature ferment for the next clone? I'll be sure and mark the line of rise.


 

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