Author Topic: Fermentation & Browning  (Read 1205 times)

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Offline Everlast

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Fermentation & Browning
« on: March 21, 2013, 02:48:40 AM »
I used the exact same dough formulation (2% Ischia starter, 3% salt, 62.5% HR, Caputo) on two separate occasions, a 90 second bake at 850F, but two different fermentation schedules and got the below two pizzas.

Pizza 1:
23h bulk 65F
22h balled 65F
3.5h 70F

Pizza 2:
24h bulk  65F
14h balled 65F
8h 80F
2h 70F

There was definitely more oven spring in Pizza 2, but the Pizza 1 tasted better overall. Is Pizza 2 overfermented, is that why it didn't properly brown? Ideally, I'd like to combine the oven spring of Pizza 2 with the browning of Pizza 1. Is there a way I can do that?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 02:51:06 AM by Everlast »


Online jeffereynelson

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 03:47:23 AM »
Both of the pizzas look really good, and I personally don't mind the lighter pizzas. I know that has nothing to do with your question, and I'm not sure of the answer. Just wanted to say how good your pizzas look.

Offline scott r

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 10:24:49 AM »
I personally wouldnt call it OVER fermented, but yes..... you were getting less browning on pie 2 because the dough was past the "maximum browning" stage of fermentation. There is a bell curve to the browning, where if its too early you wont get as much, and if its late into fermentation you will also get less.     I agree that at the latter end of the bell curve the texture actually improves, but be careful because there is a cliff you fall off of where the texture gets bad very fast.   Usually at this stage, especially with wetter doughs, you will have a hard time forming the skin because the gluten network has degraded to the point of the dough being very loose.  That is strange that pizza 1 tasted better, as usually using a dough with more fermentation provides better flavor.  Also... typically, you should actually see better oven spring on the earlier dough thats being used in its "maxium browning" stage.   I would keep playing with when you use your dough, as this is a great way to get your pizza to its maximum potential.       

Offline Everlast

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 02:19:50 PM »
jeffereynelson - thanks, I appreciate it. I've been working on improving my pizzas for about a year and half now and I love the challenge.

scott r - thanks for the input. I should clarify, when I said Pizza 1 tasted better overall, I was including the texture as well. Pizza 2 had a more mature flavor but the texture was maybe a little too soft. I'm going to try a fermentation schedule somewhere in between to see what results I get.

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 07:54:27 PM »
Great post.

I personally wouldnt call it OVER fermented, but yes..... you were getting less browning on pie 2 because the dough was past the "maximum browning" stage of fermentation. There is a bell curve to the browning, where if its too early you wont get as much, and if its late into fermentation you will also get less.     I agree that at the latter end of the bell curve the texture actually improves, but be careful because there is a cliff you fall off of where the texture gets bad very fast.   Usually at this stage, especially with wetter doughs, you will have a hard time forming the skin because the gluten network has degraded to the point of the dough being very loose.  That is strange that pizza 1 tasted better, as usually using a dough with more fermentation provides better flavor.  Also... typically, you should actually see better oven spring on the earlier dough thats being used in its "maxium browning" stage.   I would keep playing with when you use your dough, as this is a great way to get your pizza to its maximum potential.       

Offline scott r

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 09:17:12 PM »
thanks hotsawce!

Everlast, that happens if you go a little too far, but there are also other factors to consider intertwining mixing and fermentation that lead up to a perfect textured pie.    If you tend to go longer on the mixing, those later in the bake pies will still shine.... but then the earlier ones will suffer.   Its great that you are thinking about and experimenting with fermentation, and everything you learn will eventually add up to your own perfect texture and signature pizza!     

Offline gobseulmuhri

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 09:20:03 AM »
Both of those are some beautiful, tasty looking pizzas!  I think I would have chosen the first pizza over the second if I had a choice, though. 

From what I understand, the temp at which yeast activity in sourdough culture  is highest is between 80 to 90 degrees.  The dough that was fermented at 80 degrees had to have less residual sugar in the dough at the time of bake.  The yeast was feasting much faster through the sugar quantity in the dough.  The result is less caramelization in the crust during the bake and bigger air pockets in the cornicione due to increased alcohol gasses trapped in the gluten pockets. 

You might also have noticed more tang in the 2nd crust, as the lactobacillus produce more lactic acid at 80 vs 65.  But because the culture inoculation level was very small, and the majority of the bulk was done at the lower temp, I'm not sure if this would have been the case.  Just a conjecture, as there could be lots of variables that may contribute to sourness. 

To my knowledge, these are reasons as to why colder fermentation is preferred for pizza dough.  It keeps a rein on the sugar consumption by the yeast until the enzymatic processing of the flour and bacterial fermentation achieve the optimal level of flavor. 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 09:23:47 AM by gobseulmuhri »

Offline Everlast

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 02:08:24 PM »
Thanks gobseulmuhri. I think the dough for Pizza 2 had reached the peak of rising at about 4 hours at 80F. Then, it spent another 4 hours at 80F. There was a little more tang than Pizza 1. The dough for Pizza 2 was also a bit more slack than for Pizza 1 and I had to work very quickly to not stretch it out too much. Maybe I'll try extending the fermentation time at 65F to at least a full 48 hours and then 3 hours at 70F for my next bake.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 03:00:40 PM »
I used the exact same dough formulation (2% Ischia starter, 3% salt, 62.5% HR, Caputo) on two separate occasions, a 90 second bake at 850F,


Just a little clarification, please: You are using a WFO, right? These two pizzas came from 2 different firings? Where are you measuring the 850F? Is it possible some of the differences you are observing may have to do with oven temp variations?

Offline Everlast

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 03:43:23 PM »
I'm using a 2stone Inferno. The temp was measured dead center of the rotating hearth using a laser thermometer. Top heat was dialed in similarly for both bakes based on the size of the flame lapping up on to the ceiling. Though there may have been a slight difference in the baking environment for both doughs since each was done on a different night, I baked 2 focaccias and 2 pizzas both times for each dough. The dough fermented at 80F for 8 hours at the last stage of fermentation exhibited less browning for both focaccias and both pizzas versus the dough for 2 focaccias and 2 pizzas fermented mostly at 65F.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Fermentation & Browning
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 04:04:30 PM »
Thank you for the clarification, Everlast. I find it impressive that you are able to to regulate the heat distribution by eyeballing the flame height.  That had never occurred to me.


 

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