I long/cold-ferment my regular doughs and like the effects it has on taste and dough character. There's been a lot of interesting experimentation on that front and I wanted to see if the same effects happened to a gluten-free dough. So, last Saturday I made a batch of a simple gluten-free dough using some GF AP flour I had left over.
347g King Arthur GF AP flour
242g water (70% hydration)
5g xanthan gum
I barely proofed the ADY; I poured it into the water in my DLX mixer and let it dissolve. The temperature after dissolving was 68F. I mixed for a few minutes until it was smooth, which took longer than it should have because of the way I mixed in the xanthan gum. I added it directly to the water, which just made it congeal into a few blobs instead of dissolving as I figured it would. Instead, I think you have to whisk it into the flour before mixing. I think it eventually mixed into the flour, but I can't be sure.
The 70% hydration dough was firm enough that I could ball it. I made 3x195g balls and put them into plastic containers straight into the fridge. I think I used too much yeast, and the containers smelled strongly every time I opened them up to "burp" them in the fridge. Since there is no gluten structure there's no real risk of overblowing the dough that I'm aware of.
The plan originally was to test at 1, 3 and 5 days. It ended up being 1, 3 and 7 due to lack of free time. On all three days I took the dough container out of the fridge, let it rest inside the container for 30 minutes then flattened into a disc on a floured peel (same type of flour). With wet hands it was easy to spread it out, though you have to be a lot more gentle than with a gluten dough. There's no gluten structure so it'd probably be OK to roll it out, but I don't have a pin so I did it by hand.
I then covered the disc with plastic wrap and let it sit for 2 hours in the kitchen while the oven heated at 550F. The kitchen gets hot when the oven is on, and the dough was around 80 degrees while it was resting. Inside the oven I had a Fibrament stone in the top rack. I baked for 10 minutes at 550. They puffed up like pita bread on all three bakes.
The differences in browning, hue and to a lesser degree taste were quite prominent. On day 1, the baked crust tasted very strongly of rice (the primary ingredient in the GF AP flour is rice flour) and like a gluten dough had no real depth of flavor to it. It's hard to gauge the changes in taste when you have an expectation of what's going to happen, but I'm fairly confident the rice flavor lessened over the next few days while it developed more flavor. Day 3 had very different coloration and baked smoother on top, probably due to the way I handled it. Interestingly it developed blisters on the bottom. The same happened on day 7 although I had more flour on the bottom that masked the blisters. I had way too much salt in the dough, but it at least brought out all the flavors.
The texture was about the same on all three days. No surprise there. It was crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside--surprisingly pleasant. With a little less salt this dough could probably make a decent pizza. When I try this I will do a 7 day fermentation if time permits. One advantage of this dough as opposed to most GF dough recipes is that it is firm enough that I think you can bake it with the sauce and cheese already on. I'll have to try that later.
Overall the differences aren't as dramatic as with a gluten dough, but I'd say it's worth the wait for the better flavor and coloring. Gluten-free doughs don't have all that much flavor, so any bit of good flavor you can extract out of it is a good thing.
The first picture is a dough ball right before going into the fridge. The rest are of day 1--sorry for the blur; I'm borrowing this camera and didn't think to use a macro mode until later.