I really appreciate the fact you've tried some old dough in the recipe. I want to begin trying this as well. Is there any particular reason you choose to include a bit of fresh yeast as well in the formula, and increase the hydration a bit?
I also assume the old dough is a percentage of flour weight and not water? From what I've been researching, it seems those in "olden times" those in Naples used to use old dough as 3 to 5% of water weight.
I also have another question; is your old dough weighed in it's more "dried" out state to use as a percentage in the formula, or did you weigh it before it was wrapped and compressed? Also, how many days will that keep?
Dear Hotsawce, I believe you're referring to the recipe I employed in my experiment in Reply #2051:
Caputo '00' Pizzeria Flour (Datum Point)
Sea Salt: 2.8%
Old Dough (developed under pressure, akin to a legato, inside an imperfect vacuum): 3%
Fresh Yeast: 0.03%
You asked, "Is there any particular reason you choose to include a bit of fresh yeast as well in the formula, and increase the hydration a bit?" Briefly put, the reason I included fresh yeast in the formula is because my old dough, by design, did not have much leavening power. I used the old dough primarily for its acidifying power
, which translates into dough strength, flavor, and texture. Furthermore, since acidification adds strength to the final dough, you are free to carefully increase the hydration in accordance with the percentage of the old dough, its acidification potency, and the level of strength and fluidity that you desire your final dough to possess when matured.
With regard to your next question ("I also assume the old dough is a percentage of flour weight and not water?"), I used the weight of flour as the datum point.
At last, you asked, "Is your old dough weighed in it's more "dried" out state to use as a percentage in the formula, or did you weigh it before it was wrapped and compressed?" The amount of old dough that I set aside to be pressurized was much more than I needed for the final dough. 3% of old dough is too little to prepare for a relatively small batch of final dough.
With regard to using old dough in preparing Neapolitan pizza dough, I think that it can yield satisfactory results; nonetheless, in my estimation, it can be a precarious enterprise depending on the zymological state of the old dough before incorporation, the percentage of the old dough incorporated in the final dough, the percentage of salt and hydration of the final dough, and other crucial factors. In my experience, there is a fine balance that needs to be maintained between all these factors; otherwise, the texture and flavor of the final product will be compromised to a lesser or greater degree. Have a great day!