omid, i am trying your method today and have questions on different points. first can you dilute the yeast and use 2 grams to get the same results? i used your method today using the wet palm fingers and back of my hand to make the dough. my first mix was done very shaggy and the resting temperature was 79 degrees, my finished dough came out at 80 degrees. my hand mix time was about 9 minutes. my kitchen was 81 degrees. i gave the bulk dough 3 hours of rise it gained some volume. it is now balled and sitting at 67 degrees. what should i look for before i know it is ready?i want to bake Thursday evening 8 pm or so. that would be 28 hours at room temperature. is that possible with the small amount of yeast?? when you first started to post i though that you would give us just enough information to wet our appetites. i was very wrong thanks for your knowledge and willingness to help!! Another thing is that 67 degrees that the vpn pizzerias talk so much about ,as in there controlled dough making environment. i believe you just explained the in your above post. i have enclosed steps in picture form the first is my shaggy dough that sat for 60 minutes.
I started my batch today as well. I used the one side of both hands approach. My dough has been resting in bulk for the last 3 hrs or so at about 70 degrees. I'll ball this evening and add a frozen water bottle to my chamber. Sorry, no pictures.
Dear Thezaman, as you know, making dough is chemistry
. Indeed, viewed from a limited perspective, it is pure chemistry! For instance, analogously speaking, when a molecular chemist bonds a single atom of oxygen to a molecule of water, she or he in effect changes the water (H2
O) to hydrogen peroxide (H2
), which has different chemical and reactive properties than water. In the same vein, here we are dealing with micro-organisms that are highly sensitive and reactive to the chemistry and temperatures of the environments in which they find themselves.
With that in mind, you asked, "Can you dilute the [1-gram] yeast [in 30 grams of water] and use 2 grams [of the mixture] to get the same results?" As the proverb goes, "There is more than one way to skin a kit." In other words, there is more than one way to do the same thing. However, your question is not easy to answer, for getting the same result is contingent upon various factors, such as temperature, quality of hydrated flour, method of kneading, duration of kneading, quality of fermentation, treatment of the dough balls, and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And, we should beware of the generalization that, "the way dough is inoculated impacts the quality of the end product, either tenuously or substantially
At this point, although I do not know the nature
of your ingredients and do not know in detail how you are treating your dough and under what conditions, I am inclined to speculate that if you dissolve 1 gram of fresh yeast in 30 grams of water, and then directly add (without the use of "hand inoculation") only 2 grams of the mixture to the hydrated flour and then commence kneading, you will probably get the same result. If any detectable differences transpire, they would be probably negligible, I hope. Theoretically, you are using the same amount of yeast-water mixture, except at a lower temperature since your hand does not initially and directly warm up and nourish the yeast cells in the mixture. Nonetheless, as they claim, there is [seemingly] something magical (the Midas touch!) about the warmth of the human hands. Heat definitely excites yeast cells into action, besides accelerating the enzymatic reactions of amylase to convert starch into simple sugars.
Bear in mind that since you are using such diminished amount of yeast (theoretically about ≈0.06 grams), it is of importance that your hydrated flour is ready and up to the task
, akin to a well cultivated and well plowed soil that is rich with nutrients and is ready to be sowed with seeds! I construe the consummate hydration of flour (in this case, without adding any salt and yeast) as an overture to the opera of fermentation—because, in my opinion, it, the proper hydration of flour, sets the mood and the stage for the rest of the process
Again, not knowing the whereabouts of your dough, your techniques, and your methodology, it is really difficult for me to formulate advice or instructions that are relative to your particular situation. Nevertheless, I posit that you make sure that by the end of hydrating your flour, you have a smooth
, almost homogenous
, and pasta-esque
mixture of water and flour—without any subsequent intervention, such as using your hands to bring about the aforementioned qualities. (Needless to mention, the procurement of these qualities varies time-wise
in accordance to the ambient temperature, the temperature and qualities of your flour, and the temperature and percentage of your water.) Hence, the water and flour need to be skillfully
mixed and incorporated together prior to the autolytic hydration of your flour. If the very first picture you posted above is the end result of mixing and incorporating the water and flour together, prior to the autolytic hydration of your flour, the mixing was not done well or long enough for the purpose of making this kind of dough. The mixture of water and flour, in the picture, looks too lumpy and unincorporated, which means that the moisture won't be able to effectively circulate and evenly disseminate throughout the mass during the autolytic hydration phase.
Of course, if your Caputo flour is old and ill, meaning that the flour has lost its native moisture and potency, that kind of result can be expected. Conversely, if your Caputo flour has excessively absorbed environmental moisture during storage and gone stale after somewhat or fully desiccating, again the same result can be expected. As a generalization, if a Caputo Pizzeria flour has a mild malodor or has a moldy or damply smell (like an old damply cellar), I consider the flour inferior and unfit for making a superb Neapolitan dough. Also, if the Caputo flour is chunky—chunks that do not easily crumble—, I consider the flour unsuitable for making a favorable Neapolitan dough. At last, as a test, pour some of your Caputo flour (about 2 inches thick) inside a clear glass cup and level it. Next, add some room-temperature water (about half of the weight of the flour) right on top of the flour, without any mixing. Let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. If after the end of the time period you observe osmotic lines of dark yellowish color in the hydrated flour, the flour is probably sick or dead! (Please, be aware that here I am making a number of presuppositions
based on my personal experiences.)
Next, you asked, "It [the dough] is now balled and sitting at 67 degrees. What should I look for before i know it is ready?" Again, since I am not fully certain as to the whereabouts of your dough and the circumstances under which it was formed, it is hard to tell. Assuming that the dough, after consummate hydration, was hand-inoculated with about ≈0.06 grams of fresh yeast and thereafter rested for about 3 hours at 79° F, with the finishing internal temperature of 80° F, and assuming that the dough, as balls, are currently undergoing fermentation at the steady temperature of 67° F, by now you should be able to discern the subtly sweet and very gentle aroma of fermentation, which I do not know how to describe. Also, (this is really difficult to describe, but I will try!) assuming that you used healthy flour, your dough balls should appear vivacious, alive, and more white than yellowish; they should not appear as if carrying a dead weight. Also, as fermentation and levitation go on, if at all, the dough balls should gradually become more voluminous or pompous than timid. If possible, gently and partially lift one of the dough balls to see if you can detect any bubble formations on the base of the dough. If you perceive these signs, then your dough balls are indeed rising to the occasion!
So, when are the dough balls ready? It depends on how much fermentative and levitational activities are conduced under the extant circumstances. How much volume do you prefer? How relaxed do you like them to be? It may take up to 40 hours or more or less, since the dough balls were formed, before they come to fruition. Judge by their volume and relaxed corporeality. I hope I have been helpful. Good luck and good night!