Author Topic: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough  (Read 24657 times)

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Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #160 on: January 05, 2012, 03:09:27 PM »
John, I have been fascinated by this thread as well, and through my own meager experience, agree with your theory. I second Danny's request about your balling technique. I use technique number two... But I feel that I may knead more aggressively at the beginning than most do. What say you sir? Thanks.

I don't know how far you have followed this thread, but I prefer to scale my dough right after mixing, to make it easier to experiment with regard to different fermentation times.  So, after I scale it, I very lightly round the dough just to have a smooth skin, I then place in oiled refrigerator containers.  When it's time to ball I carefully release the dough from the container, and I gently ball the dough making the bottom of the dough become the inner part of the new dough ball.  I find this works great because the bottom is very soft and tends to make a dough ball very simply with very little work.  Also the top of the dough is already fairly smooth and remains that way through the balling process.  Hope that was fairly clear, kind of hard to describe in words.  Now, that you have made me think about it....I wonder how a more strenuous balling would affect the dough....Maybe someone could try it???

John


Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #161 on: January 05, 2012, 03:17:59 PM »
Peter
 I'm beginning a new experiment using my methods in a 500 degree home oven to see what a lower temperature will do. 

Before I do though...I had one more dough from my last batch. I had faith after alot of experimenting, this pizza would be good, but had no idea it could possibly bake up this nice. This pizza was baked in my home oven at 500 degrees.  This pizza was made from a dough which was in the fridge 166 hours, it was taken out, balled and left to set out for 3 hours prior to bake.  This is a 13 ounce dough, stretched to 12.5 inches, it took 8 minutes to bake, it has color, but not as much as a hotter bake, it is still crisp, (crunchy crisp), just a little softer....and it is delicious.
John

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #162 on: January 05, 2012, 03:35:29 PM »
John and anyone else that is interested,

The piece of scaled dough that was left to cold ferment without balling, was balled today at about 1:10 pm. The dough ball sat at room temperature for a little over 3 hrs.  I decided to open the dough ball around 4:30 pm.  The dough ball was easy to open and had more bubbles in the skin than my other preferments Lehmann dough skins today.  The resulting pizza baked well and was different than my regular pizzas today.  The crumb was lighter and the texture was better.  The bottom crust also browned well.  Steve, my taste testers, and I all were surprised how well this pizza baked with Johnís methods.  Steve and I kept talking about what a difference Johnís method made in the final pizza. 

Norma
 
Norma
After seeing the result of your pizza I couldn't wait to get going on a cooler home oven experiment.  So here goes:

Here is the recipe I used, I'm using ADM High  Gluten flour
Flour (100%):
Water (62%):
IDY (.5%):
Salt (2%):
Oil (2%):
Sugar (2%):
Total (168.5%):
Single Ball:
1019.59 g  |  35.96 oz | 2.25 lbs
632.15 g  |  22.3 oz | 1.39 lbs
5.1 g | 0.18 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.69 tsp | 0.56 tbsp
20.39 g | 0.72 oz | 0.04 lbs | 3.65 tsp | 1.22 tbsp
20.39 g | 0.72 oz | 0.04 lbs | 4.53 tsp | 1.51 tbsp
20.39 g | 0.72 oz | 0.04 lbs | 5.11 tsp | 1.7 tbsp
1718.01 g | 60.6 oz | 3.79 lbs | TF = N/A
286.33 g | 10.1 oz | 0.63 lbs

Placed all ingredients except oil and flour in mixing bowl and stirred.  Added flour and mixed on stir until it started to come together and then added the oil.  Mixed until dough was smooth...about 6 or 7 minutes.
Dough was scaled, lightly rounded, and placed in refrigerator containers.  I made six 10 ounce doughs.  The first pizza is made from a dough which was refrigerated for 36 hours, taken out, balled and left to sit out 3 hours prior to bake.  Baked in a 500 degree oven, quarry tiles on very highest rack.  This is a 10 inch pizza made from a 10 ounce dough, and it baked in 6 minutes and 40 seconds.  Has very good color, is crisp, a little softer than a hot bake......delicious!!!!!  And one hour later, the slices have enough body to stick straight out.  The only downfall from the hotter bake (and it's a very slight downfall), is that the crust is just a hair chewy..........good first result!!
John

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #163 on: January 05, 2012, 03:56:23 PM »
John,

Is the last pizza part of the experiment that I suggested? And can you clarify what you mean by the "hotter bake" (in the last sentence)?

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #164 on: January 05, 2012, 04:08:47 PM »
When it's time to ball I carefully release the dough from the container, and I gently ball the dough making the bottom of the dough become the inner part of the new dough ball.  I find this works great because the bottom is very soft and tends to make a dough ball very simply with very little work.  Also the top of the dough is already fairly smooth and remains that way through the balling process.  Hope that was fairly clear, kind of hard to describe in words.  Now, that you have made me think about it....I wonder how a more strenuous balling would affect the dough....Maybe someone could try it???


John,

I am having a hard time visualizing the above. I assume that you are not doing an aggressive reknead of the dough ball and that you are not doing stretch and folds. Are you pressing the bottom of the dough ball into the middle of the dough ball, sort of like a gentle folds into the center from all sides, and then pinching and resealing the "new" bottom in some fashion so that it is smooth? I was imagining a fairly aggressive reworking of the dough ball.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 04:11:48 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #165 on: January 05, 2012, 04:54:17 PM »
John that is pretty much how I reball as well.  It's very gentle and minimal unless the dough is really slack.  I basically only manipulate the dough with as little effort as is required for it to hold it's shape.

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #166 on: January 05, 2012, 05:00:50 PM »
John- yup I understood your process of scaling in the beginning. I don't make more than 2-3 dough ball amounts at a time, so I bulk ferment it. But I don't think that matters honestly. I think that doing the balling (for me) or the re-balling (for you) a few hours before stretch and bake is the defining technique. Honestly I do the bulk rise as a space saver, so I don't have to have multiple containers taking up my wife's space (she's very territorial).

I think that what we are dealing with is the difference between relaxed gluten, and semi-relaxed gluten. I'm thinking that maybe that a reball or ball this close to stretch and bake would not do so well in say, sub 60% hydration, cuz the gluten wouldn't have enough water to relax in... Just a thought... Any insights into that?

But I will admit that I, like Peter, was envisioning a slightly more aggressive reball. I try to be gentle because it is my first balling... But I am an aggressive kneader by nature... My form of stress relief. :)

Thanks for the conversation.

Josh

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #167 on: January 05, 2012, 07:03:57 PM »
John,

Is the last pizza part of the experiment that I suggested? And can you clarify what you mean by the "hotter bake" (in the last sentence)?

Peter
Peter,
The second pizza shown was made from a new batch I mixed to specifically be baked at 500 degrees using my balling methods..........but, I had one dough left from last week, that I chose to bake at 500 degrees, just to see if I could.....and I was very, very excited with the results, almost to the point that I know this weeks dough will have no problem baking up great.  I've got 5 more dough balls to bake as I have time this week from my new batch.  When I say "hotter bake", I mean 580 degrees to 610 degrees which I can reach in my home oven.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #168 on: January 05, 2012, 07:16:29 PM »

John,

I am having a hard time visualizing the above. I assume that you are not doing an aggressive reknead of the dough ball and that you are not doing stretch and folds. Are you pressing the bottom of the dough ball into the middle of the dough ball, sort of like a gentle folds into the center from all sides, and then pinching and resealing the "new" bottom in some fashion so that it is smooth? I was imagining a fairly aggressive reworking of the dough ball.

Peter

Peter
I take my container of dough, gently turn it upside down to release the dough in a whole continuous piece onto my hand.  The top is now what was the bottom as it sat in its container.  The top is very soft and moist...and this soft piece of dough is what I work into the middle of the new dough ball, stretching the bottom around it.....roughly.....this seems to be the easiest, softest way to make a smooth dough ball when balling later in the process...because it takes so little pressure and very little actual manipulation.  Please though Peter, understand that I have no reason to believe that this is the best way,...this is just my evolution of the method so far...like I said before, maybe a more thorough balling would make even a better dough....I haven't got that far yet...maybe Chau has some insight.....I'm sure I'll investigate sooner or later.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #169 on: January 05, 2012, 07:28:58 PM »

I think that what we are dealing with is the difference between relaxed gluten, and semi-relaxed gluten. I'm thinking that maybe that a reball or ball this close to stretch and bake would not do so well in say, sub 60% hydration, cuz the gluten wouldn't have enough water to relax in... Just a thought... Any insights into that?

Josh

Josh
That is worthy of investigation.  I have investigated 55% hydrated doughs, but the time from ball to bake was longer......... And I still experience, that for my taste, almost any dough that I use, which has been reballed, or bulk fermented and balled is better than the dough which is balled after mixing.  And so perhaps the limits come upon us as we shorten the time from ball to bake or lower the hydration of doughs.  Calls for experimentation Josh!

John


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #170 on: January 05, 2012, 08:47:21 PM »
Peter
I take my container of dough, gently turn it upside down to release the dough in a whole continuous piece onto my hand.  The top is now what was the bottom as it sat in its container.  The top is very soft and moist...and this soft piece of dough is what I work into the middle of the new dough ball, stretching the bottom around it.....roughly.....this seems to be the easiest, softest way to make a smooth dough ball when balling later in the process...because it takes so little pressure and very little actual manipulation.  Please though Peter, understand that I have no reason to believe that this is the best way,...this is just my evolution of the method so far...like I said before, maybe a more thorough balling would make even a better dough....I haven't got that far yet...maybe Chau has some insight.....I'm sure I'll investigate sooner or later.

John


John, I think the amount and way that you reball is on track.  For me, it is done by feel.   When I first started experimenting with reballing, there were several times where I reballed too aggressively and/or did not allow enough time for the dough to relax prior to baking.  The result is a doughball that is too elastic and tough to open without risk of tearing.  The result is still a similar crumb but a much thicker pizza.  If one were to reball too agressively, and especially with a low hydration high gluten flour dough, even an extensive rest period prior to baking may not be enough to allow the dough to relax.

Here are a few examples of reballing too agressively prior to baking...

reply #28.  This one was reballed prior to baking.  I was a newbie at that time and referring to it as a stretch and fold, but it was actually reballed.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10734.20.html

Reply #575-#581 of Norma's Lehman dough with preferment.
Again, fairly dry dough, reballed out of the fridge a few hours before baking.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.580.html

The result was a dough that was difficult to open resulting in a thick pizza crust.

Offline cosgrojo

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #171 on: January 05, 2012, 08:57:29 PM »
So I guess my theory is that the length of time  between ball and bake to get the optimum pie relates directly to the wetness of the dough. I think that a very wet dough may be at its optimum after say 1 hour (completely arbitrary numbers just for discussion), while a drier dough might not hit its peak for 2-4 hours after reball. To take it a bit further, I think that it is possible to get almost identical end product pies with a variety of different hydration levels simply by stretching and baking at the proper moment of gluten relaxation.  The caveat to this theory is that I think this conversation hits a road block at higher temperatures. I'm not sure exactly why I think that, but I think neopolitan baking temps would nullify a lot of this discussion, mostly because of what the heat will do to the extra moisture.

What we need is an Americas Test Kitchen style studio to gather forum member to perform these experiments in a controlled environment where we can chart our findings.

I'm leaning toward the belief that the techniques used to ball or reball, are mostly inconsequential, that the real goal is to determine when the gluten is at the ideal level of rest for the particular hydration level of the dough you are working with. Am I crazy? Or does that make any sense?

Josh

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #172 on: January 05, 2012, 09:29:10 PM »
Josh, I don't know if John will agree or disagree with me but IMO you are on the right track.  IMO, it's not so much the time of balling or even the amount of balling.  These are only singular variables.  Pizza making is a symphony of many variables coming together.  In the end it is a balance of all the factors that result in the proper amount of gluten strength coupled with the proper bake (heat and time).

I discussed some of these factors that affect gluten development and strength in one of John's threads earlier here....reply#5

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16618.0.html

In short, gluten strength is affected by protein content, hydration ratio, % of salt, use of oil or fats, amount of physical aggitation of the dough (mixer vs hand techniques - hand kneading, stretch and folds, balling and reballing), type and amount of yeast, length of fermentation, temperature of fermentation, extent of proofing,
and possible a host of other variables I am unaware of.    The nice thing is that once you learn the consistency and feel of your dough and the results it will produce, you can make dough by feel and that will get you into the ball park of your ideal results.  

You are also correct, that at really high temps or conversely really low temps, you will have to adjust the formula to maintain similar crust and crumb characteristics.  So in short, you will have to adjust your formula to your oven and how it bakes.  This is why following someone else's formula verbatim may not produce the same exact results.  Your oven may bake very differently, but it should get you close.

Having said that, the act of reballing if not done in excess, for most recipes, builds gluten strength that will mitigate the dough softening effects of a long fermentation (regardless of temp) which results in a more airy and light texture.   Just saying this to say that if members do not wish to create a more airy and light texture, but like a dense and more chewy crust, that they should avoid reballing their dough.

Chau
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 09:31:34 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #173 on: January 05, 2012, 11:46:10 PM »
So I guess my theory is that the length of time  between ball and bake to get the optimum pie relates directly to the wetness of the dough. I think that a very wet dough may be at its optimum after say 1 hour (completely arbitrary numbers just for discussion), while a drier dough might not hit its peak for 2-4 hours after reball. To take it a bit further, I think that it is possible to get almost identical end product pies with a variety of different hydration levels simply by stretching and baking at the proper moment of gluten relaxation.  The caveat to this theory is that I think this conversation hits a road block at higher temperatures. I'm not sure exactly why I think that, but I think neopolitan baking temps would nullify a lot of this discussion, mostly because of what the heat will do to the extra moisture.

Josh
Your thoughts regarding getting identical end products using a variety of different hydrations is spot on in my opinion.  It was the experiencing of this exact phenomenon, that lead me to these experiments.  So, your instincts are good.  I also agree that these discussions don't apply to neapolitan pizzas.

John

Offline fazzari

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #174 on: January 05, 2012, 11:59:04 PM »
Josh, I don't know if John will agree or disagree with me but IMO you are on the right track.  IMO, it's not so much the time of balling or even the amount of balling.  These are only singular variables.  Pizza making is a symphony of many variables coming together.  In the end it is a balance of all the factors that result in the proper amount of gluten strength coupled with the proper bake (heat and time).

I discussed some of these factors that affect gluten development and strength in one of John's threads earlier here....reply#5

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16618.0.html

In short, gluten strength is affected by protein content, hydration ratio, % of salt, use of oil or fats, amount of physical aggitation of the dough (mixer vs hand techniques - hand kneading, stretch and folds, balling and reballing), type and amount of yeast, length of fermentation, temperature of fermentation, extent of proofing,
and possible a host of other variables I am unaware of.    The nice thing is that once you learn the consistency and feel of your dough and the results it will produce, you can make dough by feel and that will get you into the ball park of your ideal results.  

You are also correct, that at really high temps or conversely really low temps, you will have to adjust the formula to maintain similar crust and crumb characteristics.  So in short, you will have to adjust your formula to your oven and how it bakes.  This is why following someone else's formula verbatim may not produce the same exact results.  Your oven may bake very differently, but it should get you close.

Having said that, the act of reballing if not done in excess, for most recipes, builds gluten strength that will mitigate the dough softening effects of a long fermentation (regardless of temp) which results in a more airy and light texture.   Just saying this to say that if members do not wish to create a more airy and light texture, but like a dense and more chewy crust, that they should avoid reballing their dough.

Chau

Thanks for all of your insight Chau. 

I think I only have one small difference of opinion with you.  You say that the time of balling and the amount of balling are just singular variables in the process of making pizza.  I couldn't agree more....BUT...I maintain, these variables might be the strongest variables in the process.  I do agree though, that these variables in concert with the monitoring of the myriad of other variables is the path to fine tuning.
Again Chau, thanks!
John

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #175 on: January 06, 2012, 12:20:17 AM »
Cool John.  I agree, I have notice that some variables definitely do carry more weight than others.  For example, if I decrease my hydration by 5% and add say 3% oil, I may have to increase my kneading time to get to the same consistency.  Now if I add the oil upfront versus after the gluten is mostly develop, the mixing time changes again.  And again if I use an autolyse versus no autolyse.  So as much as I have tried to make sense of what is going on with dough, it still isn't 100% clear. 

Yet another mystery.  Lately, I've been trying to wrap my head around a caputo 00 dough, 60% HR, salt, CY, mixed for around 17min in a planetary mixer, balled early, cold fermented, no reball I don't think, and baked 3-4m in a wfo producing one of the most tender crusts I have ever tasted.  Makes no d@mn sense to me at all.

So in the end, you could be absolutely correct.  I have a very very limited understanding of dough.  Sigh...

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #176 on: January 06, 2012, 01:39:10 AM »
Not to detract from the discussion, but what about the yeast? In a bulk ferment you get a coarse distribution of yeast cells which are probably localized. If you reball this, you are essentially disrupting the yeast colonies and spurring further yeast growth by their displacement with new "undigested" carbon sources. From a biological standpoint, yeast colonies will revert to a log phase growth if they are inundated with carbon sources and NOT around a lot of other yeast cells which are in stationary phase. Essentially you are increasing their distribution in the dough on a finer scale by reballing. The yeast are not in solution, but rather anchored in the dough.

Questions:
Do you see a lot of yeast activity in the dough when it sits for the 3 hours prior to baking? What about on the longer fermented doughs?

Had you NOT reballed the dough, would you get the same yeast activity during this 3 hour period?


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #177 on: January 06, 2012, 10:10:45 AM »
John,

Thank you very much for your explanation of your dough handling methods. My experience with handling cold fermenting doughs prior to using to make pizza is exactly as Chau described in Reply 170 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16761.msg166121.html#msg166121. As a result, I almost never re-ball/re-knead/re-work any cold fermented dough ball I make, especially where in my case I tend to use rather low formula hydrations and small amounts of yeast. Where I have done re-kneading is for long room-temperature fermented doughs where the gluten was attacked by protease enzymes and water was released from its bond, along with the effects of alcohol and acids, producing a wet dough that seemed to have a higher hydration value than its nominal formula hydration. In such cases, there really was no other option but to re-ball. I think I am also like Chau in how I approach things because I want to know everthing about a dough, from the dough formulation (including the types and amounts of all ingredients) to the dough preparation and dough management (including mixing methods, autolyse or no autolyse, temperatures and mode and duration of fermentation) to the bake protocol. Until then, I don't think I am ready to analyze the dough to either diagnose a problem or to adapt it to meet my particular needs and timetable. Having all the facts also makes it easier for me to predict what might happen at different stages. As I read Chau's posts on this topic, I found myself nodding in complete agreement.

To give you a simple example, I took the liberty of calculating the "effective" hydration of the dough formulation you posted at Reply 162 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16761.msg166097.html#msg166097. That value takes into the account the nominal formula hydration and the "wetting" effect of the oil. That value is 64%. I also calculated the total water content of your dough that takes into account the formula hydration and the moisture content of the flour (using 14%). The total water content of your dough is 45%. For the past few months, the only doughs I have made is Mellow Mushroom clone doughs. Corresponding effective hydration values and water percentage values have been about 56% and 40%, respectively. Those doughs are inherently on the elastic side so I would never do any aggressive kneading before using them. I do not think the doughs would recover or else it would take a good part of the day at room temperature to do so, and with unpredictable results. In your case, the dough balls should be reasonably soft and easy to handle, and knowing your numbers tells me that some form of re-working of the dough is definitely doable.

Dan (DNA Dan) also makes some very good points. November has also discussed the idea of redistribution of yeast away from waste products (e.g., at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4443.msg39724.html#msg39724). Also, Marco (pizzanapoletana) insisted that a two-stage bulk/balling sequence was absolutely necessary (for Neapolitan style doughs fermented at room temperature) but without saying exactly why. There is some interesting reading on these topics starting at Reply 7 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7022.msg60428/topicseen.html#msg60428. However, in your case, John, you are not doing any aggressive re-working of your dough balls. There may be some gentle rearrangement of the gluten matrix near the outer edges of your dough balls and some redistribution of the yeast to new fermentation sites and maybe you end up with a more taut and smoother outer skin for the dough balls that has some therapeutic effect on the final outcome, but I don't think that the usual explanations for a more aggressive re-working of the dough balls apply in your case. So, it will be interesting to see how your remaining dough balls perform, especially after getting so many possible explanations as to what is happening in your case :-D. You might find yourself handling the later dough balls too gently--like you have a grenade in your hand or you are de-fusing a time bomb :-D.

Peter
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 10:14:20 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #178 on: January 06, 2012, 10:47:03 AM »
Not to detract from the discussion, but what about the yeast? In a bulk ferment you get a coarse distribution of yeast cells which are probably localized.

Dan, I don't understand this? If you carefully dissolve your yeast into the water, why would you not have an even distribution?

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: the effects of bulk fermentation on a basic dough
« Reply #179 on: January 06, 2012, 10:53:33 AM »
John that is pretty much how I reball as well.  It's very gentle and minimal unless the dough is really slack.  I basically only manipulate the dough with as little effort as is required for it to hold it's shape.

Interesting. Sounds like I'm a little more agressive than you when balling. I use a fair amount of force and pull the ball in pretty tight. On the other hand, when opening the skin, I'm as gentle as possible. Granted there is generally 8-12 hours in between. If I was only going to be in balls for a couple hours, I would not do this.

CL
Pizza is not bread.


 

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