Author Topic: Re: Some basic questions about dough...  (Read 1131 times)

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Offline skunker

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« on: January 26, 2012, 07:49:36 PM »
Hi all,
 I keep reading all kinds of different methods in dough fermentation. As someone with not much baking experience, what is the ideal way to prepare your dough for a deep dish pizza? Put it in warm oven for 2hrs, place it in the fridge overnight and then take it out 2hrs before you use it.? etc! Confused.

Ideally, is it best to make the dough the night before and let it sit in the fridge for 24hrs before using it? I know that everyone will probably have their own way of doing things, but are there any basic objective ways to prepare dough that is generally done? Thanks!


Offline BTB

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 08:46:01 AM »
This can be subject to much debate and I think everyone would be right (for them).  The "best way" is very subjective.  In a nutshell, there are two general methods for dough fermentation in my book.  First is "Same Day" as in same day use of the dough that's made.  About 60% of the time, my deep dish dough is made for same day use, starting in the morning mixing it together, putting it in a bowl with a plastic wrap, and into a slightly warmed oven (very slightly cause you can kill the yeast if too hot).  After an hour, I take it out, knock the dough down, reform the ball, put the plastic wrap back on and put it on a warm part of the counter (not back in the oven) for from 6 to 12 hours.  I try to get back and punch down the risen dough ball 2 or 3 more times, if possible. Ed at Readdeepdish.com ferments his same day dough for just 1 to 2 hours.  So there's the "long" and "short" of it for the Same Day category.  Either a relatively short time or a more substantial time.

The second category also has two options.  Its often called retarded fermentation or refrigerated dough.  I won't go into the theories or philosophies behind the advantages of retarded fermentation, as you will over time be seeing a lot of information about it.  If I had a bunch of people and pizzas to make in one or two days, tho, I would definitely make the dough up one or two days in advance and throw it into the refrigerator and take out a few hours prior to baking preparation.  Otherwise it can be a very hectic experience.

But here, too, are two slightly different approaches.  One is to allow the mixed dough to rise at least one or two hours (with or without use of a slightly warmed oven or proofing box) and then put it into an appropriate container (I use ziploc bags) and into the refrigerator.  The second approach is what I call the "straight to the refrigerator" approach, with no time for a rise.  The mixed dough ball goes straight into the refrigerator without letting it ferment, but it will very slowly do so in the refrigerator.  

Many of the great contributors to this website have their own preferences and only time, trial and error can tell a particular individual what is best for them.  For our other members, please feel free to express your thoughts on this subject as I'm sure there are many good points of view here.

                                                                                          --BTB     :angel:
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 10:33:21 AM by BTB »

Offline skunker

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 09:17:10 AM »
BTB, as always, many thanks for your posts.

I'm wondering, though, why go through all the work of waiting and refridgerating (unless you have many pizzas to make, as you stated) the dough when there may not be a real clear advantage compared to just using the dough in less than 1-2hrs? I wonder if some people make it more complicated than it needs to be?

Offline BTB

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 10:59:54 AM »
why go through all the work of waiting and refridgerating
My guess would be that proponents of longer retarded dough fermentation would argue better  . . . taste, flavor, texture, etc.  And one has to believe that there's something to that.  And over time, you may see that.

But in my limited experience with pizzamaking (4 yrs +), I can't say that I or my pizza tasting testers are able to clearly distinquish retarded vs. same day dough.  But I'm an amateur of sorts with a little experience.  The ultimate judge is . . . . . . . . . . . YOU! ! !                                    
                                                                         :-X              --BTB
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 09:25:25 AM by BTB »

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:40:06 PM »
just wanted to mention that it greatly depends on the style.  DD can get away with a very short ferment,  while lean doughs benefit from the added flavor and improved texture.  I do not think anyone would argue about the benefits of a long room temp or cold fermentation for a say NY style dough,  but I could be wrong.  Just wanted to clarify.  To me,  DD is much more of a pastry crust than a bread type  dough,  and I think could be unleavened and come out ok.  -Marc

Offline BTB

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 09:30:58 AM »
Marc, thanks.  I think your points are excellent and well taken. 

To others . . . see . . . there are always alot of good points of view here.          --BTB

Offline Garvey

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Re: Some basic questions about dough...
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 12:11:00 PM »
I've been making the same recipe for Chicago thin crust for almost 11 years now, and I can say without a doubt that a longer, cold fermentation ("slow rise") is much better.  For one thing, a fast rise (same day ferment, a few hrs or so) has many "off" flavors of yeast fermentation, IMO.  Moreover, it is a LOT less digestible for me.  I feel bloated after eating fast rise crust.  Fast rise crusts were more unpredictable in baking, too.  I tended to have to stay on top of bubble popping, etc. 

Slow rise, however, takes care of these problems.  Almost never bubbles, much easier to digest, better flavor.  Ideally, I like to make my thin crust 72 hrs before baking.  It's stored in the fridge and punched down a couple times the first 12 hrs (and maybe sometimes a third time).  I've had great success and pretty consistent results with anything from 48-96 hrs.  At 120 hrs, it got crackery (in a good way), and 144 hrs was like a tortilla.  Didn't even want to brown at that point.  Of course, local conditions vary.  I like 72 hrs best, overall, given my recipe.  YMMV.  But I won't make dough in the morning and then bake it that night.  It's just an unpleasant waste of my time and resources at that point.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 01:45:52 PM by Garvey »