Author Topic: Cold retard sourdough first or last?  (Read 4192 times)

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Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2012, 12:11:27 PM »
Also Dave, I think we all know it is "possible" to cold ferment for days, but, especially in consideration of how truly inactive wild yeast is at low temps, it would seem far from optimal. Shoot, you could store dough in the fridge for weeks and then make pizza, but I doubt it would be very good.

Are you suggesting older sourdough, that has been cold fermented, is superior to that fermented at around room temp? I have found Craig's observations of toughness (from cold retarding) and the like to be accurate (and likely what Girl Slice objected to in Adam's original "creepy bagel" attempts) and the crust in your pic looks pretty leathery, frankly.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 12:18:44 PM by johnnydoubleu »


Offline Crider

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2012, 04:06:04 PM »
I always put my dough balls in the refrigerator for convenience sake. I don't have any fermenting rooms or boxes (also for convenience sake), so the rise times for my dough are effected by the room temperatures which are all over the place based on the seasons and the weather. We almost never run the heater at night, unless there's going to be a freeze. We run the air conditioner in the summer if the outside temps exceed 90 degrees, so having a frige is a great equalizer if I want to make pizza at 7:30 pm.

However, I never refrigerate my sourdough starter. I keep a rather small jar of rye starter and refresh it once per day — about 4 tablespoons rye, 2 tablespoons water, and refresh with a heaping teaspoon of ripe old starter.

When I make pizza or bread, I use the starter after it is ripe and ready to be refreshed, partly out of laziness and thrift, but partly because I feel that too much yeast activity early on is the enemy of sourdough flavor development. I want the dough to develop more flavor before the yeast has peaked.

The amount of old starter I add to the dough is a bit small, around 7%

Last night the outside temps got down to 36 degrees and I had my dough fermenting on the kitchen counter. Perhaps the house got down to 45 degrees or so by the morning.

I mixed — but didn't knead my dough around 9:00 pm. When I got up this morning, it had risen very slightly. That's what I'm looking for, about a 125% or so increase in volume. Then I knead the dough. This redistributes the newly-expanding yeast and bacteria populations in addition to developing the gluten. This kneading also warms up the dough quite a bit.

I formed the dough into balls and put them into the fridge. They will still continue to develop a bit before the dough cools down. If I left them out on the counter they probably would have been way past peak by now at 1:00 pm, but I'm in no place or time to make pizza.

By the way, I make 100% whole wheat. If using refined flour, there a whole lot more time and temperature leeway you get to have with this 'partially ferment before kneading' method.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2012, 06:06:34 PM »
Let's keep in mind that "better" is subjective to the end user (eater).

Quote
Quote from: TXCraig1 on Yesterday at 02:39:47 PM
I don't understand what the allure of cold fermenting is unless it is just about scheduling.

Completely agree.

I agree as well.

Some have mentioned before that commercial operations use a walk-in temp that is in the 40's instead of the 30's that your fridge is likely set at.

I can't speak for every bakery, but at the time I was working in one, that is exactly correct John.  The walk-in temp was kept in the mid-40s

I don't personally employ a cold-retard period for my round pizzas. Although I have at times needed to pop a doughball or two in the fridge when personal schedules go kapput and I need to slow things down for a couple of hours.

My square pizzas I have always cold fermented (all of my pizzas, round and square, are sourdough leavened with no additional bakers yeast added) for the very reasons Bill and Craig mentioned....scheduling and convenience. It's nice to know I can make a pizza at any point of a three day period during a busy work week and retardation allows me that convenience. My square is my worknight pizza.

As others have mentioned, there is indeed a difference in texture as the dough retards for more than 48-60 hours and it does get tougher past that point, but the pan pizza format with olive oil added in the pan while cooking mitigates the impact of that anyway.

John, in those square pizzas, my culture tends to perform best if I allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes after mixing. After that point I put it in the fridge and take it out 4-6 hours before I need to bake.

Granted, the format is difference in a square pizza, but the recipe is not too far off the mark (no added oil in the dough, just flour, salt, water and starter). I've rarely encountered a problem with oven spring with such pizzas. The pic is from six different batches of my square, at various hydrations (and at various degrees of success of pegging the bake  :-[ :(  )  and I generally get good oven spring.

The success in spring is also highly reliant on how active my starter is when mixing the dough.  --K


"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2012, 11:28:42 PM »
Thanks PB, that is really illuminating. I have some more thoughts that I'll share over the weekend. Yummy looking squares BTW.

--

I am sort of wondering how much "younger" on the whole a pizza dough should be from bread. I am kinda coming at my pizza more now like it is bread dough that I happen to make pizza with (Mozza and/or Tartine'ish) and I am not sure if this is good or bad yet. I feel like I learned a lot moving to bread for awhile and have no problem with whole grains and whatnot. The timing of the bulk and proof though seems like it would benefit from being adjusted from bread. I am not sure anymore if I should have the dough really at least double and then shape it or shape it and not let it ferment that much. I hope that makes sense. I know I'll get there but in some ways I feel like I made better pizza when I understood bread making less. I didn't care if the dough was young/er because I didn't really know. I do like a dough that is really "digested" all the way though. Seems to sit with me better and feel lighter.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 11:34:33 PM by johnnydoubleu »

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2012, 12:32:35 AM »
I am sort of wondering how much "younger" on the whole a pizza dough should be from bread. I am kinda coming at my pizza more now like it is bread dough that I happen to make pizza with (Mozza and/or Tartine'ish) and I am not sure if this is good or bad yet. I feel like I learned a lot moving to bread for awhile and have no problem with whole grains and whatnot. The timing of the bulk and proof though seems like it would benefit from being adjusted from bread. I am not sure anymore if I should have the dough really at least double and then shape it or shape it and not let it ferment that much. I hope that makes sense. I know I'll get there but in some ways I feel like I made better pizza when I understood bread making less. I didn't care if the dough was young/er because I didn't really know. I do like a dough that is really "digested" all the way though. Seems to sit with me better and feel lighter.

I actually went through this cycle you describe, learning about bread, and then applying it to pizza. I came to the conclusion that the knowledge I garnered before bread making, that only applied to making pizza, did not need adaptation and was only being hampered by my attempts at making it better. Marco (pizzanapoletana) always said pizza is not bread - and I feel that way now. The main reason is the shaping. Bread is made to hold it's shape during the bake, but pizza is made to be extensible enough to be flattened and stretched right before the bake. Although the processes are similar in numerous ways, the gluten goals are somewhat different.

John

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2012, 10:30:01 AM »
John, I had a feeling in my gut that matches your conclusions. Thanks so much for sharing that, truly. It totally makes sense.

I do wonder of those that have had both, which they prefer, the Mozza crust or the UPN crust. Seems like the pizza crust as bread approach has at least some value.

Offline johnnydoubleu

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Re: Cold retard sourdough first or last?
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2012, 01:43:54 PM »
Well, I made my first round pies in quite some time (since going through most of Tartine -- even making great pure sourdough English muffins) and I mostly went back to what worked for me in the past, but with some consideration of what I have learned since digging into bread. Pretty happy with the results and hope to share some pics soon. At the moment I am working on a "Mozza" "clone". Got really positive feedback on the taste of the crust and getting some great rise as well. i mention the Mozza thing because using more unique doughs allows me to still scratch some of the urges I get for making bread, but I am handling the dough more as it should be for pizza (one long stage over two mostly).

(As you guys know) in the end good results mostly come from managing fermentation well more than any fancy equipment or ingredients one might have. If I focus on that the most, I know my results will be stronger.

Thanks again to everyone who chimed in on this thread -- it has truly been immensely helpful:)! I hated the feeling that my pizza had suffered at the hand of my bread.