Author Topic: Preferment in place of a long, cold straight ferment?  (Read 1357 times)

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Offline Garvey

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Preferment in place of a long, cold straight ferment?
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:36:46 AM »
I've tried to read tons of stuff about preferments, but maybe I just don't "get it."

My thin crust recipe is a straight dough (no preferment) that relies on a 72-hr cold ferment, ideally, which gets the dough to a place in its lifecycle where I like to cook with it.  Not just taste but ease of working with dough and, most importantly, digestibility.  I've found that same-day ferments, for me, have too many yeasty off-flavors and are far less digestible.

Can I use a preferment (poolish or biga, I guess) to cut down on the 72-hr cycle I like to use?  IOW, will an using an overnight poolish, for example, allow me to make a same-day dough that has the characteristics of a long, cold fermented straight dough that used IDY as is?  (And if so, why is that?  I'm assuming it has something to do with using less yeast initially...and/but...???)

Sometimes, I want to make my thin crust pizza sooner than three days out, and I'm hoping a preferment might get me there somehow.  Similarly, when I see recipes here that call for same-day doughs, I generally want to avoid them, given my extreme distaste for same-day dough (the digestibility factor alone is a deal breaker).  I guess what I'm asking is, would a preferment used as the leaven allow me to make same-day doughs that are as digestible as a long, cold fermented straight dough?  Or is it only a half-measure, so to speak?

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,
Garvey   
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 10:38:47 AM by Garvey »


Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Preferment in place of a long, cold straight ferment?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 10:54:47 AM »
Garvey;
Flavor development is a function of fermentation and its byproducts combined with the heat of the oven. You can get some very good flavors using a preferment, but if they are not fermented under refrigeration as your refrigerated dough management procedure calls for, the resulting flavor may be different due to the differences in acids formed (room temperature v/s refrigerated). You will probably want to include as much flour as possible, if not all of the flour in the preferment to retain the protein degradation for digestability. I think you could work out a refrigerated preferment that would meet your needs with just a little experimentation. There is a possibility that you could develop a "running" ferment, aka, Madre De La Masa (mother dough). This would be like a preferment that you could use from on a regular basis, and replenish (refreshen) as you go to retain its vitality (something like a sour). Remember, the journey is as much fun as the destination.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Garvey

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Re: Preferment in place of a long, cold straight ferment?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 08:48:22 AM »
Tom:

Thank you.  This is excellent information and a great place from which I can launch experimentation.

And while I do agree that "the journey is as much fun as the destination," I'm also mindful that my middle-aged self needs to take the journey slowly.  ;-)

Cheers,
Garvey

Offline norma427

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Re: Preferment in place of a long, cold straight ferment?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 09:44:55 AM »
Garvey,

To add to Tomís excellent post, I do use a preferment for my market dough that Peter developed because of time constraints in my getting into market over the weekend.  I start the preferment (poolish) one day, let it cold ferment for 3 days, then mix the final dough with the preferment and let it cold ferment for one day.  I think the preferment could be left out to ferment in one day and then added to your final dough.  There are ways to speed up your preferment if you are using a poolish.  You could use a homemade proofing box or leave the preferment in the oven with a light on.  It is tricky if the preferment is cold fermented over a few days in knowing how much yeast to add to the preferment and then the final dough to get it to work in a specific time frame.

Norma
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