Author Topic: Bulk rise vs balling  (Read 5061 times)

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Offline Gianni5

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Bulk rise vs balling
« on: July 18, 2012, 12:15:25 AM »
I have a question about the pros and cons of balling immediately.
In my restaurant our basic flow has always been to do a 24 hour bulk rise in the walk-in, ball in the morning, then 2 to 3 hours at room temp before it's used.  I've been experimenting with balling first, then overnight in the walk-in.  With this process the dough is like a dream to work with.  It seems like the dough had more time to relax so it stretches much more easily and has less issues with tearing and thin spots.  There is a big difference in flavor though.  With the bulk rise you get more of a sourdough taste. I'm assuming it's from braking down the gasses when balling after the bulk rise. Are my assumptions correct?  If so does anyone have any suggestions for me?  I forgot to mention we do ny style pizza.


Offline SinoChef

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 01:08:45 AM »
I am interested in the answer to this also...

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 08:47:19 AM »
Gianni;
When you bulk ferment, especially with large quantities of dough, you get much more fermentation taking place than when you divide and ball the dough prior to fermentation. Even though the dough is in the cooler, that large piece of dough doesn't cool down, infact, it actually increases in temperature (about 1F per hour at room temperature and about half of that in the cooler). This is due to heat of metabolism (fermentation). With that large piece of dough, as it ferments, it becomes less dense and better insulates the center/core portion from cooling, so it just keeps on happily fermenting away, this is why you are getting that sour taste (over fermentation). With the much smaller dough balls, they are more efficiently cooled, and fermentation is much better controlled as a result. The fact that the dough balls are not being over fermented is the reason why they handle better and produce a crust with a flavor more to your liking.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 09:00:53 AM »
In a restaurant, if you do a multiple day fermentation, having the first day in bulk dramatically reduces the space you need for storing dough.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 09:11:23 AM »
Gianni5,

To add to what Tom has said about the fermentation aspect, specifically with respect to the pros and cons of the two possible balling methods, you might take a look at the posts at Reply 13 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19620.msg192396/topicseen.html#msg192396, Reply 31 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16618.msg163024/topicseen.html#msg163024 and Reply 6 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15208.msg150175/topicseen.html#msg150175.

Craig has correctly pinpointed one of the reasons why some pizza operators use the bulk first, divide later method, as is discussed in the above posts.

Peter

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 09:17:19 AM »
Certainly I don't need to do it for space reasons, notwithstanding and having experimented from 48 hours in balls to 40 in bulk and 8 in balls and many stops in between, I've found what works best for me in every respect is 24 hous in bulk and 24 hours in balls.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 09:24:22 AM »
Certainly I don't need to do it for space reasons, notwithstanding and having experimented from 48 hours in balls to 40 in bulk and 8 in balls and many stops in between, I've found what works best for me in every respect is 24 hous in bulk and 24 hours in balls.


Craig,

I perhaps should have clarified that my comments are with respect to cold fermented doughs, and usually (but not always) the reason for the bulk now, divide later approach is storage capacity related.

Peter

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 11:22:40 AM »
Thanks for your replies.
I think my post was a little unclear though. I actually prefer the taste of the bulk fermented dough. When I ball right away I like the texture and the way it handles but it tastes a little bland and bread like.  Space is a bit of an issue but we put our made dough balls on rollers so they can go anywhere in the walk-in.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 12:17:27 PM »
Gianni5,

I sensed that we perhaps didn't answer all of your questions, so I was somewhat anticipating a followup question on the flavor issue.

Some pizza operators will let their dough balls sit at room temperature for a decent period before putting them into the cooler. That will accelerate the fermentation process, and if you use the dough balls in accordance with your normal schedule, the dough balls should have more byproducts of fermentation that contribute to crust flavors and other attributes. The downside of this method, especially if the dough contains a fair amount of yeast that results in a fast rise, and/or the water temperature is high, or the room temperature is too high, is that it might be harder to cool the dough balls down fast enough while in the cooler.

Some pizza operators will lower the amount of yeast and use a longer fermentation time to achieve the desired levels of byproducts of fermentation. However, doing this might not fit the usual schedule of use of the dough balls. For example, instead of two days, it might become three days.

There are other ways of imparting different flavors to crusts but they are not fermentation related (and I assume you are not looking to use preferments or natural leavening systems.)

Peter



Offline rumper

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 08:03:04 PM »
I have found that with a bulk rise the the final product is lighter and less chewy, but as you said the dough is much harder to work with as you get lot more tearing and shrinking when (for the reasons Tom mentioned above) trying to stretch the doughs.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 10:43:35 PM »
What about a poolish?  If I did the Poolish the night before, then made dough, balled immidiately, then 24 hours in the walk-in.  Would that help give me some of that sourdough flavor i'm after?  I don't know of any pizzeria's doing this so I don't know if it would work commercially just a thought.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 10:49:14 PM »
really depends on the walk-in temp.  you could get an old soda case as a proofing cabinet, set it to 65-70 and have peace of mind.
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Offline fazzari

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 10:55:59 PM »
What about a poolish?  If I did the Poolish the night before, then made dough, balled immidiately, then 24 hours in the walk-in.  Would that help give me some of that sourdough flavor i'm after?  I don't know of any pizzeria's doing this so I don't know if it would work commercially just a thought.

Here's a pretty famous pizza guy who works with poolish...and the answer is yes, poolish does add a great flavor to dough

John

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 10:57:51 PM »
Quote
What about a poolish?

In my experience (not commercial), a poolish does add a bit of extra flavor.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 11:07:35 PM »
Thanks for the info.
I've heard amazing things about apizza scholls but that is a pretty involved process compared to what we do know.  I will experimint with a poolish though I just don't about the stretching and folding throughout the day.  Also the room temperature in my prep area varies so much I'm scared to do any fermenting anywhere but the walk-in.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2012, 11:21:20 PM »
Gianni5,

The dough formulation that Brian Spangler uses is posted elsewhere on the forum but I think your better bet is to use a preferment with cold fermentation. An example of what I have in mind is described at Reply 28 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6515.msg62814.html#msg62814. That example uses a sponge preferment but a poolish preferment could also be devised for a cold fermentation application.

Peter

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 11:44:24 PM »
John, there's not a typical NY style dough on this planet that will be overfermented with a 24 hour refrigerated bulk and a 2-3 room balled room temp rise- at least, not with the quantity of dough/number of pizzas you're selling.

The reason why your bulked balls are fighting you and tearing is that 2-3 hours is way too little time post balling.  You can have your cake and eat it too.  Go with a 24 hour bulk (for flavor), but ball at least 6 hours prior to forming (for manageability).   If 6 or more hours is logistically tricky, then ball at the end of the shift for the next day (12ish hour ball). That way, you'll never have more than one set of balls in the walk-in at one time.

Btw, if you like the taste from a 24 hour bulk, you should, if you have the space for 2 bulk batches of dough at the same time, give a 36 or maybe even a 48 hour bulk a try (with a 12 hour ball).

If sales go up, and you start running out of space in the walk-in, don't be afraid of room temp bulks.  An air conditioned room is ideal, but even if you have a prep area that varies in temp, you can, over time, learn how to dial in the right amount of time for consistent results.  As long as you're not throwing in another variable and messing with sourdough, you should be able to become a master at predicting yeast activity in a variety of temperatures.

Oh, and if you have the space, do a bulk, not a poolish.


Offline Pizza Rustica

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2012, 12:20:29 AM »
Scott, could you elaborate on why balling for 2-3 hours would produce tearing whereas a longer 6-12 hour balling would not? This is assuming a 24 hour bulk rise beforehand. Thanks.
Russ

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2012, 02:39:53 AM »
Scott, could you elaborate on why balling for 2-3 hours would produce tearing whereas a longer 6-12 hour balling would not? This is assuming a 24 hour bulk rise beforehand. Thanks.

The gluten has less time to relax after balling. Many factors other than the time in balls come into play as well.
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2012, 08:37:53 AM »
I would say that the collective experience of the members on this forum is that there are many ways to make a better tasting pizza but they don't always translate well to a commercial setting. We have had members who have used preferments (commercially leavened) in a commercial setting but they are few, and unless you can coax enough byproducts of fermentation out of the preferment and final dough, which is often time related, it may not be worthwhile to use a preferment. And sometimes using a preferment, or possibly some other technique that has its origins in artisan bread making, changes the character of the finished pizza. For example, other than Norma of this forum, I am not aware of anyone specializing in the NY street style of pizza who uses a preferment. Norma has used preferments for her NY style but it seemed to me that her pizzas had characteristics--I would call them artisan-like--that are not present in the classic NY street style pizza. Norma's situation is unique because she makes pizza only one day a week at a market stand and her market stand temperatures can range over the course of the year from about 40 degrees F to over 90 degrees F. Most recently, Norma has been testing the use of soakers and soaker/preferment combinations in order to get more flavor in her pizza crusts. Thus far, the results look promising, at least from a flavor standpoint, but there are other aspects to her pizzas that may not fly with her customer base. I'm sure that Norma would be delighted if she could make a one-day cold fermented NY style dough that produces pizzas with all of the characteristics that she would like to have in the finished crust, including flavor, color and texture.

While I have some nagging doubts, I agree with scott123 that for a classic NY style pizza it may we worth trying some form of "bulk ferment, divide later" approach if such an approach is workable in a commercial setting, and especially for a high-volume operation. A potential plus to that approach is that a NY style dough typically has a hydration value that is high enough (e.g., over 60%) to permit handling without manhandling the dough balls and excessively tightening up the gluten structure, and the dough balls should recover faster from the handling because of the higher hydration value. But, whether the temper time is two hours, or six hours or eight hours, I have no idea. The only way to know if this approach will work is to try it, with normal dough ball volumes and using the regular workstaff. Even then, it may be necessary to tweak the dough formulation itself to produce dough balls so that they are at the ready exactly when they are needed.

Peter

Offline norma427

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2012, 11:01:59 AM »


I'm sure that Norma would be delighted if she could make a one-day cold fermented NY style dough that produces pizzas with all of the characteristics that she would like to have in the finished crust, including flavor, color and texture.


Peter

Peter,

Although I thought I had success with a preferment in the preferment Lehmann dough, I now think there really wasnít much of any added flavor to the crust.  To me there was a little added flavor to the crust.  I donít think the average person could have noticed the difference.  The pizzas did look a little more artisan-like, but I sure didnít see other members that tried the preferment Lehmann dough jumping up and down and saying their pizzas tasted better when using that formulation.  Steve even tried my preferment Lehmann dough at his home and fermented the final dough balls longer than one day and told me he really didnít noticed much of any better flavor than a two or three day regular Lehmann dough cold ferment.  As for the soaker experiments I also notice a little difference in flavor and texture of the rim, but again, I donít think a regular person could tell the difference in my one day Lehmann doughs.  Jimís experiments looked a lot better than mine and sometimes he combined flours in the soaker method.  I am beginning to believe that I am stuck with a one day dough if customers really canít tell the difference in my pizzas.  Even my taste testers didnít rave about my different experiments and only said they were a little bit better after I had explained how those pizzas differed from my regular one day Lehmann dough pizzas.  My taste testers have tried all my experiments and my regular one day dough and preferment dough pizzas.  If they really canít tell any difference, then the average customers couldnít tell any difference in my opinion either.  None of my customers ever said when I switched from the preferment Lehmann dough to the one day Lehmann dough that they noticed a difference.  Since I am kind of stuck in not being able to do longer ferments, I donít think my pizzas will ever get any better for market anyway.   

I really canít try a bulk ferment (or it would have to be a short one) in one day, but would think that method might work for better tastes in a crust if someone can control their dough balls after the bulk ferment in different ambient room temperatures.  It is all a balancing act in trying to coax better flavors out of any dough and also to have dough balls that open well. 

Norma


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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2012, 12:34:13 PM »
Norma,

If anyone scans the photos of your pizzas at the Lehmann preferment thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg86106.html#msg86106, I think they will readily see how much you accomplished and how successful you were with that dough--in so many different ways. What you did there reflected the high standards that you set for yourself for your pizzas. The fact that your customers at market could not tell that your pizzas were out of the ordinary is perhaps unfortunate but remember that those customers were pretty much captive, with few choices of pizzas. Perhaps your Lehmann preferment pizzas would have fared better if you were running a pizzeria full time where customers would be in a position to choose among several competing pizzerias. That is perhaps where your higher quality product would have made its mark. I believe that the members of the forum who visited you at your stand and sampled your pizzas would agree with me.

Even now, you are still looking to make the best pizzas possible, not just something that barely registers on the quality chart. And just think how much you and I learned from all of our collaborations on the Lehmann preferment thread. That thread has almost 73,500 page views. That puts it in all-star category and means that people were following what you were doing very carefully and with great interest.

Peter

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2012, 12:51:33 PM »
+1 from me!

Please don't feel discouraged.  You just need some customers who know pizza to tell you how great yours is.  Do you advertise in upscale areas?  It might be worth the effort to invite a column writer or a popular blogger from those areas to try your pizza.
 
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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2012, 02:38:51 PM »
Norma,

If anyone scans the photos of your pizzas at the Lehmann preferment thread, at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9908.msg86106.html#msg86106, I think they will readily see how much you accomplished and how successful you were with that dough--in so many different ways. What you did there reflected the high standards that you set for yourself for your pizzas. The fact that your customers at market could not tell that your pizzas were out of the ordinary is perhaps unfortunate but remember that those customers were pretty much captive, with few choices of pizzas. Perhaps your Lehmann preferment pizzas would have fared better if you were running a pizzeria full time where customers would be in a position to choose among several competing pizzerias. That is perhaps where your higher quality product would have made its mark. I believe that the members of the forum who visited you at your stand and sampled your pizzas would agree with me.

Even now, you are still looking to make the best pizzas possible, not just something that barely registers on the quality chart. And just think how much you and I learned from all of our collaborations on the Lehmann preferment thread. That thread has almost 73,500 page views. That puts it in all-star category and means that people were following what you were doing very carefully and with great interest.

Peter


Peter,

I donít want to take this thread off-topic anymore about my pizzas, but I did learn a lot on the preferment Lehmann dough thread though trying that dough and all of your posts.  I still want to experiment and might do an experiment at home, (in the next few days, if I remember my IR gun at market) with my BBQ mod to see if a one day Lehmann dough can get better taste in the crust with higher heat.  Just last week at market I tried to set my deck oven up to 550 degrees F for a little while, but although my bottom crusts didnít burn, they were too dark. 

I think maybe the preferment Lehmann dough pizza might have faired out better if I was running a regular pizzeria in our area.  I havenít tasted any good NY style pizza in my area for a long while.  Different customers do ask where I have a regular pizza business though and say they would purchase from me it I did.   As you know I am too old to run a pizzeria everyday.

My taste testers always enjoy my experimental pizzas.  The one man that is my taste tester commented many different times that he thought that the first pies I made were the best ones.  I sure canít remember what those pies tasted like, but know the dough was way off and way over fermented, wouldnĎt open right and so many other problems.  That makes me wonder sometimes if a better fermented dough does give a better taste.   

I guess you already know where this is leading, in that, after I have tasted Steveís Lehmann dough pies in his BBQ grill mod, nothing compares those pizzas for a NY style, at least to me.  The only reason I am mentioning about those pies is that Steveís dough was so over fermented that it popped his plastic container lids off and he had to punch his dough ball down at his home a few hours before he went to the skaters event. The one picture on that thread shows how the dough ball was punched down and the pictures of the containers show how much the dough balls were fermented even after the punch down.   He really doesnít know what that happened in a two day cold fermentation, except he used IDY from two different containers and he guessed that is why the dough balls fermented so much.  Steveís dough balls that day were stored right in a cooler with a lot of ice.  We opened those dough balls cold, with very little warm-up time, and the pizzas didnít even bubble in the middle at all.  That still puzzles me too, unless the high heat took care of that.  I sure wish I could make pies like Steveís at market, but know that I canĎt.   

Steve and I talk about different pizzas all the time, and usually we canít figure out what is going on, but we do learn from those talks.  Steve does like my regular one day Lehmann dough pizzas at market, but I know somehow I can do better.  It is just finding the better way that is hard.

I will post more on my experiments at my other threads at another time.

Norma

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Re: Bulk rise vs balling
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2012, 02:42:46 PM »
Even now, you are still looking to make the best pizzas possible, not just something that barely registers on the quality chart. And just think how much you and I learned from all of our collaborations on the Lehmann preferment thread. That thread has almost 73,500 page views. That puts it in all-star category and means that people were following what you were doing very carefully and with great interest.

I have also learned an incredible amount from following Norma's adventures (as many of them as I could anyway) and doing my own research on questions raised in my mind when doing so.

CL
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