Author Topic: Bulk rise vs balling  (Read 4266 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

Offline TXCraig1

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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.
Pizza is not bread.

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

Offline TXCraig1

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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.
Pizza is not bread.

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.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

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

http://www.oregonlive.com/dining/index.ssf/2012/04/pizza_week_learn_how_apizza_sc.html

parallei

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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

scott123

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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

Offline TXCraig1

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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.
Pizza is not bread.

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


 

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