I've been making pizzas in my Primavera 60 WFO for the last 7 months using ADY for my dough. I was implementing a 3 hour warm rise followed by 24 hours bulk rise in the fridge, another 24 hours balled, then a re-ball and 3 hours proofing at 75F (Caputo 00, 65% hydration 2% salt, .6% ADY). I had become increasingly curious about using a starter but didn't think I was ready yet. Also, my wife kept telling me that my pizzas couldn't get any better so why bother messing with the dough recipe. I tried the Tartine method using my same dough recipe but didn't notice much improvement. After a number of pizza nights where I felt my pizzas just weren't improving much, I decided to take a shot on a starter. Two weeks ago I ordered the Ischia and Camoldi starters from Ed Wood. I decided to go with the Ischia starter first after reading on this message board that the Ischia yeast was more popular among members here for making pizza. It took a full 8 days to activate the Ischia starter. I followed the directions exactly as provided - 24 hours at exactly 90F, then the next 7 days at exactly 70F with feedings of 140g flour/169g water. For the first 5 days I used Caputo 00 flour, then after going through 2-3 bags, I decided to switch to KAAP. Coincidence or not, as soon as I switched to KAAP, the starter seemed to activate the same day. Once activated I used the following workflow for the dough:
Caputo 00 flour
10% starter at 55% hydration
I added the water first, dissolved the salt, then added the starter (stirred it in with a spoon and realized afterwards I probably should have whisked it in), then added 80% of the flour, mixed with a spoon, mixed in KA stand mixer with the dough hook for 2 minutes at lowest speed (#1), 20 minute autolyze, then a 5 minute wet knead at speed 1, 1 minute slowly adding the remaining flour, then 2 minutes at speed 2. I then gave it a 20 minute rest followed by 4 stretch and folds with a 10 minute rest period in between. Next, a 12 hour bulk rise at 70F, then balled and into the fridge for 30 hours, then 5 hours proofing at ~75F.
The dough was very different than the dough I was accustomed to when using ADY. I would describe it as being less extensible but it was great to work with and had a pleasing pillowyness to it that made me wish I could make 20 pizzas in a row. There were some overly large bubbles, some of which caused the dough to be thin in spots, and one of which burst in the oven releasing pesto onto the over floor.
As far as the taste goes, I'd have to say the difference between the dough using ADY and Ischia Starter was immense. The aroma, taste, texture, tang, and slight chewiness of the Ischia dough were all superior to my ADY dough. I noticed that the gluten seemed to be developed much more. You can really see the spider web effect in some of pictures. My wife was astonished at the flavor and was actually sticking her tongue into dough bubble holes to taste the ever so slight sourdough flavor. She did this more than once - LOL!
Any input on my process, pics (the aluminum pan below is 18" wide for reference), etc. would be welcome. Some things that I think I may have done wrong which I will correct for this upcoming weekend's pizza bake:
- not enough top heat - I always struggle with top heat for the P60, too much side fire and the pizza burns, too little and I have to dome the pizza
- used 260g dough balls that I think could have been stretched out to at least 12 inches, the marg was about 10.5 - 11 inches
- refrigerating the dough - I've read Craig's Neapolitan Garage thread and I noticed that he recommends no refrigeration time (to be exact if I recall correctly, 24 hours at 65F, balled and another 12 hours at 65F, then 12 hours at 75F, using 1.5% starter)
- dough may have been over-risen - at 10% starter I probably shouldn't have proofed it for so long