First off, I got an amazing score on friday! A pizza place was shut down and I made out like a bandit. I picked up 8 dough trays with a rolling base, 13 clear and white mixed 12 and 24 qt buckets with lids, some pizza and dough cutters, an ice scooper, several 14 inch dough pans and a fire extinguisher for $50! I can now store up to 144 of my regular dough balls if necessary... It's on.
On sunday, I was able to make 13 dough balls, trying a 10 hour ferment this time. While it's still not quite there, I felt a little better about it than the first warm ferment experiment. The only reason I've strayed from the 12 hr regiment is that the intervals were hard to time properly without having to wake up super early to start dough. I used the same dough recipe as the last time, other than upping the salt to 2.7% at the suggestion of John. The dough was bulk fermented for 5 hours, reballed and fermented for another 4 hours before taking the last photos of the dough balls. I used the dough an hour later. The temperature ranged was from 64-66º, and I left off the oil on the dough balls as Marlon suggested, which didn't seem to make any significant difference. I think it would matter more if I were cross-stacking the trays for cooling. But since I'm not, I might as well skip it if it's all the same. The dough pictures are in one of my new dough trays, which is double the size of the artisan trays I used last time, so don't get confused.
I must say that working with bulk fermented dough feels a lot more correct than fresh hand mixed dough. I've always been a mix then immediately ball guy (with a 20 or so minute rest before balling) to save time and steps, but now that I feel a bulk fermented dough, I don't think I'll go back to the stiff and rigid ways of old. Maybe if I had a mixer, things would be different. Also, warm fermented dough is a pleasure to open up. It basically opens itself, which makes things much easier. The dough could have used a few more hours of balled ferment. Seeing the last batch after 12 hours all big-bubbled and burping like poorly digested food was nothing like the the fermentation I had after 10 hours this time (not working with bulk ferment, I sometimes forget how the temperature increases as it generates more and more heat via fermentation). I feel like the newest batch needs more fermentation time, but I'm honing it in. I like the dough at the point of balling, but would probably add a few more hours of balled fermenting.
Also upping the salt made for a super salty finished product. I don't think I liked the amount and may take it down a bit. John, what was your reason for suggesting the salt upped in your last comment? Just flavor?
To sum up, I'm not seeing an amazing upgrade in my finished product with the warmer ferment as of yet, though I've still got a little honing in to do. I must admit that like the feel of the dough when both balling and stretching, and will probably keep the bulk ferment process, but the window for properly fermented dough is a lot more narrow than the cold ferment, which makes it hard to time properly (and I can't imagine it on a 90º day in the sun!). The pizzas were good, if a bit too salty. I'm still going to play with this a little more and see it all the way through, as it would be beneficial for me to not have to use cold fermentation based strictly on refrigeration space, but I'm missing my tried and true cold ferment dough. I'd like to have both a warm and cold ferment dough recipe just in case either is necessary. I think for the next experiment, I'll try for a few more hours of fermentation and see if that gets me where I want to be.
I was hoping to see more contrast, but I'm seeing a browning with a few dark bubbles. Anyone have any suggestion as to why this might be and how to achieve more of what I'm looking for? (higher heat?)
If It does work out to be a 12 hour fermentation and I'd like to make it a 24 hour fermentation (for convenience more than anything), would the calculation be as easy as cutting the yeast in half, keeping the same ratio of bulk to balled ferment?