Author Topic: Looking for more freezing advice  (Read 3062 times)

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Offline Grodyjodi

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Looking for more freezing advice
« on: September 07, 2012, 09:06:14 PM »
Dear Dough Dr.,  [and members at large]

I found some info  on freezing fermented dough for future use here [ www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12352.0.html ] and am hoping for a bit more nuanced advice based on my recipe and method.

I'm an experienced baker and cook but just beginning my long term testing of making the best NY style and Nearly-politans in my home oven.  I haven't yet purchased the few equipment items I need, but just want to get a big bunch of dough going ASAP so made the following recipe last night:

percent/grams/ingredient
100 - 1000g - KABF
62  -    620g - H2O
0.8 -        8g - ADY
2    -      20g - Salt
2    -      20g - Sugar
2    -      20g - Oil

I think my ADY percentage is too high for a 2-3 day ferment, but maybe I'm wrong.  I have let it go for a 24 hour bulk rise in the fridge (which I keep very cold at max 40 degrees F) and it's a little more than doubled.  

I want to ball and freeze most of it, but keep one in the fridge until Sunday to see what happens as well as use one from the freezer on Sunday to compare flavors (the frozen one will come out a few hours ahead of stretching it).   Should I do as the above link suggests and ball then flatten and freeze?  

Thank you in advance for any help!
Jodi
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 09:09:47 AM by Pete-zza »


Offline MrPibbs

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 12:35:51 AM »
Thanks for asking this question, because I had the same one essentially.  Like you, I am using Pete-zza's adapted Lehman NY style formula from his first post in that long thread, specifically:


       High-gluten (KASL) flour, 11.80 oz. (about 2 1/2 c.)
       Water, 7.70 oz. (about 1 c.) (about 65% hydration)
       IDY, 0.20 oz. (1 1/2 t.) [Edit: See Note below]
       Salt, 0.20 oz. (3/4 t.)
       Olive oil (light), 0.12 oz. (3/4 t.)
       Thickness factor (TF) = 0.10

Because it takes a while to get everything out and make this, I have doubled the amounts, intending on using one this weekend, and hopefully freezing the other.  Right now, I divided the mixed dough into two equal batches, and they have been in separate Tupperware bowls for almost 24 hrs of refrigeration.  I don't know how well fermented dough turns out when frozen, nor when to freeze it (immediately after mixing, after it doubles in frig, etc.).  I have been getting best result normally letting it rise for 2-3 days.

Offline La Sera

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 12:57:04 AM »
Here are a couple of comments.

The easiest work flow is to mix, portion into balls, wipe with oil, bag and get them frozen as quickly as possible to reduce fermentation. Transfer the balls you're going to make to the refrigerator about 12 to 18 hours before baking. I don't know of any value or purpose bulk fermenting adds to the process.

I also don't see any need for ADY in this day and age. IDY is just too easy and no one can tell the difference in a double blind taste test. The yeast type yields different flavors, not dehydrating into instant yeast.

Somewhere around 0.30% to 0.35% IDY works well for NY/quasi-neapolitan dough with a cold ferment cycle.

Depending on the flour, 57% to 60% water works well also. Sugar content will change coloring -  more will darken crust faster. Your oven and bake characteristics (Time & Temp) will be considerations for sugar content. The other ingredient percentages are negotiable and variable in the 1% to 2.5% range. You can use no sugar at all, if you want. Oil can be as high as 3%, or more. The temperature, humidity and altitude can affect the percentages someone may want.

Added: Of course you'll need sugar if you plan on using the dough more than 3 days of cold fermentation. The yeast will need it. For most people, a one to two day fermentation is best for handling and flavor.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 01:00:16 AM by La Sera »

Offline MrPibbs

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 01:48:36 AM »
La Sera,  thank you for that feedback.   :) 

I wonder if it would be a mistake to freeze that one day refrigerated ball that has almost doubled since I didn't know to freeze it before it started rising?  So freezing doesn't affect the yeast action on the dough?

Offline La Sera

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 02:19:59 AM »
I hope it was helpful advice.  :)
Freezing will stop fermentation. Refrigeration slows it down.
You could try freezing it now and then let it thaw to room temperature before you bake it. I've never tried that, but it might work. It won't be the end of the world if doesn't bake like you hoped. You get to make more pizza, which is always a good thing!

Offline norma427

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 07:40:30 AM »
I donít know if this will help at all, but recently posted this article about freezing dough balls, by Jeff Zeak.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20778.0.html

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 07:28:12 PM »
Thanks to La Sera and Norma 427 for the info, its given me a few more refernces to return to when i spend a day researching again.

Here is what I did last night for the sake of timing and concern with overfermenting prior to freezing:
Removed after the 24 hour cold bulk rise and balled into 300g each, flattened and wrapped in plastic, froze on rack type shelf to maximize airflow for fastest freeze.  I did keep 2 balls in fridge which I will bake tonight (so they had a total of 48 hour cold fermentation) on a half inch cast iron surface (with an hour preheat).
So tonight I will have an idea how this first dough works at a 2 day ferment and will see how hot my oven gets. Will probably finish it with the broiler. And I am defrosting the frozen dough now in the fridge as recommended in the Zeak column and pull out tomorrow about 4 and cook it off 2-3 hours later the same way to compare the frozen version to the fresh. I know the fresh will have had double the ferment almost but i will take that into consideration flavor wise.

Full update after sunday night if anyone is interested.  I plan to freeze regularly so this test is only the first in order to determine my best freezing technique.  Thanks again for the input!




Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 12:26:49 AM »
So last week it was very clear that the freezing method i used worked pretty well.  The shorter fermentation time was obvious in flavor, but less obvious in crumb and consistency.

I incorrectly stated I have a half inch cast iron griddle because i guestimated. It is closer to 3/8" or a hair over.  Its also not very wide, so i have to make 11" pies.  My oven stayed approximately 500-525 through most of the bakes, and i had no trouble getting the broiler to stay on during the last minute or two of the 7 min bake times.  These are elements to work on, but last sunday was more about playing with the doughs.  The oven spring for the frozen doughs was good, and the dough stretched beautifully.

Though I certainly prefer the 48 hour unfrozen, the 24 hour cold ferment to freezer worked well enough that I feel good about being able to prepare a 48 hr dough then freeze using the Zeak method and have very good dough just waiting for me any old evening i feel like making delicious pizza. :). The convenince factor is worth the small step down in quality as i keep experimenting and perfecting my recipes/tools.
Jodi

Offline La Sera

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2012, 07:24:00 AM »
Why are you flattening the dough ball?

The fermentation starts after the dough ball is unfrozen, so 48 to 60 hours in the refrigerator will yield a pretty tasty dough that's still easy to handle. Also, I'm not a fan of keeping frozen dough much longer than a week without any added chemicals. I don't use any chemical conditioners in my commercial dough, preferring to use it within a week. That's just my way -- I think we have enough added chemicals in our foods and lives now.

Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2012, 07:48:45 AM »
La sera: Thanks for all your information, its so helpful.  Re: ady vs. Idy... I have a half pound of ady and see no need to let it go bad or throw it away so i wont buy more yeast of any kind until its gone.  My question though is why switch anyway since as you say there is no discernible difference in flavor?  Ady is what is always readily available to me, idy is harder to find at grocery stores in my area.

Re: freezing 2 day cold rise dough balls in flattened form... In my research i came across the thread pasted below with that advice at reply #6 and it made sense to me. And after all my initial research i decided to freeze after the ferment in order to not risk killing off yeasts and having a compromised post freeze ferment, the Zeak article shared by norma was super helpful and i trust the information.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10056.msg89496/topicseen.html#msg89496

Since the dough is already degassed after the rise to ball it i figued a thorough degassing wouldnt do any dmagae but make it freeze faster and then easier to store. I was happy with this process as difference in oven spring and crumb was very small.


Offline La Sera

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 05:10:22 PM »
The quoted Cook's Illustrated article test method seemed confusing or flawed to me The non-risen frozen dough was only allowed to rise for two hours at room temperature. It's no wonder they said the dough was flatter and "slightly tough." It had not been allowed to rise properly. I don't know what the recipe was, but it must have been a recipe for "emergency dough," which isn't very good to start with.

My experience is if you're looking for a dense, firmer style of pizza dough, flattening the dough ball will give you that. If you're looking for a lighter finished dough with more air pockets, handle the dough gently and don't flatten it. It all depends on what you like and want. Pizzas with heavy toppings need a firmer dough to support those toppings.

If ADY is what you have and can get easiest, then I see no reason to switch either. They're the same, just in different form.

Good luck and have fun!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 07:57:23 PM »
The quoted Cook's Illustrated article test method seemed confusing or flawed to me The non-risen frozen dough was only allowed to rise for two hours at room temperature. It's no wonder they said the dough was flatter and "slightly tough." It had not been allowed to rise properly. I don't know what the recipe was, but it must have been a recipe for "emergency dough," which isn't very good to start with.

La Sera,

The way I read the CI article, the two hours rise was after the frozen dough had been defrosted. I have made many frozen doughs and that is the way I ready them for use.

The CI article is silent as to the duration of the rise of the dough ball that was frozen after that rise. I did not interpret the article to apply to an "emergency" dough.

Peter

Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 10:26:21 PM »
Hi Peter,
I did similarly to how you describe and the dough defrosted then had another couple hours of room temp proofing.

Can you tell me your thoughts on flattening already fermented and balled dough in order to freeze it? Does it matter in any way?  Fyi my freezing interest is to make my experimentation over the next few months easier by always having some version of a recipe or formulation to test in an ever evolving oven set up.  Basically, I want to have dough ready within several hours of when I purchase a steel plate or some other important equipment, and I dont prefer same day or short rise doughs.  I see it as utilitarian but want to maximize results.
Jodi


Offline La Sera

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 10:27:40 PM »
Yes, I meant to say that it "may have been" an emergency dough. It was about 5 A.M. when I wrote it.  :-[

Two hours is a short rise.

Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 10:41:29 PM »
Peter,
I also was confused by the Zeak article which opened with the statement that if dough were given a long, cold ferment it could be frozen and used pretty successfully, but then closes with the admonition that frozen dough ought not to be fermented first.  Can you help me understand?
Jodi

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2012, 08:50:07 AM »
Jodi,

There are several ways to make frozen dough. For example, you can make your dough as you normally do, using your regular dough recipe without change, and then freeze the dough immediately (after dividing and scaling). Alternatively, you can let the dough go through its normal fermentation process and rise, and then freeze it. These are essentially the two methods discussed in the Cook's Illustrated article as I read that article. The Zeak article goes a step further on freezing the risen dough by giving examples of fermentation periods (4 hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours cold fermentation). As between these two methods, the dough frozen without any fermentation is not bound to be as good as the other method because freezing kills some of the yeast and, as a result, impairs yeast performance. This leads us to a third method. That method is to make the dough up front with the intention of freezing it right after making it. For this method, you want to dramatically increase the amount of yeast to compensate for the fact that freezing the dough will kill some of the yeast. There is no need to ferment the dough before freezing it (but see below for a related discussion). That is what Jeff Zeak discusses in the last paragraph of his article. It applies to only the third method mentioned above.

When I make frozen dough, I use the third method (increasing the amount of yeast in the recipe). I also use cold water. Norma has used the second method when she has leftover dough at market and the third method when called for by the recipe. A good example of the third method is the Mellow Mushroom dough that calls for freezing right after it is made.

The idea of flattening dough balls for freezing comes into play when a lot of dough balls are to be made and frozen, and where freezer capacity may be somewhat limited. Flattening the dough balls speeds up the freezing process and, once frozen, allows them to be tightly and densely packed together into freezer bags until ready to use. With this method, the dough balls are often subjected to about 20-30 minutes of rise at room temperature before freezing to make it easier to flatten the dough balls before putting them in the freezer. Typically, the flattened "pucks" are coated with oil and placed on wire racks or screens in the freezer and frozen completely through, not just at the surface. Then the pucks can be put in freezer bags as mentioned above. The Zeak article discusses an alternative method in which the dough balls (round) are put on trays or in dough boxes and cross stacked in the freezer and then down stacked. Presumably, there is adequate storage capacity to use this method.

Peter

Offline Grodyjodi

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2012, 01:27:25 PM »
Peter,
Thanks for helping to clarify the articles for me.  I dont see the quoted CI article anymore, so your recap made things much clearer.  The small variations mean that whether I make dough specifically to freeze or just have it leftover from a large test batch I can confidently treat the dough right when I'm ready. 

When you make dough by the third method you describe how much higher of a yeast percentage do you use? Double or triple or even more?

Also, when defrosting this type of unfermented dough in the fridge, how long do you typically give it?  I assume the remaining yeast begins to activate once it gets closer to fridge temps, and I also assume you remove it from the fridge 2-4 hours before actually using. Does that sound about right?

Thanks so much for taking the time to gt specific for me!
Jodi


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2012, 01:48:14 PM »
Jodi,

When I increase the amount of yeast, I use about double or triple the amount of yeast that I might normally use in the dough formulation.

As for the defrost, I usually move the dough from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment for about a day. I have also gone two days in the refrigerator compartment but the dough will ferment faster as a result. So, you have to watch it so that it doesn't ferment too fast. If you try for three days, you are likely to end up with a dough that is overfermented (because of the high yeast levels) and be unusable, although you might be able to make breadsticks or something similar out of the dough.

I have also let doughs defrost at room temperature. How long that takes will depend on the room temperature. I usually let the dough defrost at room temperature until it looks and feels like a dough that was defrosted in the refrigerator.

Before using a defrosted dough to make pizza, I let it sit at room temperature for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Again, I go by appearance and feel, which come from experience.

Peter

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Looking for more freezing advice
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2014, 09:24:42 AM »
For a recent article on freezing dough, by Tom Lehmann, see http://www.pmq.com/April-2014/How-to-freeze-pizza-dough/. For those who are interested, there is also additional information on freezing dough at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=29884.msg299011#msg299011.

Peter