Author Topic: NY with sourdough (mixed results)  (Read 5004 times)

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Offline bfguilford

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NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« on: October 15, 2012, 01:46:04 PM »
I experimented with sourdough starter in this weekend's bake. The mixed results cam from a MAJOR "oh crap" operator error.

I tried two different methods for the dough, with the variable being the amount of starter used, and the temperature of the ferment (I guess that's two interlinked variables).

One was a slight variation on Pete-zza's from http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg11774.html#msg11774
100% KABF
63% water
2% salt
1% EVOO
17.5% Ischia starter (100% hydration)... I couldn't make myself go to the 20% level that Peter used

Combined all the starter with 1/3 of the water and 1/3 of the starter and did a 30 minute autolyse. Added the rest of the water and flour and mixed for 2 minutes, added the oil and mixed for another minute, and finally added the salt and kneaded for on speed 1 on my Bosch compact mixer for 5 minutes. The dough was soft and smooth. The final temperature was 72 degrees (I was working in a 65 degree kitchen with cold water and flour stored at 65 degrees). I then let the dough rest for 15 minutes before balling it and refrigerating it at 40 degrees).

The other dough was:
100% KABF
63% water
2% salt
1% EVOO
4% Ischia starter

Mixed the same way, and placed into a cooler that was at 63 degrees.

I kept on checking both dough balls, and noticed that the refrigerated ball didn't rise very much, while the one in the cooler had doubled by 18 hours, and kept on going (estimated 5x by the 48 hour mark). At 40 hours, I put the refrigerated dough into the cooler, figuring that it could do with a little higher temperature, and the other could stand a little slowing down). Took the refrigerated dough out of the cooler and let it rise at 75 degrees for the final 2 hours. It ended up around 1.5x the original volume, and I figured that it would be dense and hard to open.

Opened the dough that had gone to 5x, and it was obvious that it was over-fermented (I should have used 2-3% starter). Slack and I got thin spots, with one tear. I sauced the pie, and that's where the "oh crap" moment came. Where's the cheese?!? Scrambled to shred the cheese, thinking "this is going to be a disaster". Into the oven on a stone at 575 degrees for 5 minutes (the last 2 with broiler), and I was right. The sauce had soaked through the dough in the thin spots, and it stuck to the stone like it was superglued in those places :'(.

I muttered a lot under my breath and the 12-year-old critic said "that's a mess, Dad" (which caused a lot more muttering). While it certainly wasn't pretty, I thought the crust tasted really good (probably could have pulled it out at 4:45), a little too crispy. The 12-year-old critic proclaimed the crust to be tasty, but a little sour (shouldn't have told him that I was experimenting with sourdough), and that the sauce was too tomato-ey (I thought it was fabulous, but I like tomatoes a lot more than he does).

The second dough ball (the modified Pete-zza) opened more easily and more evenly than anything that I have ever worked with. I did a white pie topped with garlic, broccoli, cheese, and EVOO. 5 minute bake, with the stone at 545 degrees, with the last 2 minutes on broil. To my surprise (OK shock), the cornicione puffed up beautifully! It ended up being a beautiful crust, with a crunch on the exterior and a soft, chewy interior, with some complexity in the flavor, but no pronounced sourdough taste. It was very close to the characteristics of my 4-minute steel plate bake (heresy, I know, Scott), without the bottom burning issues that I struggled with. Could have used a little more top browning. I may add a little sugar next time. The 12-year-old critic pronounced it the "best ever" and told me to stop eating, so that he could take some for lunch on Monday. I reluctantly obeyed :-D.

Thanks, Peter! This is a keeper (and next time I'll try 20% starter... OK maybe 17.5% on one and 20% on another, for the sake of comparison).

Barry
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 10:25:42 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline norma427

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 05:38:29 PM »
Barry,

That is a very tasty looking Lehmann dough sourdough pizza.  Congrats!  :chef:  Love the open crumb structure and nice bottom crust browning. No wonder your son wanted you to save some for his lunch. 

Norma
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 07:32:02 PM »
Barry,

I agree with Norma. That looks like a very nice pizza and, knowing how a natural leavening agent can do wonders for a crust, I can see how everyone liked the pizza. The formulation you used was and oldie but goodie, dating back to May, 2005. Back then, I did a lot of fumbling around trying to learn how to use natural leavening agents and how to modify existing recipes, like the Lehmann recipe, to use natural leavening agents. The 15-20% preferment number, for example, came from bakerboy (also a Barry), who is a baker by profession.

I do not believe I ever reported on a version of the Lehmann NY style dough formulation using a very small amount of natural leavening agent, as you did. The reason is that I tried as much as possible with all of my Lehmann experiments to stay within the basic framework of the Lehmann NY style dough formulation. However, I subsequently did experiment with small amounts of natural leavening agents but within the context of a Neapolitan style pizza that could be baked in my standard, unmodified electric home oven. Your experiment using the 4% Ischia starter reminded me of the following posts: Reply 40 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2951.msg25630.html#msg25630, Reply 43 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,2951.msg25809.html#msg25809, and Reply 94 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg25807.html#msg25807. What jumped out at me tonight when I was reviewing the above posts is how the dough formulations, and especially the ones in Replies 43 and 94 without any oil, bear several similarities to the dough formulation that Craig described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20479.msg202069.html#msg202069 except that I used more of the starter and a shorter fermentation period and I used a larger dough ball (an accommodation to my home oven, which did not do as well with thinner crusts).

There is no reason that I can see why the Lehmann NY style dough formulation cannot be adapted to use a small amount of leavening agent, as you tried to do, and maybe with a tweak or two, such as lowering the salt content and adding some oil. The key is getting the fermentation process and duration right.

Peter

Offline slybarman

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 08:34:20 PM »
Nice looking crust. I really like the look of the white pie.

Offline Jackitup

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 08:50:03 PM »
I know the soak thru weld you speak of all to well. Other than that the pie looks great!!

jon
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 09:22:33 PM »
Barry, congrats on your audience accolade!

Interesting that you found the second dough the clear winner.  Could you post a cleaned-up workflow for just that dough?  I know it was higher starter %, balled, refrigerated, then cooler, then counter...  would you do anything different when trying to duplicate  / improve on it next time?  Less overall fermentation time? One temp rise? Punch it down, reball?  What comes to mind?

Brian
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 09:27:18 PM by pizzaneer »
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 10:21:25 PM »
Thanks all. The white broccoli pie was definitely the winner.

Peter: The inspiration for the 63 degree ferment dough and process was Craig's thread (although I obviously adapted it for a NY style pie and for the fact that my cooler was a stable 63.5 degrees). I agree with your assessment that it can probably be tweaked and made to work. I think one of the keys will be to cut back on the starter to a more Craig-like 2-3% as a starting point. Of course, that would mean a whole lot of 'splainin' to the 12 year old critic, who, when he walked in the door today told me that the (cold fermented) broccoli pizza was great cold for lunch, and quickly followed up with "Dad, can you stop experimenting now, and just use that dough recipe?" :-D

Brian: Here's the cleaned-up workflow. This was for a single ball that weighed 475g.
- Refreshed the Ischia starter (it seems to be a real powerhouse). It tripled in volume after around 5 hours.
- Combined all the starter with 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the water in my Bosch Compact mixer (lowest speed; dough hook).
- Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Incorporated the remaining flour and water (again at lowest speed).
- Added the oil (again at lowest speed for approx. 2 minutes)
- Added the salt and kneaded at lowest speed for just under 5 minutes.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Final dough temperature was 72 degrees.
- Balled and refrigerated for 40 hours at 40 degrees.
- Placed in 63 degree cooler for 5 hours.
- Placed in what currently passes for my proofing box (microwave with microwave-able "beanbag" heating pad) at between 75-80 degrees for 2 hours.
- Opened, topped, and baked on stone (second rack position from top) at 545 degrees - 3 minutes on bake and 2 minutes on broil.
- Reluctantly agreed not to eat the rest of the pie so my son could have some for lunch.
What would I change? I will up the amount of starter to 20% next time (I just rechecked, and I actually used 17.5% this time... I revised my original post to reflect that). I may also try to reball at the 24 hour mark (but I think I'll only change one thing at a time, so I'll probably just reball one of the two balls). After that, I'll take the better result, and then experiment with the fermentation temperature (time in fridge and time at 75 degrees). That's what comes to mind. Don't tell my son. :-[

Barry
« Last Edit: October 15, 2012, 10:27:43 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 11:14:28 PM »
If you decide to work on the other formula and have any questions, I'm happy to help.

CL
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2012, 09:25:38 AM »
If you decide to work on the other formula and have any questions, I'm happy to help.

CL

Thanks, Craig. I do want to keep working with that one as well, and will wait for a bit while I'm working on the other dough (lull my son into thinking the experiments are over). Also, there's a relatively new WFO place in town that I have pointed to your methodology for dough (their dough is good, but there's room for improvement). I'm getting to know the owners now, and am hoping that I can help them out by connecting them to the expertise on this forum. I'm also hoping to get to know them well enough to have them train me on their WFO, since I'm not likely to be able to get my own for some time. Win-win scenario.

Barry
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Offline Pizza3.14

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 10:54:19 AM »
Your results are good.  I'm impressed with your coloration.  In the past when I tried dough with only natural yeast in a home oven the crust was pretty pale. 

I'm going to give your protocol and percents a shot tonight for a Friday night bake. 

Hope you keep posting your progress.  I"m enjoying the read. 


Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 02:20:30 PM »
Your results are good.  I'm impressed with your coloration.  In the past when I tried dough with only natural yeast in a home oven the crust was pretty pale. 

I'm going to give your protocol and percents a shot tonight for a Friday night bake. 

Hope you keep posting your progress.  I"m enjoying the read. 

Thanks. Just to let you know, I wasn't totally happy with the browning of the crust, even with broiler time. I'll keep posting my results. Please post yours, too.
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Offline Pizza3.14

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 10:32:52 PM »
I made up some dough tonight for Sunday evening.  I used 20% preferment by flour weight. Everything else was the same as you.  I used King Arthur bread flour and room temp tap water.   left it bulk and put it in the fridge for its 40 hour nap.  Hopefully good results and pics to follow. 

Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 11:15:39 PM »
I'm mixing up a batch with 20% preferment (it is in its 30 minute rest now). I got home late, and a late start on it tonight, so I went with 20% to compensate for around 4 fewer hours of fermentation time. I also used a different flour blend (50% Central Milling Type 85; 25% KABF; 25% Central Milling ABC Malted). I am also going to bulk ferment for around 24 hours (not all that much bulk to ferment) and then ball.

I realize that means my original intention of just changing one variable at a time went out the window, but I'm looking forward to the results of this batch. We'll see how it turns out on Sunday night.

Barry
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2012, 09:28:33 PM »
Here are the results of this round of dough (from post right above). Because of scheduling issues, I did a bulk ferment for 18 hours in the refrigerator at 38 degrees, balled and and returned it to the refrigerator for another 14 hours, then took it out and let it go at 64 degrees for 6 hours, followed by 4 hours at 72 degrees. The dough just more than doubled at that point. It opened fairly easily, and I baked for a total of 5 minutes at stone temp of 555 degrees, with the last 2 minutes on broil.

This one was prepared with a simple, uncooked tomato sauce - I added some sugar, lots of garlic, dried basil, and a little dried oregano.

Nice crust... good oven spring... thin crispy layer on the outside, and chewy/tender on the inside. It turned out a little more pale than usual. More time under the broiler will help. I also thought it would be a more complex taste, with the 50% Type 85 flour, but I didn't really notice that much difference. Too much cheese on it for my taste, but the 12 year old critic likes more cheese than I do.

I'm liking this sourdough method. I think I'll go back to my original method, which didn't double in the container, but was the best behaved dough I've ever worked with and had even better oven spring.

I just put in an order for more Central Milling organic flour, and am looking forward to trying some of their "Hi Mountain Hi Protein" (thanks for the recommendation, Marlon). I'm going to try a combination of that with Central Milling Artisan Baker Craft Malted flour.

Barry
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 09:32:16 PM by bfguilford »
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 11:22:27 PM »
That really looks great, Barry!  I love the look of the crust, nice and open with lots of coloration on top and the sides.  Great job, and I wonder what your critic had to say?  :D
   I think you have a great sourdough regimen path to approximate next time.  IMO, you probably don't have to worry too much about following the same exact steps - just make sure to let it rise on the counter after the CF (reball or not) until it has doubled.   
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2012, 12:10:56 AM »
Barry,
I think your pizza looks real tasty. Maybe a bit chewy,no?
I hope the regimen you are going back to is less complicated than what you posted above. I know you are a precise type of guy but you are doing an awful lot of work it seems(to my laziness ;)) .All that timing of rest periods etc. would take the fun out of it for me.
Have you always had that texture and browning color on the bottom of your pizza's?
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2012, 09:23:52 AM »
Thanks guys!

Brian: 12 year old critic really liked the pie, thought the crust could use a little more salt (the kid won't be happy until he has his own salt lick), and thanked me for all the cheese (too much for my taste) and not putting on a lot of sauce (too little for my taste). Sigh... the things we do for our kids ;).

Bob: It wasn't really chewy (at least, not overly chewy... just a good chew). Interesting that you think I'm a precise kind of guy. I'm really more of a "look at it and adjust mid-stream if I think it'll help" kind of a guy. In fact, I often adjust before the stream even starts ::)(I'll look at a recipe and make adjustments to it before ever trying it... not always a good thing... ask my wife and the 12 year old critic). The texture on the bottom of the crust probably comes from the way I work the pre-bake. I stretch and dress them on the counter, and then use the superpeel to pick them up and put them on the stone. That does a few odd things to the bottom of the pie. I usually get a little more color on the bottom of the pie with my stone (when I tried to use a steel, I got a LOT more color... burned more than a couple).

Barry
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 09:25:47 AM by bfguilford »
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Offline bfguilford

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2012, 08:58:06 PM »
I tried something a little different this week, altering the flour mixture and the ferment time and temperatures.

I used a 50/50 mix of Central Milling Organic High Mountain High Protein and Artisan Baker Craft Malted. Dialed back to 17% starter. 62% hydration. After the same combine, autolyse, mix and knead process as above, followed by a 30-minute rest at what passes for room temperature around here in the fall/winter (65 degrees), the dough was at 70.5 degrees. Into the refrigerator (39 degrees), this time for 42 hours, then balled and back into the refrigerator for another 24 hours. Then out at 65 degree room temperature for 3 hours. The dough rose minimally (around 1.5 X), and was really easy to work with (reminded me of the cold fermented sourdough from my first post in this thread, with a little less snap back), and definitely not slack. Less messing around with different temperatures this time (in honor of Bob).

One pie topped with tomato sauce and cheese (same as above). The other pie topped with garlic, cheese and broccoli (same as above). I just realized that I did not spray with EVOO tonight. Baked on cordierite at 555 for a total of 5:15, with the last 2:15 on broil. Good oven spring. The crust was even tastier (more complex flavor) than the last time when I used 50% Type 85 flour, but fermented for around 30 hours less. A little crispness to the outside with a wonderful tender inside crumb.

Around 20 minutes later, I looked at the two lonely pieces of broccoli pie left over, and, channeling my inner Chau  ;D, put them back onto the warm stone for another 2:00. They took on a fantastic extra bit of crispness, and were the best slices of the night.

I'm tempted to try to push the bulk cold ferment by another 5-6 hours to see how the flavor develops.

Barry
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2012, 09:10:42 PM »
Barry,

It looks like you are making continuing progress. Did your 12-year old critic have a chance to sample the latest pizzas and to render an opinion?

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: NY with sourdough (mixed results)
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2012, 09:43:01 PM »
Excellent looking pizza Barry. I think the evoo omission gave your bottom a more uniform professional look. You are making good pizza my friend, congratulations! Glad to hear your dough balls are acting a bit better for you...... :chef:
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