Author Topic: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust  (Read 1358 times)

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Offline JEP

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getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« on: January 07, 2013, 10:48:46 AM »
I've recently acquired a WFO and am looking to develop a Neopolitan-like dough/pizza, although it does not have to be strictly vpn.  After my first few runs, my pizzas are looking better, and tasting a bit better, but I need to get them more toward those quintessential "tender" and slightly "sour" elements.  

I would like to go as far as I can with a cold ferment using ADY or IDY without a starter.  I am not closed to eventually using a starter, but at the moment I'd like to delve deeper into the previous mentioned method.  

Here is my current recipe:

"00" Flour - 100%
Water -60%
Salt - 2.5%
ADY - 0.5%

Thus far, I have had the most success with fermenting in bulk for 48 hours and in balls for 24 hours.  The pizzas are cooking at around 700-800 degrees for about 2 minutes. 

Here is my latest Magherita (at the time I was running short on tomato and mozz.)
 

 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 10:54:16 AM by JEP »


Offline scott123

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 11:13:03 AM »
Without a starter, you're not going to get bacterial fermentation/sourness. Perhaps one could achieve sourness with a really long fermentation, but that would break down the gluten and give you a very non Neapolitan end product.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 11:33:13 AM »
If by "cold ferment" you mean refrigerator, my suggestion would be to stop using the refrigerator.

If you need to use the fridge for timing (maybe you need dough in a week, but you can only make it today), it's a great tool. Otherwise, I believe room temp (60-80F with about 65F optimal) makes a better dough. You will develop more flavor in a day in this range than in a week in the fridge. In either case, there really isn't anything you can do to get a "sour" flavor from ADY, IDY, or CY. The biochemistry just isn't there.

I'd shoot for a dough that ferments in the 63-65F range for 48hours - maybe 0.03% ADY.

If you bump up your temp and lower your cook time, you will improve your tenderness. Even getting it down by 30 seconds will make a big difference.

You might also try a point or two higher hydration and see how it compares. If you like it, go up a little more.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline JEP

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 11:58:02 AM »
Thanks both of you for your input and suggestions.

The ultimate reason I am playing with a cold ferment (in the fridge) is to develop a dough/work flow that is restaurant friendly.  There was a long thread a while back on how A16 in SF does their pizzas http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.0.html

I imagine both of you have come across this.  I am not stuck on doing it this way, nor is the A16 pie my end goal here, however I am interested in the work flow because it appears efficient and seems conducive to consistency.  It's been a while since I have had pizza there so I can't remember if it has a little sourness to it.       

It is cold in the winter where I am (30's - 40's) and hot in the summer (90's - 100's).  I'd be open to suggestions about how to manage a room temp dough using a starter.  I'm guessing I could set aside a "dough only" proofing box/fridge? 

Jimmy

Offline scott123

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 12:22:56 PM »
It is cold in the winter where I am (30's - 40's) and hot in the summer (90's - 100's).  I'd be open to suggestions about how to manage a room temp dough using a starter.  I'm guessing I could set aside a "dough only" proofing box/fridge?

I know Craig has very strong feelings against refrigeration, and, while I'm not exactly anti-refrigeration, I'm exponentially less pro-refrigeration than I was in years past.  While it's possible that refrigeration might adversely impact dough, I think the jury's not completely in.  The refrigerator is (generally) a very stable environment which is a big plus in a commercial setting- if you have the walk in space. Once you settle in on a formula, I would try both a room temp and a cold version and see if the differences are noticeable. They may not be.

As far as room temp options go, Craig's 60-80 advice is on the money. It really boils down to stability. If you can get a room that's consistently 75 or even a room that's consistently 60 (or a relatively static temperature in between), I think you'll be fine. If you have a basement, you might have an area, away from the boiler or furnace, that's stable. A building with central heat/air might vacillate +/- 7 degrees during winter and summer, but that shouldn't be enough to work around with dough.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 12:25:01 PM by scott123 »

Offline scott123

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 12:33:52 PM »
I'd be open to suggestions about how to manage a room temp dough using a starter.

I am by no means a starter guru, but, having spoken with people who are, the general sentiment is that, once you start using them, they're not really that much more complicated than ADY, IDY or CY. You'll have bacterial/sourness considerations with the starter, but the same basic concerns about temperature stability and seasonal fluctuations are present for ADY, IDY and CY as well. Growing micro-organisms is growing micro-organisms.

Offline JD

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 01:10:40 PM »
I am by no means a starter guru, but, having spoken with people who are, the general sentiment is that, once you start using them, they're not really that much more complicated than ADY, IDY or CY. You'll have bacterial/sourness considerations with the starter, but the same basic concerns about temperature stability and seasonal fluctuations are present for ADY, IDY and CY as well. Growing micro-organisms is growing micro-organisms.


TXCraig1 just recently made an excellent contribution to this forum for starter enthusiasts. It makes predicting a dough's outcome so much easier. Take a look and make the change http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22649.0.html

Josh

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 01:25:48 PM »
JEP,

I remember that we had a member, who went by the forum handle of Mo, who agonized as you are doing with respect to making Neapolitan style pizzas in a cold fermentation environment. Mo was a chef by training who decided to move from St. Paul MN to Iowa, where his wife grew up, to start his own pizzeria specializing in wood-fired pizzas (but influenced by the Neapolitan style) and using locally available ingredients as much as possible. You can read about some of his trials and tribulations that he worked through in anticipation of opening up his own place in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8104.msg69675.html#msg69675. Like you, Mo was familiar with the A16 thread and what A16 had done with its pizzas.

Eventually, Mo (his real name is Scott) did open his pizzeria. Remembering that he was near Ames, Iowa, I was able to track down the url for his place. It is at http://www.vesuvius-wfp.com/Vesuvius_Wood-Fired_Pizza/Promise.html. I don't know what fermentation method he settled on but his website says that the dough is made fresh every day (http://www.vesuvius-wfp.com/Vesuvius_Wood-Fired_Pizza/Method.html). I know that at one time Mo entertained the idea of using a natural leavening system but apparently he did no go that route since his website talks about using fresh yeast.

Since it has been almost two years since Mo last visited the forum, you might consider calling him to see if he can tell you how he resolved all of the conflicting ideas that went through his mind prior to opening his pizzeria. If you decide to call him, I'm sure that mentioning this forum will jog his memory. I, for one, would be interested in how he sorted everything out.

Peter


Offline JEP

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Re: getting to more "tender" and "sour" crust
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 11:15:08 PM »
Thank you Peter. 

It sounds like Scott would be a great resource.  I will look into contacting him.  After little thought I've decided to begin experimenting with starters so I can compare the two methods (cold ferment without starter and room temp with). 

We will have a basement to work with which just might maintain the preferred temperatures.  I figure many restaurants favor cold fermenting to simplify dough management, but with the overwhelming sentiment of this forum in favor of a room temp ferment for "00" flour, especially with a starter, to make a better neopolitan style pie - I would be foolish not to look into that possibility, especially if I might have the appropriate resources. 

Just ordered some Ischia culture today - will be in touch. 

Jimmy