Author Topic: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?  (Read 414 times)

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Offline rparker

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My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« on: August 30, 2015, 09:02:46 AM »
I've got two questions regarding crust browning and flavor.

1: Are there any ways to control the bitterness and other flavors of the Maillard effects via formula?

2: Do sugar types matter for the Maillard reaction flavor?

This may very well fall under a category of over-bake, but I'm not so sure. I've seen lots of positive remarks offered to the cool kids around here when they present a pie that looks quite dark around the edges. When I get a dark pie, I have some bitterness. My normally tan or golden colored crusts have sweet and savory flavors get covered up by a blanket of bitterness. it takes over the whole pie in similar fashion to how Basil can take over a sauce. 

The picture below is a bake done from a 3-day old batch. In this case, it was .5% honey, 1% LDM and 2% veg oil. I had applied too much cheese and sauce, which made the top sauce/cheese rapid boil not be quite so rapid. This resulted in me leaving the pie in for another 30 seconds longer than where I would have liked. 3-days old is 1-2 days lower than preferred for my formulation. (Perhaps not enough sugar consumption or not enough enzyme production by the yeast and/or the aging process?)

Thanks in advance,

Roy



My Dough information
My dough needs a nice, long cold ferment(CF) of 4 days to be really good. 6-days is optimal. I can get 14-days out of a batch, but I start to lose a bit of density and has a tendency to get a little too crispy after about 11-12 days.

I bake outside most often on a slightly "adjusted" Blackstone using 1-1/4" Fire Bricks. These bakes are best at 550F - 580F. I sometimes add oil to the batch and have very, very good 645F bakes. I sometimes bake inside using a 1" kiln shelf on the lowest or second lowest rack. The bake times range from 5 minutes for the 645F bakes to 7 minutes for inside 550F bakes. My key visuals are the strength of the pie when lifting up one side, and the cheese/sauce boil going on up top.

Formulation:
I've been using this formula as my starting point. Notice that includes both Low Diastatic Malt(LDM) and honey.
Flour (100%)
Water (58%)
IDY (.18%)
Salt (1.75%)
Honey (.5%)
Diastatic Malt Powder(LDM) (1.0%)

The Mix and Handling:
I employ mostly a KISS method at speeds 1 & 2 using a Kitchen Aide 600 Pro. 5-minute rest at shaggy stage for natural absorption. 8-ish minutes of kneading. 10 minutes counter rise before going into fridge. First 45 minutes of fridge life is with lid cracked open to cool down quicker and dry out a bit. Most times water is 84F - 86F when I add the dry ingredients. Oil gets added while in shaggy mass form. 4 hours of room temp before bake.   

The Honey:
The honey I use is what is considered by some as a fruity honey. My favorite so far has been Blackberry. The key differences between this and the standard Clover honey is the after taste. Clover gives me an after-taste that I do not care for.

Low Diastatic Malt(LDM):
I use the one a few others use here that comes from Central Milling in a black, shiny bag. I think it's got Tony Gemignani's name on it. Not chosen for any other reason than seeing it posted a couple times in this forum.

The Flour:
I most often use fully loaded All Trumps(AT), but I am no stranger to doing some blends. Caputo "00" (red bag), Spelt (Bob's Red Mill browner variety) are the two most frequent guests.

Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.


Offline mitchjg

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2015, 09:09:24 AM »
Personally, it is hard to understand hope that coloring could impart a bitter flavor. 

Any chance it is coming from a problem on the bottom?   I ask because If you launch with too much raw bench flour on the bottom, that flour can burn and its bitterness can take over. 
Mitch

Offline vtsteve

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 09:56:58 AM »
I see what appears to be raw flour on the rim; if that overcooked, it could get bitter... and it looks like sauce moisture might be covering the true extent of it (that distinct line from 07:00 to 02:00  around the high point of the rim).
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 10:02:07 AM by vtsteve »
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2015, 10:09:53 AM »
I've got two questions regarding crust browning and flavor.

1: Are there any ways to control the bitterness and other flavors of the Maillard effects via formula?

2: Do sugar types matter for the Maillard reaction flavor?
Roy,

Those are interesting questions. Off the top of my head, I would say that the answer to your first question is yes. The browning of the crust of a baked pizza comes from several sources: residual natural sugars derived enzymatically from the flour and remaining after feeding the yeast, any hydrolyzed sugars (like hydrolyzed sucrose added to the dough) and also remaining after feeding the yeast, caramelization, denaturing of the protein in the flour, and the Maillard reactions. In your case, you did not add sucrose (ordinary table sugar) to the dough but you did add honey. But if the objective is to reduce the above effects, so that you don't end up with a bitter flavor in the crust, you could use an unmalted flour and you would not add a diastatic malt powder. But you can't ignore the need for sugars, in whatever forms, to feed the yeast over a long fermentation period such as you have been using. Otherwise, the yeast might run out of food. So, you may need an added form of sugar, whether it is sucrose or honey, and maybe you could tolerate a small amount of diastatic malt powder if the amounts of sucrose or honey are on the low side (although it is simply easier to just increase the amount of the added forms of sugar). You could also use a nondiastatic form of malt, which is a form of sweetener. The overall objective would be to make sure that there is enough food for the yeast over the full fermentation period and with just the right amount of residual sugars to participate in the Maillard and other reactions and yield the desired flavor profile.

With respect to your second question, I suspect that sugar types can affect the Maillard reactions to the extent that the simple (reducing) sugars that make up the sweeteners are not the same or may require hydrolyzing. For example, honey is 38% fructose, 31% glucose, 1% sucrose, 17% water, 13% other. The simple sugars for honey are available immediately to participate in the fermentation process. By contrast, sucrose needs to be hydrolyzed to glucose and fructose before those sugars can be used. If sucrose is just left to sit there unmolested, years can go by without hydrolysis taking place. What is needed is an enzyme such as sucrase or an acid component of some form. Even then, it takes some time for hydrolysis to take place. So, it is possible, I suppose, that the Maillard reactions may not be identical for honey and sucrose. And if you were to use a different sweetener, such as molasses, for example, which comprises 29% sucrose, 13% fructose, 12% glucose, 22% water, 24% other, the Maillard reactions may be even more different.

In your case, with only 0.5% honey, I don't see that as a source of bitterness. Caramelization of sugars can sometimes lead to bitterness if there is overcaramelization of the sugars as can overdenaturing of the protein in the flour. These effects might occur from baking the pizza too long, which might be easy to do with a BlackStone unit if not managed to avoid these effects.

If you would like to read more about the Maillard reactions and related matters, you might want to read the Maillard section of the article at http://www.classofoods.com/page2_3.html.

As I was composing this reply, I see that Mitch and Steve weighed in on the subject. If you end up with unbaked flour on your skin, you can end up with a bitter tastes as Mitch and Steve noted.

Peter

 

Offline invertedisdead

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 04:02:10 PM »
If my pie is bitter it's burnt - with unbalanced top heat I can easily go too far on the bottom before the pizza looks ready to pull. What's the underskirt look like?

Offline rparker

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 09:22:44 AM »
Peter, I'm going to do a separate reply about the sugars in your reply. Thanks very much for that reply as well. Outstanding information, as always. I need to follow a couple of trains of thought through before responding ..... hopefully properly.

Mitch and Steve,
It is a different flavor than the biter of over-cooked raw flour. Adding that factor to this, though, is no pleasant experience. Dry and bitter in layers. It's definitely related and gets compounded at minimum. Even if nothing more than coincidental.

I've had some over-baked pies without sugar in the formula that did not get as dark. What I do not remember is the flour taste aspect. I'll keep more detail of my over-bakes in my log. (My log suffers from increasing laziness...)

I've had many a professional pie with excessive flour underneath it that did not have any of the bitter taste I get with flour. How do they do that? I've only used All Trumps since I started using it this Spring. Before that was Full Strength. I do have choices here in the house. I could try some Caputo 00 or some KASL.  (I know, this is very much a side topic.)

edit: fwiw, I do use semolina exclusively on the peel these days. Not a whole lot of it, either, unless a very wet/sticky dough.

invertedisdead: The bottom had no burned spots or anything. Just brown like the outer-rim (except for the burned spots where bubbles were in the picture.)

Thanks to everyone for your replies and thoughts.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 09:32:01 AM by rparker »
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 10:20:53 AM »
Hmm, well "bitter" taste is highly subjective...maybe you just don't like pies well-done.  It's not something I've experienced  though, and I make them on the dark side. My wife is very sensitive to bitter and has never noted it in a crust  (though she's also, sadly, char-averse, and some bones have been left on plates that to me would be a prize. No worry, I haven't let them go unclaimed  :)

Online TXCraig1

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 11:29:40 AM »
1: Are there any ways to control the bitterness and other flavors of the Maillard effects via formula?

I don't think the Mailliard reaction results in bitterness. If you detect bitterneess, I think you have likely progressed past Maillard to pyrolysis.
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 12:58:52 PM »
I don't think the Mailliard reaction results in bitterness. If you detect bitterneess, I think you have likely progressed past Maillard to pyrolysis.
Craig,

I agree. Maybe I read Roy's question too fast but in my mind and the discussion that followed I separated bitterness from the flavors from the Maillard reactions. I did not mean to suggest that the Maillard reactions were responsible for the bitterness.

Peter


Offline rparker

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 02:45:29 PM »
Thanks, guys. I'm trying to put this all together....

The result of being in a state of pyrolysis does indeed sound like what I am tasting, after reading descriptions about that state in food.

My assumption of all along was that I thought a blackening would have had to happen. I certainly thought I was still below that state, time sequence wise.


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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 11:50:32 PM »
But, guys...pyrolysis sounds like a pretty serious and extreme result...are you suggesting the pie Roy is showing at the beginning of this post/thread is at that point?  It just looks like a nice, well-baked pie.

Those of use who enjoy baking bread. an especially who follow the recipes/teachings of Ken Forkish believe that a rich mahogany-colored loaf has more detailed and rich flavors. It's not in pyrolysis, right? Even if you enjoy your pizza on the paler side, it seems clear the example shown above is not a pizza that's too far-gone. There are pizzas on the board frequently that are in this range of color...in fact quite often. They're not in pyrolysis...are they??  I'll answer that. Can't be the case. In fact, I'll have a slice of that pie right now  ;)

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #11 on: Today at 12:30:16 AM »
I think you misunderstand pyrolysis to be only the extreme of what it actually is. Pyrolysis is simply thermal decomposition. It doesn't necessarily mean burnt or char.  Caramelization is pyrolysis.
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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #12 on: Today at 07:13:34 AM »
Yup, I did misunderstand. Thanks Craig, got it.

Even though I'm wrong, can I still have a slice? Maybe you've got a spare one ?  :)

Offline rparker

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #13 on: Today at 07:55:20 AM »
I was wrong as well. Despite that, I still get that sense of taste thing going on this when I do darker pies. Mind you, the rest of the texture seems normal r close to it.

I assume, then, that the same answer applies to this state as it did with Maillard or my reduced understanding of the Pyrolysis thing. It doesn't matter what sugars are in there for the taste other than coincidental to the end where having certain sugars and amounts may hasten "browning" and where-ever it fits into Maillard and Pyrolysis.

I know caramelization has different tastes depending on the food. I've used table sugar to aid the process and that certainly was not bitter. I've used Honey for the same purpose with similar results. Those were on entirely different foods.

Is there any chance that the flour I use itself that could lead to more bitter results when going with a darker pizza? (All Trumps) 

I guess, in the end, it really doesn't matter. Don't let the pies get dark. Still, that does not seam like a corrective measure.
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #14 on: Today at 09:44:31 AM »
I guess, in the end, it really doesn't matter. Don't let the pies get dark. Still, that does not seam like a corrective measure.

I'd say bake the pie the way like it. Some people, myself included, like some char on the pie. Before the steel, I could never get any char on the bottom of my NY pies. Now that I can, it's a whole new world.
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Online Pete-zza

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #15 on: Today at 10:23:48 AM »
Roy,

You might consider baking your pizzas at a lower oven temperature and for longer than usual, to allow the pizzas to fully bake without getting too much char, but monitor the bake time so that you don't cross the line into excessive char territory.

Peter

Offline rparker

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #16 on: Today at 02:24:55 PM »
This bake did get away from me, no doubt, but inside oven at 550F normally gets less coloring. It was early for me(3-day old batch), come to think of it. I normally get my best flavor starting a day or two later, and it never browns like that inside at 7 minutes. Outside using the BS, absolutely. I normally bake on the BS at 570-ish (5-1/2 to 6 minutes) although I do some now at 640F for 5 minutes. I am much more careful out there, as it's easy to let one get away out there with the hotter temps. 

So, a question about the overall sugar strategy.

I know from a discussion many months ago with Peter that different sugar types make themselves available as yeast food earlier than other types. Is there any possible sugar pairing that would result in yeast feeding in linear fashion as opposed to a parallel fashion? In other words, honey feeds yeast for the first 5 days and then sugar-X feeds it for the next five days? Alternatively, does the second form of sugar just add to the sum once available?

Peter's comment in the first paragraph mentioned it would be easier to simply add more of the first sugar type. I wanted to make sure I understood that this was what was intended by the comment. 

« Last Edit: Today at 02:26:41 PM by rparker »
Maybe they should just make white T-shirts with pizza juice stains already on them.


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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #17 on: Today at 02:59:58 PM »
So, a question about the overall sugar strategy.

I know from a discussion many months ago with Peter that different sugar types make themselves available as yeast food earlier than other types. Is there any possible sugar pairing that would result in yeast feeding in linear fashion as opposed to a parallel fashion? In other words, honey feeds yeast for the first 5 days and then sugar-X feeds it for the next five days? Alternatively, does the second form of sugar just add to the sum once available?

Peter's comment in the first paragraph mentioned it would be easier to simply add more of the first sugar type. I wanted to make sure I understood that this was what was intended by the comment.
Roy,

I am not aware of any serial method of using two sugars such as you mentioned. Each type of sugar, whether it is honey, or molasses, or maple syrup, or nondiastatic malt, or sucrose, etc., has its own set of simple sugars that are present in different percents and can operate in a dough at different rates. But the simple sugars are additive.

My comment about adding more sugar rather than diastatic malt was simply to avoid the diastatic malt as a generator of sugars. Had I thought of it when I first posted, I would have mentioned that there are some people who advocate cutting back on any sugars used in a dough--usually sucrose--when diastatic malt is to be added to the formulation that calls for sugar. Otherwise, you may end up with too much sugar in the dough, and that can lead to the crust burning or browning excessively or prematurely when the pizza is baked. I realize that Tony G advocates using diastatic malt in pizza dough, even if it is a low diastatic malt powder, but that is rarely done by professionals with flours that are already malted. Adding barley malt at the miller's facility is a simple process and if millers thought that a given flour needed more barley malt, it would be a simple matter to do so at their facilities, rather than putting that burden on consumers or bakers. Where bakers sometimes have problems with inadequate browning is when using unmalted flours. So, adding diastatic malt in such cases is a reasonable solution.

Peter

Offline rparker

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #18 on: Today at 05:31:51 PM »
Peter, thanks again for the informative reply.

Well, I started using Low Diastatic Malt(LDM) for a problem I am not having anymore. It didn't fix the poor, wet bottom crust thing. I just looked through my log. My last batch done without LDM was an April Glutenboy.  I'll follow the crowd on this one for at least a few batches. I am REALLY hoping that LDM is not what's giving me such good longevity. I enjoy having a couple experiments going on at once.  ;D

fwiw, I think I started getting longer lasting batches when I got to my current mixing and handling protocol combined with lower hydration. I do not know exactly after which change it started, though.

Thanks again, everyone, for all the tips, thoughts and opinions.
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Offline juniorballoon

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Re: My Sugar Strategy and Maillard Flavor?
« Reply #19 on: Today at 05:41:25 PM »
That pie looks damn near perfect to me. I would very much like to taste that pizza as mine are generally much darker and I don't notice and overly bitter taste. It may be that I'm just used to it or perhaps I even like a bit of bitterness. But like I said that looks damn near perfect. :)

jb


 

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