Author Topic: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?  (Read 1069 times)

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Offline dylandylan

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sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« on: October 28, 2013, 02:32:56 PM »
Hi all

I've recently resumed using my starter for pizza making, after about 18 months of mainly using dry or fresh yeast.   Mostly this the starter is going really well, great taste, rise, and charring characteristics.

If I ferment for 24 hours everything is fine, but my trouble comes when I attempt to ferment for 48 hours (room temp ferment my the way) -   I'm consistently getting problems where the dough will tear very easily when handling...  I'm wondering what the problem might be... so far I've wondered:

  • Could be poor dough-handling technique... although I have no trouble handling any other dough.
  • Could be the type/quality of flour isn't up to the challenge of 48 hour ferments?  I'm just using 'supermarket grade' 11% protein flour.
  • Could it be that my starter is just weird?   It does a fantastic 24 hour ferment though.

Or something else?   Any thoughts?? 


Offline chasenpse

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 03:47:21 PM »
Could just be my inexperience talking but 48 hours at room temperature seems pretty long, are you bulk or ball fermenting? Could be that your dough is overproofing.

Is there a reason why you bumped up the time from 24 to 48 hours?
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 05:44:12 PM »
What is your formula and workflow?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 07:53:07 PM »
Formula/workflow has varied a little from bake to bake (I realise this doesn't help!), but this is pretty much it:

Flour 350g (Elfin brand - fairly generic New Zealand supermarket stuff, 11% protien)
Water 220g
Salt 8g
Starter 10g (starter at 100% hydration, fed the day before and happily active)

Workflow:  mix the lot by hand for about 1 minute into a rough mass, cover and leave for 15 minutes.  Knead for about 5 minutes or until completely uniform.  Then rest for 20 minutes, stretch-n-fold, and repeat.  I think I would normally do 4 stretch/rest repetitions - basically until the dough feels right... smooth and easily forms a large ball without splitting.  Then put in a covered bowl for bulk ferment at room temperature.   I haven't measured the ambient temp, my guess is about ~50f overnight, and up to about ~65f during the day.   The bulk ferment is for about 40 hours, then ball, put in proofing container (a sealed 5l plastic container) for another 4-8 hours before bake.

I know there are a few variances in there!  What is very consistent though is that if I do everything the same, but do a shorter 16+8 hour fement, the result is great and the dough has great workability, but if I approach 48 hours the dough becomes essentially unworkable.   This is the case time after time.

And @chasenpse - I'm trying out 48 hour ferment in hopes that it will be in some way superior to a 24 hour ferment.   I'm not really certain what to expect, but I do expect to find some differences in flavour, texture, char characteristics, etc.   Basically it's an experiment to observe the differences first-hand.   That's if I can get a workable dough at the end mind you!


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 10:20:06 PM »
It's hard for me to understand 2.9% culture breaking down dough in 48 hours at 50-65F.

What is the origin of the starter?

When you do 24 hours, how much starter do you use?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 12:48:21 AM »
At the moment I've used the same amount of starter regardless of whether it's a 24 or 48 hour dough.  As I type I realize that perhaps I should be using less starter for the 48 hour dough?

I used the "pineapple juice" method to cultivate my starter about 5 years ago. Following this process over on Breadtopia http://www.breadtopia.com/make-your-own-sourdough-starter/.   It would have just been with a generic brand of supermarket flour at the time.    Over the years I've mostly used it for bread, and every now and then for pizza, but now I'd like to use it as my primary leaven for pizza.   Works great for bread, and I'm getting the hand of it for single day pizza (here's one ).

This weekend I'd like to experiment more - simply I could try less starter?   Any other ideas?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 09:04:47 AM »
It sounds like you have a pretty active culture. At an average temperature of 60F, I'd probably need 20% culture - you are using about 1/7 that amount. Perhaps it's very enzymatically active too. If your flour is relatively weak to start with maybe this is the problem.  Having that much of a temperature swing complicates things.

I use 1.3% for 48 hours at 65F. If your culture is really as active as it appears, you may only need 0.2%. If I was you, I'd try 1% and see if it makes any difference in the dough strength. It's possible that you simply won't be able to go 48 hours with that culture and flour.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 12:00:29 AM »
Hmm, thanks that all makes some sense.  I'd love to source better flour at some stage, but Caputo et al aren't easy to come by in these parts.

I'll try 1% with my current flour and see where that gets me, and I'll take better note of the parameters too and hopefully stand a better chance of understanding what's going on.  Just having a quick scan around with my IR meter now I'm starting to think my estimation of ambient temperature was a ways off.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 10:41:19 AM »
Just having a quick scan around with my IR meter now I'm starting to think my estimation of ambient temperature was a ways off.

I suspected that might be the case. I didn't see how your culture could possibly be that active.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2013, 01:24:01 PM »
I'm starting a new batch this evening and will report back with notes. 


Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2013, 10:50:49 PM »
Ok, thanks for the 1% tip.  I fermented this for 56 hours, and then had no trouble handling/stretching the dough, and had probably my best pizza result to date!

I think I'll stick with 1%/48hr for a while. 

Here's a a couple of activity pics, the first is the 48 hr bulk ferment.  The second is the 54hr ball just pre-bake.

 and I've posted the resulting pie over in the Blackstone thread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2013, 10:53:46 PM »
It looks like you could probably come up to 1.3% for 48 hours.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2013, 01:32:29 AM »
Righto, will try that next weekend.   Ambient temperatures were measured at 60f to 69f. 

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2013, 02:18:26 AM »
Well 1.3% worked very nicely this weekend.   It was easy enough to handle when shaping, and baked very nicely - a heap better than 24hr with the same culture.   Thanks for the tips.   Pics of the 1.3% over in the Blackstone thread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2013, 07:43:34 AM »
Well 1.3% worked very nicely this weekend.   It was easy enough to handle when shaping, and baked very nicely - a heap better than 24hr with the same culture.   Thanks for the tips.   Pics of the 1.3% over in the Blackstone thread.

 ;D
Pizza is not bread.

Offline JD

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 08:08:02 AM »
Beautiful looking pizza's Dylan, especially for a homegrown starter.
Josh

Offline dylandylan

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Re: sourdough culture killing gluten after 48hr?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2013, 04:16:02 AM »
Thanks JD.   I'm now very happy with the results of my starter after a little guidance here. A little goes a long way!  This weekend I made an educated guess and went with 1.4% starter for a 42 hour ferment.  Also upped the hydration to around 66%.   Here are the balls just prior to the first bake.   I reckon the dough was pretty much at the point of losing workability, wouldn't want to it them any longer for sure.  Pics of this bake again over in the Blackstone thread.