Author Topic: Question for Sourdough guys/gals: Cool room temp ferment vs. long fridge ferment  (Read 754 times)

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Offline tugboat

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Just a question for the sourdough pizza peeps. I've been using Jeff Varasano's sourdough pizza recipe and also am just getting into sourdough bread baking (it's just a waste throwing away all that starter when you feed the culture - might as well make it useful). I know how and when to ferment is a bit of a "can of worms" topic that can have different results for different bakers, but I'm curious anyways. I know SOMETHING is going on in the fridge when you put dough in because the dough still rises, albeit very slowly. Has someone compared the taste of a long (day or two) ferment at ~60-65*F vs a 3-5 day ferment in the fridge? I'm wondering what the taste difference would be.

Offline mitchjg

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Varasano's general method is one that I like a lot and I have happily made many, many pies with his recipe.  And, his pizza is great! (I have eaten at his restaurant).  So, do not get me wrong here.

You will find that sourdough only and a cold ferment works terribly.  You get a really poor rise, even after 3 days, etc.  I do not think you will find one member in the forum that has actually found success with an SD cold ferment.  The "optional" 0.25% IDY in Varasano's recipe is required, IMO, if you want to follow his approach.  All or most of the rise will come from the IDY and not the SD.  The SD contributes flavor.

The room temperature ferment vs. cold ferment, SD only question, therefore, is easy to answer - room ferment hands down.

You can "cheat" with an SD only cold ferment by having the dough out at room temperature for a few hours before and/or after the cold ferment.  That is when the rise is actually happening.  For example, I have done room temperature ferments with SD and then put it in the fridge to hold it for another day before using.

If you want to use the optional IDY then it is a different story.  I think many or most on the forum will still tell you the room temp rise is better in flavor.  I have a somewhat different view - I think it is different and I like them both.


Good luck.

Addendum:

I just realized that you have previously posted a similar but not identical SD/Varasano question and I had responded with a similar answer already.

I know you are asking a flavor question here, but I maintain it is apples and oranges.  SD only cold vs room temp - no contest because the SD only cold ferment will not give you a good pizza.

My apologies if you find this redundant.  I think, if you really, really want to compare the two (or 3) approaches, then maybe try it for yourself and decide.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 11:34:22 AM by mitchjg »
Mitch

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Offline tugboat

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I did use your suggestion from last time and put the IDY in the pizza with the sourdough and it turned out much better than my sourdough only attempt from the time before that. I'm thinking about trying a cool room temp ferment this time though and was just wondering how the taste compared to a long fridge ferment with sourdough and IDY. Will the taste be similar, just takes longer with the fridge ferment?  I'm thinking about using TXCraig's Neapolitan process next time, only adapting it with AP or bread flour. Or maybe make it the night before and tweak the yeast to be ready in 24 hours if kept about 65-70 degrees.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2015, 12:14:37 PM by tugboat »

Offline moy71

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here's a pizza i made the other day,  using only pure sourdough culture.  it fermented 3 days in the fridge (at 4C).  then allowed 6 hrs to reach room temp before baking on the 3rd day.

the only way it works for me is if i use a sourdough culture that is EXTRA active.  that means feeding the mother culture daily with fresh  flour. dispose, feed, dispose feed.

i know when its ready to use when after feeding,  the culture doubles  in size at the 3-4hr mark after feeding.    experience has taught me to not even try if the culture is anything by extra active.

Offline moy71

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btw this baked at 2 1/2 minutes at 300C roughly.
taste wise,  i was expecting a bit more flavour in the dough but then again the toppings may have hidden the taste.
i also found the crust to be less crunchy and more chewy than normal.

overall,  i would probably try it again but aim for an NP style instead.    feeding the culture is a little pain in the backside though LOL.

Offline Pete-zza

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moy71,

Out of curiosity, how much starter did you use?

Peter

Offline mitchjg

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I did use your suggestion from last time and put the IDY in the pizza with the sourdough and it turned out much better than my sourdough only attempt from the time before that. I'm thinking about trying a cool room temp ferment this time though and was just wondering how the taste compared to a long fridge ferment with sourdough and IDY. Will the taste be similar, just takes longer with the fridge ferment?  I'm thinking about using TXCraig's Neapolitan process next time, only adapting it with AP or bread flour. Or maybe make it the night before and tweak the yeast to be ready in 24 hours if kept about 65-70 degrees.

I did not understand before that you were asking about a "cold ferment, SD + IDY dough, several days" vs. "room temperature SD only, one day"

Thanks for clarifying.

You can certainly use Craig's process (which is SD only at room temperature) with AP or Bread Flour.  And, you can make a 24 hour dough that way if you like.  You need more starter.  The table in this thread can be used to help determine how much starter to use. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=22649.0

"Will the tastes be similar?"  Very subjective, I think and you can get many different strong opinions.  Me?  I think similar, but definitely not identical.  I tend to like the SD only better but the refrigerator rise gives more flexibility in scheduling and less risk of fermentation timing problems (if I am having a party, for example).  I sometimes think I like the texture of the crust more with the SD+IDY cold ferment.

I would say try it and decide for yourself.  Memory is not super reliable when comparing pies.  So, I would suggest you make two to bake in the same session.  So, start the SD+IDY dough a few days before the bake and start the SD only dough the day (or two depending on your plan) before.  That way both doughs will be ready at the same time and you can decide for yourself how similar they are or are not and what you like or do not like about each.  Use the same flours, hydration, etc so you do not mix yourself up with too many variables.

Mitch

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Offline jsaras

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All of my SD pizzas (never used additional dry yeast) have been 18-24 hours at temperatures varying from the low 60s to about 78.  The best flavors happen in the 64-70 range IMO.

I let my culture come to room temp, keep 30g, add 60g flour, 48g water.  I'll put that in the oven with just thr light on, which warms it to 80-85.  4-5 hours later my starrter passes the "float test" and is ready for action.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 01:38:31 PM by jsaras »
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Offline tugboat

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Great info everyone! I'm making pizza Friday so I'm gonna get the culture out of the fridge tonight so it's good and active to make the dough Thursday night.

Gonna bake some bread too this weekend for fondue on Sunday and will try a slow room temp rise. Our annual "swissmas" celebration that we started when my wife and I honeymooned in Switzerland over Christmas. :)

Offline moy71

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moy71,

Out of curiosity, how much starter did you use?

Peter


9% of the flour weight.

Offline tugboat

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Here's my first stab at a 24 hour room temp ferment, all sourdough and no IDY or ADY. Daytime temps yesterday in Statesboro just so happened to be 60 so I ended up keeping the dough outside in our sun porch all day yesterday. Turned out really good. Different than the fridge but not sure how yet, both are good. Preheated at 550, baked on my 1/2" steel under the broiler for about 3.5 minutes. The first pic was my first pizza that stuck to the peel when putting it in the oven but it shows how nicely charred the bottom was (for a regular oven at least).

Used KA Bread flour and Jeff Varasano's percentages and mixing/kneading procedure, except the starter which was adjusted according to TXCraig's sourdough calculator. Ended up being 4%. Used buffalo mozzarella but it was really waterlogged. I dried it out as much as I could before baking.

Edit: not sure why two of the pictures are upside down?
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 07:32:13 AM by norma427 »

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Other than my head  hurting from standing on it to see the pix  :-D, these look really good!


Offline norma427

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Edit: not sure why two of the pictures are upside down?

tugboat,

Sorry,  I tried to fix the two misoriented photos you posted.  The same thing happened as when I tried to fix another members misoriented photos recently.  I didn't fix the first one because it was oriented right.  When I oriented the other two right and then added them the first one disappeared.  You can edit your own photos within 24 hrs.  You can add your first photo that somehow go deleted.  You can also test your photos at this thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=33199.0

Your also can read Peter's post at Reply 740 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19732.msg388841#msg388841

Norma

Offline tugboat

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Thanks Norma! I first tried rotating them on my iPad and then uploading them again so that's why they disappeared. Sorry about the confusion!


Thanks Jersey! Sorry about the headache!  :P
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 07:57:26 AM by tugboat »

Offline mitchjg

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Here's my first stab at a 24 hour room temp ferment, all sourdough and no IDY or ADY. Daytime temps yesterday in Statesboro just so happened to be 60 so I ended up keeping the dough outside in our sun porch all day yesterday. Turned out really good. Different than the fridge but not sure how yet, both are good. Preheated at 550, baked on my 1/2" steel under the broiler for about 3.5 minutes. The first pic was my first pizza that stuck to the peel when putting it in the oven but it shows how nicely charred the bottom was (for a regular oven at least).

Used KA Bread flour and Jeff Varasano's percentages and mixing/kneading procedure, except the starter which was adjusted according to TXCraig's sourdough calculator. Ended up being 4%. Used buffalo mozzarella but it was really waterlogged. I dried it out as much as I could before baking.

Edit: not sure why two of the pictures are upside down?

Very nice! 

I know you like Varasano's pizza (so do I!), so I thought it worth mentioning that his pies are significantly thinner.  You may want to work on stretching  it out more.
Mitch

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Offline tugboat

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I'm not looking to "nail" his pizza, just get something good. As long as the crust is nice and light I'm fine. This pizza ended up delicious. Despite not being as thin as his it was still very light. I chalk it up as a success.

Offline mitchjg

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I'm not looking to "nail" his pizza, just get something good. As long as the crust is nice and light I'm fine. This pizza ended up delicious. Despite not being as thin as his it was still very light. I chalk it up as a success.

Works for me more than terrifically - happy yo are getting what you want!!!!!
Mitch

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