Author Topic: natural yeast pizza process versus bread  (Read 2140 times)

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Offline jkandell

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natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« on: September 20, 2007, 12:01:48 AM »
I don't know much about making pizza, but I'm accomplished with natural yeast bread.  Thus far, I prefer the taste of commercial yeast in my pizza, but I've been experimenting with sourdough.

Reading the posts here, I was struck immediately how differently the dough is treated with pizza and bread.  It seems with pizza (Marco's instructions), you use a very small amount starter and ferment the whole dough for a long time.  By contrast, with pain au levain you "grow" the starter in stages, usually by a factor of 3.  So, for instance, you might start with a walnut-sized piece, then grow to 1/3c for 12 hours, then triple to 1c and go another 12 hours.  Then you'll triple again for 6 hours and bake. 

I tried my usual "three build" method with pizza (using a 100% whole wheat desem starter but white flour for everything else) and the crust wasn't bad at all!  Slightly "tough" texture, but otherwise tasty. Non of the familiar "yeast" taste I associate with pizza, though.

Another difference between natural yeast pizza and bread is timing.  With bread, you adjust the time and/or amount of starter depending on the air temperature.  The rule of thumb is "for every ten degrees, the fermenting times cuts in half".  I assume this applies to pizza as well (same laws of biology); so if the standard recipe at 70F is 24 hour bulk ferment then a 4 hour ferment after cutting, can I assume at 80F I would ferment for 12 hours then 2?  Or should I cut the starter quantity in half and still go the 24/4?

Perhaps you don't need all those stages because pizza doesn't have to rise up and hold like bread. Or there is another reason for the difference?


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 02:18:12 AM »
There are an awful lot of variables involved here: natural yeast strains present, degree of starter activation, starter proportion, type of flour, other ingredients in the dough, fermentation time/temp, proofing time/temp, baking time/temp....

I fire up the oven for baking both breads and pizzas a few times a week and have been using no commercial yeast at all for the past few years. Lately I have been most enjoying the results of doing all fermenting/proofing in the controlled temperature of the MR-138. For the things I make most frequently:

Pizza/Austrian starter: 3% starter, 2 day ferment/proof @ 65F/75F
Pizza/Ischia starter: 2.5% starter, "
Pizza/Camaldoli starter: 2.75% starter, "
Baguettes/Parisien starter, 3.5% starter, 1 day @ 70F/75F
Bagels/Austrian starter, 5% starter, 2 days @ 65F/75F
Rye Bread, 5% starter, 3 -stage pumpernickel feeding of Austrian starter, 3 days 65F/75F
Struan Bread/Russian starter, 12.5% starter, 1 day @ 70F/75F

My method is not at all as precise as these number may imply. The temps are pretty rough since the MR-138 seems to have a range of 5F plus/minus. In reality, I end up adjusting the temperature during the fermentation if I observe the dough is rising too fast or slow or my plans change and I won't be baking when I thought I would.   So for me there is not too much between pizza and breads when it comes to the use of yeast. Other differences are more significant. 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 06:46:22 AM »
The rule of thumb is "for every ten degrees, the fermenting times cuts in half".  I assume this applies to pizza as well (same laws of biology); so if the standard recipe at 70F is 24 hour bulk ferment then a 4 hour ferment after cutting, can I assume at 80F I would ferment for 12 hours then 2?  Or should I cut the starter quantity in half and still go the 24/4?

With respect to the rule of thumb you mentioned, you might want to read this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg37297.html#msg37297 (Reply 53).

Peter


Offline jkandell

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2007, 11:05:54 AM »
Pizza/Austrian starter: 3% starter, 2 day ferment/proof @ 65F/75F
Pizza/Ischia starter: 2.5% starter, "
Pizza/Camaldoli starter: 2.75% starter, "
Baguettes/Parisien starter, 3.5% starter, 1 day @ 70F/75F
Bagels/Austrian starter, 5% starter, 2 days @ 65F/75F
Rye Bread, 5% starter, 3 -stage pumpernickel feeding of Austrian starter, 3 days 65F/75F
Struan Bread/Russian starter, 12.5% starter, 1 day @ 70F/75F

Wow, you have it all down.  If I'm going to benefit from your experience it looks like I've got to cut back my amount of starter for pizza.  Do you really find a difference in flavor between the Ischia, Camaldoli and other starters?  In my experience all starters are the same and it is only the difference in how they're handled during the process (i.e. amount, temp, time) that makes them taste different.  Are those percentages of water weight or "baker's percentage"? 

Offline jkandell

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 11:08:34 AM »
With respect to the rule of thumb you mentioned, you might want to read this post: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg37297.html#msg37297 (Reply 53).

Thanks Peter, I should have known someone here has discussed this.  I had trouble understanding the equation.  Since, like Bill, I adjust to match reality anyway, the "half the time" is just an approximation anyway.  How much would that equation say you should cut back if you have a 80F kitchen compared with 70F (24h+4h)?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 11:53:52 AM »
Wow, you have it all down.  If I'm going to benefit from your experience it looks like I've got to cut back my amount of starter for pizza.  Do you really find a difference in flavor between the Ischia, Camaldoli and other starters?  In my experience all starters are the same and it is only the difference in how they're handled during the process (i.e. amount, temp, time) that makes them taste different.  Are those percentages of water weight or "baker's percentage"? 

First of all, each starter has its own range of flavors depending on how it's fed, activated, fermented, and proofed. Time and temp of all these things make a difference. For example, a batch of Camaldoli fermented at low temp for several days will have a very different flavor than one fermented for one day at a higher temp.

And yes, there are noticeable differences in flavor between the different starters. You'll notice that most of my doughs involve multi-day fermenting/proofing at room temps which give time for the different metabolic byproducts to develop.

All of the starter amounts are percents by weight of starter to the total weight of the dough.

I don't pretend to be able to control all of these variables to produce the results I want. It's pretty much a process of constant refinement, making small adjustments on each new batch to see what happens. Often a case of 2-steps forward, one-step back. It is likely in a few months, the ratios/times/temps I listed above will be very different.

Bill/SFNM

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: natural yeast pizza process versus bread
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 07:25:27 PM »
How much would that equation say you should cut back if you have a 80F kitchen compared with 70F (24h+4h)?

jkandell,

If you go to this post, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3985.msg37319.html#msg37319 (Reply 55), you will see a link to a graph at http://www.unclesalmon.com/lib/images/graphs/thermal-ferment_rate.png. If you calibrate your eyeballs and look carefully at the graph for 21.11111 degrees C (70 degrees F) and 26.6667 degrees C (80 degrees F) on the horizontal axis, you will see that the corresponding values on the vertical axis are around 0.33 and 0.54, respectively. If I understand Novemberís chart correctly, when converted to percents, the two numbers represent the percent of the maximum fermentative output of the yeast at the two temperature values. The ratio of 54% to 33% comes to 1.64. To confirm these values, I did the actual calculations using the expression posted by forum member November and got 0.5324749 (53.3%) and 0.3260153 (32.6%) as the precise values. The ratio for these values is 1.63.

If I interpreted these numbers correctly, they would suggest that the rate of fermentation at 80 degrees F will be 1.63 times greater than at 70 degrees F. Itís possible that the inverse of the ratio can also be used to determine the amount of preferment to use at 80 degrees F rather than at 70 degrees F to achieve relatively comparable results. On this basis, it would appear that at a fermentation temperature of 80 degrees F you would need around 61% of the amount of preferment used at 70 degrees F. If I am wrong on this point, I hope that November will intervene before I cause too much damage. He is the expert on these matters.

Peter