Author Topic: Camaldoli Concerns  (Read 3151 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Camaldoli Concerns
« on: September 04, 2007, 02:09:25 PM »
I just messed up a batch of pizza using the Camaldoli starter and am trying to figure out how.

My Camaldoli based dough ended up totally overblown in a covert way.  It looked quiescent and un-bubbly throughout its first bulk rise and balled rise.  But after a 24 hour rise at 75F, 62% hydration, 4.0% starter, 4.5% salt (of water) it was dead - gluten structure disintegrated.  How did this happen?

My Ischia doughs will rise in a predictable hockey stick sort of curve, initially going slow to about +50% at the end of bulk, then going fast to about +100% in the ball rise before overblowing beyond that.

This Camaldoli never seemed to get off the ground, showing +25% at end of bulk and +25% at end of ball yet somehow getting overblown in the process.  Why am I getting overblown without any blow?

Bill I know Camaldoli was your mainstay for a while, any thoughts about this?


Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22293
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 03:18:23 PM »
scpizza,

I once experienced the same thing but using the Ischia starter rather than the Camaldoli. In my case, I had made two essentially identical Caputo dough balls, one of which I allowed to rise at room temperature (75 degrees F) and the other of which I allowed to rise in my wine unit at a temperature of about 15 degrees F less than the other dough ball. For details of the side-by-side test, see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,986.msg25896.html#msg25896 (Reply 96). The dough formulation was very close to the one you used (see the preceding Reply 95 in the same thread).

In my case, I decided to use the room temperature dough (the one shown at the left in the above post) to make a pizza. When the other dough (the wine unit dough) did not rise as much as I expected, I decided to sacrifice it to an experiment. In particular, I wanted to see if I could "kill" the dough by letting it overferment, but within the wine unit. So what I did was to put the dough ball back into my wine unit and leave it there, expecting that it might rise in due course much like the dough ball that was allowed to rise at room temperature. I don't recall exactly how long I left the dough ball in the wine unit but by the time I removed it from the wine unit to attempt to make a pizza out it, it was shot. And it still hadn't risen in any noticeable way from the time I put it back into the wine unit. Moreover, I could not do anything to revive it, such as adding more flour to absorb the liquid that resulted from the overfermented condition, re-kneading the dough, and letting it remain at room temperature to recover from the effects of the re-kneading. That didn't work. I couldn't even shape the dough without its tearing. Having experimented before with overfermented doughs using commercial yeast, I knew that there would be no point in using the dough to try to make a pizza even if I managed somehow to shape and shape the dough sufficiently to dress it and bake it. I would have ended up with a white crusted, cracker like pizza.

The experiment taught me that it was possible for a naturally leavened dough to "blow" without actually blowing.

Peter


Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4042
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 03:26:09 PM »
Bill I know Camaldoli was your mainstay for a while, any thoughts about this?

scpizza,

No, I really have no idea. Of all my starters, Camaldoli is probably the most linear. I have abused it a few times: overfermentation, overproofing, retarding for many days. Always had a nice gluten structure. Wish I could be more help.

Bill/SFNM

Offline BenLee

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 182
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 01:23:49 PM »
It might be the acetic acid.  Initially, low/moderate levels of acetic acid strengthen the gluten structure.  But when they increase beyond a threshold (I don't know what that threshold is), it actually weakens the gluten structure.

Online Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22293
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 02:05:54 PM »
It might be the acetic acid.  Initially, low/moderate levels of acetic acid strengthen the gluten structure.  But when they increase beyond a threshold (I don't know what that threshold is), it actually weakens the gluten structure.

BenLee,

Right or wrong, that is the conclusion I came to, especially since I was using a liquid starter to begin with.

Peter

Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 10:31:35 AM »
It might be the acetic acid.  Initially, low/moderate levels of acetic acid strengthen the gluten structure.  But when they increase beyond a threshold (I don't know what that threshold is), it actually weakens the gluten structure.
Be it acetic acid, lactic acid, or enzymes I'm not sure.  I'm more curious why there was no significant rise to accompany the accumulation of these byproducts.  With Ischia the dough is +200% original size by the time the byproducts start to degrade the gluten.

I've noted Camaldoli can be less gassy than other starters.  However this was extreme to the point where a person couldn't trust looking at the dough to know when it was ready.  I smelled the dough and it had that wet-flour-sitting-in-a-bowl smell that said the yeast had not yet taken off.  So with this batch at +50% original size I was trying to give it more rise time because I thought it wasn't ready yet.

I had a plenty warm temperature, ample hydration, modest salt, lots of time for that concentration of starter - all the conditions for prodigious yeast activity.  Indeed the gluten degredation indicated an amount of byproducts consistent with the level of yeast activity I would expect.  Just, bizarrely, not the CO2.   It ruined my pizza party.

I'm doing an A/B test putting Camaldoli side by side with the Austrian starter over the next day.  Will report back on observations.


Offline fabio

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2007, 02:55:14 PM »
scpizza,

You seem way more advanced in pizza dough than I am, but I figured I would throw this in here anyways; if for nothing else, then for future readers of this thread.

Was your camaldoli starter completely active and revived before you used it in your dough? Its possible that it wasn't strong enough and was overtaken by impurities in the flour. Also, its possible that your culture has gotten to acidic, killing off much of the yeast. You could suspect this if you have a layer of hooch on your starter. If you find out that it is too acidic, you should "wash" the culture to revive the yeast. Good luck!

Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 03:40:22 AM »
Yes, those were some of the first ideas that crossed my mind.  Nothing about my washing process or refreshes was different than I've used successfully in the past, but cultures can be fickle so I am also suspicious.

Below are comparison pictures of two batches of dough after a 40 hour rise at 62F, 60% hydration, 4.0% starter (/water), 4.5% salt (/water).  Austrian starter was used on the left, Camaldoli on the right.  Both doughs behaved properly and made great pizzas.

Note that the Camaldoli is indeed a lower relative gas producer than the Austrian (and Ischia).  I let these doughs run and both doughs increased 50% from levels in this photo before blowing.  The Camaldoli that blew in my original fiasco never rose above the height of the Camaldoli in this picture.

So while I've established culture type is partially to blame, I'm still curious what else is.  My next test will be to try another 24 hour 75F rise to see if temperature is the culprit.  In the past I've had no problems with shorter warmer rises with Ischia, but maybe Camaldoli behaves differently.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 03:53:01 AM by scpizza »

Offline fabio

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2007, 03:46:56 AM »
I believe Marco (pizzanapoletana) uses the camaldoli starter with a room-temp-only rise (12hr bulk, 3-4hr shaped), but don't quote me.

Offline BenLee

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 182
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 01:23:55 PM »
Yes, those were some of the first ideas that crossed my mind.  Nothing about my washing process or refreshes was different than I've used successfully in the past, but cultures can be fickle so I am also suspicious.

Below are comparison pictures of two batches of dough after a 40 hour rise at 62F, 60% hydration, 4.0% starter (/water), 4.5% salt (/water).  Austrian starter was used on the left, Camaldoli on the right.  Both doughs behaved properly and made great pizzas.

Note that the Camaldoli is indeed a lower relative gas producer than the Austrian (and Ischia).  I let these doughs run and both doughs increased 50% from levels in this photo before blowing.  The Camaldoli that blew in my original fiasco never rose above the height of the Camaldoli in this picture.

So while I've established culture type is partially to blame, I'm still curious what else is.  My next test will be to try another 24 hour 75F rise to see if temperature is the culprit.  In the past I've had no problems with shorter warmer rises with Ischia, but maybe Camaldoli behaves differently.


The other day, I made a few doughs and left them out in the kitchen in the same type of circular container you are using.  They sat for 2 days in the kitchen while I was away.  One of them rose so much it burst the top off the container (It was a hot weekend).  The other one that I know for a fact had more acetic acid rose to about 350% the size of the original dough.  When I heated the oven up, my kitchen got about 100 degrees.  I literally saw the dough rise more and blow bubbles over a period of 20 minutes.  It got about 5 times the size of the original dough.  I don't know how much acetic acid there was but I was still able to stretch the dough as far as I wanted it.


Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2007, 01:19:44 PM »
Well, I just completed my 24 hour 75F Camaldoli rise in an attempt to reproduce my fiasco batch.  Same recipe as original fiasco batch.  The results have raised more questions than answers.  Here is a record of batches and results thusfar:

Warm Temp Batch #1:
    24 hours at 75F
    Minimal, substandard rise
    Gluten destroyed, dough unusable
Cool Temp Batch:
    48 hours at 62F
    Modest, but acceptable rise
    Gluten in perfect shape, dough perfectly usable
Warm Temp Batch #2:
    24 hours at 75F
    Prodigious rise - borderline overblown
    Gluten in good shape, dough usable

Warm Temp Batch #2 vs. Cool Temp Batch:  +13 degrees warmer in half the time should produce similar results if the rule of thumb that +15F doubles yeast activity is to be believed.  Instead the warmer rise saw far more pronounced culture action.

Warm Temp Batch #2 vs. #1:   In #1 the dough looked underrisen but was unusable.  In #2 the dough looked overblown but was usable.  I give up trying to make sense of this craziness.

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4042
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 01:29:45 PM »
I would bake up batch #1 if you haven't tossed it yet. You might be surprised.

Offline scpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 317
  • Demystifying Neapolitan Pizza
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2007, 01:55:57 PM »
#1 is long gone, it's the original fiasco batch that prompted me to start this thread.  When I went to form a skin, the dough essentially disintegrated in my hands.  It was quite dead and not coming back.

Offline fabio

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Camaldoli Concerns
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 02:04:25 PM »
Was there any difference between batch #1 and batch #2 such as recipe, flour used, mixing procedure, autolyse time, etc? Any difference you can think of might help. I was recently told by a credible source that even something as simple as sifting the flour can make a huge difference in the gluten structure.

If there is no difference, then you might have to consider that a mistake was made in weighing one of the ingredients (maybe the starter).