Author Topic: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise  (Read 3552 times)

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Offline briterian

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John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« on: December 25, 2007, 07:56:10 PM »
I ate at John's Pizzeria this week in NYC (http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile/7183400/) and on a whim asked my waitress if I could purchase some dough to take back home to Cincinnati.  Luckily, she said I can't sell it to you but I can slip some in a to go box for ya.  I was on cloud nine - getting to check out the structure of a true NYC dough.  I put it in a quart zip log bag on my way to La Guardia and was surprised by it's yeast development.  It had nearly blown open my zip loc bag in about 1-2 hours.

I've only been doing a cold rise - putting my dough directly into the fridge and not letting it pre-rise.  WRONG. Since I've been back, I have now begun letting the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, punching it down and the putting it in the fridge until needed.   Properly allowing the rise to get busy - even with only about 1/2 tsp - I was able to get about a doubling in size in about 2-3 hours - using the pizzashark recipe from the Famous Pizzeria Regina in Boston.

I also make sure the dough is at room temperature (since John's felt room temp warm) - which normally takes at least 3 hours. I did both of these things recently and along cooking the dough in my 'new' bakers pride oven (MO2t), I've seen my dough definitely take on a new structure.  Nice browning, nice spring, nice softness in the middle - all nice observations from John's dough leading to new attention to detail in letting my yeast do it's thing before refrigeration (doubling in size) and letting the dough reach room temp before baking. Pics to follow if interested. 


Online Pete-zza

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 12:45:56 AM »
I would like to see the photos.

Did you ascertain that John's is allowing their dough balls to rise and then punching them down before cold fermenting?

Peter

Offline briterian

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2007, 08:52:25 AM »
Hi Pete,
Happy Holidays.

It could have been that that the yeast development happened after dough reached room temperature but after re-reading through a number of recipes, I saw the trend to allow the dough to double, punch down and then cold rise so I followed that step.  Also from a John's production model, I only see this being the approach they take.

I also noticed the temperature of the dough at Johns and noticed it was room temp - and often I only let my dough sit for like 1-2 hrs before baking and it's often got a bit of a chill to it.  So like I said I'm took away (2) things from Johns
1. allow dough to rise till doubled before cold rise
2. allow dough to truly get to room temp.

Here are some pics: (I'm loving my new oven - reaching temps of 650 degrees - notice how I layered it with tiles)

Offline briterian

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2007, 09:02:06 AM »
The two dough pics are of John's Dough - notice the yeast development in the zip loc bag.

I also oiled the outer rim of my pie - with garlic infused oil - my wife likes it that way.

Pie: roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, mozz, boursin cheese.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2007, 10:17:46 AM »
briterian,

Thank you for posting the photos. Your pizza turned out quite nice.

The vast majority of pizza operators who cold ferment their doughs do not use the rise and punchdown method you described. When I participated in the A16 thread, I learned that A16--which is an artisan pizza operator--"worked" their dough balls (based on using 00 flour) one or more times after they went into the cooler. I wouldn't quite say that they "punched down" the dough balls but rather used a stretch and fold method. However, my recollection is that the dough balls went fairly promptly into the cooler after preparation and were not subjected to a rise before that.  Most operators who use the cold fermentation method do not let the dough balls rise--and certainly not double--before going into the cooler. In fact, Tom Lehmann strongly urges that operators not do that because the dough balls become gassy and act like insulators and are difficult to cool down in the cooler, often resulting in dough balls that "blow" (overferment) by the time the operator shows up at work the next day. You might be able to get away with a double rise and punchdown method if you are making only a single or a few dough balls, as in your case in a home setting, but if you were making several hundred dough balls stacked in trays, as is quite likely the case with John's, reworking the dough balls would be a time consuming extra step that one would want to avoid if possible. I don't mean to suggest that John's is not using the method you described, only that I am skeptical, especially the punchdown part.

I might add that Evelyne Slomon suggested an initial fermentation before refrigerating at Reply 298 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1258.msg37081/topicseen.html#msg37081. That suggestion is for a home application where the dough is to be used within 12-24 hours. In another post, at Reply 455 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.msg28773.html#msg28773, Evelyne suggested that, unless one plans to use the dough the next day, the initial fermentation in a home environment can be omitted where the dough batch size is small. 

As far as allowing the dough balls to warm up at, or to, room temperature before using, that is also quite common, especially if one is making a lot of pizzas. The most common practice is to remove whatever number of dough balls the operator plans to use over the next few hours. However, it often occurs that more dough balls are removed than were actually needed. But those dough balls should last about another 3 or 4 hours, and possibly longer if a strong flour is used. One of our members, Les, who also has a countertop Baker's Pride oven, once experimented with letting the dough balls set for over 6 hours at room temperature before using. In fact, if memory serves me correct, he experimented with 6, 7, 8 and 9 hours and was planning on trying 10 hours. As you might expect, the older dough balls were quite gassy. I might add as a footnote that Tom Lehmann tells operators to not let their dough balls rise to room temperature, but rather at room temperature, which is an important distinction. Letting a dough ball rise to a room temperature of say, 70 degrees F, may not be a problem but it would be if the room temperature were 85-90 degrees F, as is sometimes the case in the oven areas of pizza operators.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 02:26:53 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline briterian

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2007, 08:18:50 AM »
Hi Pete,
As always great insight.  My observations may only be half-right. I just notice that when I do a cold-rise fermentation I don't ever get much rise in my dough.  So I think next time I'll not let it double but let it sit on the counter for maybe 30 minutes until I can see the yeast doing it's thing and then fridge it and the other thing I'll do is make sure I do is make sure the dough is truly at 70 f before baking - similar to letting a steak get at room temperature so you can create a 'crust.'


Online Pete-zza

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2007, 08:37:04 AM »
briterian,

Last night I posted a link to a video (http://www.pizzatv.com/doughdrny.php) in which Tom Lehmann makes a NY style pizza with a dough ball that, based on the times that Tom mentioned, was 5 3/4 hours old by the time he used it. So, as you can see, a dough ball can hang out for quite a while at room temperature before using.

It is not at all uncommon for a cold fermented dough to exhibit little rise during fermentation. Often the dough rises but is not noticeable to the naked eye (the dough may spread rather than expand upwardly). But if you let the dough warm up long enough (at room temperature), it does rise so that you can see the expansion and it will usually be soft and bake up with decent oven spring, etc. This time of year, where it is quite cool, cold fermented dough balls will be even more sluggish while in the refrigerator. That's why it is usually a good idea to use a bit more yeast or warmer water (or both) when the weather turns cool to compensate for the reduced fermentation rate and expansion.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 27, 2007, 08:45:56 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline mmarston

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2007, 08:48:03 AM »
The DiFara clone I have been making on my 2Stone uses a similar technique based on Peter's research and methods described on the A16 thread.
My method is described at:

 reply 22   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5699.20.html

I have been very happy with this recipe at one and two days of refrigeration. It can get too gassy at three days but I have not yet tried knocking it down during the refrigeration.

Peter, normally I divide my dough after mixing. Could you describe the procedure for dividing the dough for baking after a bulk rise in the refrigerator.

I'm planning a pizza party and want to avoid filling my refrigerator with individual containers of dough.

Michael
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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2007, 09:31:05 AM »
Peter, normally I divide my dough after mixing. Could you describe the procedure for dividing the dough for baking after a bulk rise in the refrigerator.


Michael,

A question very similar to yours came up recently at the PMQ Think Tank, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=24108#24108, and was answered by Tom Lehmann.

Expanding some on what Tom said in his reply, I think the type of dough you are planning to make and the method of fermentation will often dictate whether you start in bulk and later divide, or divide from the outset. For example, if you are fermenting the dough at room temperature, you can start at bulk and later divide and shape with few problems since the dough will be warm and easy to work with. This is essentially the method that pizzanapoletana (Marco) has described for Neapolitan-style doughs and is also the one that is routinely used by Bill/SFNM and others. If a dough has a high hydration, it is also easier to divide (and shape) after a bulk fermentation than one with a low hydration. Otherwise, you will have to allow for a much longer second rise time than normal for the biochemical activity to soften the gluten structure of the divided dough balls. In some cases, as where a dough is ultimately going to be run through a roller/sheeter, the dough can be fermented in bulk and then cut into large pieces to be run through the roller/sheeter. This is obviously more practical than working with individual dough balls. In your case, where you are cold fermenting the dough, unless you can bring the dough out of the refrigerator and divide it and reshape it into individual dough balls several hours before you plan to use them, I think I would do the dividing up front rather than later.

Peter

Offline mmarston

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Re: John's Pizzeria and abandoning the cold rise
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2007, 09:42:37 AM »
Peter,

As always, thanks for your advice, PMQ's site seems to be down but I think I'll stick with dividing first. I'll just use an ice chest or two to hold the dough containers overnight.

Michael

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