Author Topic: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?  (Read 1953 times)

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Offline 12gauge

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Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« on: January 09, 2008, 12:30:58 AM »
hello, newb here.  1st batch of caputo ever & 1st cold fermentation.  I used to wait for it to double before ever putting in fridge & i used to always use a whole 1/4 oz pack per batch, until i found this website, didnt know any better.

I have a batch of dough.  caputo pizzeria flour.
100% flour
60% water (80F or so)
.2% IDY (quick rise red star)
2% salt
Total 162.2%
Total of 291.45 seperated into 4 balls.   Kneaded for 10 minutes in kitchen aid & went straight to fridge.

My question is, after 24 hours my dough hasn't done anything.  i put a probe in my fridge, it is 33F.  Thats dang near freezing.  Will yeast work this cold?  or should i let it rise a little in the future before putting it in the fridge to make sure the yeast activates?

It always expanded in the fridge with my old way using way more yeast & letting it pre-grow, before putting it in the fridge.   It would need to be punched done daily.  (no more punching down for me, at least i think i'm not supposed to, some conflicting info i'm finding on this subject)

Love the board, I have my 2stone on order now as well.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 12:34:50 AM by 12gauge »


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2008, 07:55:43 AM »
12gauge,

Your refrigerator is indeed on the cold side, colder even than some commercial coolers. At 33 degrees F, you have essentially put the dough balls in a state of suspension where, at least from the standpoint of the yeast, not a great deal is happening. You may find that you will have to let the dough balls set for several hours (maybe 6 hours or more) at room temperature (or in another warm environment) to really warm up before they can be used most effectively. Unless you decide to raise your refrigerator temperature, next time you may want to let the dough balls ferment for a couple of hours at room temperature before putting them in the refrigerator. You may also want to use more yeast and use warmer water (it can be up to 120-130 degrees F so long as you put the IDY in with the flour before adding the water). It seems to me that just raising your refrigerator temperature by several degrees may be the easiest change to make. Even if you decide to raise the refrigerator temperature, if you are looking at a window of usability of about a day, letting the dough ferment for a while before going into the refrigerator should not pose a problem.

I think that you will find that most doughs that rise in a very noticeable way and can be punched down are doughs that contain a fair amount of yeast, and especially if the dough is allowed to ferment/rise at room temperature and even more so if the ambient temperature (room temperature) is on the high side, as it typically is in the summer. Using small amounts of yeast and cold fermentation in the refrigerator will usually restrain volume expansion of the dough, so there is almost nothing to really punch down. That is intentional with commercial cold fermented doughs. Otherwise, pizza operators would have to have their workers go through boxes and boxes of dough balls (sometimes hundreds of dough balls), punch down and reshape the dough balls, put them back into the dough boxes, and then back into the cooler. No operator wants to have to go through that routine, especially those who make the dough balls at night for the next day's use, which is a very common practice. The dough balls you made are more like commercial dough balls. Most dough recipes that you see in cookbooks that are geared to home pizza makers usually call for large amounts of yeast and, typically, room temperature fermentation. That combination is calculated to dramatically reduce the risk of failure, even if it means having to punch down the dough balls. This method also avoids the "panic" reaction of users when they don't see the dough balls rising. People are comforted when the dough balls rise, and yeast producers and recipe authors know this.

The Caputo flour really does best in a room-temperature fermentation environment, so that is something you may want to consider in a future effort. Doing that, along with using a 2stone setup, should get you a finished pizza with many of the characteristics of a Neapolitan style pizza.

Peter

Offline 12gauge

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2008, 11:00:12 AM »
Thanks Peter for the reply.  I guess i didnt realize caputo was best for room temp fermentation .   if this batch doesnt turn out well, i will have to give that a try next time.  My fridge has a sliding scale thermostat.  if i went from 0% to 100%, & 100% being the coldest, its set for about 25% right now, so i dont have much room to slide it.  50% is where the normal mark is & 100% is where the "coldest text" is.  Almost seems like the thermostat isnt working very accurately.  I'll adjust it some more tonight & see if i can get the temp up.   

What temp should a fridge be at anyways?

Offline November

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2008, 11:12:25 AM »
Officially:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question121.htm
http://www.foodsafety.gov/~fsg/f01chill.html

Temperatures bellow 41F is why I don't like to use the refrigerator for dough fermentation.  My refrigerator is almost always near 32F as well.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2008, 11:43:18 AM »
12gauge,

November's links answer the question you raised about the best refrigerator temperature to use. My refrigerator ranges from around 36-42 degrees F. But there can be a lot of variation in refrigerator temperature. If the door is opened and closed a lot, warmer air can enter the refrigerator and lower the temperature. Using up existing (cooled) foods and adding new ones (warm) will also affect the refrigerator temperature. Also, some parts of the refrigerator, especially away from the door, are cooler than others. My refrigerator also tends to run cooler overall in the winter than in the summer. Any dough balls kept in the refrigerator are at the mercy of all of these factors.

Professional pizza operators experience fewer of these problems because they use commercial coolers that are largely dedicated to dough balls (some coolers are big enough to accommodate produce, etc.,) and they don't open the doors as much as the average homeowner does with a standard refrigerator. Also, many operators make their dough balls at night where there is virtually no traffic into the coolers until the next day. My practice is to try to get a finished dough temperature of around 75-80 degrees F, rather than the 80-85 degrees F range commonly recommended for professional pizza operators. The 5 degrees F difference is to compensate for the less efficient performance of my refrigerator.

Peter

Offline 12gauge

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2008, 04:59:15 PM »

been doing some more reading & searching & keep finding references to the thermocool.  Is there a particular model & vendor that everyone is using. 

i want to get the right tools to do the job right.  I've been making pizza's for 10 years & they never have been as good as i wanted & now i'm determined!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2008, 05:16:27 PM »
12gauge,

The model I bought is the MR-138, which I bought from The Buzz, at http://www.thebuzzelectronics.com/thermokool_mr138_thermokool_mr-138_deluxe_mini_cooler_and_w.htm. Other members have the same model.

Peter

Offline 12gauge

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2008, 05:30:30 PM »
THANKS, No wonder i couldnt find it at first, i spelled it wrong.  just ordered it, now the wife wont be too happy about that sitting on the counter  :-D


12gauge,

The model I bought is the MR-138, which I bought from The Buzz, at http://www.thebuzzelectronics.com/thermokool_mr138_thermokool_mr-138_deluxe_mini_cooler_and_w.htm. Other members have the same model.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: Fridge temperature for dough? can it be too cold?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 05:34:11 PM »
The Buzz Electronics has consistently been among the lowest priced outlets for this unit.