Can you explain in a bit more detail the sequence of steps and times, temperatures, etc., that you followed in making the latest dough balls? That might help explain the crust coloration issue. Also, the explanation might be of value to others who may want to try your dough formulation.
I started out by dissolving the sugar & salt in all the water (95°F). Then I added 60% of the flour combo of KABF & SBBF and all the yeast. Using the paddle attachment I mixed everything together until it had formed a thick batter. I covered the mixing bowl with the trusted Glad Press n' seal, punched a small hole in the middle and let it rest for 2 hours. After that time it showed a nice bubbly surface and when stirring it a bit with the handle of a wooden spoon I could see the strands of gluten already forming. The batter had also significantly risen up the sides of the bowl. As you have probably noticed, I strayed slightly from your previous suggestion on the poolish preparation in regards to the time frame of fermentation and the amount of yeast that was used as you posted here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8093.msg82892.html#msg82892
. But then again, that was for a 8hr 'emergency' dough.
I gave it a quick stir before adding the rest of the flour (Note:
The flour was sifted in both times), added the honey and the oil on top of it and switched to the dough hook. I gave it a 5 min knead to incorporate everything and let it rest for 20 mins. After 20 mins I turned the mixer on at speed 2 and let it knead for 15 mins, with one rest period of 5 mins after 10 mins kneading time.
The dough came out of the bowl at around 80°F. I gave a it a few stretch & folds on the counter, balled it up and placed it in a lightly oiled bowl. I brushed it with a bit of olive oil and covered it with aforementioned wrap. I punched another hole into the top of the wrap and into the fridge it went for 48hrs.
After 48hrs, I took the dough out and immediately divided it into four individual dough balls at 375gr each. Two went back into the fridge in my proof box and the other two were used within an hour of coming out of the fridge. Those two were very easy to work with, showed almost no resistance to shaping and stretching and had great oven spring. The crust was light, airy but chewy and had a nice rustic crunch to it. Compared to doughs I've made in the past, without the poolish method, the crust had in my opinion a better flavor and texture. But that could also have something to do with the flour combo and the addition of honey, so I'm not really sure on that one.
What I noticed about the two dough balls that did a 72 hr fermentation stint in my fridge was that they had no elasticity whatsoever. They felt like silk, to be honest and were probably the easiest dough balls I have worked with so far. I posted a couple of pics in this thread: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9630.msg83714.html#msg83714
Oven spring was great, taste of the crust was very good. The slices were, despite the crunchy exterior, easily folded in half, very light on the inside with nice visible pockets of gas/air (sic) from where the yeast did its last breath...RIP
...Think about it, those little creatures die for our pleasure
Anyway, the bake time for all four was 8 mins with an added minute under the broiler at 625°F after an hour of pre-heating the stone on both days.
Also, have you found sufficient merit in using the poolish approach to continue to use it, either for an 8-hour room temperature version or for the long cold fermentation version, or possibly both? If so, where did you find the poolish approach to have particular value from your perspective?
I don't know if I can answer that question completely, yet. I had good, if not great results, by using the poolish approach. But I think both approaches, poolish and non-poolish, have produced a good dough so far. What I do know, though, is that my crusts have improved a great deal since I started mixing the KABF and the SBBF together at an even ratio. I'm not too happy about the lack of crust coloration but I'm sure there's a solution for it somewhere. Like I said before, I had great coloration with the organic sugar from Safeway (the store brand).
I might have to experiment with maybe different mixing/kneading regimens, the order the ingredients are added, prolonged or shortened fermentation times, bulk or individual rise, etc.
I will experiment further with the poolish approach to see if it could be improved and used under different circumstances, i.e, shorter fermentation times without the loss of flavor. However, I noticed that even after a 20hr bulk rise, the dough had already a nice subtle sourdough smell to it, which I personally like, compared to the doughs I've made without a poolish.
I hope that I didn't leave anything out in describing what the procedures were.