Author Topic: Re: Lehmann's NY Dough With a Preferment  (Read 1901 times)

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Offline Dartanian

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Re: Lehmann's NY Dough With a Preferment
« on: May 12, 2009, 10:29:56 AM »
I am a dormant member who joined a few years ago who has not posted in quite some time. It's good to be back.  I could use some counsel.   This past weekend, after much reading here,  I made a pizza using the Lehmann sponge method.  It was quite good. I note that while I did notice a more flavorful dough, I did encounter the issue which Pete raised on the "Pete-zza does Jerry Mac" thread regarding the lack of coloration with the crust cause be the addition of all the yeast to the flour during the preferment.  When I make a pizza using the Lehmann sponge method again, I will add sugar to see if that helps.  From reading on this thread, I see that diastatic malt would do the trick.  I'll see if the sugar works before turning to the malt, which I have never used.

For my next pizza, which will be either a 14 or 16 inch Lehmann with a 63% hydration level, I plan to use the poolish formula suggested by tdeane on the "Dough - please give me a nudge in the right direction" thread. There he notes that 7g water and 7g flour with a 1/4 tsp makes a "mean poolish".  I have a couple of questions regarding the temperature of the water used to make the poolish and the final dough, and the amount of yeast.

The Lehmann sponge method calls for using ice cold water when mixing the sponge with dough, which I presume is to slow the fermentation process.  Should I follow that same practice when incorporating the tdeane poolish into the final dough?  I note that tdeane said he makes the poolish the night before, puts it in the fridge, and pulls it out 2 to 3 hours before making the dough.  He also advised that it would work just as well if it were made the same day without the refrigeration.  Should the water temperature used to make the final dough be any different for a refrigerated poolish vs. a poolish that is made to be used within a 2 to 3 hour window (or whenever it starts to bubble)? 

With respect to the water temperature for the poolish, Pete-zza notes on his Jerry Mac thread that 62 F is a good temperature for the poolish.  Is that temperature also optimal if the poolish is going to be refrigerated?  Is room temperature generally good enough for making a poolish whether it is refrigerated or not?

Also, with respect to the yeast level, if the poolish has about .03 oz of yeast, and that is the level that would normally be used in the whole pizza, if I leave all the yeast out of the final dough, will the amount in the poolish result in .03 level in the final dough or is it necessary to add some amount of yeast back into the final dough to get to the desired level.

Thanks very much for any counsel on these questions.  Again, glad to be back on the forum.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:09:46 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Lehmann's NY Dough With a Preferment
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 12:49:16 PM »

Welcome back to the forum.

In your post, I believe you are referring to my efforts to use the Lehmann sponge method with the JerryMac recipe that I described at Reply 28 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6515.msg62814.html#msg62814, and that the tdeane post you are referring to is the one at Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,7385.msg63694.html#msg63694.

If you plan to use the tdeane poolish method, Terry will be the best one to answer your question on the temperatures to use, or any other related questions.

You are correct that Tom Lehmann specified using cold water as part of the final mix (see his PMQ Think Tank post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=38304#38304). I am sure that the cold water was specified to be sure that the finished dough temperature after adding the sponge as part of the final mix was within the range of 80-85 degrees F. That would help insure that the dough doesn't ferment too fast. I don't know offhand whether Terry strives to achieve a particular finished dough temperature but he should be able to address that issue.

I also did indeed mention using water at around 62 degrees F for the preferment, at Reply 4 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6515.msg56131.html#msg56131. That value is typical of a classic ambient temperature fermented sponge as used in an artisan baking environment where the temperatures are carefully controlled so that consistent results are achieved day after day. It is not my practice to cold ferment sponges or poolish, but if I were to use cold fermentation, I would have to factor in the water temperature used to make the preferment as part of the overall window of usability of the preferment. However, I tend not to think that using roughly 60 degree F water would make a huge difference in the final results when using cold fermentation.

I think that you will find that in a home setting there are an endless number of variations--from the actual flour/water compositions, water temperatures, yeast quantities and other ingredients, and the split of ingredients between the preferment and the final mix, all of which will dictate the biochemical activity of the preferment, the final dough performance, and the final crust characteristics. Unfortunately, not all of these variations work as hoped in a home environment, usually because people guess a lot and/or fail to understand the nature and extent of all of the biochemical activity and their effects on the final product.

On the matter of using or not using yeast in the final mix, I think that you will find that most dough formulations call for some yeast, often quite a bit, as part of the final mix. It will depend on the particular dough formulation, the nature and duration of the prefermentation activity, and the results sought to be achieved.


Offline Dartanian

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Re: Lehmann's NY Dough With a Preferment
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 01:31:04 PM »
Thank you, Peter, for the kind welcome back to the forum and your counsel.  I'll post my results after I make the pizza, which will likely be this weekend.  Terry, I'd be grateful for any counsel on the poolish that you may have.