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Author Topic: What's the point of bench resting ?  (Read 1637 times)

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Offline schibetta

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What's the point of bench resting ?
« on: March 27, 2021, 05:16:05 PM »
Hello,

Is bench rest simply letting your dough at room temperature for a while before putting it in the fridge for the long cold fermentation?

I maybe want to try that but I'm afraid it will dry my dough.

What is the real point of doing this ?

Should you aim for a specific finished dough temperature before bench rest ?

How long should you do that ?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2021, 12:23:55 PM »
Hello,

Is bench rest simply letting your dough at room temperature for a while before putting it in the fridge for the long cold fermentation?

I maybe want to try that but I'm afraid it will dry my dough.

What is the real point of doing this ?

Should you aim for a specific finished dough temperature before bench rest ?

How long should you do that ?
schibetta,

Those are good questions. I say that because the late Tom Lehmann advocated getting dough balls into the cooler as soon as possible (about 20 minutes for a large commercial batch). You can see his philosophy in the instructions he gave to professionals at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=43833.msg438770#msg438770

However, I had previously read and heard about letting dough balls warm up for a while at room temperature before refrigerating. An example of this advice was given by Evelyne Slomon, who had spent years in NYC and knew the pizza making scene very well, to the point where she even wrote a book about pizza (the Pizza Book). You can read here on the forum where she advocated a preliminary warm up of the dough balls, way back in 2007, at Reply 298 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1258.msg37081#msg37081

What I have observed over the years is that there are quite a few pizza makers, both in home and professional settings, who use a preliminary warm up of the dough balls. And they have learned how to fit this warm-up time, along with the amount of yeast they use, into their total time and dough management. Some even let the dough rest in bulk for a specified period and then form the dough balls. They say that this makes the individual dough balls easier to form.  Some pizza makers--but a very small number--use an autolyse or autolyse-like rest period before forming the dough balls. Member Andrew Bellucci uses a combinations of rest periods, as he so noted at Reply 210 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=66053.msg660333#msg660333

Here on the forum, you are likely to find all kinds of examples where members let their dough rest for a while before cold fermentation, and are able to get good results. The rest periods can vary all over the place. So there is no fixed rest period that applies to all doughs. Each case that is successful may end up with a recommended rest period.

At this point, I perhaps should digress a bit to mention that Tom Lehmann did use a preliminary warm-up time for dough balls but that was for dough that was to be rolled out or pressed into pans, which I believe is not what you have in mind. I discussed this option at Reply 13 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=66592.msg656349#msg656349

As for your finished dough temperature question, I believe that finished dough temperature is critical. So, in the context of using a bench rest, I would be inclined to measure the finished dough temperature after the bench rest period, since that is the temperature at which the dough balls go into the cooler or refrigerator. But this should not be a major problem so long as the amount of yeast is selected to allow the dough balls to ferment properly under refrigeration. As for a good number for the finished dough temperature, around 70-75F should be fine. That is for a home setting. For a commercial setting, around 80-85F is common because commercial coolers are more efficient than standard home refrigerators.

In your case, if you are worried that the dough balls will dry too much, you can brush them with a bit of oil.

If you decide to try bench resting of your dough, please let us know how things turn out.

Peter

Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2021, 03:29:30 PM »
schibetta,

Those are good questions. I say that because the late Tom Lehmann advocated getting dough balls into the cooler as soon as possible (about 20 minutes for a large commercial batch). You can see his philosophy in the instructions he gave to professionals at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=43833.msg438770#msg438770

However, I had previously read and heard about letting dough balls warm up for a while at room temperature before refrigerating. An example of this advice was given by Evelyne Slomon, who had spent years in NYC and knew the pizza making scene very well, to the point where she even wrote a book about pizza (the Pizza Book). You can read here on the forum where she advocated a preliminary warm up of the dough balls, way back in 2007, at Reply 298 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=1258.msg37081#msg37081

What I have observed over the years is that there are quite a few pizza makers, both in home and professional settings, who use a preliminary warm up of the dough balls. And they have learned how to fit this warm-up time, along with the amount of yeast they use, into their total time and dough management. Some even let the dough rest in bulk for a specified period and then form the dough balls. They say that this makes the individual dough balls easier to form.  Some pizza makers--but a very small number--use an autolyse rest period before forming the dough balls. Member Andrew Bellucci uses a combinations of rest periods, as he so noted at Reply 210 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=66053.msg660333#msg660333

Here on the forum, you are likely to find all kinds of examples where members let their dough rest for a while before cold fermentation, and are able to get good results. The rest periods can vary all over the place. So there is no fixed rest period that applies to all doughs. Each case that is successful may end up with a recommended rest period.

At this point, I perhaps should digress a bit to mention that Tom Lehmann did use a preliminary warm-up time for dough balls but that was for dough that was to be rolled out or pressed into pans, which I believe is not what you have in mind. I discussed this option at Reply 13 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=66592.msg656349#msg656349

As for your finished dough temperature question, I believe that finished dough temperature is critical. So, in the context of using a bench rest, I would be inclined to measure the finished dough temperature after the bench rest period, since that is the temperature at which the dough balls go into the cooler or refrigerator. But this should not be a major problem so long as the amount of yeast is selected to allow the dough balls to ferment properly under refrigeration. As for a good number for the finished dough temperature, around 70-75F should be fine. That is for a home setting. For a commercial setting, around 80-85F is common because commercial coolers are more efficient than standard home refrigerators.

In your case, if you are worried that the dough balls will dry too much, you can brush them with a bit of oil.

If you decide to try bench resting of your dough, please let us know how things turn out.

Peter

thanks for the thorough reply, I appreciate that

I will try a bench rest for my next dough, probably one hour before balling and putting it in the fridge, I will cover it well to prevent my dough from drying out

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 08:02:56 PM »
thanks for the thorough reply, I appreciate that

I will try a bench rest for my next dough, probably one hour before balling and putting it in the fridge, I will cover it well to prevent my dough from drying out

Are you a home user or a commercial setting?? Also.. how much yeast are you using in your dough??

Offline RedSauce

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 09:45:05 PM »
So is the reason for bench resting solely for regulating temperature, in this case lowering temperature? If so, it would seem that Dr. Tom's suggestion to get the dough into the cooler immediately is the most efficient way to accomplish that. Conversely, why warm up the dough only to then put it in cold storage?  Does the practice produce any other benefit relating to fermentation or dough quality?

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Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2021, 12:29:33 PM »
Are you a home user or a commercial setting?? Also.. how much yeast are you using in your dough??

I'm a home user and I use 0.45% active dry yeast

Offline Peter B

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2021, 12:49:09 PM »
I started trying different formulations a few months back, as what I was getting seemed to be missing something.  The new formulations I tried either were overproofed or underproofed and I could not seem to get the temperature right.  Then I heard of this page (https://www.richardeaglespoon.com/articles/how-to-pizza) on a NY thread.  This calls for some RT resting after mixing, and I got much more consistent results.  I also measure my water, but then let it sit in the bowl for a while to regulate temperature.
I just mixed a batch of Serious Eats Star Tavern pie (https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/04/crispy-bar-style-pizza-star-tavern-recipe.html).  Out of habit (or superstition, more accurately) I used RT water instead of lukewarm, and let it bench rest for 45 minutes before putting in the chill chest.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 12:52:08 PM by Peter B »
I said to my little one, "come here so I can change you".
He said "change only comes from within".  :-/

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2021, 02:56:12 PM »
So is the reason for bench resting solely for regulating temperature, in this case lowering temperature? If so, it would seem that Dr. Tom's suggestion to get the dough into the cooler immediately is the most efficient way to accomplish that. Conversely, why warm up the dough only to then put it in cold storage?  Does the practice produce any other benefit relating to fermentation or dough quality?
RedSauce,

Tom discussed this matter in a thread on the subject at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=40095.msg400009#msg400009

Peter


Offline RedSauce

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2021, 11:07:50 PM »
Thanks for the reference, Peter. From poring over Tom's extensive comments, my impression is that RT benching prior to CF doesn't seem to have a specific upside although I know many favor the practice. Further, if I understand correctly, it appears to accelerate fermentation and make it more difficult to precisely control, with the potential for not only over-fermenting but possibly poorer dough handling and diminished oven spring, as well as less than optimal flavor development due to a foreshortened fermentation period. Still, I respect the claims of many who seem to be able make it work to their satisfaction.

Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2021, 09:45:57 AM »
so I made my Doughty yesterday

I took the finished dough température after kneading and it was 26 degrés Celsius

I then covered my dough with a plastic wrap and let it bench rested for 1 hour. The finished dough temperature after bench resting was 24,1 degrés Celsius.
My dough wasn't dry after the bench rest thanks to the plastic wrap

I will bake the pizza Saturday, and will see how it turns out. I also used a new flour I've just received (caputo cuoco)

Maybe my dough will Be different because of all those things.

Hopefully it will taste good

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Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2021, 04:04:48 AM »
I look at my dough through my airtight container and it seems to ferment much faster than usual

I only plan to use my dough saturday for dinner so maybe it will be a bit overfermented..

maybe the bench resting speed up the fermentation..

I also used a new flour for this dough

I smelled my dough by opening the container and it doesn't smell too yeasty yet, but it has only fermented 40 hours so far in the fridge

Offline amolapizza

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2021, 06:05:58 AM »
My take on the bench rest is, that it's to allow the gluten to develop more before making the balls.  So mix  until the dough forms and is no longer sticky (kind of shaggy), then bench rest for 30-60 minutes and when you form the balls it's become silky smooth.  Of course keeping it a rt for a longer time will increase the fermentation, it's unavoidable as it's very much temperature dependent.

I've been told in Italy that a bench rest isn't needed with modern high strength flours, but that it's traditional as flours used many years ago were much weaker and needed the extra time to develop the desired gluten.  Mind you this is in the context of making Neapolitan pizza.
Jack

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2021, 09:12:58 PM »
maybe the bench resting speed up the fermentation..

 :-D

Of course!! That's why Tom always advocated getting that dough in the fridge within 20 minutes.

Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2021, 04:34:01 AM »
:-D

Of course!! That's why Tom always advocated getting that dough in the fridge within 20 minutes.

Finally I will use my dough tonight. We'll see how it will turn out.

Offline schibetta

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2021, 04:43:57 PM »
So I baked my pizza tonight and it was good, I liked the taste of the crust, maybe more than my late pizzas..

the fermentation formula was

0.45% active dry yeast
1 hour bench resting with the dough covered with a plastic wrap
24.1 degrés celsius finished dough temperature after bench rest
3 days in the fridge
Dough out of the fridge 90 minutes (for a last rise) before opening it (covered with a plastic wrap)

I should have taken a picture since I know most people like to see the finished result but I didn't unfortunately..

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Online Georgev

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2021, 12:38:32 AM »
I feel like a bench rest helps when you are using less yeast. I actually like bench resting while using say .3 idy vs .4 idy. When I use .4 idy I cut ball and put right into the fridge. But lately I have been lowering my yeast more and more and I think the bench rest get the dough going a bit more to get the same outcome as more yeast/right into the fridge method.  Less yeast I think produces a taster dough.  By bench rest I say I do 20-30 mins. Usually goes up a degree or two in that time span. But never let my dough go above 76-77 degrees as I feel it starts to over proof above 80.

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2021, 11:17:49 PM »
I feel like a bench rest helps when you are using less yeast. I actually like bench resting while using say .3 idy vs .4 idy. When I use .4 idy I cut ball and put right into the fridge. But lately I have been lowering my yeast more and more and I think the bench rest get the dough going a bit more to get the same outcome as more yeast/right into the fridge method.  Less yeast I think produces a taster dough.  By bench rest I say I do 20-30 mins. Usually goes up a degree or two in that time span. But never let my dough go above 76-77 degrees as I feel it starts to over proof above 80.

Like I remember Tom mentioning before... it's TOTAL fermentation that matters. There are different ways to achieve that goal... but in the end it's how much yeast and how much time. (and obviously, what the temperature is)... if you like less yeast? Sure... you can bench rest... OR you could CF for longer... bench rest is helping YOU because it's working into YOUR work flow. And that's great. But you could use even LESS yeast... even 1/4 of what you're currently using, and given enough time in the fridge, it will eventually ferment to the place that the dough would be perfect to use. I once did a RT ferment for nearly 65 hours. YES.... RT for 65 hours!!  ;D I made a dough ball... put in, literally 3-4 GRAINS of IDY and let it go... it didn't even move for 25-30 hours.... around 50 hours it had enough rise for me to re-ball... and then at 65ish hours I stretched it into a pizza and it was perfect dough.... slightly tangy, super crispy... tasty.

Offline RedSauce

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2021, 10:56:28 AM »
What was the purpose or benefit of reballing at 50 hours?

Offline QwertyJuan

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2021, 10:34:17 PM »
What was the purpose or benefit of reballing at 50 hours?

The dough had completely flattened out at that time, so I reballed... may have not had to? But I did... I really need to try it again sometime.... and take pics. It was very interesting and was quite surprised at the fact that the pizza turned out so well.

Offline RedSauce

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Re: What's the point of bench resting ?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2021, 12:20:31 PM »
If I'm right in assuming you're doing thin NY style with an average topping load, it's still fascinating to think that 4 grains of IDY properly fermented can give sufficient oven spring.

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