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Author Topic: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface  (Read 555 times)

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Offline luckydutch

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This is my first time attempting to bake with a sourdough and it's a starter that I grew myself but it hasn't gone as expected.

I mixed the starter into the dough, left it for 30 minutes, knead it for about 10 minutes then left again for another 15-20 minutes. At that point already, noticeable bubbles had formed in the dough. I did a series of stretch and folds in 30 minute intervals for the next 2 hours then allowed it to bulk ferment for about 15 hours in the fridge.

After the bulk ferment the dough is EXTREMELY soft and delicate as well as full of big bubbles. It never rose upwards but rather outwards and when I shaped the two balls and did 2-3 pulls to tighten them, you can see the huge bubbles that formed in the pictures below.

https://imgur.com/a/2mipMZV

It's acting almost like an over-fermented dough but it shouldn't be over-fermented in this timeframe with a natural starter. It also hadn't really expanded in size until quite late in the fermentation time. When I checked it in the morning, the dough was still a similar size as the night before but by lunch time it had grown to about double in size but it had grown wide not tall and puffy.

Any ideas?

Recipe:

100g starter (50:50 starter)
247g flour (Tipo 00, 11% protein)
143g water (65% hydration)
9g salt (3%)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 10:41:07 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline luckydutch

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 07:11:41 AM »
Probably over fermented as you are using 40% starter in your dough.

That was my first thought too but if it's over-fermented, how do you account for the fact that it only increased in size right towards the end of the fermentation?

When I add too much commercial yeast, it will rise rapidly then fall as it over-ferments. This never rose in the first place.

Online scott r

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 10:15:24 AM »
Im with Hans, but the thing to think about is that your starter can also be over fermented before it even goes into the dough... or even if it doest seem over fermented it may be too acidic.   As you get up there in the amount you use in the dough this becomes really apparent in the end product.  How sour was the crust?  if not at all you were under fermented... if pretty darn sour you were probably over fermented. 

Also, sourdough can see less volume expansion than commercial yeast before its ready, so this is something to get used to.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 10:17:50 AM by scott r »

Offline texmex

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 10:24:45 AM »
I had many experiments using large amounts of SD in the past. The dough will be very bubbly, as well as slack and sticky, not puffed up. 
I learned to not lift the dough to stretch it, as the extreme softness is conducive to creating thin spots or tears.  Required finger stretching on the board witt plenty of bench flour.  I had a regular formula using 40% SD for quite awhile.


I also did an experiment where I built SD dough with pizza hydration percentages in mind, without discarding anything and using cold ferment.  My notes show that the dough had a very distinct similarity to canned biscuit dough. Baked up soft and beautiful. That raw dough had a very sponge like appearance. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 10:26:37 AM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline texmex

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 11:15:44 AM »
I notice that you are talking about the dough aspect itself, but what were the baked results like? 
Reesa

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Offline luckydutch

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2021, 11:47:21 AM »
I notice that you are talking about the dough aspect itself, but what were the baked results like?

I will post them this evening.

I think maybe it's just over-fermented from using too much starter. I usually use about 150g poolish (75g flour, 75g water) for the same amount of total flour & hydration but I guess my starter is more active than a poolish?

I was actually worried about the dough under-fermenting because I heard sourdough is slower to ferment than commercial yeast.

I reshapped them and they are behaving(ish) so hopefully I'm able to make a half-decent pie still.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2021, 12:49:31 PM »
luckydutch,

At one time, Jeff Varasano (who now has at least a couple of pizza places in the Atlanta area), said he used 40% starter for pizza dough, but he later reduced that to around 8-9% when he and pftaylor were trying to reproduce the Patsy's dough:

Reply 11 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21598.msg218181;topicseen#msg218181

Reply 25 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=796.msg7437#msg7437 (see last sentence)

Using 40% in your case is perhaps excessive except perhaps outside of pizza making, and more like bread making. For example, I recall playing around with a Nancy Silverton bread recipe and I calculated the amount of sourdough to be around 30-35% of the flour weight:

Reply 60 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11700.msg108853#msg108853

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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2021, 02:00:54 PM »
Depends on how you do it. This is 54%: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=10237.0 It's also only 8 hours of fermentation.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline luckydutch

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2021, 06:34:04 PM »
The pizza came out OK in the end. Not my best not my worst.

https://imgur.com/gallery/Wb0CfcI

Definitely too much starter though. The comments here fit with what I experienced with the dough. It was just so lively, it was growing bubbles within an hour of reshaping. Some of those bubbles became kind of caverns in the crust which went crispy. Not ideal but not a complete disaster.

If I try it again, I'll try to follow a specific sourdough recipe rather than trying to just follow my normal poolish recipe and swapping the poolish for starter. Based on this experience, they're clearly quite different in how potent they are at fermenting the dough!

Thank you all for helping me to diagnose my error!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 07:07:41 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline texmex

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2021, 07:47:38 PM »
That looks familiar. What temp did you bake at?
Reesa

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Offline luckydutch

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2021, 03:56:00 AM »
That looks familiar. What temp did you bake at?

230 C (446 F), the highest my oven will go to.

Hoping to sell my flat and buy a place with a garden soon where Ill be able to buy a proper pizza oven!

Offline texmex

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2021, 06:52:22 AM »
Ah, home oven bakes. They can take awhile to dial in. 
Did you get a steel to bake on?  I spent a lot of time moving my baking stones around in my home oven and trying to create a hotter environment within a "confined" space in there. Had to try many different ways, but finally found a good setup.  My best configuration involved the use of a baking stone precariously perched on a cast iron pan lid to launch the pizza onto, then partially covering the rack above with a strip of foil coupled with another stone directly above the lower stone. I had to warm everything up for about an hour before the bake, but the temps were much higher for a better bake. These days, when I decide to try using my home oven, I have to go and read these notes so I don't stack the stones in the wrong configuration including getting them on the correct racks.


A pic can be seen here: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14714.msg414166#msg414166

My use of 40% SD can also be found there.  I wasn't following any pizza baking  recommendations with that %... just my nature to try anything once or twice. 
Reesa

Offline luckydutch

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2021, 11:53:56 AM »
Ah, home oven bakes. They can take awhile to dial in. 
Did you get a steel to bake on?  I spent a lot of time moving my baking stones around in my home oven and trying to create a hotter environment within a "confined" space in there. Had to try many different ways, but finally found a good setup.  My best configuration involved the use of a baking stone precariously perched on a cast iron pan lid to launch the pizza onto, then partially covering the rack above with a strip of foil coupled with another stone directly above the lower stone. I had to warm everything up for about an hour before the bake, but the temps were much higher for a better bake. These days, when I decide to try using my home oven, I have to go and read these notes so I don't stack the stones in the wrong configuration including getting them on the correct racks.


A pic can be seen here: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=14714.msg414166#msg414166

My use of 40% SD can also be found there.  I wasn't following any pizza baking  recommendations with that %... just my nature to try anything once or twice.

That's actually a clever idea, I like it!

I usually get my best results when I brush the crust with a tiny bit of olive oil (which I did not do here). It's not classic Neapolitan but it gives a more satisfying crust when baking at a lower temp.

Going back to the sourdough subject, it just occurred to me, I cheated when I originally started my sourdough starter! I took the scrapings from a poolish I had made for pizza and added the flour and water to it to give it a kickstart. Just a tiny amount of scrapings and the poolish only had like 10 tiny granules of ADY in it but still, it wasn't natural yeast.

Could be contributing to why my dough is over-fermenting? My starter is very hyperactive - if fed on a 1-1-1 ratio, it will peak in 4 hours at room temp and start deflating after 5-6. Maybe that's because it's not a true sourdough but a commercial yeast that's been allowed to continually replicate?

Maybe I should start again and do it properly with nothing but a clean jar?

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2021, 12:55:26 AM »
230 C (446 F), the highest my oven will go to.

Hoping to sell my flat and buy a place with a garden soon where Ill be able to buy a proper pizza oven!

What kind of oven. Check your manual or onl8ne manual on how you can increase or decrease  your ovens SET temp using a back menu. Example, on mine if I hold down 2 buttons at once a setting will appear where I can adjust up or down about 30 or so, makes a big difference!
Jon

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Offline gdepozsgay

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Re: Sourdough Pizza - Very soft, full of bubbles on the surface
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2021, 09:17:24 AM »
Those look pretty good from here. Unlike the total disaster I had last night with a neo. attempt.
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