Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => General Pizza Making => Topic started by: fazzari on December 03, 2011, 05:27:44 PM

Title: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 03, 2011, 05:27:44 PM
Last week I wrote to a friend of mine that the reballing of dough balls (using Reinhart type recipes) was as vital a step as any to making the ultimate pizza.  In fact, in my experience, leave the reball out and you might as well go try another recipe.  I went back and looked through Reinhart's recipes and realized that he recommends bulk fermentation in the fridge (at least for small batches), and then scaling, and balling on the day of baking.

The dough I'm working on is not a Reinhart recipe exactly, but that is where I started many, many months ago.  So, here is a recipe:

100%   bread flour
 62%   water
   2%   honey
   2%   salt
   2%   olive oil
    .5 % yeast

I preferment 33% of the flour making a poolish.  This sits 16 hours at room temperature.  The rest of the ingredients are added and mixed for 4 minutes....the dough rests for 5 minutes...the dough is finished by mixing for 3 minutes.   At this point, i usually scale, ball and refrigerate.  I opted for putting the whole piece of dough in tupperware and refrigerating.   I cut a piece of dough from the bulk after it had been refrigerated for 36 hours.  this piece was balled, and refrigerated in its own container until the next day.
It was taken out 2 hours prior to bake, and made into a pizza.  It was exactly as any other dough that I had reballed before using.  This pizza was baked in my home oven at 590 degrees for 5 minutes.

John

Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on December 03, 2011, 06:30:28 PM
John.

That's a great looking pizza.

I'm also glad to hear that your bulk rise followed by dividing worked out well. Another member today inquired as to that possibility at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16607.0.html. In his case, however, he did not have time to keep the dough balls in the refrigerator for as long as you did. His plan is to make the pizzas tonight.

Peter
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 03, 2011, 08:41:33 PM
John,

That is one tasty looking pizza!  :) Your experiments are always fascinating.  Good to see you had great results.

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 04, 2011, 01:46:01 AM
Peter and Norma
I'm thinking I have a theory that might possibly be correct....in the case of high hydrated doughs, the dough is so loose and hard to handle, that the act of balling them after mixing does very little to build strength in them.  After they sit in the fridge for a period of time, the acids from fermentation strengthen gluten bonds...which makes them much easier to handle and much easier to ball (reball), which in turn builds more strength.  And as for the bulk fermentation of high hydration doughs, the more dough mass the faster the fermentation, the faster the cycle above occurs.

I know what I've observed with Reinhart type doughs...and now I'm wondering how doughs such as the Lehmann types would change (or not), if they were allowed to bulk ferment in the fridge before scaling and balling. 

Thanks

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 04, 2011, 06:37:39 AM
John,

Your theory about high hydration doughs is interesting.  You could be correct in bulk fermentation of high hydration doughs, the more mass the faster the fermentation, and then the faster the whole cycle occurs. 

This isnít an actual experiment, but I know when I bulk ferment my preferments for the Lehmann dough, (in larger amounts) there is a lot more bubbling going on in a 3 day cold ferment than if I do a preferment for 1 dough ball in the same time frame.  Mass, at least in a preferment seems to act different.

I had tried upping the hydration on my regular preferment Lehmann doughs for market and double reballing right after the mix.  Those dough balls were much slacker when I went to open them the next day.  Upping the hydration and double reballing didnít work for me, but then I didnít bulk ferment the final dough. 

With Reinhart doughs (with their higher hydration, for a normal pizza) I know there needs to be another reball not too long before the dough is used, just as you have presented here on the forum many times.

It would be interesting if you did an experiment with upping the hydration for a Lehmann dough and bulked fermented the dough in the fridge before balling and scaling, if you find time to do an experiment like that.  I would personally like to see what would happen in an experiment like that.

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 04, 2011, 10:31:21 AM
John, nice looking pie.  There is a lot of different things we are talking about here so let's see if we can keep them straight.  
1) Reballing before or after bulk fermentation
2) Reballing (gluten development) of high hydration doughs
3) the mass effect
4) the effects of lengthening fermentation (independent of temperature)

1) I'm not sure if reballing of the dough is specific to the Reinhart formula or if it will change the Lehman dough.  The perspective that I take is that dough is dough.  We like to give them names but they don't really care what you call them.  They do however respond to what we do to them in the same way universally.  Reballing serves one purpose, it builds gluten strength.  It does this for any dough out there regardless of the formulation.  As you know, it's also used widely in the bread world.  

As far as when any dough is reballed before or after the bulk, yes it does make a difference and has a different effect on the final outcome of the crumb.  To see the effect, all you have to do is make a batch of dough enough for 2 pies.  Ball one right after mixing, and ball the other one after a lengthy bulk ferment or after it has risen 25-100% (your choice here).  And yes, time or rest periods and more specifically fermentation builds strength in the dough (biochemically or whatever Scott123 wants to call it  :P).

2)  High hydration doughs are slower to develop gluten, especially if using low protein flours.  They require more mixing and techniques such as folding, (re)balling, and rest periods in-between to properly develop the gluten matrix.  The higher hydration and lower the protein content, the more of these steps you'll have to take develop that dough.  Therefore, (re)balling, (re)folding, rest periods are used with purpose and as needed dependent on if the specific dough in question requires it or not.  

From what I have read on this forum, reballing in general, and specifically after bulk fermentation is a no no for the NY style.  It's not "traditional", and the NY styled doughs may not handle it.  Why?  Because the style gravitates more towards higher protein flours, moderately low hydrations, over mixing, and oil to achieve that unique crust.  But if you up the hydration, or lower the protein content, or cut down on the mixing, or cut the oil out, the game is changed entirely.  Do I personally reball after bulk?  Yes - the heck with traditions.  I do it because my dough, like yours, needs it.  

3) The mass effect has been discussed before, but basically the bigger batch of dough will ferment faster than a smaller batch b/c the bigger batch stays cooler longer.   So when making LARGE batches of dough, you may need to decrease the yeast to about 80% or so of what you normally use.  I think I saw a video or read some post where Tom Lehmann gives a great explanation of this.  

4) Effects of lengthy fermentation.  There is a lot to discuss here so bear with me.  I don't have all the answers but will give you my take on these topics.


I'm thinking I have a theory that might possibly be correct....in the case of high hydrated doughs, the dough is so loose and hard to handle, that the act of balling them after mixing does very little to build strength in them.  After they sit in the fridge for a period of time, the acids from fermentation strengthen gluten bonds...which makes them much easier to handle and much easier to ball (reball), which in turn builds more strength.  And as for the bulk fermentation of high hydration doughs, the more dough mass the faster the fermentation, the faster the cycle above occurs.


John, you are correct (generally speaking) that balling a high hydrated dough immediately after mixing may not be enough, and that dough may require another reballing after a rest period.   I think what you are experiencing here is that you are reballing the dough cold after it has rested in the fridge.  Cold dough is usually  easier to handle then room temperature dough, especially when dealing with a high hydration dough.  

Now, if you were to allow that dough of yours to reach room temperature, it may in fact be much harder to handle than before!  Why would I say that as this seems contradictory to what I stated in 2).   What happens when dough sits for any length of time, is that enzymes break down the dough making it more extensible and soft.  This happens more readily in higher hydration doughs and at higher temperatures.   This is why if you want to work with a long fermentation dough, it is a good idea to decrease the hydration by a few percentages or accommodate this effect.  

In some of my earlier experiments with an high hydration dough (AP = 70%+, BF >73%, HG 80%) and long fermentations of 3-5 days, the dough would turn almost into a liquid!

Anyways, not very scientific, but this is what I have observed in my dough making.

Chau
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on December 04, 2011, 12:33:07 PM
The Lehmann NY style dough recipe started its life out as a commercial recipe. As such, the dough for that style would be made using a straight dough method. Tom Lehmann's advocacy has always been to slightly underknead the dough and to rely on biochemical gluten development (he, and Evelyne Slomon as well, came to use the acronym BGD) to do the bulk of the gluten development. The bulk dough was divided and scaled into individual dough balls that were then placed in dough boxes and cross-stacked and down-stacked in the cooler (there were other alternatives for doing this that need not be discussed here). From that point on until the dough balls were to be used, usually after about 1-3 days, they were not touched. Of course, that would have entailed one or more additional steps that would have required workers to intervene to rework the dough balls in some way. This is something that would be impractical for most commercial settings, with possibly hundreds of dough balls involved, although the well-known restaurant A16 in the San Francisco Bay area did have its workers rework the dough balls during their cold fermentation at least once while they were in the cooler (see the opening post at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg11672.html#msg11672).

In a home setting, we are not constrained by commercial practices. However, when I volunteered back in November, 2004 to try to adapt the Lehmann NY style dough recipe to a home setting, which gave birth to the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,576.0.html, I tried as much as possible to relate the commercial practices to a home setting and not to try to convert the recipe to something else for which it was not intended. It is important to remember that back in 2004, the forum was in its infancy, and there were not many members who knew a great deal about pizza making. And there were only a handful of members at any given time who actively posted on the forum. Using overly high hydration values and stretch and folds and rest periods and similar bread making techniques were quite alien to what everyone was doing on the forum at the time. By contrast, today new members joining the forum are confronted by 7 or 8 years of the collective experience and knowledge of the members, with a wealth of information on sophisticated dough and pizza making techniques. And it is not unusual to see members adapt and modify all kinds of recipes to suit their wants and needs. So, doing what John did with his latest experiment, including the use of a preferment, is quite common and not the least bit surprising.

The recipe that John used for his experiment is actually quite close to the Lehmann NY style dough recipe. The baker's percents recited for the recipe are in line with a basic Lehmann dough formulation, but for the use of honey instead of sugar, which I am sure that some professional NY style pizza operator is using somewhere but is not usually done for a NY style. So, I suspect that if John was able to successfully use his intervention to divide the cold fermented bulk dough into individual dough balls and return the dough balls to the cooler or refrigerator, then the same method should work with a Lehmann dough. I might add that my recollection is that the Reinhart dough recipes generally call for much higher hydration values than the Lehmann dough recipe (around 70-75%?) and possibly large amounts of oil as well. Those recipes would seem to better lend themselves to a bulk rise with later division and reworking than the Lehmann dough with its much lower hydration, but the method should work with the Lehmann dough nonetheless. Chau did a very nice job explaining the ins and outs of what John had done and I agree with him that it might be worth conducting an experiment with the Lehmann dough with a couple of dough balls to compare the results.

Peter
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 04, 2011, 02:41:20 PM
Thank you all for your marvelous replies
After reading what I wrote for my theory, I realize I did a somewhat horrible job of explaining and then added other factors which probably didn't matter.  Although "dough is dough", my claim is that scaling, balling and refrigerating a very loose, moist dough immediately after mixing is just about exactly the same as using a bulk fermentation process which goes directly into the fridge....and the reason is, the dough is not changed much at all by the balling process, because there is no stretching or real movement of dough involved.

The only reason this all fascinates me is for the reason I've stated many, many times.  (I'm only speaking of my Reinhart experiments) the reball is the single most important factor to take this dough up notches from where it is without reball.  The effects of this little technique get me wondering about all of the techniques available when making any dough.  I know that different styles of pizza are supposed to exhibit specific characteristics....I'm just talking about food which is good to eat.  I've put most of these experiments under the "general" catagory because I don't know what kind of pizza this is.....I can tell you it's damned good though.  I also have a sense that individual techniques should not be chosen lightly, because they "will" affect dough.  I've wondered to myself many times....how many recipes have I thrown away...because i didn't find the exact correct technique to make this dough a winner!!!

Again thank you all for taking the time to reply....I'm gonna keep trying some things and see what comes up.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 08, 2011, 09:30:19 PM
Here is a fun little experiment I tried just for the heck of it.  So, I mixed up a very simple dough:

bread flour    100%
water            55
salt                2
sugar              2
oil                  3
yeast              .5

Added water to the bowl followed by all the dry ingredients and mixed for 3 minutes.  Added the oil and mixed per Lehmann's instructions, until the dough was just smooth enough not to break apart when pulled apart.  I made 60 ounces of dough.
I then scaled and balled 4 ten ounce dough balls and refrigerated in containers.  The other 20 ounces I placed in a container and refrigerated without balling for bulk fermentation.
After 24 hours in the fridge, I took one of the dough balls and reballed it and placed back in the fridge.  I took 10 ounces of dough from the bulk fermented dough, balled it, placed it in a container and refrigerated it.  After another 24 hours it was time to experiment with the baking process.

This first pizza is made from a dough ball which was balled after mixing and not touched again.  This was baked in my home oven at 580 degrees, for 5 minutes...I screened it as it was starting to get too dark for my taste.  The pizza was good, but it was a bit chewy for my taste, and not crispy at all.
John

Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 08, 2011, 09:36:30 PM
The second pizza I baked was made from the bulk fermented dough....to reiterate, the dough was refrigerated 24 hours, was then scaled, balled and refrigerated for 24 more hours.  Now, this dough was crisp, with a very thin bottom and a soft middle.  The pizza was baked in the same 580 degree oven, but only took 4 minutes to bake.  Notice there is much more oven spring, and there are lots of tiny blisters all over the crust.  This, I would classify as an excellent pizza for my taste.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 08, 2011, 09:41:17 PM
This last pizza was made from a dough ball which was formed after mixing, refrigerated 24 hours, was reballed and refrigerated another 24 hours.  This was baked in the same 580 degree oven, just over 4 minutes.  This pizza was also crisp and tender, had great oven spring, and was simply excellent.

By the way, each of these pizzas weighs 10 ounces and is stretched to 10 inches.
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 08, 2011, 09:58:25 PM
John, nice job on the experiment and pies.  Both "look" good, but you know the differences can be night and day AND you know the "why" and "how" as well.  I did the same experiment a few months back, just out of curiosity and to test out the typical methods employed by pizzerias of balling the dough a short time after mixing and not reballing.  For my formulation, the results were vastly inferior.  The crumb is as you describe, dense and chewy.  There is a big difference in the crust and crumb when and to what extent you ball (or build strength into) the dough.  It's a fine balance requiring a careful touch that only comes through practice (aka trial and error). 

As a point of interest, one of the methods that I use regularly to produce good pizza involves a 48 hour cold ferment with a divide and reballing at the 24hr mark or about 50% bulk rise.  You are doing all the right things John and your pies will keep getting better and better.

Chau
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: scott123 on December 08, 2011, 10:15:15 PM
Bulk fermentation accelerates fermentation and increases yeast activity.

Reballing does the same thing.

You basically preferred the dough with the most fermentation. You can recreate this effect, though, with the unbulked, unballed dough by extending the clock and adjusting the yeast.  Bulk fermentation is basically just a time (and space) saver, it doesn't really change the inherent nature of the dough.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 08, 2011, 10:34:39 PM
Thank you both....I've got another 3 doughs to use in the same manner tomorrow...can't wait to see the differences then.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 08, 2011, 11:05:31 PM
Bulk fermentation accelerates fermentation and increases yeast activity.

Reballing does the same thing.

You basically preferred the dough with the most fermentation. You can recreate this effect, though, with the unbulked, unballed dough by extending the clock and adjusting the yeast.  Bulk fermentation is basically just a time (and space) saver, it doesn't really change the inherent nature of the dough.


Scott just to be clear, I am comparing a dough that is mixed and balled right away with a short or no bulk fermentation and not reballed again versus a dough that is mixed, left to bulk rise to at least 50% volume and then divided and balled.   For me, there is a vast difference in the end product particularly the crumb structure.  I guess the question is...is there biochemical strengthening of the dough as it (bulk) ferments or as it grows in volume?  I see a difference in the the end result when I ball very early versus later.   Also dough will soften up during a long fermentation due to enzyme activity.  One benefit (for me) for balling later or reballing is that I get the opportunity to rebuild the strength after the softening effects of enzymes on the dough.  The difference is similar to a true no knead vs kneading techniques.   This is a drastic example, but it will show the difference in what I am talking about.  Try mixing up a batch just to incorporate the ingredients and no further aggitation of the dough versus any method of dough manipulation (hand kneading, mixer, folds, reballs, etc).   Open and bake both up and most people will prefer the crust and crumb with some structure and lightness from working the dough.  Of course there is a limit to everything.   Reball too much or too often or overknead or overwork the gluten and the dough suffers as well.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 09, 2011, 06:52:30 AM
John,

Your experiments are very interesting!  ;D I would have thought before your experiment that the first pizza you baked at 580 degrees F would have been crispy.

The bulk fermented pizza that was bulk fermented and refrigerated for 24 hrs, then scaled, balled and refrigerated for 24 more hours sure does look perfect in browning, oven spring, and blisters all over the crust. 

Am anxious to see how your other 3 doughs balls will perform.  You are always great in doing experiments.  :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:36:39 PM
The Lehmann NY style dough recipe started its life out as a commercial recipe. As such, the dough for that style would be made using a straight dough method. Tom Lehmann's advocacy has always been to slightly underknead the dough and to rely on biochemical gluten development (he, and Evelyne Slomon as well, came to use the acronym BGD) to do the bulk of the gluten development. The bulk dough was divided and scaled into individual dough balls that were then placed in dough boxes and cross-stacked and down-stacked in the cooler (there were other alternatives for doing this that need not be discussed here). From that point on until the dough balls were to be used, usually after about 1-3 days, they were not touched. Of course, that would have entailed one or more additional steps that would have required workers to intervene to rework the dough balls in some way. This is something that would be impractical for most commercial settings, with possibly hundreds of dough balls involved, although the well-known restaurant A16 in the San Francisco Bay area did have its workers rework the dough balls during their cold fermentation at least once while they were in the cooler (see the opening post at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg11672.html#msg11672).


Peter

I think I have convinced myself, that balling a bulk fermented dough, will return the best product possible (at least for what I like).  So, in a commercial setting, I don't see this process adding  a whole lot of steps....since the dough has to be balled either way....of course I'm assuming that taking the dough from the mixer,  and placing it in a container to be refrigerated would be a very minor step.  Maybe I'm missing something.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:38:57 PM
John, nice job on the experiment and pies.  Both "look" good, but you know the differences can be night and day AND you know the "why" and "how" as well.  I did the same experiment a few months back, just out of curiosity and to test out the typical methods employed by pizzerias of balling the dough a short time after mixing and not reballing.  For my formulation, the results were vastly inferior.  The crumb is as you describe, dense and chewy.  There is a big difference in the crust and crumb when and to what extent you ball (or build strength into) the dough.  It's a fine balance requiring a careful touch that only comes through practice (aka trial and error). 

As a point of interest, one of the methods that I use regularly to produce good pizza involves a 48 hour cold ferment with a divide and reballing at the 24hr mark or about 50% bulk rise.  You are doing all the right things John and your pies will keep getting better and better.

Chau
By any chance Chau, did you write your experiment up, hopfully with pictures....I'd love to read about it!!

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:42:50 PM
Bulk fermentation accelerates fermentation and increases yeast activity.

Reballing does the same thing.

You basically preferred the dough with the most fermentation. You can recreate this effect, though, with the unbulked, unballed dough by extending the clock and adjusting the yeast.  Bulk fermentation is basically just a time (and space) saver, it doesn't really change the inherent nature of the dough.

Scott, can you please explain how you can recreate this effect with the unbulked, unballed dough.  Bulk fermentation might be just a time and space saver...but it also creates the perfect situation to make a crisp, nicely textured pizza..  the only other way I know is with a reball, but reballing is tough with lower hydration doughs.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:49:01 PM
John,

Your experiments are very interesting!  ;D I would have thought before your experiment that the first pizza you baked at 580 degrees F would have been crispy.

The bulk fermented pizza that was bulk fermented and refrigerated for 24 hrs, then scaled, balled and refrigerated for 24 more hours sure does look perfect in browning, oven spring, and blisters all over the crust. 

Am anxious to see how your other 3 doughs balls will perform.  You are always great in doing experiments.  :chef:

Norma

Norma
After over a year of experimenting with Reinhart doughs, and loving them...especially the texture..I was convinced that it was the higher hydration that made them so good.  So, when I dropped the hydration down to 62%, and the texture was still fantastic...I was stymied.  Little did I know that the answer was always in the reball.  And so now, I'm down to 55% with a Lehmann type dough, and sure enough, the reballed ones and the ones balled after bulk fermention still have the fantastic texture!!!

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:54:22 PM
Here is the last day of my experiment, trying to determine what the optimum processes are to achieve the dough I want.

This first pizza is made from a dough ball which was mixed, scaled and balled and left to sit in the refrigerator for 72 hours.  This was baked in my home oven (615 degrees) and took only 3 min 45 seconds to bake.  This pizza was better than the one that sat for 48 hours, but it was a bit chewy for my taste.
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 09, 2011, 11:57:48 PM
The second pizza was made from a dough that was balled after mixing, refrigerated 48 hours, reballed, and refrigerated another 24 hours.  Again, baked at 610 degrees, this pizza baked in 3 minutes 45 seconds, and is so superior to the first one it aint funny...it's crispy, light and delicious.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 10, 2011, 12:01:02 AM
The last pizza is made from a dough that was bulk fermented 48 hours, scaled, then balled and refrigerated another 24 hours.  This is the best of them all, just a notch over the second one...crispy, tender, delicious.
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 10, 2011, 12:09:03 AM
My final conclusion is that the reballed doughs, and the doughs that are balled after bulk fermentation, make a far better product than those that are balled after mixing and never touched.  Having said that, reballing lower hydration doughs can be alot tougher than working with high hydation doughs.  So, this leads me to believe that balling bulk fermented doughs is really the best way to go.  This opens up a whole other area of experimentation though....what is the perfect amount of time that a dough needs after balling to bake up to the perfect pizza?

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 10, 2011, 01:32:58 AM
John, again nice work.  The last crumb shot is my favorite of the bunch and looks perfect for me.

By any chance Chau, did you write your experiment up, hopfully with pictures....I'd love to read about it!!

John

John, I have the notes in one of my 5 notepads but didn't write this one up or take photos.  This was done about a month ago during a period where I decided to wean myself from posting experiments.  I typically experiment with either bread dough or pizza dough 3-4x a week, sometimes experimenting with up to 3 completely different doughs in one setting.  It's hard enough keeping detailed notes let alone take photos and post everything.  I'm sure you understand.

The pies you describe are very similar to what I call my first perfect pie.  I'm sure you've see that thread.  It too was bulked and balled after 24h of cold fermentation, and then again right before baking because the dough was so slack it was almost liquid.  If you look through that thread, there are crumb shots at the beginning of the thread and towards the end you can compare.  I think your workflow and what I did and other similar workflows produce a certain desirable texture in the crust and crumb.  Btw, what flour are you using again?

Chau

Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 10, 2011, 07:28:15 AM
My final conclusion is that the reballed doughs, and the doughs that are balled after bulk fermentation, make a far better product than those that are balled after mixing and never touched.  Having said that, reballing lower hydration doughs can be alot tougher than working with high hydation doughs.  So, this leads me to believe that balling bulk fermented doughs is really the best way to go.  This opens up a whole other area of experimentation though....what is the perfect amount of time that a dough needs after balling to bake up to the perfect pizza?

John

John,

Your final conclusions are interesting.  Always there is that whole new area of experimentation right?  ďWho knows what the perfect time that a dough needs after balling to make the perfect pizza.Ē  I am sure you will find out if you decide to do more experiments.

Your last pictures of your pies do look perfect to me with that beautiful crumb structure.  :chef:

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: DannyG on December 10, 2011, 09:30:21 AM
John, what type of flour are you using for these experiments?
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on December 10, 2011, 11:34:40 AM
I think I have convinced myself, that balling a bulk fermented dough, will return the best product possible (at least for what I like).  So, in a commercial setting, I don't see this process adding  a whole lot of steps....since the dough has to be balled either way....of course I'm assuming that taking the dough from the mixer,  and placing it in a container to be refrigerated would be a very minor step.  Maybe I'm missing something.

John,

I don't think you are missing anything. What we don't know, however, is what the results would be if you were to bulk ferment a batch of dough to make 100-200 dough balls, particularly a dough based on a hydration of 55% (a hydration of around 57-58% might be more common in a commercial setting for a Lehmann NY style dough) and using a period of cold fermentation before dividing and scaling. I once conducted some research to find examples where pizza operators bulk fermented large dough batches in their coolers before doing the division. At the time, I found few examples and, in those cases, the main reason for doing the bulk ferment/cold fermentation was because of limited storage capacity. See, for example, the thread at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8555&hilit and, in particular, the post by wa dave (Dave). Since that thread, it looks like wa dave has modified his dough management by bulk fermenting the dough in the cooler for 24-48 hours, dividing into dough balls, and then returning the dough balls to the cooler for processing the next day. This sounds a lot like the experiment you conducted but for a much smaller dough batch. However, as noted in wa dave's recent PMQTT post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10629&p=73312&hilit=#p73312, he has been having problems with that method as applied to his particular dough formulation. Norma and I spent a lot of time examining wa dave's dough formulation, and I even went so far as to adapt the Lehmann dough formulation that Norma was using at market to incorporate a sour mix such as wa dave uses, as discussed at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11475.msg104939.html#msg104939 and elsewhere in the same thread. So, I am familiar with his dough formulation. What I do not know is whether wa dave's problems are due to his dough management or his formulation, or possibly both. So, much remains to be seen.

None of the above detracts from the experiments you conducted in a home setting with a few dough balls. What you did, and what Chau confirms, works.

Peter
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 10, 2011, 08:42:14 PM
John,

I don't think you are missing anything. What we don't know, however, is what the results would be if you were to bulk ferment a batch of dough to make 100-200 dough balls, particularly a dough based on a hydration of 55% (a hydration of around 57-58% might be more common in a commercial setting for a Lehmann NY style dough) and using a period of cold fermentation before dividing and scaling. I once conducted some research to find examples where pizza operators bulk fermented large dough batches in their coolers before doing the division. At the time, I found few examples and, in those cases, the main reason for doing the bulk ferment/cold fermentation was because of limited storage capacity. See, for example, the thread at the PMQ Think Tank at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8555&hilit and, in particular, the post by wa dave (Dave). Since that thread, it looks like wa dave has modified his dough management by bulk fermenting the dough in the cooler for 24-48 hours, dividing into dough balls, and then returning the dough balls to the cooler for processing the next day. This sounds a lot like the experiment you conducted but for a much smaller dough batch. However, as noted in wa dave's recent PMQTT post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10629&p=73312&hilit=#p73312, he has been having problems with that method as applied to his particular dough formulation. Norma and I spent a lot of time examining wa dave's dough formulation, and I even went so far as to adapt the Lehmann dough formulation that Norma was using at market to incorporate a sour mix such as wa dave uses, as discussed at Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11475.msg104939.html#msg104939 and elsewhere in the same thread. So, I am familiar with his dough formulation. What I do not know is whether wa dave's problems are due to his dough management or his formulation, or possibly both. So, much remains to be seen.

None of the above detracts from the experiments you conducted in a home setting with a few dough balls. What you did, and what Chau confirms, works.

Peter
That was some good reading Peter...thank you.  I have to say I'm very surprised you found so few operations trying this sort of method...especially when you consider the pains some operators go through to create their signature product...such as mixing large quantities of dough by hand.  Anyway, this all fascinates me. 

John, what type of flour are you using for these experiments?

Most of these experiments are made with KA bread flour.

John,

Your final conclusions are interesting.  Always there is that whole new area of experimentation right?  ďWho knows what the perfect time that a dough needs after balling to make the perfect pizza.Ē  I am sure you will find out if you decide to do more experiments.

Your last pictures of your pies do look perfect to me with that beautiful crumb structure.  :chef:

Norma

After reading the stuff Peter pointed to, I was amazed to see some used freshly balled doughs..but I found that even after sitting 24 hours, the doughs can very easily use 2 to 3 hours warm up time to help in their stretching.
John, again nice work.  The last crumb shot is my favorite of the bunch and looks perfect for me.

John, I have the notes in one of my 5 notepads but didn't write this one up or take photos.  This was done about a month ago during a period where I decided to wean myself from posting experiments.  I typically experiment with either bread dough or pizza dough 3-4x a week, sometimes experimenting with up to 3 completely different doughs in one setting.  It's hard enough keeping detailed notes let alone take photos and post everything.  I'm sure you understand.

The pies you describe are very similar to what I call my first perfect pie.  I'm sure you've see that thread.  It too was bulked and balled after 24h of cold fermentation, and then again right before baking because the dough was so slack it was almost liquid.  If you look through that thread, there are crumb shots at the beginning of the thread and towards the end you can compare.  I think your workflow and what I did and other similar workflows produce a certain desirable texture in the crust and crumb.  Btw, what flour are you using again?

Chau



Chau
Do you think that I am over exaggerating the differences between the pizzas?  I mean, it wasn't even close!!

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 10, 2011, 09:18:57 PM
John, from your pictures, sometimes the reballed crumb shot looks very similar to your non reballed crumb so it would seem like you are exaggerating, but I know you are not, especially seeing the crumb on the last pie.  If you or I or anyone else makes a bunch of pizza and pays particular attention to the crumb and texture and you've made the gamut of bad pizza to great, you can look at pictures and it becomes pretty obvious what is good and what is not.  

It isn't PC to tell someone, hey you can do better or keep trying.  But everyone wants to hear great things right?  But if you've been there before, it's glaring when it's not right.   But me, I say you've discovered something valuable.  If others see it or not, no worries they'll get there sooner or later :-D

If you missed it, here are pies I made this morning.  Reply 62-65
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13728.msg162904.html#msg162904 (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13728.msg162904.html#msg162904)

The dough was bulked for 48 hrs cold, then divided cold and balled GENTLY, then cold fermented another 12hours.   I had planned on dividing and balling after 24hr, but decided to wait another 24hr to give the dough a bit more volume.  

As a point of interest, I repeated the same formula but varied the mixing and autolyse routine for another batch of dough last night.  This morning, only after about 8 hours of cold fermentation, the dough was ready to be divided and balled.  For me, it's less about the exact time but more about the dough volume and strength.

Peter, I don't have any commercial experience so I don't truly know how well this routine would work in a commercial setting but the only adjustment I see needed for a large volume of dough (100-200balls) is to adjust the level of yeast down and perhaps shorten the time the dough sits at room temp prior to cold fermentation.  The large mass would take much longer to cool down, but a few test batches should show what an appropriate level of yeast would be to use.  I don't think applying this routine to a commercial dough would be a big deal at all, but the specific formula would have to be matched to the routine.

John, I know you mentioned you have had success with this method with a variety of hydration rates, but I still think that at some point (if the hydration becomes too low), that the results would be less than ideal.  A typical NY dough that is well mixed initially may not benefit from a reballing.  As it is, many of the NY doughs you see opened on YouTube have a lot of strength built into the dough already and usually require a lot of time and effort to open.  The elasticity of their dough shows that the dough would not benefit from a reballing.

Chau
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 11, 2011, 09:01:54 AM
Chau
You know as well as I, that pictures can only tell a small story about the quality of a product..they can tell a partial story though.  When I asked for your opinion, what i wanted was your response in regard to crispness, lightness and mouth appeal.  These can only be experienced by actually eating them, and I'm sure you enjoy eating as much as I do!  Beautiful pizzas on the above link...I mean beautiful!!

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2011, 10:33:26 AM
Peter, I don't have any commercial experience so I don't truly know how well this routine would work in a commercial setting but the only adjustment I see needed for a large volume of dough (100-200balls) is to adjust the level of yeast down and perhaps shorten the time the dough sits at room temp prior to cold fermentation.  The large mass would take much longer to cool down, but a few test batches should show what an appropriate level of yeast would be to use.  I don't think applying this routine to a commercial dough would be a big deal at all, but the specific formula would have to be matched to the routine.

Chau,

I am perhaps one of the least qualified persons in this forum to talk about commercial quantities of dough balls since I rarely make more than one dough ball at a time. However, intuitively and also from what I have read, it seems that it would be far easier to divide and scale large numbers of dough balls and to form them into nice round shapes without seams when the dough comes out of the mixer fairly warm rather than doing the dividing, scaling and shaping from a bulk dough a day or more later at a commercial cooler temperature of about 35-40 degrees F. If one uses a water temperature to achieve a finished dough temperature of around 80-85 degrees (for a commercial operation), that will enable the dough to be divided, scaled and shaped quite easily and quickly. Tom Lehmann says that one should ideally try to do that within about 20 minutes (see his PMQ TT post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10045&p=68895&hilit=#p68895), presumably to minimize exposure of the dough balls to ambient temperatures that might be too high and make it more difficult to cool the dough balls down as quickly and as uniformly as possible, thereby avoiding the risk of the dough balls blowing. Of course, the actual amount of time to do the division and scaling will depend on the number of dough balls to be made and the number of workers who are assigned to perform these tasks and their experience at these tasks. From what I have read, there are some workers who can apparently process an entire batch of dough before the next batch of dough is done mixing.

It is hard to imagine that one can work as fast and produce equivalently shaped dough balls without seams when the bulk dough is cold. Maybe that isn't as critical if the dough balls are to go back into the cooler, although (again, intuitively) I would think that you would still want to work as fast as possible so as not to disrupt the fermentation process any more than necessary or to expose them too long to the prevailing ambient temperatures that might be higher or lower than optimum. Also, you want the window of usability of the dough balls to be consistently the same. As mentioned previously, apparently wa dave has had problems adapting his dough management to the additional step of returning his divided dough balls (divided from a cold bulk dough) back to his cooler for further cold fermentation. He apparently did not have that problem when he did not use that additional step. The bottom line for me, especially since I have not found anyone else who has attempted to do the same on a commercial scale basis, is that I remain a skeptic. Someone would have to do some actual experiments and test runs on a commercial scale to satisfy me.

You and other members may also be interested in the debate that took place on the PMQ Think Tank, but in the context of a room temperature scenario rather than a cold fermentation scenario, at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2846&p=14247&hilit=#p14180. I have cited that thread a few times before but it is always interesting to re-read it again from time to time.

Peter

Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 11, 2011, 11:11:14 AM
Chau
You know as well as I, that pictures can only tell a small story about the quality of a product..they can tell a partial story though.  When I asked for your opinion, what i wanted was your response in regard to crispness, lightness and mouth appeal.  These can only be experienced by actually eating them, and I'm sure you enjoy eating as much as I do!  Beautiful pizzas on the above link...I mean beautiful!!

John

John, sorry if I didn't understand or answer your question appropriately.  Sometimes, I end up posting about related topics that happen to pop into my head.  I know it's impossible to see my thought process, but there usually is reason for the ranting.  ;D

But yes, for me and the particular dough I make, there is a big night and day difference in mouth feel particularly the lightness of the crumb and the chewiness of the crust in general when I reball (or build the dough strength properly) versus not.  If I were to serve them side by side, I believe most ppl without knowing much about the process of making pizza can also detect the differences.  They may not be able to describe or pinpoint the differences, but they can usually say if one is better than the other.   So for me, I do see the value and purpose in using reballing as a means to build structure into my dough.  I have been using reballs and folds shortly after I started making pizza a few years ago and consider these steps an integral part in my dough making.  I can't make dough without feeling it with my hands and manipulating it to some extent.

Yes I agree with you that pictures can only tell us so much.  The final analysis can only be done through the act of eating and we can't eat pictures.  Also everyone's perception and taste is naturally different so we may not even agree on what is good, better, or best.

I am particularly glad that you started this thread discussing this aspect of dough making.  IMO, it is an advance topic of dough making and one that members may not see eye to eye on, but worthy of discussing never the less.  For me, I'll continue using these steps until I find something better.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on December 11, 2011, 11:57:39 AM
Peter, thanks for the response and the link to the PMQ discussion of balling dough after mixing versus as needed or per order. 

Peter, as far as whether it is easier to ball dough when the dough temp is approximate to room temps versus cold, I would agree that generally it is easier to form doughs at room temps and not have seems in the dough.  But again, it is entirely dependent on the dough formulation and mixing regimen as these factors also affect if dough can/should be balled cold at a later point. 
If a moderate to high hydration dough is minimally kneaded and not allowed to rise in bulk volume too much (relative to the strength of the flour), it can be just as easy as balling a standard NY dough at room temps.  Especially if the dough has had 12-24 hours to soften up in the fridge.  Some of my previous CF doughs have come out of the fridge almost in a liquid state and I would consider to be much more difficult to handle because of their extensibility not elasticity.  So again, it depends entirely on the dough recipe (more specifically it's condition) as to whether it will tolerate and benefit from a late balling. 

Also, it may be that dough is process commercially in the way that it is (whatever that maybe) for efficiency purposes as well as consistency in order to maximize overall efficiency and profit.  It may not be efficient or as profitable to reball cold dough, but if I had a pizzeria I would still take the time and effort to do so as I believe it makes a better product.   But again, I don't believe this additional step would benefit all doughs, so it is only appropriate for doughs that can handle it, particularly under kneaded doughs and higher hydration doughs.  To me, it is simply and plainly another strength building step, an extension of mixing/kneading/manipulating the dough.  One can choose to build all the strength up front versus in parts separated by rest periods.  I am sure there are folks on both sides that have experience and reason to believe either balling early or late is better for their dough.

As far as applying it to a large batch of dough and commercial setting, a possible work around to the bulk of the dough cooling too quickly is to divide the bulk into smaller portions all to be refrigerated until time of balling.  Only a portion of dough that can be balled in a timely fashion will sit out at room temps.  When said batch is done, another can be moved from the fridge to counter to be balled and so on.

As for the link, it is an interesting debate and I would have to say that for that specific scenario, it is unadvisable to ball dough on a as needed base if making NY style pizza   As Tom said, not only are you having to deal with trying to open a dough ball that was just formed, but the resulting pizzas would be terribly inconsistent if you were making NY style pies.  If you are making a low yeasted dough that was sheeted, then it could work.     

But as far as balling dough early or later in the fermentation process, as long as it's not done really late in the overall process, I haven't had any issues with consistency in the final dough ball or in the resulting pizzas (in a home setting).   An interesting and related topic on the side of bread making, bread dough must also have some sort of rest period to relax prior to baking.   If the dough is put through the final shaping process really late in fermentation and then baked too hastily without a decent rest period, the bread has a tendency to separate during baking along the seam.  It simply hasn't had enough time for the dough to relax and for the gluten strains to meld and realign themselves.   Something similar would also happen to pizza dough if it were to be balled and then immediately open for baking.  The dough would be too strong and one would risk tearing it.   This is why even if a dough can tolerate and benefit from a late balling, it also usually needs a sufficient time to relax prior to opening.

On several occassions, I have made amazing pizzas with dough that came out of the fridge in almost a liquid state.  I reballed the dough about 10 minutes prior to baking and the results were stellar.  The dough opened up easily and felt fantastic.  This was a unique dough and circumstance, but the point is that great bread and pizza is a balance of hydration, dough strength, and the perfect bake.  As long as one can achieve the balance of these things, it matters less if the dough was balled out of the mixer or right before baking. 

Chau
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on December 11, 2011, 02:39:55 PM
Chau,

I understand what you are saying, particularly with respect to moderate or high hydration doughs. You might even recall that Brian Spangler uses multiple interventions in making his dough but my recollection is that even he lowered the formula hydration to make the dough more manageable. My recollection is that wa dave's dough as he described it at the PMQTT had a formula hydration of around 53%. My original comments were made, and my last post as well, with respect to the 55% hydration dough that John made. Lately, over the last few months, Norma and I have been making frozen dough balls as described over at the Mellow Mushroom thread with an "effective" hydration of around 55-56% (the nominal hydration is several percentage points lower but it is adjusted to compensate for the water content of liquid sweeteners and also the use of some oil). The frozen dough balls are given one day in the refrigerator section to thaw out and a second day in the refrigerator to undergo some fermentation before using. When the dough is removed from the refrigerator, it is quite stiff and lifeless, with little or no softness. It takes around an hour or two at room temperature (around 68 degrees F in my case) for the dough to soften enough to use. It is hard to imagine carving up a large bulk dough into pieces at a hydration of around 55% and a temperature of around 35-40 degrees F as it comes out of the refrigerator or cooler.

Peter
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 11, 2011, 08:44:36 PM
Hey guys
I've got to give a big experiment a try....I'm going to mix up 40 13-ounce doughs, probably on Tuesday morning.  I'm going to use ADM high gluten flour (because that is what we use), but I'm going to increase the hydration to 58%.  I will then scale, ball and refrigerate 5 doughs to be used successively over 3 to 5 days as a control.  The rest of the dough will be bulk fermented.  After 24 hours, I will scale, ball and refrigerate maybe 5 more doughs to be used successively over 3 to 5 days (this way I can see what time will do to the balled dough).  After another 24 hours, I will scale, ball and refrigerate maybe another 5 doughs to be used successively (to see what time might do in this case).  The rest of the dough I will ball and freeze for eating later.

I need to make a large enough batch that my mixer will actually mix (I use a big one), and I'm thinking a slightly higher hydration will make the dough alot easier to use.  If you can think of anything else I should test or do please speak up now...I'm willing to try anything.  I'm wondering what the shelf life of a dough is which has been scaled, balled and refrigerated right after mixing....I'm wondering because I would be willing to bet (just a hunch), great pizzas can be made with older dough by using this method.  I guess I'll see.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 11, 2011, 09:24:46 PM
Hey guys
I've got to give a big experiment a try....I'm going to mix up 40 13-ounce doughs, probably on Tuesday morning.  I'm going to use ADM high gluten flour (because that is what we use), but I'm going to increase the hydration to 58%.  I will then scale, ball and refrigerate 5 doughs to be used successively over 3 to 5 days as a control.  The rest of the dough will be bulk fermented.  After 24 hours, I will scale, ball and refrigerate maybe 5 more doughs to be used successively over 3 to 5 days (this way I can see what time will do to the balled dough).  After another 24 hours, I will scale, ball and refrigerate maybe another 5 doughs to be used successively (to see what time might do in this case).  The rest of the dough I will ball and freeze for eating later.

I need to make a large enough batch that my mixer will actually mix (I use a big one), and I'm thinking a slightly higher hydration will make the dough alot easier to use.  If you can think of anything else I should test or do please speak up now...I'm willing to try anything.  I'm wondering what the shelf life of a dough is which has been scaled, balled and refrigerated right after mixing....I'm wondering because I would be willing to bet (just a hunch), great pizzas can be made with older dough by using this method.  I guess I'll see.

John

John,

Your experiments sound exciting!  ;D  Canít wait to see the results.  All depending on how your experiments work out I do have some extra ADM high-gluten flour I also can try to see if I can get anywhere near your results.  I agree with you that a slightly higher hydration will make the dough a lot easier to use. 

I really donít know what the shelf life of a dough which has been scaled, balled, and refrigerated right after mixing, but I would guess it would have to do with the final dough temperature and the amount of IDY you use.  I have seen Lehmann dough balls my friend Steve made and left to cold ferment for a week and they still baked fine without any added sugar in the Lehmann dough, but I never really tried that.  Steve did make great pizzas with his week old cold fermented doughs.

This doesnít have to do with your experiment, but I had upped the hydration on my preferment Lehmann doughs awhile ago and did do a second reball right after I had the dough balls balled once.  That didnít seem to work for me.  I had just wanted to see what a second reball did to my dough balls, with a little higher hydration.  The dough balls the next day were harder to open and the pizzas didnít seem to bake much different. 

Thanks for doing the experiments!  :)

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on December 14, 2011, 12:45:55 AM
John,

Your experiments sound exciting!  ;D  Canít wait to see the results.  All depending on how your experiments work out I do have some extra ADM high-gluten flour I also can try to see if I can get anywhere near your results.  I agree with you that a slightly higher hydration will make the dough a lot easier to use. 

I really donít know what the shelf life of a dough which has been scaled, balled, and refrigerated right after mixing, but I would guess it would have to do with the final dough temperature and the amount of IDY you use.  I have seen Lehmann dough balls my friend Steve made and left to cold ferment for a week and they still baked fine without any added sugar in the Lehmann dough, but I never really tried that.  Steve did make great pizzas with his week old cold fermented doughs.

This doesnít have to do with your experiment, but I had upped the hydration on my preferment Lehmann doughs awhile ago and did do a second reball right after I had the dough balls balled once.  That didnít seem to work for me.  I had just wanted to see what a second reball did to my dough balls, with a little higher hydration.  The dough balls the next day were harder to open and the pizzas didnít seem to bake much different. 

Thanks for doing the experiments!  :)

Norma

Norma
I'm still going to experiment, but I've changed the parameters abit after much thought..  This time around I'm not going to see how long the dough lasts..i thought I'd work within a  4 day window and try to compare differing bulk ferment times, with differing amounts of time after the ball.  Anyway, I'm going to start a new thread...and add to it each of the next few days.
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: norma427 on December 14, 2011, 08:25:51 AM
Norma
I'm still going to experiment, but I've changed the parameters abit after much thought..  This time around I'm not going to see how long the dough lasts..i thought I'd work within a  4 day window and try to compare differing bulk ferment times, with differing amounts of time after the ball.  Anyway, I'm going to start a new thread...and add to it each of the next few days.
John

John,

Will watch when you post a new thread.  I am interested in any results you achieve.  :)

Norma
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: pythonic on January 21, 2012, 11:57:58 PM
Fazarri - are you using the same dough ingredients as your original post in this thread for all of these experimental pies?  33% preferment poolish as well?  I've never reballed my dough nor have i done a bulk fermentation before so im getting pretty excited to take my crust to the next level.  

Pete - what does the term scale mean?  When reballing the dough are we lightly flouring again?  Can this also be done with KAAP flour as well?  For some reason im liking the flavor more than the KABF.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on January 22, 2012, 07:48:19 PM
Fazarri - are you using the same dough ingredients as your original post in this thread for all of these experimental pies?  33% preferment poolish as well?  I've never reballed my dough nor have i done a bulk fermentation before so im getting pretty excited to take my crust to the next level.  

Pete - what does the term scale mean?  When reballing the dough are we lightly flouring again?  Can this also be done with KAAP flour as well?  For some reason im liking the flavor more than the KABF.

If you look at reply #8, you will find the recipe I used for the later experiments in this thread.  Since the time that I experimented I have come to the conclusion, that for my taste, balling dough 3 to 5 hours prior to baking gives me a better crust regardless of the flour I use, or the recipe I try.  Also, now I have found that there is no secrets in regards to the mixing process...now when I mix any dough, I place everything in the bowl (except oil) and mix as Tom Lehmann advises...that is mix until flour is incorporated, then add oil, and then mix until dough is desired smoothness.

Scaling is simply weighing dough pieces to your required amounts.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: pythonic on January 23, 2012, 12:40:27 PM
Fazzari,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  I have a few more questions if u dont mind.  

How long do the bulk fermentations last for?
You're keeping these in the fridge right?  
What type of container are u using for this?  
Can this be done with all purpose flour too?
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on January 23, 2012, 05:56:01 PM
Fazzari,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  I have a few more questions if u dont mind.  

How long do the bulk fermentations last for?
You're keeping these in the fridge right?  
What type of container are u using for this?  
Can this be done with all purpose flour too?
Pythonic
My fermentations can last from 2 to 6 days in my fridge which is 39 to 40 degress.  I use glad ware, those plastic containers you can get anywhere.  I've used high gluten flour and bread flour and am sure you could use whatever you like...I would.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: pythonic on January 24, 2012, 11:02:05 AM
When its time to ball them up are hitting with more flour?
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on January 24, 2012, 11:31:42 AM
When its time to ball them up are hitting with more flour?

Nope, nothing
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pete-zza on January 28, 2012, 03:31:53 PM
Pete - what does the term scale mean?  When reballing the dough are we lightly flouring again?  Can this also be done with KAAP flour as well?  For some reason im liking the flavor more than the KABF.

pythonic,

I'm sorry for missing your post. As a Moderator, I try to look at every post to be sure they are in order. But, with almost 170 posts a day (this month), I will miss one now and again. I see that John has answered your question that was directed to me.

Peter
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: scott123 on January 29, 2012, 12:07:29 AM
Okay, I've been playing around with re-balls a bit lately. At this point, I can't really say that re-balls give me a better crust with my particular style, but, the results have been slightly encouraging.  I'm trying to keep an open mind about it  ;D I did learn, the hard way, that I can't reball a moderate hydration cold fermented dough (65%/12.5% protein flour), but a 67%/11% protein dough re-balled like a champ and gave me encouraging results.

So, John, I'm guessing if I want the later balling 'bump'  with a moderate hydration dough, I want to go bulk (cold?), right?  The problem that I encountered with re-balling cold dough is that I couldn't get the dough to stick to itself, so I couldn't pinch the dough shut.  Now, I was CFing with a lightly oiled container, so the little bit of oil on the dough didn't help, but I'm still thinking, even without the oil, the cold dough may not pinch shut. One of the things I like most about CF is the stable temperature of the refrigerator.  I guess I could get into bulk room temps if they gave me considerably better results, but I'd really like the ease of a cold ferment.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on January 29, 2012, 02:17:41 AM
Okay, I've been playing around with re-balls a bit lately. At this point, I can't really say that re-balls give me a better crust with my particular style, but, the results have been slightly encouraging.  I'm trying to keep an open mind about it  ;D I did learn, the hard way, that I can't reball a moderate hydration cold fermented dough (65%/12.5% protein flour), but a 67%/11% protein dough re-balled like a champ and gave me encouraging results.

So, John, I'm guessing if I want the later balling 'bump'  with a moderate hydration dough, I want to go bulk (cold?), right?  The problem that I encountered with re-balling cold dough is that I couldn't get the dough to stick to itself, so I couldn't pinch the dough shut.  Now, I was CFing with a lightly oiled container, so the little bit of oil on the dough didn't help, but I'm still thinking, even without the oil, the cold dough may not pinch shut. One of the things I like most about CF is the stable temperature of the refrigerator.  I guess I could get into bulk room temps if they gave me considerably better results, but I'd really like the ease of a cold ferment.
Scott,
For way over a year, I've labeled what I do a "reball".  But, in reality, the hydration was so high on most of those experiments, that i could hardly call the balling of the dough after mixing a real serious "balling".  All it was basically, was scaling the dough on an oiled scale, and then very carefully smoothing it and dumping it in an oiled container (knowing the "real" balling would be done later in the process).  That is why I figured that this process would give me the same results if I bulk fermented the whole piece of dough in the fridge.

The experiments I've done with 55%hydration (14% flour), were a little more complicated to ball, but I succeeded.  All of the rest have been done with 62%hydration (14% flour), and have not had a single problem balling them.  I also use  slightly oiled containers when I scale my doughs and this doesn't seem to be a problem at all either.  All of my doughs are cold fermented Scott.

Since I've started the balling process 3 to 5 hours prior to bake, every single one of the pizzas has been pretty damned good...and I mean every single one.  I have also found that even if you ball up a dough, and then let it set in the fridge a few more days, you can very easily ball it again 3 to 5 hours prior to bake and have an outstanding pizza.  We had a pizza on friday that was 10 days old....after balling it acts likes it full of life again and is simply amazing.  My employees are simply amazed with the crust and beg me to bring more to work, so I know its not just my taste.

John

Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Pizza3.14 on January 29, 2012, 01:58:37 PM
I finally got a chance to sit down and eat two pies that were the same with the exception of one of them being balled 3 hours prior to baking. 

I found that I did not notice too much difference in the taste.  The activity of the dough was like night and day.  The dough that was balled before baking was full of gas and then oven spring.  I enjoyed the large pockets in the crumb. 

The first pie was balled right after mixing

The second was balled 3 hours prior to baking.  Both were at 66.5% hydration. 
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on January 29, 2012, 02:10:47 PM
I finally got a chance to sit down and eat two pies that were the same with the exception of one of them being balled 3 hours prior to baking. 

I found that I did not notice too much difference in the taste.  The activity of the dough was like night and day.  The dough that was balled before baking was full of gas and then oven spring.  I enjoyed the large pockets in the crumb. 

The first pie was balled right after mixing

The second was balled 3 hours prior to baking.  Both were at 66.5% hydration. 

Good job, and thank you!!
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: rpmfla on February 03, 2012, 01:42:43 PM
As I commented in your other thread (same methods....different hydration!!!), I have been very pleased with the subtle yet beneficial effect reballing has had on my pizzas. I had actually neglected doing it for a while when I was adjusting other things in my dough recipe, but when I found myself with one container of dough unused for over a week and full of large gas bubbles I thought I'd try the reball again. I reballed 24 hrs. prior to use and it resulted in a pizza dough that was lightly crisp on the surface and tender on the inside. My wife, who doesn't like the outer crust and usually leaves the "bones" for the dog (me) said "I like the crust!".

Whatever technical reason is behind it, reballing does seem to improve the texture of the crust. I'm glad I tried it!
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on February 03, 2012, 10:57:44 PM
Now, try shortening the amount of time from balling to bake and see the changes.  I'm finding 3 to 5 hours is optimal for my tastes.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: communist on February 05, 2012, 06:18:20 PM
I made my routine All Trumps 14% 63% hydration cold ferment 2 day dough, with 4 balls.  Four hours before bake time, I reballed one ball.  When it came time to spread dough to thickness factor of .07, I was able to get the first 3 balls to 16 inch circle required.  The reballed ball fought me tooth and nail.  I gave up at 14 inches.  Dough definitely more puffy, with maybe some more airy-ness.  Not sure how much is due to thicker dough.  Does anyone do reballing with really small thickness factors like .07?  Mark
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: shuboyje on March 17, 2012, 03:33:31 PM
I had an interesting reballing experience last night.  The nice weather is here in MI, so I rolled the WFO out of the garage and fired it a few times this week to makes sure it was roaring and ready to go for last nights pizza night.  I made a pretty standard 24hr room temperature caputo based dough at 60% hydration with 3% salt.  I used cake yeast, and upped the percentage from my usual 0.1% to 0.25% because the yeast was a bit old and I wanted a bit more active fermentation then I've gotten the last few times with this yeast.  I also balled the dough right after kneading.  I've really liked the dough I've made this way for my steel plate pizza, so I decided to see how it worked for neapolitan.  When I got home yesterday the dough was highly fermented, looked like what you see from Keste.  I decided to reball one of the dough balls for comparison and was very happy I did.  The reballed dough cooked 100% different then the others.  It began to leopard nearly the second it hit the oven, and ended up with that hyper leoparded look I've heard some call "small pox".  The rest of the pies had a nice moderate level of leoparding for comparison sake. 
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: Jackie Tran on March 17, 2012, 03:38:05 PM
Good to hear about your results.  I've always felt that gluten strength is one of the factors that leads to hyper leoparding or small pox.  That plus high heat, and a well fermented dough will get you there.  I call those typhoid fever pies.  :-D  Got any pictures of it?
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: dmcavanagh on March 17, 2012, 04:08:50 PM
Interesting. I make NY style pies and always ball right after mixing and not again. On my next pizza night I'm gonna try reballing one ball of dough and see what the results are.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on March 18, 2012, 08:38:05 AM
I had an interesting reballing experience last night.  The nice weather is here in MI, so I rolled the WFO out of the garage and fired it a few times this week to makes sure it was roaring and ready to go for last nights pizza night.  I made a pretty standard 24hr room temperature caputo based dough at 60% hydration with 3% salt.  I used cake yeast, and upped the percentage from my usual 0.1% to 0.25% because the yeast was a bit old and I wanted a bit more active fermentation then I've gotten the last few times with this yeast.  I also balled the dough right after kneading.  I've really liked the dough I've made this way for my steel plate pizza, so I decided to see how it worked for neapolitan.  When I got home yesterday the dough was highly fermented, looked like what you see from Keste.  I decided to reball one of the dough balls for comparison and was very happy I did.  The reballed dough cooked 100% different then the others.  It began to leopard nearly the second it hit the oven, and ended up with that hyper leoparded look I've heard some call "small pox".  The rest of the pies had a nice moderate level of leoparding for comparison sake. 
Jeff
Thanks for sharing your observation.  You said you were happy you reballed one dough.  Were you happy enough that you would purposely use this method the next time???  I haven't tried this with neapolitan, but I think the results are dramatic with my doughs.

John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: fazzari on March 18, 2012, 08:39:47 AM
Interesting. I make NY style pies and always ball right after mixing and not again. On my next pizza night I'm gonna try reballing one ball of dough and see what the results are.

Please, please post your results with pictures if you can...along with detailed differences in your pizzas.

Thanks
John
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: dmcavanagh on March 18, 2012, 02:24:36 PM
Please, please post your results with pictures if you can...along with detailed differences in your pizzas.

Thanks
John

I probably won't be making pizza again until next weekend but I will try to remember to give reballing a try.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: dboersma on September 05, 2016, 12:34:50 AM
Thanks for all the great work.  This thread helped me a lot with my dough.
Title: Re: reballing dough balls is the same as balling a bulk fermented dough
Post by: dboersma on September 05, 2016, 12:43:53 AM
68% hydration.cold bulk ferment 24 hours.  Bags are 6kg each. Taken directly out and using a hydrolic divider, divided into 20 pieces (300g each) balled by hand then back to the fridge for another 24 hours.  Taken out and streched and par baked.  Then topped and baked again.  Both at 320 degrees.