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Author Topic: W value and maturation times  (Read 245 times)

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Offline LaGaby

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W value and maturation times
« on: June 04, 2021, 03:26:40 AM »
Hi everyone,

I am looking for some information on the the W values of flour and how to use this figure to calculate the best time for fermentation.
I have a few different flours in my cupboard at the moment and I understand that to get the best out of each flour, the conditions need to change.
Last night I baked a pizza made with Petra 5037 W 300-330 that had sat at RT (21c average) for 24hrs. My observations were that it had lost a bit of it's strength so I'm wondering if that was too long for this flour?

My next flour I will try and have never used before is the Dellagiovanna La Napoletana 2.0 Flour 0 W310. I normally like to ferment for longer periods of time at room temperature and in the fridge but I wonder about how to get the best out of these flours..is there some sort of chart or thread on here that would explain everything to me or is it a case of trail and error?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: W value and maturation times
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2021, 07:56:11 AM »
W300-330 is on the high end of the strength spectrum. Plenty of folks ferment a lot longer than 24h with weaker flours. A relationship between W and fermentation time is casual at best. Personally, I'd suggest spending time making pizza rather than lamenting over flour specs.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline artaxares

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Re: W value and maturation times
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2021, 08:03:21 AM »
I'm not sure what "lost a bit of it's strength" means, but Petra 5037 is for longer fermentation times, I've used it with hydrations of >80%, fermentations 24h room or 72h+ in fridge, baked normal pizzas, pizza al taglio types etc and it really held its structure quite comfortably.

Offline Rolls

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Re: W value and maturation times
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2021, 09:16:20 AM »
LaGaby,

There really isn't a direct correlation between the "W" value of a flour and the "maturation time" of a dough, where "maturation" is intended as the process by which enzymes break down complex molecules into simpler forms.  This is somewhat distinct from the "fermentation" process, which is a function of yeast activity, though they are both part of the "evolution" of a dough.

There are some charts that have been circulated online, especially in the Italian baking forums, which try to correlate "W" values with "maturation" times, but these have largely been discredited.  The maturation time is a function of several factors beyond the "W" value, so it's impossible to assemble everything into a neat, little chart.

I think your best approach is to pick the flour you are most inclined to buy, and conduct a series of controlled experiments until you find the dough that's most suitable for your application.  Discere Faciendo (learn by doing).


Rolls
Parmigiano-Reggiano doesn't come in a green box!   - Chef Jean-Pierre

Offline LaGaby

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Re: W value and maturation times
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2021, 09:22:12 AM »
Thanks for your responses.
I thought that would be the case. I'll give it another go.. Maybe my yeast had become less active, not enough kneeding etc so yeh, I'll make some more pizza.. damn  :P

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