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Author Topic: When the right fermentation turns wrong  (Read 248 times)

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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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When the right fermentation turns wrong
« on: February 16, 2019, 09:07:00 PM »
Hi Tom,


Since I am known for  my advanced skills in over-fermentation , this issue  fits me fine :-D


While I now generally have my ferment timing working pretty well for me, I've noticed some issues as I've experimented with  (and really like) higher hydration dough.


My non-SD dough most often is made with a poolish, then a combination of RT and long CF fermentation.  But as I sometimes now work in the 70% hydration area ( 73 if oil is counted), I'm finding my dough is ready well before I am..ie, the long cold ferments are doomed before they start because the dough has moved along too fast at RT. I understand higher hydration dough ferments faster, but it seems like not a little faster but a whole lot. My IDY is .02% for these long held doughs.


So I'm thinking maybe the RT before the CF is the issue, and maybe not needed?  I'm trying for a dough 4-6 days out . That;'s when I really like the flavor and texture. 


Since i greatly prefer dough that has had the addition of extra CF time over  dough that has only had RT, even 24 hours, would that indicate that the flavor I prefer is coming from the CF time rather than RT?


Also is there a good reason to make a bulk step for this process...my batches are 2 to sometimes, but rarely 4 DBs. Or would it make sense to keep the entire mix/stretch fold process cool, then ball and CF, reducing the exposure to RT?


Thanks!

Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
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Re: When the right fermentation turns wrong
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2019, 09:30:31 PM »
Since you have a preference for the flavor imparted by CF (as I do also) why not just go straight to balling after mixing and dispense with the RT part? This will allow you to control the fermentation a bit better through manipulation of the finished dough temperature but more importantly it will allow the dough balls to cool down more efficiently allowing the refrigerated temperature to effectively slow the rate of fermentation. With the RT phase first you are balling a gassy dough which is a much better insulator than the dough right after mixing, combined with the heat of metabolism your dough most likely isn't cooling off sufficiently to provide you with the CF time you are targeting before becoming over fermented.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: When the right fermentation turns wrong
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 10:04:16 PM »
Thanks Tom!  that's what I realized is happening and the higher hydration must have increased the issue.


I had been thinking the initial RT ferment of the final dough was needed for flavor, but I'm guessing that the poolish is taking care  of that flavor  (and even better since it's quite lengthy) and the multi-day CF will do the rest.  Also by keeping the IDY amount low I buy myself flexibility in bake day timing. And with the DB's cooled faster, that should really help. Thank you!

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