Author Topic: When to divide bulk cold fermented dough  (Read 258 times)

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Offline Uncle914

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When to divide bulk cold fermented dough
« on: March 10, 2019, 10:50:52 AM »
So I just joined this forum and am completely overwhelmed.  I thought I knew things about pizza but clearly I have no clue! I usually make my dough in a Kitchen aid or a bread maker on "dough". I constantly change my methods always looking for the best.  Basically here is my dough:

3 cups AP or Bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup water
1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp yeast
some kind of fat, olive oil, butter about 1T

I ordered Caputo flour but don't have it at this house.
I usually divide my dough right out of mixer, three balls, then cold ferment for at least 1 day in the fridge.  Yesterday, I thought I would try to bulk ferment (cold) and then divide.  We want to bake tonight.  Question, when do I divide?  Now then back in fridge or later before I plan to use it?

Offline The Dough Doctor

  • Tom Lehmann
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Re: When to divide bulk cold fermented dough
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 12:24:51 PM »
Unless you are baking at 750F or higher forget about the Caputo flour as it really isn't intended for home use. If you do get some you will want to get some diastatic (enzyme active) malt 20 degree L. value. Then include 0.25 to 0.5% of the malt in your dough formulation. Without the malt you will have poor crust color development and the yeast may run out of nutrient to feed upon during the fermentation period leading to other issues.
Here's the bitter truth about bulk fermenting the dough in small quantities as you are. First, when we think of the difference between mixing, scaling/balling and cold fermenting v/s mixing, bulk cold bulk fermenting, scaling/balling and cold fermenting again the differences most often cited are based on the differences which are due to the dough in significantly larger quantities, at least 5 Kg. (11-pounds) total dough weight. When you bulk ferment 1.5 to 2-pounds of total dough weight the dough is too small to retain much, if any, of the heat generated due to heat of metabolism so the dough performs/ferments just as a large dough ball would, hence.....not much, if any advantage. From research that we did many years ago we found that a 2-pound dough ball (call it a "bulk" dough in this case, will experience only about 1.5 to 2-hours more fermentation in any given period of time than a 12-ounce dough ball in the same period of time under the same dough management procedure.
To do some meaningful testing I would suggest getting a good scale capable of weighing in grams (I use a KD-8000 / about $40.00) and a dial or electronic thermometer for measuring dough temperature ($4.00 to $12.00). With these tools you will be able to change your "recipe" into a "formula" based on weight measures rather than volumetric portions which will allow you to work in bakers percent which, in turn, will allow you to effectively make accurate changes to your dough formulation and manipulate your dough management procedure and accurately tracking your results to making better or different pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor