Thanks for conducting your interesting experiments! Do you think you would always use the bulk fermentation method with 12 hrs. bulk, balling, and 12 hrs. refrigeration? Wouldnít that be hard to control for someone that might want to use that method in a business? I wanted to also ask you if you liked these results better than some of the Reinhart pizza you made in terms of taste of the crust, texture, and bottom crispness? All your pictures are great, and the pizzas do look very good, but I would like to have your opinion on which pizzas you might prefer, between the Lehmann and Reinhart.
As to your first question...In this 4 day experiment, one pizza was monumental...the one which was bulk fermented 12 hours, balled and refrigerated another 12 hours. This could have been a fluke..I don't know..so I guess I will try to duplicate it....and if I can..that should lead to another series of experiments using the 12 hour bulk ferment and 12 hour refrigeration as the base...varying times and such to see what this does to dough. I was very excited to taste that particular pizza....but I was even more excited about this experiment when I found that up to a particular point in time, every single bulk fermented dough was better than the balled from the mixer dough. By the way, I still have some bulk fermented dough in the walk in, and today, I took a piece, balled it up, and 3 hours later we had an excellent pizza for lunch.
Your question about using the 12 hour bulk, 12 hour fridge method in business gets right to the heart of what makes it so hard to run a restaurant. That is why more experimentation will be done. But, for the pizza maker at home...that's another story...for he or she knows exactly when dinner time is.
I was really excited to see that you asked about the Reinhart doughs. During dinner tonight I realized something kind of exciting to me. As you know I have been experimenting like crazy with Reinhart doughs over a year now...they have definitely been my favorites up till now...and you will recall you and I have had some conversations about the reballing of these doughs and of the necessity of the thing. I have even made the comment that without the reball, the doughs are unremarkable. Norma, take a look at one of Reinhart's recipes here:http://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest/instructionals/59-written-recipes/169-ny-style-pizza-dough.html
Did you see it....he bulk ferments his dough. Most of his recipes are the same. All this time, even though I didn't bulk ferment the dough, I found through experimenting, they had to be reballed...and then I worked at the different timings of the reball to get the best crust. so, all this time I fell in love with a dough, thinking the magic was in the recipe, or the magic was in the mixing method.....but, I'm certain now that I fell in love with the dough because of the marvelous texture which is achieved by timing the reballs correctly. In fact, when I thought I was done experimenting, I played around with a recipe much lower in hydration, but using the methods learned from the Reinhart experiments....and the texture was still there. And from there it was making doughs with poolish, which adds great flavor, but it's the Reinhart method which delivers the texture i love. Anyway, my favorites are now the ones I make with poolish...and now I know that I don't have to use a high hydration rate to achieve what I want...and this makes pizza making even simpler.