Author Topic: Dough fridge times and big batches  (Read 2063 times)

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Offline awol567

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Dough fridge times and big batches
« on: July 15, 2012, 12:57:43 PM »
Hi everyone!  This topic was touched on in my other thread, but I'd like the subject header to be appropriate to get as much feedback as possible.

I'm having a little get-together with friends this Friday, and I'd like to make four pies.  I'm thinking that I can get the dough all done in one fell swoop by multiplying all the ingredients for one pie by four, and then cutting off the appropriately sized pieces that I want to use.  Is it simply that, or are there other emergent differences with larger batches?  Are there longer mix/knead times, longer rise times, etc.?

Alternatively, I was thinking of making some as the week goes by, to see how different fridge times affect the dough.  I was thinking, perhaps, one today, tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the last of which I would be most confident about, because it is about the time I currently use to fridge my dough.  My question before I attempt this is whether or not I should worry about dough quality after fridge times longer than what I am doing.  I've read people having dough in their fridges for up to 8 days, and I've heard that the more time you can give your dough the better, to a point.  I anticipate that there won't be a drastic difference, perhaps even some improvement, but I will leave that to you experts out there!

Also, a side question related to big batches: if I were to mix a big batch of dough and go through the procedure up until the end of the fridge period, could I put pieces that I don't use in the freezer?  I've heard people do this, but I don't know how this affects quality.  It'll be experimented with, for sure, but I'm sure someone out there has tried it before.  

Thank you everyone!  

**It just dawned on me to do a search of previous topics lol.  I found this by Bubba Kuhn

...There are three stages of curing in the dough cycle. 1 to 23 hours green dough leave it alone. 24 to 48 hours Great New York Style Pizza. 48 to 72 hours use as pan pizza sourdough crust. This is truly a trick of the trade. Hope that helps. Bubba.

Margherita with an All-Trumps crust.  The dough was refrigerated for 8 days.  Tasted great.

According to glutenboy, 8-day refrigeration times are acceptable; perhaps he was aiming for a "pan sourdough crust"?  I'm not sure how that would taste, and I'm happy with a 36 hour fridge time flavor, so I am thinking that I should keep the time below 48 hours.  

Regarding freezing, it seems that it will alter aesthetic properties of the pizza.  


....To try a four day fermented dough would mean I would need to keep my pizza prep fridge on besides my deli case.  I really don’t want to do that because of electric bills.  When I freeze any doughs they are okay, but not exactly like when they are not frozen.  I can tell the difference in how the pizzas look from frozen doughs, but the pizzas taste the same.



Make your dough as normal, ball, then freeze.  When you are on the road, you can pack them with some cool packs to help if a cooler is not available, then set em out to rise and impress the crowd.  Good luck

It seems okay to freeze, I think, as long as the taste remains the same.  What I can't find is at what point of the dough-making process does one put it in the freezer?  After refrigeration time, or before?

Does everyone concur?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 01:39:19 PM by awol567 »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2012, 08:14:15 PM »
Whenever I double my usual batch size, the dough ferments considerably faster than usual. I once mentioned this to Peter (Pete-zza), and he directed me to a web page that explained the mass effect. I can't explain mass effect here, but I think you should decrease the yeast percentage if you quadruple your dough batch.

Also, if you intend to refrigerate your dough longer than usual, you should probably decrease the yeast quantity.

Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2012, 08:52:36 PM »

It might help to see your dough formulation and the amounts of ingredients so that the total dough batch weight can be calculated. You want to be sure that the mixer you use to make the dough can handle the amount of dough involved. If not, you may have to make two or more batches of dough. It will also help to know the weights of the dough balls.

I think your best bet is to make the bulk dough and do the division and rounding up front, rather than refrigerating the bulk dough and doing the division later.

It is possible to freeze dough balls that have been cold fermented, but it is perhaps best to do it earlier rather than later, especially if the amount of yeast is small. Freezing dough kills some of the yeast and can impair the performance of the dough when it is defrosted. Also, if your freezer has a defrost cycle, that is not the best thing for frozen dough. If everything is in order, you should plan to use frozen dough balls within a couple of weeks. In my opinion, the best way to make frozen dough balls is to plan the event. That usually means increasing the amount of yeast to compensate for the damage done to yeast by freezing.


Offline La Sera

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 10:27:21 PM »
I agree with Pete-zza's comments.

Make it, ball them, oil them then stick them into small plastic bags and put them into the freezer or refrigerator, depending on when you make them. If you're using under 0.4% (of the weight of the flour) of Instant Dry Yeast (IDY), then I would simply make the balls the day before cooking them and use the refrigerator. That's how an overwhelming majority of independent pizza restaurants do it.

If you freeze them, transfer to the refrigerator for at least a full day and you'll be golden.

If your recipe is a normal NY style, you should be able to shape them easily after taking them out of the refrigerator the next day for a short time (15 to 30 mins) before cooking.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 10:28:58 PM by La Sera »

Offline awol567

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 09:39:38 PM »
Hello all, I've been extremely busy lately, so sorry for the late response. 

Thanks for all of your input, I ended up making two batches of 2 balls each, so that I'd ensure a good result.  But I will try the recommendations here once I get another chance!


I currently use the following formulation for my regular NY style dough

One 13-14'' ball

Flour (100%):    199.95 g 
Water (62%):    123.97 g 
IDY (0.5%):    1 g
Salt (2%):    4 g
Olive Oil (2%):    4 g
Sugar (2%):    4 g
Total (168.5%):   336.91 g  TF = 0.0772

The TF is chosen mainly for convenience; my digital scale only has 1g increments, I'll be looking for a scientific scale with higher resolution in the future.  There's no bowl residue compensation, so the final weight is slightly less than stated. 

Again, thanks for your input! 

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 10:20:43 PM »

Your dough formulation and dough batch size (about 1 1/2 pounds) for two pizzas look to be in order.

I'm not sure you need to get a new scale if the one you now have is accurate to one gram. You should be able to use your current scale to weigh out the flour and water (to the nearest gram) and use the volume measurements produced by the dough calculating tool you used to measure out the other ingredients.


Offline kdefay

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Re: Dough fridge times and big batches
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 03:02:11 PM »
Just to add the the conversation...

I do large batches every weekend of up to 30 1lb balls at a time with the following:

Flour – 100% (blended at 70% DiVella “00” to 30% high gluten flour (13-14%)
Salt – 2%
Yeast - .32%
Sugar – .5%
Oil – 1%
Water – 62%

I use very cold water.  I add approx. 30% ice to my water in order to reduce the water temp, but this seems necessary due to the warm temperatures here in Thailand. I make my dough with a spiral mixer (mixing times can be provided if needed).  They are balled after mixing, placed into proofing boxes (6 balls/box) and refrigerated for two days before use. 

For weekends, I am forced to place 12 balls in each box for proofing, and even with everything I do to cool my dough and slow my development time, I find that the low yeast % that I am using still causes my dough to grow together.  the only way I can keep my dough balls from merging into each other is when I drop my yeast % down around .25%, but I don't like to do this because it's a variance from my mid-week formula. 

Basically, I am agreeing regarding the reduction in yeast % for longer fermentation times.  I don't like to vary my formula that much, but it becomes necessary as I don't like to cut dough balls apart and break the skin they have formed over 2 days of development.

The USA, Myanmar, and Liberia are the three remaining countries in the world who do not use the metric system.  That's some fine company to keep!!

Buy a scale, think in grams, and welcome to the 21st century!!