Hey Tx craig is the 1.5 - 1.7% starter you recommend a percent of total dough weight (flour, water, salt, starter) or percent of just the total flour? Also what are the rise times... .if I want to have pizza sat eve at 6pm what's a typical timeline for the prep? Thanks once again! Also are you using the small quantity of starter to make a preferment (biga, poolish, sponge) first or just adding to the final dough?
1.5 - 1.7% of the flour weight. I start with the water (~40-50F or so), dissolve in the salt, mix in the starter (don't worry much about getting it dissolved in - I just kind of cut it up with a spatula a little), dump in the flour, and mix until it comes together and gets basically smooth - just a couple minutes in my KA K5 mixer with the dough hook. I give it a few kneads on the counter, a 20 minute rest, a few more kneads (it should be pretty smooth now), and then into a plastic box for the bulk ferment.
For pies at 6pm, the day before, I would make the dough at 8 or 9 am. Let it bulk ferment for 24 hours or so at ~64F (I put a half gallon jug of frozen water in a large ice chest to hold the temp). It will show very little rise - but lots of tiny tiny bubbles will be starting to form – at the end of the 24 hours. I use a clear plastic tub so I can keep an eye on them. At this point I ball it up and put it into individual Rubbermaid tubs and let it rise at about 77F (my room temp all year). I can start making the pies after 6 hours or so, but 8 or 9 is often better. That would put you about 6pm. I generally have a 6 hour+ window from that point to bake before the dough is getting overrisen. I like the individual plastic tubs because you can see the bubble formation and have a really good idea when things are ready.
You’ll see lots of medium sized bubbles and lots of small bubbles, and the dough will have increased in volume by 1.7X or so when it is ready to go.
Differences in our culture, temperatures, flour, etc. could meaningfully affect these times. I’d start here and adjust accordingly. It will probably take some experimentation.