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Author Topic: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?  (Read 1150 times)

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Offline kuhne

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In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« on: December 19, 2019, 02:49:29 AM »
Hey all, been away for a while but I am still making pizzas. I have a question that Iíve seen asked one way or another in this forum, I used the search extensively but all those threads seemed to abruptly end and never had a direct response to my possibly dumb question.

After a couple of years of trying different dough preparation methods using Caputo 00 or Il stagioni 00, I landed on 2 hours bulk ferment at room temp, 24 hours bulk ferment in the fridge, then 24 balled ferment in the fridge, take them out for about 2 hours and a half and I have a pretty workable and delicious future pizza.

But lets say I wan to do a 3 day cold ferment, or 5 day. Every single recipe I see tells you to bulk ferment for just a little bit and then ball and keep the balls in the fridge for the rest of the days. This is always a bit complex for me, I would much prefer to leave the dough in bulk in the fridge for 4 days and then ball before the last 24 hours.

My question is, does it matter at all how I do it? To me its easier to knead and make the balls really tight 24 hours before I remove them from the fridge, then 3 hours after the dough is removed its perfect for baking. If I ball for 48 hours, my whole thing gets messed up.

Does it matter if I do most of the cold ferment in bulk and only the last 24 hours balled? Does it affect fermentation in any way?

I know bulk and balled dont matter much in low quantities but lets just say I am asking for general purposes, sometimes for 1 or 2 pizzas but sometimes for 10 people and I would rather have one procedure for all situations.

Thanks in advance!



Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 11:46:03 AM »
It is impossible to fully answer your question without knowing a lot more about the dough in question which is probably why you have had a problem finding a definitive answer, and even then the answer will be specific only to YOUR dough. The factors which would influence the answer to your question would include such things as;
Dough formulation.
How and how much the dough has been mixed.
The finished dough temperature.
Size/weight of the total dough as well as the weight of the individual dough balls.
Type of container(s) used to ferment the dough as well as the dough balls in.
The strength of the flour.
Actual room temperature.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline amolapizza

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 01:39:27 PM »
Personally I've come to believe that pizza making is a chain of events.  At each event you set the stage for the next event. When you mix your dough you are preparing it for the balling event.  When you are balling it you are preparing it for the extension event.  When you are extending it you are preparing it for the baking event.

You'd ideally want the dough to be in perfect condition when it reaches the next event, though this is easier said than done.  Everything you do will have an impact, sometimes a big one, sometimes an unnoticeable one.

When you start to ball, you'd want a dough that makes it easy to ball, when you start to extend it, you'd want one that is easy to extend and which support the final result you want to achieve.

The result will as always depend on everything, flour, dough formula, mechanical manipulation, temperatures, the timing, etc, etc.  There simply isn't an answer to a question like this.

Personally I think start with your desired timing, and then try to set the stage for each event.  If you try 3 days instead of 2 days, when you come to ball you might find the dough, let's say sticky.  What to do?  Work it more mechanically, change hydration, change salinity, change yeast amount, change temperatures..?  I guess sometimes one can make an educated guess based on previous experience, and sometimes the result is surprising.. :)

When you ball the dough, you do stimulate it.  The action adds strength to the gluten, redistributes yeast and nutrients which stimulates fermentation, etc.  If you are happy with balling 24 hours before baking, then IMO keep doing that.

I guess what I wanted to say by this long rambling post is to bake pizza, analyze the result, and learn how to change your formula or procedure to achieve the result you are looking for.  In many ways it's more about what you do, than just about some recipe..

That said I think extending the bulk in fridge from 1 to 2 days shouldn't be a major event..?  Maybe you need a lower hydration, lower yeast amount, or maybe a stronger flour, or maybe it changes nothing at all..??  :D
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 06:30:36 PM by amolapizza »
Jack

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

Offline kuhne

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2019, 04:54:17 PM »
Right, I should have been more specific, sorry. The flour is always caputo 00 or il stagioni 5 00, i almost always use instant yeast and I find that my end product is always better when I do cold ferment in bulk for 24 hours and then 24 hours cold balled. This is because when I do longer cold ferment as balled, the ball grows more than I would like and I still have to let them rest outside which grows them even more. I could adjust the yeast but I find my process of balling 24 hours prior to removing from fridge always works best.

What I want to know is if I want to add more days in the fridge, is it ok if I add them as bulk? Keeping the 24 hour rule of my balled ferment. Or should I adjust yeast and other factors to try and get the ball fermentation to last longer in the fridge.

I am honestly getting great results this way, I just want to know if it is fundamentaly wrong.

thanks

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2019, 08:05:59 PM »
Please refer back to my above post.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Offline kuhne

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2019, 10:38:14 PM »
My dough formulation is

312g caputo 00
187g water
9.3 salt
1.4 instant yeast

mix until ball is swinging around hook, then leave it there resting for 2 hours, come back and mix some more for about 5 minutes then put it in the fridge as is, just covered of course.

take it out of the fridge 24 hours later, make tight balls (aprox 240g, 250g) and put them back into the fridge another 24 hours.

Depending on the weather outside, I'll remove them from the fridge 2 hours 30/45 if its warmer then less time but I give them enough time to rest before stretching.

I am not sure of the temp, I use plastic containers, big enough so that the dough ball never touches the edges or the top.

Room temp, normaly maybe 25 celcius but that changes a lot.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2019, 11:24:53 PM »
The benefits of bulk fermentation are essentially non-existant with such a small size dough. You could just as easily scale and ball the dough right after mixing and I'm betting you would get the same results. Your IDY percent is OK for up to about 3-days cold fermentation. Try this, after mixing, scale and ball the dough, cold ferment for 3-days, remove from the fridge and allow to warm until the internal temperature of the dough ball reaches 60F/15.5C before you begin opening it into a skin.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline kuhne

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2019, 01:11:58 PM »
Thanks Mr. Lehman.

Sometimes I do this same recipe when people come over and the overall weight increases a lot but I use the exact same recipe.
In such a case, would doing cold bulk fermentation help in any way? Say, 48 hours cold bulk, 24 hours cold balled, then rest?

I will try your recomendation as my next pizza is only for me and my wife. Thanks for your time!



Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2019, 01:42:23 PM »
Only if the total dough weight is 20-ounces or more.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline kuhne

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2019, 05:37:44 PM »
Thank you Tom and Amolapizza for your help

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Offline kuhne

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2019, 01:16:40 PM »
By the way Tom, you said my process and yeast amount should be good enough for a 3 day cold ferment. What if I wanted to do 5 day, using the exact same process. What amount of IDY would you recomend?

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: In cold fermentation, does it matter when I ball the dough?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2019, 05:14:34 PM »
I'd go with 0.15 to 0.2% IDY with your dough management process. Using my dough management process I normally use 0.3%.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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