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Author Topic: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity  (Read 766 times)

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Offline Doktah

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Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« on: January 14, 2020, 08:03:03 AM »
Hi, new to the forum but have been stalking this forum and others for a little while now as I develop my recipes.

I've been making pizza at home for about 15 years now. More historically in my oven with a kiln shelf or steel plate as a pizza stone, but a year or 2 back got an ooni 3 which I love. Over the last year i've been experimenting a lot and cooking for increasingly large groups at parties etc, and catering a couple of times for friends parties. I've switched from a 2 hours pizza dough to a slow cold prove which I think has improved the flavour of my dough dramatically.

I've tried a range of flours strong white bread, shop bought tipo 00 (10.5% protein content), caputo pizzeria (I think 11.5% protein) and caputo manitoba oro (tipo 0, 14% protein), and a range of hydration levels and finally settled on a method.

Flour, 58% water (I used to do 62% but find the caputo takes in less water), 0.3% yeast, 2% salt. I mix 70% of the flour with the other ingredients and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. I then add the rest of the flour and kneed in a domestic food mixer with dough hook for about 5 minutes until you get a lovely smooth dough which stretches excellently. I then cold prove for 3-5 days, removing a few hours before use, hand stretching and cooking at 400C in the ooni.

The problem I have is that whilst the cold prove dramatically improves flavour, I find that by the time the flavour has developed (3+ days), the dough loses a lot of it's elasticity and so isn't as satisfying to stretch, tearing from time to time during the process. My main issue is this downfall in elasticity isn't consistent, and so its difficult to pinpoint whats going wrong and at what point.

Reading through many online slow prove methods has led me to believe that lots of people use greater hydration for longer fermentations (75+%). Also, with slow prove you may not need to get to the window pain 'moment' when kneeding before proving as it makes no difference - might this be leading to over prooving?

I've just put on 4 recipes for use this weekend, a 75% hydration, 65% hydration, 58% hydration, and 53% hydration with 5% olive oil added in addition, i'll also put in a no kneed one. I'll be testing a tiny bit each day to monitor and see what this tells me - but thought I'd ask here too for any pointers or insight you might have gleaned.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 11:17:24 AM »
Unless you're making bread, ditch the "window pane" test for gluten development, instead, just mix until the dough "just" takes on a smooth appearance. Your mixer will think kindly of you and you will get a finished crust with a more open crumb structure with better bake-out properties. You don't mention anything about your finished dough temperature or how you are cold fermenting your dough, but you should be looking for a finished dough temperature in the 70 to 75F range and either cross-stacking/leaving containers open until dough reaches 50F internal dough ball temperature or plastic bagging (preferred). Failure to do any of these can lead to a weak dough condition, especially after 3 to 5-days in the fridge. Also, you don't mention which "00" flour you are using but do be aware that some of the Caputo flours are not designed for more than about 12-hours of fermentation time while others are designed for longer fermentation times and might be better suited to your application.
More information would be helpful.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Doktah

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 03:20:56 PM »
You really do live up to your name.

I'm chilling at normal domestic fridge temperature, 40F. Becuase I tend to do smaller quantities, 1-2Kg, I don't believe balling makes a differnce but tend to ball up and cross stack in a plastic dough proving box. Up until this point i'd not heard mention of cross stacking with the dough open to the air. I tend to always keep them covered to stop them drying out. So normally i'd remove from the fridge and reform tight dough balls or separate if I have proved in bulk 4-5 hours before use, and then let them warm to room temp - all covered in a dough box.

two things to try then, uncover for an hour when they come out the cooler? ensure that they are actually up to room temp as I'd never actually check with the probe.

as for flour, I think I did mention but not specifically. For the last year i've been using the caputo pizzeria flour. It's a specific one that only comes in 25Kg bags. I've just gotten some manitoba oro from caputo and so am now trying that for long proves, it's a tipo 0 with higher protein content. I got this as a year or so ago I went to Sardinia and spent the night cooking with a pizza chef from Milan. He told me to only ever use tipo 0 for longer proves otherwise the dough won't hold together, he may have been explaining the issue i'm seeing but the language barrier made it slightly tough. This is the first time i've found any of this tipo 0 in the UK that I could import without spending silly money but may also help.


thanks again for the help.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 05:25:50 PM »
Here is what I'm suggesting;
Lightly oil each dough piece as you place it into the individual dough boxes, leave the box(es) open until the internal dough ball temperature reaches 50F, then lid the boxes for the duration of cold fermentation. When you want to use the dough, remove from the fridge and KEEP COVERED/LIDDED, allow the dough to set AT room temperature until the internal dough ball temperature rises to 50 to 60F (anything in that temperature range will work OK), then remove the dough from the container and proceed to open into a skin by your usual manner. DO NOT RE-BALL the dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Doktah

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 02:50:18 AM »
ah ok, so the open cross stacking helps the dough to cool quicker to retard it early and stop over fermentation.

thanks. will give it a try.

I'll also avoid reballing. trying to think if this is something i've generally done. As mentioned, sometimes with larger mixes of 2kg/5lbs I will bulk ferment and then ball once it comes out the fridge and has warmed.

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Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 11:50:44 AM »
By "cross-stacking" you will also prevent the development of excessive condensation in the individual containers which results in a wet dough. The biggest benefit to cross-stacking is that it is conducive to achieving a consistent fermentation rate which results in  more consistent finished dough performance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 04:06:58 PM »
I take my dough out of the fridge and within a few minutes I stretch it out. This is usually 3-5 day old Einkorn or various other flours (fine milled Italian, Sprouted Red Fife, AP,etc.). They stretch out nicely and don't tear. If I leave them out for an hour or two they are harder to work with and will sometimes tear.

I think conventional wisdom and methods are great until they don't work for you. Try something different every time until you find what works for you.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 05:06:06 PM »
Absolutely! This is why I encourage those not as skilled at opening a dough ball to open the dough at a colder temperature. Also, the type of flour can have a great impact, a weak flour may be very soft and extensible at anything but a cold temperature, but for most folks, using a "typical" U.S. pizza type/bread type flour, a cold dough right out of the fridge will be excessively tough and elastic to open easily, in addition, there is also a possibility that the dough will be cold as it goes into the oven which dramatically increases the probability of severe bubbling or in some cases taking on more of the appearance of pita than pizza in the oven.  :'(
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Doktah

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 11:20:32 AM »
Thanks both.

So, make pizza not war, you stretch the base out whilst cold, I'm assuming you then cover it rather than use straight away?

Don't get me wrong, I've been getting good results it's just variable for seemingly no reason. I've also taught a friend my recipe and he's getting rather bad tearing and lots of stretch - hence trying to figure it out.

Also I'm less clear why so many recipes I find for long proves have such high hydration levels, 75-85 %. That kind of thing gives you a sticky puddle of dough useless for pizza making.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 01:28:51 PM »
The only time you proof the dough after opening it into a skin is if you want to make a thicker finished crust (like a thick crust pizza), otherwise, for a thin crust pizza you open the dough ball into a skin, dress it and bake it.
As to those high absorption doughs, they usually use an autolyse to help the flour absorb the water, they also require specialized handling (we recently had a good video here showing how it's done, maybe Peter can find it for you). Save those high absorption doughs for making AFTER you gain good proficiency making lower (60 to 65%) absorption doughs for now. As for opening the dough while still cold, I can't say if that will work for you or not, you will need to try it to find what works best for YOU with YOUR dough made with YOUR dough management procedure.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 03:12:41 PM »
I believe that the video that Tom has in mind to explain the autolyse method, and also the related method called the pincer and fold method, is the one shown at Reply 23 at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=58912.msg591945#msg591945

Peter

Offline Doktah

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2020, 01:54:51 PM »
Thanks for the video.

As for cold opening, I'm going to test the batch I have whilst still cold to see how it opens but let some of the balls warm before opening to see if that's where I lose elasticity. The reason I asked about letting them warm as is never have thought to bake it whilst cold.

Also, you mentioned earlier about not reballing the dough. Surely that would be the same as proving in bulk and the balling as it comes out the cooler?

And finally don't worry, I get that I need to test everything and see what works for me, I'm just also trying to gather knowledge alongside that.

Thanks again, will go watch the video.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2020, 02:46:24 PM »
Doktah;
I'm not exactly sure what you mean in your second paragraph about re-balling the dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline megan45

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 08:24:26 PM »
Also, you mentioned earlier about not reballing the dough. Surely that would be the same as proving in bulk and the balling as it comes out the cooler?

You do not want to ball OR reball the dough as it comes out of the cooler unless you intend to give it an extended rest before using it.

The dough needs to be ball initially, which can be occur either prior to or after bulk fermentation, then the balls need to rest for a period of time, both to promote further fermentation and to allow the gluten to relax, othewise the dough will resist stretching and want to contract back on itself.

REBALLING is exactly that: balling the dough again. Reballing the dough after it comes out of the cooler will again tighten the gluten network, necessitating yet another extended rest for the gluten to relax, or the dough will again resist your attempts to stretch it and contract back on itself.

Offline Doktah

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2020, 04:45:54 AM »
then remove the dough from the container and proceed to open into a skin by your usual manner. DO NOT RE-BALL the dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

This was what I was referring to. And yes, I think we're all on the same page. If I ball the dough as it comes out the cooler, as it often spreads out from a tight ball over the 4 days in the cooler, I would leave it covered at room temp for 1-4 hours to relax and warm.

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Cold prove leading to loss of elasticity
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2020, 08:08:20 AM »
This was what I was referring to. And yes, I think we're all on the same page. If I ball the dough as it comes out the cooler, as it often spreads out from a tight ball over the 4 days in the cooler, I would leave it covered at room temp for 1-4 hours to relax and warm.
Doing it this way the dough is likely to be too warm for too long before it has relaxed enough. I shoot for a minimum of 6 hrs if I re-ball (up to a couple days). Only the last 1 1/2 - 2 hrs is spent at room temperature, which is a temperature the dough never reaches ideally.
-Tony

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