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Author Topic: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?  (Read 2714 times)

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Offline HansB

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2020, 09:05:50 AM »
Nothing wrong with a same day SD pizza! The last bread I posted was my first same day SD loaf and the flavor was excellent.
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Offline Dangerous Salumi

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2020, 05:35:29 PM »
Same day pizza sour dough is not nearly as good as pizza dough that has cold fermented for, in my case with my levain, for 4-7 days.
The last 2 fast ferment overnight dough pizzas were reviewed by my wife and she said "These taste like a mistake" and they went in the trash.
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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2020, 11:17:14 PM »
I didn't try 4-7 days CF with SD. I guess it all depends on each SD...
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Offline BeRealBaker

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2020, 05:31:37 PM »
This has been very helpful. I'm about to try a neapolitan dough on a new outdoor pizza oven and this has convinced me not to use the sourdough starter I have on hand, but to use a biga instead. Thank you.  :) :)
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2020, 06:37:07 PM »
After having made these tests above, I realized that I preferred the same day dough (8~10H RTF) than the 24H RTF one. The 24H one was much more acidic, I like ot for bread, but for my pizzas, it was too much. Same day dough, even though the formula had a bigger amount of dough was better, it had just that slight sour touch, I would say it was better. Again, I understand every SD is different, but I guess I'm not the only one experiencing this?

Maybe you can try to do 2 refreshes of the starter before you use it, the idea being to dilute the sourness and to make sure that the starter is fresh and potent.  You might also consider refreshing it with higher amounts of flour and water.  Instead of the normal 1/1/1 (starter/flour/water) do 1/2/2 or even higher.

When I bake with my firm starter I normally do a 1/2/1 refresh the evening before, and in the morning I do another traditional one with 2/2/1.  Then I put my starter in slightly ventilated tupperware on a shelf in the pantry, often for another 6 days.  So far so good, I haven't killed it yet :)
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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2020, 03:29:12 AM »
Maybe you can try to do 2 refreshes of the starter before you use it, the idea being to dilute the sourness and to make sure that the starter is fresh and potent.  You might also consider refreshing it with higher amounts of flour and water.  Instead of the normal 1/1/1 (starter/flour/water) do 1/2/2 or even higher.

When I bake with my firm starter I normally do a 1/2/1 refresh the evening before, and in the morning I do another traditional one with 2/2/1.  Then I put my starter in slightly ventilated tupperware on a shelf in the pantry, often for another 6 days.  So far so good, I haven't killed it yet :)

I'm not sure if it's the problem, as there's only 0.5% SD in the total water+flour? Would the acidity of the SD have such an impact?

This has been very helpful. I'm about to try a neapolitan dough on a new outdoor pizza oven and this has convinced me not to use the sourdough starter I have on hand, but to use a biga instead. Thank you.  :) :)

Be sure to try before saying a definite no ^^
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2020, 05:52:21 AM »
I'm not sure if it's the problem, as there's only 0.5% SD in the total water+flour? Would the acidity of the SD have such an impact?

No, in that case I doubt much would change.  I thought you used more than that.
Jack

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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2020, 08:13:55 AM »
No, in that case I doubt much would change.  I thought you used more than that.

Oops sorry, 0.5% was for the 48H RTF test. For 24H RTF, I'm around 3%. But it's not big either  :-[
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2020, 08:21:17 AM »
Still it's a way to reduce the acidity, YMMW of course.

Yesterday I made another 24 hour test dough with firm sourdough starter.  I used 6%, same as the day before but well refreshed.  When I came to ball it, it had tripled in bulk :)  I just made 2 panetti for pizza in teglia, hopefully I still get something eatable out of it.

It's an interesting challenge to get the timing right with sourdough.  Next time I'll try with 8-9 hours instead, it ought to make it easier to find the right amount of starter to use.
Jack

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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2020, 08:38:34 AM »
I made many other tests recently, and I had one quite successful 2 days ago, with the 10.3 protein Russian flour I often use.

Flour 100% (including 15% from the SD)
Water 66% (including 15% from the SD)
SD 30%
Salt 2.5%

CF 24H and then RTF (20°C) 9H. The strength of the dough was still good, the spring oven and 'alveolage' good, taste also good.

So as I said here (reply 24) https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=61592.msg616192#msg616192, if you use a big amount of SD in your dough, it's better it still has some strength. I didn't time exactly the situation, but let's say I refresh the SD day 1 the morning, then I use it day 2, it will have less strength left than if I refresh once more the evening of day 1 (because of acidity/enzymes/bacteria attacking the protein, I guess). So when I use big amounts like in the formula above, it can be a problem, basically it's 15% less protein in my flour. But if I just made the refresh (and SD at its peak), it will still have some kind of strength, and I definitely feel it in the final dough. Am I clear in my explanation?  :-X

Anyway, using SD is still some fun, I still have 3kg flour dedicated to it, so a few more months to try  :-D
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2020, 09:30:02 AM »
Very nice!
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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2020, 01:23:21 AM »
Thanks Craig  :-*  ;D

I'm making the same test tonight, only with 2% more hydration (bringing it to 68%). I balled the dough this morning after 24H in the fridge, and she seemed a little bit weak, so I hope she'll still have some strength when shaping! *finger crossed*
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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2020, 03:13:21 AM »
I forgot to give some news: 1H before baking, my dough looked very fragile (the balls were very flat), so I thought "let's make pizza pala instead of Napo". When the electric oven was hot (300°C), I took the dough from the dough box, it was very soft but unexpectedly still had some good strength! I baked a pala pizza and the result was ok, but then I thought "let's try Neapolitan style!". So I switched on my nuclear gas oven, and baked the 2 last balls (around one hour later). It was ok, except the last one which was a disaster (sticked to the counter when peeling, then... I did everything that I could but she didn't survive).

As I said above I think the state of the SD when making the dough was different this time, less good than last time, so the dough seemed to be more fragile (only 2% more water for the exact same procedure, the difference I felt looked like 5 or IDK 10% difference).
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Offline JoeK

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2020, 08:36:28 PM »
Some cultures are harder on the gluten than others. You may need to start over and make a new culture.

After 48 hours of RT fermentation, my dough is strong enough to open into 4' diameter windowpane.

Craig, what percentage of SD are you using in the dough that allows a 48 hour RT proof? 

Offline DoouBall

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2020, 09:46:00 PM »
I forgot to give some news: 1H before baking, my dough looked very fragile (the balls were very flat), so I thought "let's make pizza pala instead of Napo". When the electric oven was hot (300°C), I took the dough from the dough box, it was very soft but unexpectedly still had some good strength! I baked a pala pizza and the result was ok, but then I thought "let's try Neapolitan style!". So I switched on my nuclear gas oven, and baked the 2 last balls (around one hour later). It was ok, except the last one which was a disaster (sticked to the counter when peeling, then... I did everything that I could but she didn't survive).

As I said above I think the state of the SD when making the dough was different this time, less good than last time, so the dough seemed to be more fragile (only 2% more water for the exact same procedure, the difference I felt looked like 5 or IDK 10% difference).

Yael, having made sourdough pizzas for many years now, I recommend that you follow TxCraig's advice and find a very consistent feeding method - keep your temperature, number of hours and refreshment ratio fixed. You need to find the sweet spot for your starter and your situation and then stick to it. In addition, use your starter when it's a doubled or a little under. If you let it double and then wait more than an hour or two before you use it, it will get too acidic and won't perform well. If you're trying to avoid that overly acidic taste, it's important to use a young starter. In my case, I feed it with a 1:10:10 refreshment ratio or a 1:10:7 ratio (starter:flour:water) and use it after 6-12 hours as soon as it doubles (or gets close to it). With that regime, I don't have any acidity after even a 48-hour dough. If I haven't fed my starter in a while and it's sitting in the fridge, I remove it at least 24 hours before making dough and feed it twice before

The longer you keep your dough the more the protease enzymes break down the gluten and make your dough feel liquidy and perform poorly. If you hit a nice equilibrium point, you can make a dough that is nice and easy to stretch but not so acidic that it breaks down and tears on you. In general though, sourdough based pizza dough tends to be a lot more delicate and you have to be very gentle with it when stretching compared to the commercial yeasted dough. This is even more true if you add any whole wheat flour to the mix. Even 10% whole wheat accelerates the sourdough reactions and makes the dough even more delicate. It is still workable, but you will have problems if you let it overferment even a little.

Finally, I think 0.5% starter is just way way too little, even if you're fermenting at higher temperatures.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 11:31:15 PM by DoouBall »
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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2020, 01:54:44 AM »
Doouball (sorry I got your name a couple of times but I always forget  :-[) (please add it in your signature!!  ;D),

Thank you for your input and suggestions. It's true that I haven't been managing very carefully my SD (as I said somewhere, I even baked bread using SD before refreshing, and the result was also good/normal).
But on the other hand my laxity actually contributes to a better understanding of the SD, as well as the help you guys provide of course (like for instance from reply 29 to 33 here https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=60859.20).

I could try to manage it properly as you suggest, but keeping all those ratio fixed can be a problem as weather here in Northern China is similar to Canada's: one day it's sunny with 32°C outside, the next day it's cloudy and 20°C. Inside room temperature obviously changes as well (no A/C).

But in order to get better results I will still be more careful about the sweet spot, and follow your advice which is using the SD just before its peak. Actually, I did it before, and it seemed that the activity in the dough wasn't strong enough, but I didn't test it enough times in a row to be sure about the result. So now I'll pay more attention!!
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Offline DoouBall

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2020, 03:22:01 PM »
Doouball (sorry I got your name a couple of times but I always forget  :-[) (please add it in your signature!!  ;D),

Thank you for your input and suggestions. It's true that I haven't been managing very carefully my SD (as I said somewhere, I even baked bread using SD before refreshing, and the result was also good/normal).
But on the other hand my laxity actually contributes to a better understanding of the SD, as well as the help you guys provide of course (like for instance from reply 29 to 33 here https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=60859.20).

I could try to manage it properly as you suggest, but keeping all those ratio fixed can be a problem as weather here in Northern China is similar to Canada's: one day it's sunny with 32°C outside, the next day it's cloudy and 20°C. Inside room temperature obviously changes as well (no A/C).

But in order to get better results I will still be more careful about the sweet spot, and follow your advice which is using the SD just before its peak. Actually, I did it before, and it seemed that the activity in the dough wasn't strong enough, but I didn't test it enough times in a row to be sure about the result. So now I'll pay more attention!!

Yael, you can never fix all the variables but the more variables remain constant the less variability there is and the more control you have.

I would at the very least keep the refreshment ratios fixed. My experience with managing sourdough is the same as with making pourover coffee - the only way to achieve success is to keep as many variables fixed as possible and change one at a time, keeping notes.

If your temperature is all over the place, you might consider investing in a cheap wine fridge or reptile fermenting chamber like this one that Scott R recommended:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/BestEquip-Reptile-Egg-Incubator-23L-Capacity-Mini-Digital-Incubator-ReptiPro-6000-Portable-Digital-Incubator-Can-Heat-and-Cool-Eggs/885800841

With wild swings in temperature and no AC, I think you're going to have a really hard time managing the sourdough unless you stay in your apartment all day, or perhaps aim a camera at the sourdough and be prepared to race home when it has doubled. Lol. A dedicated fermentation chamber will be very useful for managing your dough as well.

With such difficult conditions as you have, unless you want to invest more time and/or money at this, you might just be better off cold-fermenting your dough and using commercial yeast. That or you need to find a way to exercise better control over your environment as the current conditions seem too fickle for sourdough. Just my 2 cents.
Alex

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Offline Yael

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2020, 10:02:58 PM »
Alex (thanks!),

I have to be honest and say that the management of my sourdough is not my #1 priority right now. I'll still use it for fun; I'll just try to avoid using it when I have pizzas to make when inviting friends  :-D

I've been in business trip for 2 days last week, and I forgot to put it in the fridge. I came back, I forgot to feed it 2 days in a row. I fed it yesterday, it wasn't even acidic anymore  :-D :-D
It happened before, and after a few refreshing, it'll be back  8) lol

Well obviously my approach now is different from the one a couple month back when I started these threads. I already had many answers to my questions, I failed as much as I succeeded (more success in bread, less in pizza  ;D), so that gave me a better understanding of sourdough even though I don't master it yet.

However I don't want to give it up yet, I still have surplus flour to use  ;D
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Offline DoouBall

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Re: Is sourdough a good choice for pizza?
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2020, 10:07:36 PM »
Alex (thanks!),

I have to be honest and say that the management of my sourdough is not my #1 priority right now. I'll still use it for fun; I'll just try to avoid using it when I have pizzas to make when inviting friends  :-D

I've been in business trip for 2 days last week, and I forgot to put it in the fridge. I came back, I forgot to feed it 2 days in a row. I fed it yesterday, it wasn't even acidic anymore  :-D :-D
It happened before, and after a few refreshing, it'll be back  8) lol

Well obviously my approach now is different from the one a couple month back when I started these threads. I already had many answers to my questions, I failed as much as I succeeded (more success in bread, less in pizza  ;D), so that gave me a better understanding of sourdough even though I don't master it yet.

However I don't want to give it up yet, I still have surplus flour to use  ;D

Have fun with your experiments Yael!

I just read about an interesting technique from Piergiorgio Giorilli where he builds a biga on a combination of sourdough and commercial yeast and uses that to leaven his pizza. It seems like a promising method with hopefully some of the benefits of both sourdough and biga and without the downsides of using sourdough on its own. You can even use acidic sourdough discard with this method - I'll be trying that next.
Alex

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