Increasing the flavor of dough

Discussion in 'The Think Tank' started by MWTC, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    Tom,

    What are the steps to increasing the flavor of the pizza dough?

    I have been experimenting for the last year, with many different flours and techniques. The most increase that I have got is through the use of a 50% bigga but it has a limit to the increase. I allowed it to set at room temp. for 20 hours and up to 30 hours and then added it to the balance of the recipe. I didn't taste any improvement past the 20 hour point. I have used a poolish at 400 grams of flour and 400 grams of water and 1/2 tsp of ADY for 5 hours. This has its limit also. I have used the cold rise technique, and have success with it but as with the other two, bigga and poolish it only goes so far. I have been mixing other types of flour to the KASL and All Trumps and Guistos but the dough gets more dense and seems not to help. I have not used any starters except a simple one that didn't produce any increase either.

    Would you advise me as to what direction I should proceed with my experimentation. I am looking for the flavor to come from the dough not a flavoring on top like Hungry Howies falvored crust.

    Thank-you Tom

    MWTC :D
     
  2. lilian

    lilian New Member

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    well i never tried hungry howie but i thought that hungry hwoi add flavor to thier dough like garlic herbd etc that is not what your looking for what your looking for is the bread flavore correct? if this is the case then do the following it worked for me finish your dough mixing at low temp 60 and and let it rise on your coldest shelf in the fridg that would be the top shelf i think so let it rise slow for 3 to 4 days make sure you do not overferment and loose all the natural suger in the dough try it good luck
     
  3. abatardi

    abatardi New Member

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    Hey MW, try your bulk rise at room temp (dough made with 12-24 hour preferment) and then retard individual dough balls in the cooler for a few days.

    - aba
     
  4. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    Tom,

    I have not gotten a reply from you about the above question. Would you please advise me as to what direction I should proceed.

    MWTC
     
  5. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    Aba,

    Are you saying I should use an additional bulk rise time to the already 24 hour bigga time? IE; 24 hour bigga and another 24 hour bulk rise with the bigga added?

    MWTC
     
  6. pizzanerd

    pizzanerd Member

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    MWTC,

    Can you elaborate a bit further on what kinds of "flavors" you are looking for? That is, are you looking for flavors that come from long fermentation (either at room temperature or in the cooler), or the use of natural starters and preferments (e.g., poolish, sponge, biga, old dough, etc.), or yeast flavors from using large amounts of yeast, or natural wheat or flour blend flavors (e.g, semolina, cornmeal, wheat, rye or clear flours), or sweetness from additives like honey, nondiastatic barley malt syrup, maple syrup, etc., or flavors from fats like olive oil or butter, or additives to dough like garlic powder or herbs? Long, slow baking of a pizza will also affect the crust flavor through the denaturing of protein, the Maillard reactions, etc.

    pizzanerd
     
  7. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    I'm looking for the flavors that come from long fermentation. What I am getting is ok but not outstanding. I've been experimenting adding ground oats to the recipe and it is an improvement but not exceptional. I'm trying to get it to the next level. I've experimented with many different flours and combinations but have not found that cut above dough.

    MWTC
     
  8. NicksPizza

    NicksPizza Active Member

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    Ever tried a different yeast? Each strain developed will give a slightly different flavor profile. With 5 primary ingredients to dough, changing one or more will adjust flavor . . . flour . . . sugar . . . yeast . . . water . . . temp/time. A different brand will have different slightly byproducts in the same recipe and techniques.

    Heck, filtering your water, adding or removing salt that inhibits yeast action, and looking at finished dough temp versus fermentation time are examples.
     
  9. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    I just developed a French style starter and I'm just starting to experiment with it. Nothing special so far. I do have a couple from sourdough.com and will be developing them in the near future. I will look for other brands of yeast, (I am using ADY and IDY from Gordens Food) to see if I can taste any difference. Is that what you ment by other yeast?

    Thank-you for the idea.

    MWTC
     
  10. abatardi

    abatardi New Member

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    have you tried using "pain a l'ancienne" technique of mixing dough with ice water and immediately putting it in the fridge to retard? Go 24-48 hours with it in bulk in the fridge and then cut & shape dough balls, let them come to room temp for a couple hours and bake. I am in the same boat you are, trying to figure out the best way for best flavor... I think it is just going to be trial and error and trying a bunch of things you haven't done before to see what you like best. Just keep a log of your time & temps and things like that so you can reference later... that's the one thing I forget to do most of the time and wish I had it later.

    - aba
     
  11. pizzanerd

    pizzanerd Member

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    MWTC,

    Based on what you have said, my best advice to you is to use a natural starter, in small quantity, and a long room-temperature fermentation. The amount of the starter will depend on its level of activity, but you might start at around 5% of the weight of formula water, or more if your starter is not particularly virile. The duration of fermentation will depend on the ambient room temperature and the strength and readiness of your starter (as well as the hydration and salt quantity) but if you can achieve a fermentation temperature of between 60-65 degrees F, the fermentation time can be as long as 30 hours (again, depending on the level of activity of your starter). If you are after a “sourdoughâ€Â
     
  12. thincrust

    thincrust New Member

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    MWTC, I use a Biga in my recipe, 4lbs of Biga, 12 and 1/2 lbs Cake Flour, 50 lbs of All trumps Flour, Salt, IDY, Olive Oil 3 cups. Gives a Neopolitan Crust. In the North East I have heard guys put putting powdered soup mixes in thier crust for flavor. I have never trid it. French Onion mixtures are popular with the people I know. Hope it helps.

    Todd
     
  13. Patriot'sPizza

    Patriot'sPizza Active Member

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    one thing I do is use ice cold H2O & undermix...8 min total on a spiral...I ball and & do not cross stack...I won't use that dough for 2 days...I do floor proof for several hours & that has improved the taste/quality of my product...plus, I don't bake mine as fast as I can...I set my CTX conveyor for 6.5 minutes...
     
  14. billy romano

    billy romano New Member

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    what is floor proof?
     
  15. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    PizzaNerd,

    I'm off and running with the room temp. rise idea. I have a few questions.

    I used 70 degree water, what do you suggest? I used 5 percent starter.

    I mixed the recipe for 2 min, then a 5 min autolyse, then a 5 min knead. Does that seem right?

    After the kneading I balled the dough, and placed them in an oiled half sheet pan with a lid. The dough temp. was 80 degrees and the room is 74 degrees. I started it at 11pm today. When should I attempt the first bake? And is there any special procedures that you suggest before baking? Like deflating the dough and allowing to rise before baking. Or should I have done something different before balling the dough? Like a bulk rise period then balling the dough.

    In a related question, does the flour that you feed your starter have an effect on the falvor of the dough? I am using an Artistan flour when I feed the mother starter, should I experiment with this, or does it have no effect on the finised dough?

    MWTC
     
  16. Patriot'sPizza

    Patriot'sPizza Active Member

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    I forecast the # of DB required for the night & bring them out of the roll-in, several dough trays @ a time...keep 'em stacked for several hours and replenish as needed...

    we used to proof directly in the walk-in, but I prefer the quality I'm getting now...browns much better...nice crisp crunch when cutting...
     
  17. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    Thincrust,

    What is your hydration percent on the biga?

    What are you achieving with the cake flour?

    French Onion, sounds good. Great Idea!!! Never would have thought of that one.

    Thank-you for the input.

    MWTC
     
  18. pizzanerd

    pizzanerd Member

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    MWTC,

    What you have done so far looks to be fine (I assume you are using a KitchenAid mixer). Going forward, what will largely govern the success of your efforts is the natural characteristics of your starter culture (some are naturally more active than others), the degree of readiness of your starter (i.e., it is well fed and fully functional), the hydration of your dough (all else being equal, a high hydration dough will ferment faster than a low hydration dough), and the fermentation temperature (i.e., your ambient temperature).

    It would not be unusual at the low levels of your starter to not see much volume expansion in your dough for many hours. It can be 12 hours but it might also be 20 hours or more, depending on the particular conditions. Typically, the dough is allowed to ferment in bulk, for example, for 12-15 hours, and then divided, shaped, and allowed to ripen for about another 3-4 hours before using. In a home environment, some people use an inexpensive proofing box (such as described in Ed Wood’s book, Classic Sourdoughs), or a Peltier unit (such as one made by ThermoKool) to control the fermentation temperatures to achieve more consistent results than relying on room temperature alone, which can vary quite widely throughout the year. It will usually take some experimentation to get things right on a consistent basis. Unless you use your starter frequently, whether it is to make pizza dough or bread dough, you will always be contending with the matter of having to refresh the starter culture (which may have been inactive in the refrigerator for months) to get it back to peak performance levels. That is perhaps the main reason why many people give up on natural starters.

    At the level of usage of your starter culture, you should be able to use any unbleached, nonbromated white flour to feed the culture. If you were using a preferment at much higher levels, such as 20-50% of the weight of the formula flour, the type of flour you use might have an effect on the flavor profile of your finished crust. In my case, if I am using, say, Caputo 00 flour, I am likely to use the same flour to feed the starter culture. It is more for authenticity than anything else.

    I think you can now see why it is rare to see professional pizza operators use natural starters. It takes a lot of work and starters can be finicky. I am aware of only one pizza operator in the U.S. using a natural starter and only two in Naples. It is far easier to use commercial yeast. In between the use of natural starters and commercial yeast, there are many preferment applications that can contribute to the flavor profile of pizza crusts, such as mentioned, for example, by thincrust in an earlier post in this thread. Aussie member wa dave (Dave) has also mentioned in previous posts a sourdough approach that he uses to get better crust flavors. Tom Lehmann has previously described the use of a preferment to impart greater flavors to a take-and-bake crust. In your case, at the low levels of usage of your starter, you are relying almost solely on the leavening power of the starter. When you get to much larger preferment levels, there are other attributes that are conferred on the dough, such as acid levels, strengthening of the gluten structure, etc. With the growing artisan movement in pizza making, I think you will see greater use of preferments to achieve better crust flavors and textures and also to serve as a differentiator in a highly competitive marketplace.

    pizzanerd
     
  19. Tom Lehmann

    Tom Lehmann Active Member

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    There are a number of things that you can do to improve the flavor of your pizza dough. Fermentation is one of the best approaches, and the use of a sponge/biga/poolish are all very effective.. The greater the amount of flour being fermented the shorter the fermentation time needed to achieve the desired level of "fermentation" flavor. Be aware too, that the amount of water added to the dough can/will affect fermentation too, so that becomes another variable in the fermentation picture, then you can toss in dough temperature as another influencing factor for fermentation flavor. You will get a different mix of fermentation developed acids at high temperatures than you will get at lower (refrigeraated or slightly above) temperatures. Another form of fermentation is that which is achieved through more "natural" means, by this I mean the use of a sour, which is typically fermentation through the use of bacteria (hopefully lacto bacillus) and yeast strains floating around in the air.
    You should also be sure your salt level is within the range of 1.5 to 2% of the flour weight. Less than this and the finished crust can have a starchy taste. More than this can impart a salty taste which can overcome the more desirable crust flavors.
    Then you can use flavored ingredients, olive oil, butter, margarine, lard, cheese in the dough, herbs in the dough.
    The type of flour can affect the flavor too, for example, the use of some rye flour in the dough formulation can impart a different flavor as can the use of whole wheat flour or even some multi-grains.
    These are the more common things that we look at when improving or changing the flavor of pizza crusts and similat products.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
     
  20. MWTC

    MWTC New Member

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    PizzaNerd,

    Thank-you for the thoughtful reply.

    It has been 10 hours so far and it is like you said, little movement so far, slightly tacky to the touch, room temp. is 73 degrees. What am I looking for, to know it has fermentated long enough? And when it reaches that point do I refrigerate the unused dough balls?

    MWTC



    Tom,

    Thank-you for the input.
     

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