I have been working with a dough that has a hydration rate of 75%. I have been just making small batches in a kitchenaid stand mixer and the dough is really not formable. To manage it so far I am just putting it into a greased pan, covering it and putting it in the walk in over night to cold ferment. Now I am pretty happy with my formula and would like to move up to large scale batches and push these into production at my pizzeria. The issue I have is I don’t want to have to buy several hundred pans to divide the dough into just to cold ferment it. Would it be ok just to put it into a plastic tub and into the walk in to cool down then divide and portion it the next day?
It’ll be harder to round the next day…try to bench rest it under some plastic wrap for a few hours…
The problem with trying to cool any large mass of dough is that you cannot cool the entire dough as the core is so well insulated by the expanded outed portion of the dough. In other stores where we work with similar high absorption doughs we scale the dough into desired weight pieces, wipe them with a little oil, and then drop the dough pieces into individual plastic bread bags which you can buy from any distributor at a very reasonable cost. I didn’t tell you this, but if you place the used bags into a clean plastic pail you should be able to reuse the bags for the better part of a week, that is unless your health department has issues with doing so. After placing the dough into the bag, twist the open end into a pony tail and tuck it under the dough ball as you place it onto a sheet pan. I have found that a vertical rack holding about 15 sheet pans placed in the cooler works well. As you fill a sheet pan with bagged dough balls take it directly to the cooler and place the sheet pan into the rack, manage the dough as you would any other dough from that point on.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor