# Fermentation...

here’s a “new” one…how long do you ferment/age your dough?

We use All Trumps & cold H2O from the walk-in (& under-mixed)…rarely do we take it out sooner than 2 days later to proof…

I wonder where the “ideal” time/temp/age factor best lies…out new store has limited cooler space, so we’re unable to keep that much dough staged…

I almost need 2 use the dough 30 hrs or so after its made…time 2 start tampering w/perfection…

I use GM Superlative, about 12.5% protein, 80 degrees off mixer, ferment 12 to 72 hours, take out of refrigerator 90 minutes before using, 3 hour window of time to use after the 90 minutes, at room temperature…
that’s the ideal, I go over or under a little,
Otis

We have done a lot of work determining the "optimum"fermentation time for a pizza dough. For the sake of the arguement, lets say the optimum fermentation time is that which provides for a dough that is easy to shape without excessive memory (snap-back) and which when baked, does not exhibit excessive bubbling tendencies. We have found that if you adjust the water temperature to give you a finished dough temperature of 80 to 85F, and then take the dough directly to the bench for scaling and balling, then box it up and and cross stack it in the cooler for about two hours, then down-stack and nest or cover the dough boxes, you can begin using the dough after about 16 hours in the cooler. Anybody who has been in our annual pizza production course has seen and worked with this dough. Typically, assuming shop temperatures in the 70 to 75F range, and the use of a planetary mixer with a total mixing time of about 10 minutes, you wil need to use water at 60 to 65F to achieve this target finished dough temperature. There is a formula for finding the desired water temperature under any shop temperature, but I won’t go into it right now. Heck! Yes I will;
3 X desired finished dough temperature minus the sum of the ROOM TEMPERATURE, FLOUR TEMPERATURE, and FRICTION FACTOR. For friction factor just plug in the number 35. This will give you the water temperature needed to give the desired finished dough temperature, or something very close to it. In every shop you will need to find the finished dough temperature that works best for you. Some shops have a small cooler and have better success with slightly lower finished dough temperatures (in the 70 to 75F range). This is also the order of the day if you are trying to hold your dough beyond the recommended three days in the cooler, but remember, the lower the finished dough temperature, the longer you will have to leave it in the cooler before you can begin using it. You’ve already seen that affect.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,
I have a question concerning a quote from the previous post:

“the lower the finished dough temperature, the longer you will have to leave it in the cooler before you can begin using it. You’ve already seen that affect.”

if I come of the mixer with the dough at say 70 degrees, go through the prescribed procedure, which I do, say after 24 hours in the cooler, mine at average 39 degrees, take it out, covered in the dough box, and let it sit for approximately 90 minutes. Because the dough was cooler, 70 degrees coming off the mixer, will letting it sit at room temperature in the covered box an extra hour bring it up to the same fermentation as if it had come off the mixer at 85 degrees…
in other words, where would fermentation be equal, the cooler dough just needing more time, everything else being the same ?
because I have small refrigeration space, I plan to make dough, ferment at room temperature and use…
I assume procedure being the same, ball up and coat with oil, cross stack 2 hours, nest, and use within the next 3 hours…will that work ?
…how much more time will I get if I come off the mixer at 70 instead of 80 ?
What parameters do you recomend…

I apologize for a longer post, thanks for reading,
Otis

Otis;
The affects of time on fermentation cannot be overestimated. Bringing the dough off of the mixer at say, 10F cooler (70F) will significantly slow the rate of fermentation necessitating a longer time in the cooler. Also, the longer time at a lower temperature affects the type of acids formed during fermentation, which will affect the finished flavor of the baked dough/crust. By allowing the dough to set out at room temperature for a longer time will affect the flavor of the crust to some extent and it will also significantly reduce the window of time available for you to use the dough in.
If you were to allow the dough to rise to some extent prior to scaling and balling, you will allow the dough to become less dense, making it more difficult to cool uniformly, if at all. I.E. The dough will continue to rise in the cooler and it would most likely “blow” by the following morning (not a good thing). BUT, in your case, you wil not be allowing the dough to set until the following day, but instead, you are planning to use the dough in about three hours time. This might work for you. Do keep in mind though that from work that Jeff and I did several years ago we found that a typical pizza dough needs 2 to 2.5 hours of total fermentation time to reduce/eliminate bubbling in the oven. You could mix a dough at 80F, then scale and ball, then put some into boxes for use after 2.5 hours at room temperature, put the rest in the cooler for say, an hour, and pull again what you will need for the next couple hours, keep repeating this as you need dough. Here is another option that you might be interested in. Manage your dough in the normal manner, overnight in the cooler, then use one of the heated shelves from PVI (Bob Brackle/800-554-7267) set the thermostat at 150F and lightly oil the shelf surface, set a bough ball on the heated shelf (right out of the cooler) then turn it over in about 45 seconds , allow the second side to warm for 45 seconds and take to the forming station to shape into a pizza skin. Works like a charm, in fact, it is being done this way by a pizza chain. You’ve got a few options to look at Otis, and don’t be afraid to make your own hybrid where you combine parts of different procedures. Remember, the main thing you need to do is to make sure your dough is getting enough fermentation to control bubbling, once you have acconplished that, you also need to make sure your dough isn’t cold when going to the oven, if it is, get ready to have fun poking bubbles on your crust as it bakes. Use the heated shelf to do away with the 90 minute tempering period. Go from cooler to heated shelf to prep area to oven.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom,
Thank you for the detaile reply.
I will be exercising several options as I get busier…
filling the refrigerator at night and early morning, doing a fresh dough batch to use after 2.5 hours, and maybe up to 3 hours from that time !?!
let me go get some markers for all these different dough boxes !
Otis

“we found that a typical pizza dough needs 2 to 2.5 hours of total fermentation time to reduce/eliminate bubbling in the oven. You could mix a dough at 80F, then scale and ball, then put some into boxes for use after 2.5 hours at room temperature”

Tom,
Following your same procedure except leaving at room temperature, instead of refrigerating, then allowing to ferment sounds good.
One more question, seems I always have them…
I use .4% IDY in my dough formula. Should I up that some on the non refrigerated fermentation for more flavor ? I hope not.
Otis

I don’t know Otis…when I was @ CiCi’s, we were so busy some days we’d use dough w/i 6 hrs of use…the taste just wasn’t there IMHO…I figure I have a wee bit more cooler space than you…I figure I can hold 300 DB or so, so maybe I continue to use the cold H2O & stack outside the cooler for a few hours…I get great comments when my dough is 2 days fermented…I’ll have 2 squeeze in a walk-in shortly I figure…

Otis;
I don’t recommend increasing the yeast level any higher than you already are as this will only serve to reduce the window of opportunity in which to use the dough once you begin shaping it. Remember, that an emergency dough employs two things to speed up fermentation, increased dough temperature and increased yeast level. The dough will be ready to use in about an hour or so, but it will remaiin good to use for only 90 to 120 minutes on the outside.
Tom Lehmann/TDD

“I don’t know Otis…when I was @ CiCi’s, we were so busy some days we’d use dough w/i 6 hrs of use…the taste just wasn’t there IMHO.”

…if you did not refrigerate it, that would be about right, with about another hour to go…
what yeast type and levels did you use ?

…and Tom, I’ll stick with the .4% for my regular dough formula, non-emergency,
thanks,
Otis

some great pizzeria do their dough the same day and some use the long cold ferm
method what ever bring the best result stick with it and get more cooler space