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There are so many variables that go into making a PIZZA. The hydration of the dough, flour, yeast and many more.. Amounts of any kind of yeast in a pizza can make a big difference. Most recipes posted on the web, use too much yeast in their recipes. What I have found out so far, is either bulk fermenting the dough or cold fermenting the dough will give a better flavor in the crust. I am still experimenting to find different flavors in the crust of pies. In my opinion pizza is all about the best flavor you can achieve in a crust. I still am on the journey about flavors in the crust. Even differences in temperatures in you home or times of the year can influence how much yeast to use. If you want a pizza to develop flavors in the crust, there are many ways to go about achieving this.

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Preferment for Lehmann Dough Pizzas

Crust of Pizza

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Rim of Preferment Lehmann Formula

Adventure in Pizza Making

There are many ways to go about trying to make any kind of pizzas you want to create. PIZZA making is fun and also you get to eat your finished product. I learned to make all my pizza on http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php If you look on pizzamaking.com you can see all the beautiful creations of pizzas members make on this site. Members and moderators help members and guests achieve almost any kind of pizzas they want to create. Since joining this site, my pizza making skills have gone from non-existent to something much better. I invite you to take a look at this site.

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Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza
Sicilian Pizza with Preferment for Lehmann Dough

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Experiments with the preferment part of the Lehamann dough 6/10/2011

I decided to start to take the pH numbers of the preferment after it ferments in my Hatco Unit.  I will keep doing this for a few weeks to see if the pH’s of the preferment, after it ferments in the Hatco Unit, after it sits in the deli case for 3 days, and then the final dough pH’s can help me to understand how crusts do brown when using the preferment Lehmann dough.  I don’t think this will lead to any new discoveries, but will see if I can find out anything about if pH levels do affect browning in some way.  I let the poolish (preferment) ferment for 15 more minutes this week.

Picture of the preferment right before it went into the deli case.

Norma

Hybrid Reinhart dough cold fermenting for 6 to 7 days 6/11/2011

These are pictures of the second hybrid Reinhart dough made last Saturday in the UBM.  The pictures of the dough are from yesterday and today.  I normally would have put a dough that is starting to bubble on the top of the dough and fermenting so much on the bottom in the freezer, until I am ready to do a reball, after the dough is unfrozen, but since John (fazzari) posted he had some ugly dough balls before he did a reball after a long cold ferment at Reply 55 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13697.msg142577.html#msg142577 I guess I will experiment with this hybrid Reinhart dough and let it go until Monday, when I do a reball.  If I change my mind, I will post when I would decide to freeze the dough.

Pictures of dough ball top and bottom from yesterday and today.  This hybrid Reinhart dough wasn’t mixed in any special way, but quickly in my UBM (circa 1904).

Norma




Professor Raymond Calvel and Didier Rosada and other contributors: More In-Depth Discussions about Dough

http://www.theartisan.net/temperature_control_baking_1.htm 

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/raymondcalvel 

http://sourdoughhome.com/professorcalvelsstarter.html 


http://www.bakerconnection.com/artisanbaker/article_02.htm


http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/NewsSp06.pdf 


http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/NewsF03.pdf 


http://modern-baking.com/specialty_baking/mb_imp_12908/ 

http://www.portlandphoenix.com/archive/food/02/12/06/food_bread.html


http://www.farine-mc.com/2009_09_01_archive.html 


http://cooks.aadl.org/files/cooks/repast/2006_Spring.pdf 

http://bennisonsbakery.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html


http://www.progressivebaker.com/resources/pdfs/PBU-Fall03.pdf


http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Sour-dough

http://home.earthlink.net/~ggda/Flours_One.htm 

http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/NewsF02.pdf


http://www.sfbi.com/pdfs/NewsF04a.pdf

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12657/questions-about-controlling-activity-preferments-through-inclusion-salt 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8369/how-get-back-sourness-your-starter-lost


http://modern-baking.com/bread_pastry/mb_imp_7271/

http://larkpien.blogspot.com/2007/05/bread-winner.html

http://www.pastryna.com/downloads/Complete%20Issue%203%202010LR.pdf 

http://northwestsourdough.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/sourdough-starters-and-temperature/ 

http://www.bakeryinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/6113/Letters.html


http://wpage.unina.it/giamauri/Materiale_vario/Coppola_pizza.pdf 


Norma

Understanding Dough in more depth by: Didier Rosada and Professor Raymond Calvel

 Pre-ferments  (part one)

By Didier Rosada (SFBI)


To the bread baker, an understanding of the fermentation process in yeast-risen baked products is vital. Depending on the conditions under which the dough is mixed and handled, proper fermentation can contribute to many of the desirable characteristics expected in good bread including aroma and shelf life.  The goal of part one of this two-part article is to define and explain more precisely one way of using fermentation to improve bread quality: pre-fermentation and the use of pre-ferments.

Even if preferments are commonly used in the industry, there are still a lot of confusion about their functions, applications and the different types. I really believe that all baking educators should have a good understanding of this “practical tool” that future bakers will certainly use in his (or her) production.
Definition

A pre-ferment could be defined as a dough or batter prepared prior to mixing the final dough composed of a portion of the total formula’s water, yeast (natural or commercial), and sometimes salt. The dough is allowed to ferment for a controlled period of time, and then is added to the final dough.

Depending on the type of product to be baked, the production scheduling, and the equipment available, the baker has a number of options to consider in determining what type of pre-ferment to use.
Types of pre-ferments

Nowadays, there is considerable confusion and misinformation about pre-ferments and their origins.  What is the difference between pre-fermented dough, a poolish, a sponge, and a biga?  
Pre-fermented dough

Pre-fermented dough (or old dough) is a very simple and fairly new method.  Originally, this pre-ferment had been developed as a compromise, to compensate for the mediocre quality of bread produced by the straight dough process with a short first fermentation.  Pre-fermented dough allows the baker to produce a better quality product even when, due to production scheduling or mechanization, the first fermentation has to be shortened.

The process is fairly simple.  A piece of regular dough (made with white flour, water, yeast, and salt) is allowed to ferment for a period of time before incorporating it back in the final mix.  In order for the baker to get the most benefit from this process, the pre-fermentation should last at least three hours at room temperature.  Pre-fermented dough can ferment up to six hours at room temperature.  For longer periods of time before use, it is preferable to let the dough ferment one or two hours at room temperature and then to hold the pre-ferment refrigerated until its incorporation in the final dough.  The storage of the pre-fermented dough at low temperature (35 - 40̊) could last up to 48 hours.  If using this procedure, the baker should remove the pre-fermented dough from storage one or two hours before incorporation into the final dough, or if this is impractical,  adjust the water temperature in the final dough to compensate for the cold pre-ferment.

Pre-fermented dough could also be a piece of dough saved from a previous mix.  For example, a piece of whole-wheat dough can be used as pre-ferment for the next days whole-wheat production, but in general, bakers prefer to save baguette dough for their pre-fermented dough.  Baguette dough, being composed of only four ingredients, offers more versatility and can be used in any kind of final mix.  The most convenient way for a baker to procure the necessary quantity of pre-fermented dough needed for the next production is to remove the dough to be used as a pre-ferment just after the first fermentation, and to store it in the refrigerator.

Formulas can call for as little as 10% and as much as 180% pre-fermented dough (based on the flour of the final mix) but 40 – 50% is the most commonly used proportion.

One other alternative is to mix the dough to be used for the pre-ferment as separate dough the day before, or at least 3 hours prior to incorporation in the final dough.  In this case, usually about 20 to 30% of the flour from the total formula is used in the pre-ferment.  The absorption should be adjusted to obtain a medium consistency (generally 64-66%).  Salt is 2% and yeast 1 to 1.5% (fresh).  These percents are all calculated based on the flour in the pre-ferment.

Pre-fermented dough is a very versatile pre-ferment and can be used in many different products, from viennoiseries (croissant, brioche, danish . . .) to many different breads (baguettes, pan breads, whole wheat, rye . . .).  The biggest drawback is overnight storage – a large amount of refrigerated space is required.  
Poolish

Poolish is one of the first pre-ferments elaborated with commercial yeast.  Polish bakers, where the name would come from, are credited with inventing this pre-ferment in Poland at the end of the 19th century.  The process then was adapted in Austria and later in France.  The bread made with a poolish was lighter and less acidic than the sourdough bread commonly baked at this time, and started to gain in popularity.  With the availability of commercial yeast, more and more bakers began using the ‘poolish process’ and the ‘sourdough process’ declined.  Technically, we could consider the poolish as a transitional pre-ferment between baking using sourdough, and baking with commercial yeast -- using a straight process.  Even in Paris today, in some windows of older bakeries, you will find two signs.  One reads “pain Viennois” – bread from Vienna (made with commercial yeast), and the other reads “Pain Francais” – bread from France and made with sourdough.

Traditionally, the size of the poolish was calculated based on the water involved in the total formula. Bakers could use from 20 to 80% of the water to prepare the poolish. The poolish was then elaborated using the same amount of flour as water (hydration of 100%, providing a liquid consistency); no salt is usually incorporated in the poolish.  It is important to note that the poolish is allowed to ferment at room temperature; therefore, the quantity of yeast is calculated depending on the fermentation time of the poolish.  Despite the fact that it is difficult to give precise numbers, chart A provides some guidelines to calculate the quantity of yeast to use in the poolish:

Chart A

Fermentation time                   3 hours            7 to 8 hours                 12 to 15 hours

Quantity of yeast (fresh)*       1.5%                    .7%                                 .1%

* Based on the flour involved in the poolish

These guidelines are applicable for a bakery temperature of 80 to 85̊F and a water temperature of 60̊F.  If the temperature of the bakery is warmer, the yeast quantity or the water temperature should be decreased.  The goal for the baker is to obtain a poolish that is perfectly matured at the time of the final dough mixing.  The full maturation of the poolish can be recognized when it has domed slightly on the top and just begun to recede, creating on the surface some areas a little more concave.  A poolish that has not matured adequately does not provide the benefit of lower acidity; one that has over-matured can create other types of acidity which might affect the flavor of the final product.

It is better for the baker to opt for an overnight poolish if production and storage are adequate for two main reasons.   A longer poolish produces more favorable aromas, and a longer poolish requires less yeast, increasing the amount of time to use the poolish (up to 2 ½ hours) without the poolish over-maturing.

(Tip: if you require large amounts of poolish for various different doughs, it is much easier to divide the poolish into containers for each dough right after the mixing of the poolish, instead of measuring the poolish after its maturation phase.)

Poolish can be used in many different bread or sweet products but generally, poolish is the pre-ferment of choice for baguette dough.

Sponge

Originally, sponge was used as pre-ferment in pan bread production in England.  Unfortunately, today the sponge process has been replaced by the straight dough method with dough conditioner’s replacing the sponge.  Sponges were, and still are, also used in the production of sweet dough.

The sponge process is similar to the poolish process; they differ primarily in dough hydration.  While the poolish has a liquid consistency, the absorption of the sponge is around 60 – 63% (stiff dough).  The sponge usually does not contain salt, and the quantity of yeast is calculated depending on the length of the fermentation.  The same yeast guidelines for a poolish (chart A) could be applicable for a sponge process.

A sponge should also be used after is has reached full maturation.  As with the poolish, the surface of the sponge contains vital clues to help the baker determine its readiness.  When many bubbles are evident and some cracks start to form, creating some collapsing, the sponge is ready for incorporation into the final dough.  An under-mature sponge would not be as beneficial because of inadequate acid development; an over-mature sponge could negatively affect the strength of the dough due to an increase in the acidity level, and would affect the flavor of the bread due to the formation of other acids.

A sponge using minimal yeast and overnight fermentation offers the baker a longer period of time between under-maturation and over-maturation.  Because of the longer fermentation time generating more acidity, the final product will also get better flavor and longer shelf life.

The stiffer consistency of the sponge process makes it easier to handle than a poolish.  Taste-wise, sponge and polish generate aromas very similar.

A sponge can be used in many products.  Sweet dough in particular will get the most benefit from the sponge method.  Because of its stiffer consistency, the sponge will improve the strength of the dough. This increase in strength is usually enough to compensate for the potential weakening of the gluten generated by the sugar and fat frequently found in sweet bread formulas.


Biga

Many Italian bread formulas start with a ‘biga’ as a pre-ferment. After a close study of many of these formulas it is noticeable that a biga, even if the basic ingredients are the same (flour, water, and yeast), could have different characteristics: liquid or stiff, some are sour, some are fermented at room temperature, while others are fermented in a cold environment.

After research which included conversations with Italian bakers, the conclusion can be made that biga is more a generic term for pre-ferments than a specific process.  In the United States, occasionally the word biga is used instead of pre-fermented dough, poolish, or sponge to add a touch of ‘Italian authenticity’ to the bread.

Biga originally was a very stiff pre-ferment used by Italian bakers to reinforce the strength of the dough. A traditional biga is prepared using flour, water, and yeast.  The hydration is around 50-55% (very stiff).  Unlike the poolish and the sponge process, the quantity of yeast, the fermentation temperature, and the fermentation time are constant.  Usually, .8 to 1% of fresh commercial yeast is used.  The biga is then held at around 60̊F for about 18 hours.

Because of the very stiff consistency and the cooler fermentation, biga provides a lot of strength to the dough, which was its original purpose.  Today, with stronger flour, the baker must be careful to use the biga properly, or the added strength could penalize extensibility.  The advantages of a properly fermented biga are similar to other methods: better flavor and extended shelf life.

True biga can be used for products requiring stronger dough characteristics such as brioche or stollen.  It is also a good choice in dough with high hydration. If the biga is causing an excess of strength to the dough, higher hydration or autolyse will help regain a better balance in elasticity and extensibility.

Pre-fermented dough, poolish, sponge and biga are the primary type of commercial yeast raised pre-ferment available to the baker.  It is possible for a baker to develop a unique pre-ferment (between a sponge and a polish, for example), but the concept stays the same.  The use of pre-ferments is a simple and inexpensive way to improve bread quality; pre-ferments also improve dough characteristics including strength and aroma.

In order to take advantage of a pre-ferment, the baker must adhere to some basic principles and technical considerations.  This is the topic of part two of this article.

To learn more about this topic, further references can be found in “The taste of bread” from Raymond Calvel.

Didier Rosada, Baking Instructor

Didier began his baking career in the traditional way: at age 15, with technical training at a regional French professional school and an apprenticeship under a local baker. But his love of bread and his desire to see the world soon set him apart — and his career on a very untraditional path.

After a few stints as staff baker in some exotic places, Didier’s abilities caught the attention of his employer, Club Med. He was assigned to the clubs with the most sophisticated clientele. Then Club Med noticed Didier’s organizational skills, and assigned him the task of opening new or remodeled bakeries at the company's resorts. Included in his responsibilities was training local bakers to work in these bakeries.  In 1995, Didier returned to France to enhance his professional skills at the prestigious Institut National de Boulangerie-Patisserie in Rouen. After five months of highly technical and business oriented training, he was awarded a Brevet de Maitrise, a degree that we would call a “Masters in Baking.”

While working on a private research project for Bay States Milling Company in the United States, Didier became unofficial trainer of the 1996 Baking Team USA. His expert advice and patient guidance were important factors in the American team’s first place finish in the bread category at the Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie in Paris in February 1996. In February 1999 under Didier’s guidance the team USA took home the gold medal of the competition and in April 2002, the silver medal. He will be the official coach for the 2005 Baking Team USA.

Didier has also contributed many technical articles for newsletters and baking magazines His formulas have been published in the professional press and are considerate by the industry to set the standards of quality in Artisan Baking.

When the National Baking Center was created in 1996, Didier was selected to develop and teach the Bread curriculum. His other functions at the NBC included the supervision of various research projects and consulting for specialty bread bakers across the United States, South and Central America, Europe and Asia.
Since January 2002, he has been working as Head Instructor for the San Francisco Baking Institute where he continues to specialize in baking education and consulting, nationwide and internationally.

 Pre-ferments  (part two)

By Didier Rosada (SFBI)


(Part I appeared in the March/April 2004 issue of GMC)

After a description of the main types of preferments most often used in baking, the second part of this article will focus on the technical aspects of the preferment. Our goal is to help bakers learn how to take full advantage of the preparations and then decide which preferment will work best with a specific flour or dough.  Before we get into this, let’s look over the main advantages and the few drawbacks of preferments.
Advantages

The main advantage of the preferment is to bring all the benefits of fermentation to the final dough. As discussed in preceding articles, the fermentation process produces gas, alcohol, and acidity in dough.

Gas, at this stage of the baking process, does not have the same importance as it does after mixing of the final dough. Dough at the preferment stage is not used to make the final product.  It is used to make the final dough that is used to make breads.

Alcohol reacts with other substances during pre-fermentation to generate esters.  Esters are the aromatic component of bread and are very important in producing the flavor of the final product.

Acidity plays a more important role than gas and alcohol at this stage.  It has three main effects on the dough and final product. The first effect is in the strengthening of the dough.  Acidity tightens up the protein and creates a gluten with higher elasticity. Adding preferment to the final dough decreases its pH which brings us to the second effect of acidity: Lower pH increases the shelf life of the bread by delaying the staling process and inhibiting mold growth. Finally, as a result of secondary fermentation, organic acids forms, producing aromas in the dough. Those aromas will be very important for the flavor of the final product.

When the quality of the flour is not optimal, the preferment can be a great help to bakers. As noted later in this article, some preferments can affect the strength of the dough as well as the enzyme activity.

One additional and important advantage of preferment is it facilitates better work organization. By playing with the quantity of preferment involved in the formula, bakers can increase or decrease the length of the first fermentation without jeopardizing the quality of the final product. For example, a longer first fermentation requires a lower quantity of preferment while a shorter first fermentation (which is usually more common in bakeries) demands a larger quantity of preferment.

The use of preferment in production is definitely justified by the longer shelf life, better flavor, improved dough characteristics and a more efficient work organization.  However, this preparation also presents certain inconveniences.
Drawbacks

The main drawback in using preferment is the additional work required before final dough mixing.  In order to prepare the preferment, additional mixing and scaling is required either the day before or at least three hours prior to mixing the final dough.

Extra space at ideal conditions (room temperature or sometimes in the cooler) is necessary to allow pre-fermentation to happen. For heavy production, this can present an important problem, especially if the production area is small or the cooler space is limited.

In the designing of a new bakery, it’s a judicious idea to plan for a room reserved specifically for preferment. An additional temperature control system would certainly be even more beneficial in order to keep the fermentation activity as consistent as possible.

Another possible drawback is the potential inability to plan the exact amount of preferment needed relative to the quantity of production.  One way of bypassing this obstacle is to require customers to place orders at least a day in advance.

Even with all the downsides, it remains worthwhile for bakers to include preferments in their production especially considering the increased quality of the final product.

Having said this, however, certain precise technical points in the process have to be understood and respected in order to obtain the full benefits from the preferment.

Technical considerations
Mixing

A very basic but very important step in mixing is the precise scaling of all the ingredients. The precision allows the baker to regulate the fermentation activity of the preferment to be the same everyday and to get a very consistent final product.

Water temperature should be generally around 60̊ F but can be adjusted if the baker wants to increase or decrease pre-fermentation time. However, too cold a water temperature can have a negative effect on the work of the yeast. It is therefore preferable, when a longer pre-fermentation is necessary, to decrease the quantity of yeast involved in the preferment.

The main goal of the preferment is to bring some acidity to dough. At this point in the process, gas retention of the dough is not important. Therefore, it is not necessary to develop the gluten structure.

Mixing should be long enough to fully incorporate the ingredients, but not too long to over-oxidizing the dough. By using faster mixers like the spiral mixers, the mixing can be completed at first speed in 5 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the batch.  For slower mixers, like an oblique axis or vertical mixer, 2 to 3 minutes at second speed can be added to the mixing time after incorporation to insure a full incorporation of all the ingredients.

For liquid preferments, a paddle attachment is preferable to achieve a perfect blend in a shorter period of time. When making a poolish overnight (using a very small amount of yeast), it is better to first dilute the yeast in water in order to diffuse it completely in the poolish.
Incorporation in the final dough

Two points are really important when adding preferment to the final dough: timing and quantity.

Preferments are generally added to the final dough at the beginning or during the incorporation time of the mixing process. However, it is sometimes preferable to delay their incorporation.

Prefermented dough coming from a prior batch (already fully mixed) must be incorporated towards the end of the mixing time to avoid a double mixing of the dough.  Double mixing could negatively effect gluten structure, color of the crumb and flavor.

To make an autolyse, the preferment should be added to the final dough along with yeast and salt only after the resting period of the autolyse.  This is done in order to avoid any incorporation of yeast in the autolyse.  Sourdough could be a possible exception to this rule. Because of slower fermentation activity, levain can be incorporated before the autolyse starts.  However, if the water temperature is very cold, it’s better to incorporate the levain after the autolyse to avoid delaying the culture’s fermentation process.

The quantity of preferment that the baker can include in his/her formulas depends on the baking process.  As a general rule, anytime the first fermentation is shorter, the quantity of preferment should be increased to avoid penalizing the quality of the final product. There are, of course, certain limits. Preferment brings flavor, but also strength to the dough. If an excessive amount of preferment is added, the acidity level in the dough may be too high thereby reducing dough extensibility. A lot of factors such as the strength of the flour, hydration, and the type of preferment help to determine the quantity of preferment to use in the dough.

Through a series of baking tests, we can determine what is the right percentage of preferment.  Sometimes, practical considerations like floor space and/or production requirements are also part of the decision. Average amounts are listed in part one of this article.

It’s also interesting to note that preferment can be used to alter the water temperature. For example, a prefermented dough coming from the cooler is a good substitute to regulate dough temperature instead of ice or cold water. On the other hand, when using high quantity of poolish, the water temperature has to be decreased.  Sometimes at least half of the water involved in the poolish, needs to be at room temperature. In any case, water temperature has to be adjusted depending on the type and quantity of preferment used in the final dough.
Secondary effects of the preferment

When flour and water get incorporated together, enzyme activity starts. Some enzymes generate sugar degradation (amylase), while others provoke protein degradation (protease).

During the pre-fermentation time, the yeast uses up a lot of the flour’s sugar, especially during long fermentation time at room temperature. When this portion of flour is added back to the final dough, the overall quantity of fermentiscibles sugar is lower than what is usually available for the yeast in a straight dough method. As a result of the lower availability of sugar, it is difficult to obtain satisfactory coloration of the crust. This defect is sometimes noticeable when a high percentage of overnight poolish or sponge is used in the final dough or when the enzyme activity of the flour is on the low side. To troubleshoot this problem, 0.5% to 1% of diastatic malt (based on the total flour) can be added to the final dough.

Preferments like poolish or sponge, sometimes generate lower levels of fermentescible sugars available at the end of the pre-fermentation time. In certain cases, this can be used to our advantage. A higher quantity of preferment should be added to the final dough when working with a high level of enzyme in the flour (low falling number). By increasing the quantity of preferment, we increase the portion of the flour with less sugar available to the yeast.  In doing so we reduce a lot the fermentation activity and the reddish crust color that is usually obtained when too many enzymes are present in the flour.

More liquid preferments like poolish, because of their liquid consistency, favor enzyme activity. Amylase, but also protease, will be more active during the pre-fermentation. As a result, higher extensibility in the final dough is obtained, reducing the mixing time of the final dough and preserving it from potential over oxidation. A better extensibility is also noticeable at the shaping stage. Higher volume and more open inside are also achieved in the final product.

The same protease effect also happens in preferments such as sponge that do not have salt and ferment for a long time at room temperature. Room temperature (versus cooler temperature) favors enzyme activity. The absence of salt in the preparation encourages a higher rate of protease activity since protease is very salt sensitive.

Sometimes we notice that the inside of the preferment starts to liquefy, especially at the end of the maturation stage. This is due to an excess of enzyme activity, and can eventually compromise the characteristics of the final dough. To correct this problem, 0.1% to 0.2% salt can be added during the preparation of the preferment.

Cold doughs with salt do not generate the same level of enzyme activity. It is more useful to apply an autolyse process when using prefermented dough than when using a poolish. Flour with a tendency to generate strong dough will give better baking performance when used with a poolish process.

When using a poolish or a liquid levain, autolyse are less necessary. In fact, the preferments in those cases bring strength, better extensibility to the dough, flavor and shelf life to the final product.

Flavor wise, each preferment generates different aromas depending on its characteristics. Liquid or stiff, fermenting at room temperature or in the cooler, salted or unsalted, fermented with commercial yeast or wild yeast, all those parameters will affect the types of aromas produced and the final flavor of the product. Although it is difficult to describe all the flavors of each preferment, the poolish is generally described as having a nutty flavor, the sponge is sweeter with more acidity and the prefermented dough is a little bit more acetic without being sour.

The main factors to take into consideration when opting for a specific type of preferment are production and space requirements, flour characteristics, and flavor.  Knowing all those parameters, the baker should be able to decide what kind of preferment is best for his or her production. Once the choice is made, it is better to limit the type of preferment to two or three kinds.

The use of preferments is just one more example of how the baking process can be simple and complex at the same time. But once a baker understands how to work with them, their usage remains the more natural and traditional way of improving the bread quality.

Didier began his baking career in the traditional way: at age 15, with technical training at a regional French professional school and an apprenticeship under a local baker. But his love of bread and his desire to see the world soon set him apart — and his career on a very untraditional path.

After a few stints as staff baker in some exotic places, Didier’s abilities caught the attention of his employer, Club Med. He was assigned to the clubs with the most sophisticated clientele. Then Club Med noticed Didier’s organizational skills, and assigned him the task of opening new or remodeled bakeries at the company's resorts. Included in his responsibilities was training local bakers to work in these bakeries.  In 1995, Didier returned to France to enhance his professional skills at the prestigious Institut National de Boulangerie-Patisserie in Rouen. After five months of highly technical and business oriented training, he was awarded a Brevet de Maitrise, a degree that we would call a “Masters in Baking.”

While working on a private research project for Bay States Milling Company in the United States, Didier became unofficial trainer of the 1996 Baking Team USA. His expert advice and patient guidance were important factors in the American team’s first place finish in the bread category at the Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie in Paris in February 1996. In February 1999 under Didier’s guidance the team USA took home the gold medal of the competition and in April 2002, the silver medal. He will be the official coach for the 2005 Baking Team USA.

Didier has also contributed many technical articles for newsletters and baking magazines His formulas have been published in the professional press and are considerate by the industry to set the standards of quality in Artisan Baking.

When the National Baking Center was created in 1996, Didier was selected to develop and teach the Bread curriculum. His other functions at the NBC included the supervision of various research projects and consulting for specialty bread bakers across the United States, South and Central America, Europe and Asia.

Since January 2002, he has been working as Head Instructor for the San Francisco Baking Institute where he continues to specialize in baking education and consulting, nationwide and internationally.

Norma

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza, Recipe for Focaccia in Los Angeles Times 5/26/2011

Nancy Silverton takes center stage with one of her latest obsessions: focaccia. Silverton is the founder of La Brea Bakery and chef and owner at Mozza. She is the author of several cookbooks, including "Mozza Cookbook," which will be published in September.  We've all been there. You're in a foreign country, or a favorite restaurant here in town, eating something that you just love and wondering, maybe even worrying, "How will I ever make this at home?" That's exactly what happened to me a few summers ago, on a trip to Matera, in southern Italy, when I tasted the area's signature tomato-and-roasted-pepper-topped focaccia.

This is Nancy Sliverton’s recipe for Focaccia that was in Los Angeles Time with a video. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-masterclass-20110526,0,1188913.htmlstory  and more pictures  http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-nancy-silverton-focaccia-pictures,0,7752206.photogallery


Recipe for Nancy's basic focaccia dough.


http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-masterclass-rec1-20110526,0,1189999.story

If anyone is interested, this was my first attempt on a Nancy Silverton's focaccia.

http://learningknowledgetomakepizza.blogspot.com/2011/12/first-attempt-at-using-nancy-silvertons.html

Norma

My Pie Monday: Featuring Peppers, Lobster, Clams, and More! 6/06/2011

Posted by: Meredith Smith

It's My Pie Monday time! There may have been a little Memorial Day weekend email hiccup (apologies), but all pies missing from last week's post are corralled here. And there are some spicy ones in the mix. Today's gallery of pies include peppers of the homemade, pickled variety from jamesws, an extra spicy cheese sauce on ardubs81's breakfast pizza , and joebeone's spicy sopressata pizza gets some additional heat from sliced jalapeños. Sweet peppers make an appearance on square_pie's sausage, mushroom creation, Jimmyg exhibits his freestyle success, Dneblank tops his no-knead dough with clams, and Dhorst brings more fruits de mer on the scene with her Longbow's Lobster Pizza. In addition, Norma427 tests out a new dough mix, ForzaPizza has pictures from the season's first oven firing, and Tscarborough walks the line Provencal with Luque olives, capers, and blue cheese.

Slideshow:  http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/06/my-pie-monday-featuring-peppers-lobster-clams-and-more-slideshow.html

Weisenberger Mix from Norma: "This is my pie for MPM. I experimented with a Weisenberger Pizza Crust Mix, another member at pizzamaking.com was kind enough to send me. I was surprised how well this pizza turn out in the texture, oven spring, and taste in the crust. I did let it ferment for longer than recommended on the directions. The Weisenberger Pizza Crust Mix produced a 12" pizza."—Norma427

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/06/my-pie-monday-featuring-peppers-lobster-clams-and-more-slideshow.html#show-164406

Norma



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hot!!! weather, my gardening, painting, fixing the deck, and hybrid Reinhart dough ball.....6/09/2011

It has been usually hot in our area for this time of June and in the last two days the heat index is over 100 degrees F.  It sure is too hot for doing a lot of work outside, but I need to get a lot of outside work done.  Over last weekend I had sanded my deck and patched some places in the wood, where is was starting to go bad.  The deck got painted Sunday, and then it was on to the porch furniture on the deck.  Sanding that and painting isn’t that much fun, but it needs to be gotten done this year.  I finally got my deck and most of my porch furniture painted yesterday.  I did work on my garden a little too.  I almost roasted..lol   Today I sanded and painted some cast iron flower pots, a dinner bell and a pulley I hang flowers on.  At least I can come in and get cool once in awhile.  I found an interesting Greens Mediterranean Mix of lettuce and other things at a garage sale for 3.00.  It can be cut and used though out the summer.  I already used some of it for salads. More perennials are blooming and I soon need to plant some of the tomato plants I started from seed.  I did plant some, but have way to many tomato plants to plant.  Maybe someone will want the rest.

My extra hybrid Reinhart dough is still cold fermenting about 5 days.  I will see when it needs to be frozen to try at market next week. The dough that is still cold fermenting should give a better flavor to the crust.

Norma
















Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pizza Dough Hot Dogs...Easy! 6/07/2011

Usually if there are leftover dough balls, of the preferment Lehmann dough, I freeze them and then used them the next week for garlic knots, pizza pinwheels, cheesy breadsticks, pizza buns, or Greek style pizza.  I found when making Greek style pizza out of the frozen dough balls, if I used my docker, the crust won’t puff up as much.  I decided to do another experiment with a dough ball that had been frozen and then thawed out at market.

I flattened a dough ball our (with the palm of my hand)  and used my pizza cutter to slice into strips.  I then rolled the strips of  dough.  The one dough strip I didn’t dock and the other strip I did dock.  I prepared some Lancaster County hot dogs, that I bought at a market stand, by brushing them with oil infused garlic and a herb blend and slicing the top of the hot dogs.  They were then put into a pan and put into the deck oven, until they were cooked.  I then rolled each strip and folded each end in at the ends of the hot dogs.  The docked strip, did end up flatter than the strip that was just rolled and not docked, when baked.  Steve also made an experimental pizza hot dog with a rolled strip.  He added pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese before rolling the strip onto the hot dog.  Steve and I decided we liked the pizza dough hot dogs better that didn’t include the pizza sauce and mozzarella.  The pizza dogs were baked on a screen and turned a little while baking.  The finished pizza dogs were also brushed with more of the garlic herb infused oil.  The pizza dogs could be dipped in butter when the pizza dogs are finished. We just used mustard and pizza sauce to dip the pizza dogs in.   We preferred the mustard, when dipping, but I could imagine other ways to create a pizza dog.  I only cut the pizza dogs, so the insides could be seen, but the pizza dogs could be eaten without cutting.  If anyone has leftover dough, this can be a way of also using leftover dough or even fresh dough.  I am sure other doughs could also be used this way to create a pizza dog.  Steve and I only made three experimental pizza dogs, but more pizza dogs could be made out of one of my normal dough balls.

All in all, the experiment with the pizza dogs was successful.

Norma













Another Ischia Dough Pizza made at market 6/07/2011

I had planned on making another Ischia dough ball like I did in my last experiment before going to market, but I didn’t have enough time, so I made the dough ball after I returned from market on Monday.  I changed the flour to KASL and upped the hydration, but used the small amount of starter in the dough.  I used 137 grams of water in this formula, but kept everything else the same. I then balled the dough and used olive oil to ball and also oil the plastic container.  The dough fermented for 3 hours at my home temperatures of around 80 degrees F.  I then put the dough ball in the refrigerator overnight because I knew the market temperatures would be higher yesterday.  The dough ball sat out at market for 8 hrs. at about 90 degrees F.  The dough fermented more than I wanted, but I still made the pizza. This pie was dressed with spinach under the cheese.  I used a blend of cheese Steve had brought for me, in combination with my regular mozzarella cheeses. The pizza rim didn’t get as browned as I wanted, but the rim was moist and the bottom of the crust did have a nice crispness.  I think, but am not sure, if I had done a reball sometime Tuesday the crust would have browned more.

I am still trying to figure out what kind of cheese Steve bought and we used in his bakes in the WFO. I did try to Google the type of cheese, but had no results. I did call Russo’s and looked up what kind of cheese that was, after she told me the brand,  but couldn’t find anything.  The lady that answered the phone Monday at Russo’s said the fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese can be bought in blocks, if you ask when you go to Russo’s.  The next time Steve or I go to Russo’s we are going to get some of that cheese in a block to be able to solve the mystery about what kind of cheese that was.  At least to Steve and me, that fresh mozzarella whole milk cheese tasted really great and had great melting.  It was so creamy.  Russo’ imports so many things from Italy, but I am not sure about the cheese Steve bought.

Norma