The Fresh Loaf

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Accidental realization? (Acidity in the Dough Effects extensibility?)

dwfender's picture

Accidental realization? (Acidity in the Dough Effects extensibility?)

So I'm pretty sure I learned a lesson the hard way and am looking for some confirmation.

I made a pate fermentee and froze it. Decided I wanted to make some rustic dough and pulled it out of the freezer. I was very sidetracked for two days so it defrosted and then sat for an extra day. I realized I didn't want it to go to waste so I gave it a smell (it was close to where it should be, ever so slightly tangier) and then I decided to try making a prefermented pizza dough to play around(I usually just cold ferment my pizza for 3 days ).

I made the new dough with the fermente at about 50 of the total volume, 00 Flour water, salt, yeast and semolina. 

After kneading I wanted to use it the next day so I cold fermented again without a bulk fermentation at room temperature first. The next day I took the dough out and degassed about an hour before I was going to bake. Shaped it sauced it baked it and it came out phenomonally. Good texture, although a little chewy from I think a little bit too much semolina.  The stretch was great while I was shaping. I was able to get the center quite thin while still keeping it crisp with the moisture of the sauce. Cheese was good, the only downside was the sauce unfortunately, but anyways....I at the pizza and all was well. 

I had 2 extra pizza's worth of dough portioned still so I figured I would make them for lunch the next day. Essentially retarding the dough another 24 hours or so.

The next day I followed the exact same technique, I pulled the dough out an hour before etc etc etc. This time, when I want to shape I noticed the dough was a lot harder to work with. The first dough tore very easily when I was tossing in the air and the second dough refused to take a comfortable circular shape despite the fact that I've shaped probably 100 pizzas before and know how to get them round. 

Basically I am thinking that the extra day of fermentation allowed the acid level of the dough to build beyond the range the gluten was willing to take and it eventually started to break down the protein structures. Any thoughts or comments? 

proth5's picture

One way to bring strength to weak flours and also to get more strength into your dough is to get more acid into the dough.  Especially with firm pre ferments (with salt in them [optionally] to prevent excess enzyme action).

The percentage of the flour pre fermented also has some impact.

I've spent countless hours being lectured on this and have seen the impact myself.

What you saw with the tearing is that the dough was so strong that it had no extensibility.  Extensibility is enhanced by keeping the dough slightly less acid and using protease action (what you would see in an unsalted liquid pre ferment) to actually weaken some of the flour.

Hope this helps.