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(Ice) Cold water vs fermentation with less yeast

BlackBird74's picture

(Ice) Cold water vs fermentation with less yeast

Whilst most specialist books recommend the DDT for a normal fermentation, a couple of times cold and even iced water is used.  Yet not because it's summer and neither because the dough was mixed in a food processor. This kind of puzzles me.

I have a recipe for ordinary rolls that explicitly calls for cold water. The recipe's fresh yeast % is at 5% which is quite normal. Its prescribed rest and fermentation times are quite normal too (about 1 hour 40 minutes in total).

I can't get my head around it what the benefit of the cold water might be. As it's not meant to become a starter, what's the advantage of slowing the yeast activity down? It's not like we're making a slow starter here or are aiming at a long fermenation time. Is it aimed at boosting the oven rise?

Wouldn't it rather be beneficial to reduce the amount of yeast and just have it ferment at the DDT?

Thinking about it, in general, is it advisable to use lest yeast but have that operate at a regular DDT?

Bigas for example also have little yeast, a rather cold environment and a long fermentation time. What would be the difference in using even less yeast but have it fermented at the temperature beneficial for yeast?

albacore's picture

I would be suspicious of any recipe using 5% fresh yeast - 2% is more what I would expect to see as a maximum - unless we are talking stollen or something similar.

Biga should always have 1% and the temperature (usually 18C) and time are then used to give the required maturity.



yozzause's picture

The whole point of a finished dough temperature is to end up with the perfect temperature for the yeast to do its work, A temperature that the yeast thrives in which is 26-27 deg C.

Once you have control over the finished temperature you are able to control the length of bulk fermentation time  with the amount of yeast that is being used in a dough.

i have a chart that goes back 55 years to my apprentice bakers days, back then it was deg F, lbs and ozs and the flour came in  150lb bags.



These were the days PRIOR to when instant bread improvers allowed you to use a lot less yeast and No Bulk Fermentation at all!

Anyway just recently i reworked my old tech school notes to grams and also to Bakers %  and here is the result which has proved to be very useful if you want to have some predictability of BF times.   


Kind regards Derek