Two Questions - Hydration and Bulk Fermentation
Sorry for the long post but this has been bothering me for a while.
I tend to work better when I understand a subject and at least 2 things have been bothering me lately.
1) How does hydration effect dough? Obviously if it is too low or too high it wont be a good bread but if its somewhere in the middle (say 55 %- 75%) what effect does it have on they dough? why are baguettes usually 70-75% hydration and Neopolitain pizzas are 58%? Is it just because of the oven and temp they are normally baked in - so neopolitain pizza is in a 900 degree oven so it needs much less water and a baguette is in a 450 degree oven so its much more? I know that close to neoplolitain style pizza can be made with higher hydration in a lower temp over does the same hold true for a baguette can I lower the hydration and the temp i cook it at and come out with similar results? I guess I am just generally confused about the hydration percentages roll in baking.
2) what is the point of the bulk fermentation? If i was making rolls or pitas is there any reason why I can't split them in to the correct size portions immediately and let them ferment individually?