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Paths to more flavor in dough. - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Paths to more flavor in dough.

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  • Paths to more flavor in dough.

    I'd like to start a discussion of adding more "artisinal" flavors to dough.

    After reading "The Breadmakers Apprentice" and how the flavors we associate with artisinal breads is due to bacteria that can only develop with longer rise times, I started making dough a day ahead and throwing it in the fridge after an initial rise. I found that not only does the finished pizza have more flavor but the dough is easier to handle. Very tasty.

    An extreme test came when we went camping and decided to make pizza. A granite tile with the corners cut off turns a Coleman oven into a mini pizza oven. At any rate, the dough sat at ice chest temperature for 4 days before use and it was fantastic. Really rustic flavor and excellent "cracker" like crust.

    The other method used to develop these sourdough type flavors is a "poulish" or "mother", in which a yeast colony is kept alive in the fridge for some time by periodically adding more water and flour. Over time the local sour flavors develop. You can then use the starter to make very flavorful dough the same day.

    Has anyone else experimented with these methods?


  • #2
    Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.

    You've discovered the secret! :-)

    I read the same book, and tried many of the formulae, baked on my pizza stone. The taste and texture of the bread was absolutely outstanding! Sometimes, my wife will "order" pizza a few hours in advance, and I will have to do a rush-job on the dough. It just isn't the same, and she is learning to plan ahead.

    Another "secret" from the book is to use a decent quality unbleached flour. One time, I bought a 50 lb sack of bleached "baker's" flour from my local warehouse club. I don't know whether the bleaching ruins the flour, or perhaps the poorer flour is selected for the bleaching process. I do know that King Arthur bread flour makes a great pizza dough using Peter Reinhart's Neo-Neapolitan recipe.

    A little steam in the oven helps the crust, too.
    I'm building a Pompeii Oven in Austin, Texas. See my progress at:
    Il Forno Fumoso


    • #3
      Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.

      And the Mother or sourdough mixture is a great way to add flavor Enz(assuming you like sourdough). We have mixed in other flours as well, like Whole wheat, Rye...I'm planning to try seeds as well...sesame, poppy.
      sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!


      • #4
        Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.

        There is a very BIG difference between using bakers yeast (even with extended fermentation) and using using wild yeast yeast (natural leavening)...

        The very best of Neapolitan pizzerias use wild yeast leavening.. (Da Michele for one..)

        Trying to explain it all in a couple of sentences: Wild yeast has a symbiotic relationship with lacto bacilli (hope I spell that right) type bacteria. The bacteria break down the more complex sugars so that the yeast can convert them to CO2 and alcohol (and all the byproducts that produce flavour). Wild yeast can work where bakers yeast can't.

        If you want to know more, I'd suggest you have a look at: Sourdoughs International: sourdough bread starter, sourdough bread recipes, bread machine recipes

        also, at the Pizza Making Forum - Index there is a section devoted to this (its called "Starters/Sponges").

        It takes a bit of work, but I think its worth it.

        (PS. I have no affiliation with sourdo.com other than being a satisfied customer.)


        • #5
          Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.

          I heard a great phrase last week -- "forget your dough." When you remember to find it, a day or so later, the flavor and texture are both better developed, and I have now been told by serious PN professionals that the dough does a better job of reaching that perfect "dark brown" -- just short of charred.

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          • #6
            Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.


            An additional thought is enzymes. Sure, you've got lacto bacilli. Sure, you've got wild yeast. But the time involved in retarded dough also lets the enzymes loose. This combination breaks out natural (I'm hesitant to use the word) sugars in the grain. This leads to the kind of caramelization we're all looking for, and the sort of "burnt" crust we're after.

            Just a thought in the mysteries of dough production.

            "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


            • #7
              Re: Paths to more flavor in dough.

              And another thought: if your soudough isn't sour enough or complex enough, when you're feeding it next time, add about a third of the total bread flour weight in stone ground whole wheat or sg whole rye. The mother culture will sour up big time.

              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827