Bread dough overproved in fridge

Discussion in 'Bread' started by Becky, Jul 11, 2018 at 2:08 PM.

  1. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    I've been struggling with overproved bread dough recently, specifically pizza dough (not that it hasn't happened with other doughs, I just haven't made any other types of bread recently).

    The recipe I'm using is by Melissa Clark from her Dinner: Changing the Game book, which calls for 3/4 tsp yeast, 200g warm water, 282g all purpose flour, 1 tsp oil, and 1 tsp salt. Link here

    This is a high hydration recipe, and the dough is very soft to work with - even after being beaten with the dough hook. The first time I made it, it was just too soft to work with and I ended up throwing it away. I made it again yesterday and initially I was worried my yeast wasn't fresh enough (despite the fact that I keep it in a sealed container in the fridge). It took longer than I'd expect to go foamy, but I thought this would end up being a good thing given the long overnight prove.

    However, when I checked it this morning it had definitely overproved. The dough is really slack, it's very stretchy, and there's not much life to it. I coated it in a little flour so that I could handle it more easily, and I have shaped it into balls for the next proving - they seem to be rising, but still very slack.

    I guess I'm just a bit confused... the yeast didn't seem overly active, so how have I ended up with overproved dough in the fridge in less than 24 hours?! I'm wondering if I need to reduce the amount of yeast, but I just wanted to see if anyone here had any ideas first.

    I'll let you know how the pizzas turn out no matter what happens! Hopefully it'll still taste good ;)
     
    Becky, Jul 11, 2018 at 2:08 PM
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  2. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Becky,

    I had the same issues when I first started making pizza. Batch after batch was overproofed. These are a few of the adjustments I made to produce better dough.

    Yeast amount: for a long cold ferment, I prefer active dry and a bit less than indicated in most recipes. Remember the yeast is growing during fermentation, so less yeast reduces the risk of over-proofing.


    Hydration: you’re right this is very high hydration. I preferred to keep mine 60% – 65%. You may want to try reducing the water.


    Water temperature: IMO warm water is only necessary when doing short fermentation. Water straight out of the tap should be fine for cold fermentation. With a long cold fermentation it’s really about dissolving the yeast so you have better distribution in the dough. The warmer the water, the faster the yeast develops—not what you want in long fermentation. I’ve never understood why recipes instruct the baker to start with warm water for long cold fermentation.


    Refrigerator temperature: Ideally you want it at 38°F (3.3°C) - 40°F (4.4°C). Home refrigerators are very inefficient, so they will run hotter than the set temperature. So a its best to check it with a refrigerator thermometer.


    Finished dough temperature: After you mix your dough, check the temperature. Ideally you want the finished dough (meaning dough you just finished mixing) to be 80°F (26°C) or less. Finished dough temp is important because a warmer dough means more yeast activity. If your ingredients and mixing technique make the dough too warm, you're going to have too much yeast development too soon. And that yeast activity will create a lot of carbon dioxide bubbles on its way to over fermentation.

    Keep in mind the size and density of your finished dough ball effects how quickly the dough will chill once you get it in the refrigerator. So if you have a large dough ball, and your finished dough temperature is above 80 degrees, your going to have more yeast activity.


    If your finished dough temperature is too high, then try using cooler water and/or chill you flour a awhile before you start mixing.

    Hope this helps
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 11, 2018 at 7:03 PM
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  3. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Thanks so much for the tips and advice, that's really useful! I'll try them out with my next batch :)

    Here's a photo of how the base turned out:

    pizza.jpg

    It had a lovely flavour, but it was more dense than I'd like. In case you're wondering what the topping is, I recently discovered green harissa! I used it instead of tomato, with chicken and mozzarella too (I wanted to see if Ian can eat buffalo milk, it seems his problems may just be with cows milk).

    Could only manage half a pizza, so we'll be eating the leftovers tonight :D
     
    Becky, Jul 12, 2018 at 10:50 AM
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  4. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    You’re an excellent baker so I’m sure you’ll get it to work.

    I didn’t know about green harissa. Is it a dry mix that you reconstitute? Or is it a paste ready to use product? I absolutely love harissa. I use the dry form and mix it into everything.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:45 PM
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  5. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Thanks, I hope so! :) Might give it another try next week.

    Ooh I didn't know harissa came in a dry form, here it's always either fresh or in jars. I like having the jarred stuff in my cupboard, it's always useful.

    This is the one I used recently: https://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Belazu-Verbena-Harissa-Paste/279414011

    It's lovely! I hadn't told Ian what is was - he thought it was spicy pesto, lol! :D
     
    Becky, Jul 13, 2018 at 10:23 AM
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  6. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    That really sounds delicious. I’m going to hunt some down. I had never heard of harissa until I took a pizza class. The instructor just chopped up some tomatoes, threw in some Harris’s and said, “here’s your pizza sauce.” It was delicious :p
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 14, 2018 at 3:48 AM
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