Like different varieties of yeast leavened bread doughs, pizza doughs will profit from fermenting for a time frame earlier than utilizing or baking. Fermentation offers dough conditioning, making the dough simpler to form. It additionally reduces the propensity of the dough to bubble throughout baking, and it does wonders for the flavour of the dough, too. Relying upon the temperature at which the dough is fermented, you may get completely different fermentation flavors. For instance, if the dough is unusually gentle, attributable to excessive absorption (added water), or whether it is saved (fermented) in a cool atmosphere, the yeast and micro organism current within the dough will have a tendency to provide larger quantities of lactic acid, producing a taste within the completed crust extra alongside the strains of that of a sourdough. A dough that’s made with a low absorption (50 p.c or much less), or which is allowed to ferment at room temperature, will have a tendency to provide extra acetic acid, leading to a taste extra like that which we might affiliate with commercially produced white pan bread. This is likely one of the the explanation why you see so many formulation/recipes for artisan bread that decision for in a single day refrigeration/ fermentation of the dough.
Fermentation itself is essential to the efficiency of our pizza dough. The results of fermentation mix to assist mellow or weaken the gluten forming proteins, leading to a completed dough that’s extra simply stretched to form, and which doesn’t possess a lot snap-back that it refuses to keep up its form. The weakening impact upon the fl our proteins can be liable for creating a extra tender consuming attribute.
The primary by-product of fermentation, carbon dioxide, works to leaven the dough each earlier than and through baking. This leavening impact is what produces the specified lightness within the completed crust (which, in flip, is accountable to an amazing diploma for the crispiness and crust shade growth of the completed crust).
Since so many good issues come from the consequences of fermentation, one could be inclined to assume that extra is healthier, however that isn’t essentially the case — an excessive amount of fermentation may end up in a dough that’s excessively gassy, or so weak that it’s diffi cult to form correctly, to not point out the truth that it in all probability received’t rise very properly both, and keep in mind these acids which can be fashioned as a by-product of fermentation? In case your dough will get too acidic because of extreme fermentation, these acids will impede crust shade growth, making it troublesome to get the specified shade on the completed crust. Then, too, there may be taste an over fermented dough could have a really robust and pronounced “fermentation” odor. Some operators have likened this odor to that of a brewery, they usually’re not too far off base, because the aromatics are each as a result of by-products of yeast fermentation.
In some cases, we’d see a dough that has not been given ample fermentation. Consider an emergency dough, the place you got here in to open the shop early within the morning solely to be met by the pungent odor of fermentation — and a multitude within the cooler. Now you’re confronted with the duty of cleansing up the mess, tossing out the “blown” dough, and making an emergency dough to get you thru the day. Since you’ll solely have a number of hours at most to get the emergency dough up and working, you possibly can guess that it is going to be brief on fermentation time.
Although we double the yeast stage in our emergency dough, the flavour will nonetheless be considerably missing. Due to the shorter fermentation time, the identical stage of acids received’t be developed, which can lead to a dough that colours extra shortly within the oven, probably necessitating a slight discount in bake time or temperature. And lastly, because the impact of the assorted acids and enzymes from the yeast haven’t had ample time to mellow, or soften the gluten forming proteins, the dough may really feel a little bit stiffer or stronger, and exhibit extra snap-back at forming than your common doughs. To some extent, this may be compensated for by way of the addition of a small quantity of L-cysteine/PZ-44 to the dough. Even at this, you’ll more than likely discover that the dough isn’t as gentle/ ethereal as your common dough, and this could make the completed crust extra chewy and fewer crispy.
As you possibly can see, fermentation is a vital facet of constructing a high quality pizza/pizza crust. The primary factor to bear in mind is that it isn’t a lot a matter of how a lot fermentation you give the dough, however fairly how properly you management the fermentation.
Tom Lehmann is a director on the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kansas.