Question about Sicilian dough instructions--difference in directions WITH versus WITHOUT starter


I am interested the difference in the directions between the preparation of the Sicilian dough WITH starter and the Sicilian dough WITHOUT starter.

With the Sicilian dough WITH the starter, the dough turned out onto an oiled pan, then stretched and folded. It is allowed to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. It is then weighed and cut for the recipe and then placed back on the oiled pan and refrigerated for 24-48 hours. There is no instruction about balling the dough.

The Sicilian dough WITHOUT the starter undergoes no stretching/folding process and rests for an hour after it is mixed, then is placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours at which time it is taken out, degassed by mixing, then weighed, balled, and refrigerated for another 24 hours.

What is happening to the doughs that the dough WITH the starter can be (or needs to be) stretched and folded just after the dough is made and is not degassed on the second or third day, and the dough WITHOUT the starter which is degassed at 24 hours but not kneaded or stretched and folded?

Will the gluten formation be the same in the doughs even though they are not treated the same, and, if so, why? I am just desiring to understand the process variables.

Thanks,
Ken K

Ken K.
posted about 2 years ago

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Hi Ken,

I just took a look at the "Sicilian Dough With Starter" Recipe. In the last paragraph-- the one that mentions refrigerating for 24-48 hours, it starts off with specific instructions on balling. Below is the exact paragraph. Are you seeing something different in your copy?

"Form the dough into a ball or balls and return the ball(s) to the oiled sheet pan (spacing them 3 inches apart if you have made 2 balls). Wrap the airtight with a double layer of plastic wrap, sealing the wrap well under the pan. Put the pan in a level spot in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours."

-Raj

Thumb raji
Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 2 years ago


Thanks for your response, Raj. It is my error in missing the balling of the balling of the dough with the starter, but that was not the main question.

The question remains about the overall difference in treatment of the dough. The dough with starter is stretched and folded the first day, balled, then not degassed after a 24-48 hour resting period. The dough without the starter is not stretched and folded on day one, rests for 24 hours at which time it is degassed and balled, then it is refrigerated for another 24 hours. What is it about the difference in the doughs that results in recommendation for different treatment of the dough between one that is made with a starter and one that is not, or is it a mistake in this printing of the book?

Ken K.
posted about 2 years ago


Ah, I see the main question now. If I had to guess, the Sicilian Dough *with* Starter might require a shorter resting period because it has a head start with the poolish.

Now, the other difference here is that the Sicilian Dough *without* starter is using a bulk fermentation, the details of which are mentioned in page 24.

I suspect that the Sicilian Dough *without* starter does call for stretching/folding, but doesn't do so in an explicit way. Check out this line:

"Follow the instructions for Sicilian Pizza Dough with Starter (page 118), omitting the poolish and allowing the dough to rest for 1 hour rather than 20 minutes.

I believe the "instructions" part encompasses the stretching/folding.

Thumb raji
Raj Irukulla admin
posted about 2 years ago

That makes sense. And it also assuages my "guilt", as I did stretch and fold the non-starter dough anyway, as it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. I am trying to understand gluten development better: when it is important to create a good gluten "network" by kneading (or folding and stretching), when to back off to not create more gluten than necessary by not handling dough too much... It is a trial and error process, I am sure, but there has to be a rationale that has grown out of understanding and which has resulted in the instructions for dough handling here and in the textbooks... Time to hit the books. Thanks again for your help.

- Ken   about 2 years ago


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