Yeast amount in Neapoletan?

A question on yeast amounts (ADY) in neapolitan dough. I use the amounts in the Pizza Bible and am pleased with the final result but wonder if the amount is too high. Looking at the dough (with starter) after 48-72 hours in refrigerator, after balling and placing in containers, there is a ton of activity! I have to "burp" the containers to prevent lids blowing off and the dough looks like the picture below when first placed on bench.

In looking for solution or assistance, I looked at
and found the suggested amount of yeast is 3 grams per litre where the recipe in the Pizza Bible calls for 2.3 grams for 280 grams of water. That would be a huge difference! I tried a batch with 1.3 grams of yeast and the results were similar, good dough but way too much activity.

I also tried a similar recipe, no poolish, from Gsans which used only .36 grams of yeast in a similar amount of water and the dough was stable in the containers and great after the bench at room temperature and baked.

I ask for comments, suggestions and opinions to help me improve my pizzamaking,
Thanks in advance.

I include pictures of dough activity and final product - baked at about 740 degrees F. in a Bakerstone Box, about as high as I can get it.

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Greg S.
posted over 4 years ago

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The first thing I would tell you is to not put your dough in a container and to place your dough on a metal tray or 1/2 sheet pan (like on page 26) so your dough doesn't grow into the container like it shows in your pic. You will have much better success especially being on metal than plastic and you can scrape your dough off much easier. Make sure when you ball your dough is nice a tight when balled and the bottom is pinched tightly. Also make sure your final dough temp when finished mixing is correct and is about 70 degrees.

Tony Gemignani admin
posted over 4 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to reply Tony.
I will go back to placing balls on a sheet pan, a technique I stopped because at 63-65% hydration the balls became large cookies on the pan and I recall trying to pick them up with the scraper and folding a few, never to be salvaged. I typically leave the dough in the refrigerator 48-72 hours before using, and yes 2-3 hours an the bench at room temperature, perhaps a bit long this summer!
The balls are tight, pinched and smooth and in the past I have checked temperature and it seems in range.
I am still interested, for my education, about yeast amounts for the dough, there must be a range of amounts that work well and reasons for the amounts. it appears that on the the amount of yeast would be about .8 for 453 grams of flour, where I am using 2.3 g (and tried half that with good results). It is just another of the curiosities as I try to improve my pizza, like most on the site, it has become a bit of an obsession.
When I get this damn finger splint off a broken finger, I will try the sheet pan again, perhaps lowering the hydration a bit to control the spread.
Thanks for your time

Greg S.
posted over 4 years ago

I don't go to that site for information. My tests are done in my restaurant everyday, with operators, with R&D for the book and also at the International School of Pizza.
Your saying At 63% hydration your dough would look like large cookies in a pan. Sounds like you are doing something wrong. We use full sheet pans at all locations and 1/2 sheet pans during the tests for this book and never had that problem.
Also Are you mixing your dough long enough? Maybe your not developing your proteins making a weak gluten net. Is your salt% high enough? Not 1% not 1.5% is it 2% . I made dough with different % of yeast in all ranges and found the best results in the recipes I put in the book and simplified it as best as possible.Are you using Caputo? Red? blue? Or another? How about your water? Is it hard or too soft? These are all factors.
Also a lot of the Neapolitan recipes that are not mine add salt earlier sometimes with the water which can make your dough different than mine because I add mine towards the end of the mix time. I prefer to add it late and in the book I explain why. Lots of variables here and your dough handleling methods are Important

Tony Gemignani admin
posted over 4 years ago

A blinding flash of insight, Thank you Tony!

Page 31 - "soft water can have the opposite effect, causing the dough to be too relaxed."
We are on Gabriola and collect rainwater for our house use, I would think that would make for very soft water! I will have a look at what to add to bring up the hardness and try the recipe again.
I checked the recipe % and are the same as yours from The Napoletana with a tad less water to lower the hydration until my hands figure out the shaping.
453 g Caputo Blue
2.3 g ADY
10 g salt (added at suggested time)
70 g warm water
195 g ice water
Poolish starter

I have been in this pursuit only about a year and a half making 2-3 pizzas a week or 10 days, it takes longer to learn due to small numbers, someone suggesting my shaping will be much better at 1000 pizzas, with luck my heart and waistline will survive. The pizzas are fantastic by all all who try them and I am pleased with the results but want to improve techniques and skills.

Thank you again, I will check your suggestions and see what difference the water makes
They are not too bad as is . . . .

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Greg S.
posted over 4 years ago

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