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slkinsey

Long-Fermented Dough Getting Wetter?

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I just noticed something interesting with respect to a pizza dough I started fermenting around 24 hours ago, and am preparing to use.

I prepare this dough with a "no-knead" technique due to the long fermenting time. I used King Arthur AP flour, 67% hydration, 2% salt and 0.5% slow-rising SAF Gold yeast. As is usual, when the dough was first mixed it was quite dry. But within around an hour or so, the dough had distributed the water around and was nicely soft and pillowy. Every so often I deflate the fermenting dough and turn it around a few times. One thing I noticed was that after around 12 hours, the dough no longer seemed soft and pillowy, but had become damp to the touch. Just recently I turned over the dough again, and underneath the dough where it contacted the metal rising bowl was positively wet -- as in, water had collected down there under the dough.

What would be the reason for this? If I am planning to rise a dough 24 hours, does this mean I have to do lower hydration?


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Huh. Maybe that's it. I usually use SAF Red, but I thought I'd use up some Gold I had around.


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Sam, I've done plenty of long ferments (1-5 days) in that hyrdration range, at both fridge and cool room temperatures. The dough certainly gets wetter to the touch after its initial shaggy, dry condition, but I've never seen standing water in the bowl.


 

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Sam, I've done plenty of long ferments (1-5 days) in that hyrdration range, at both fridge and cool room temperatures. The dough certainly gets wetter to the touch after its initial shaggy, dry condition, but I've never seen standing water in the bowl.

I have to agree here. The only things I can think of are that somehow you had a really humid environment that affected it or, that there's something other than yeast activity going on. Some bacterial infestations like 'rope' make sticky doughs. Problem is, I haven't witnessed anything like this firsthand, so, I feel awkward giving advice.

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How tightly sealed was your container? I'm baking 2-3 Tartine loaves a week as of late, and I've noticed that the dough "sweats" a bit at room temp when in a tightly covered container. At times, I ferment it in an open bowl, covered by just a towel. Other times I used a tight-sealing Cambro container...when my kitchen is on the warm side, I'll definitely see some water collecting on the underside of the lid and running down the sides of the container. I (perhaps wrongly) assumed it is just ambient humidity condensing inside the warm container--in the more open container, the moisture doesn't build up.

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That might be it, Celeste. I was fermenting it in a round stainless bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Perhaps what happened is that condensation collected on the underside of the lid and dripped down the sides, making the bottom of the dough wet.


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