The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sourdough Neapolitan Pizza - CF

odi92's picture

Sourdough Neapolitan Pizza - CF


I'm trying to figure out my sourdough Neapolitan pizza.

my sourdough goals are:
- a more flavourful sourdough 
- a good yeast activity
- a not too acid sourdough for 2 reasons - flavor and strong gluten.

Also, I'm trying to understand the benefits of CF for my dough.

So I changed my sourdough to be 90% bread flour, and 10% rye&whole wheat (it was before 50/50). I raised the hydration from 80% to 100%. I feed the sourdough more often, in bigger ratios, so I give it between 12-20 hours of fermentation before using (waiting for double to triple the size).

Now, my questions would be:

- If I try my sourdough to rise in a high temp to try and get more LAB rather than Acetic acids, but then my dough would be mostly cold and not in room temp, how would it affect the bacterias in the dough? do I 'treat' the dough the same as the sourdough, in terms of bacterias?

- In general, if there is no bacteria’s activity under 10 degrees celsius, and a very low yeast and enzymes activity – then my basic question would be what a CF really bring to the dough? And according to that (yes I know it’s a lot of testing) - how should I treat the dough? Should I give it 1-2 hours in room temp before the long cf, and why? And how much should it be in room temp in general, lets say in a total fermentation of 72 hours? How much should I aim the dough to rise before dividing into balls?


GlennM's picture

I mix up my dough, give it a couple of stretch and folds over the next hour, ball it up a put it in the fridge. I leave it 2 or 3 days (I’ve even left it a week) and I get great results

cfraenkel's picture

I get similar results, and have even balled the dough stuck it in the fridge for 24 hours and then popped it in the freezer.  As long as I use it in a couple of months, it seems to be okay.  I have left the dough balls (by accident) in the fridge for over a week with no big change in performance.  They are a bit more "sour" but in our house we like that.  I can't speak to the technical side - biology isn't my thing.

clazar123's picture

CF=cold fermentation.....right? I've never seen that acronym.

Originally, I thought it meant Carb Free and nothing made sense. 

A lot depends on the activity of the natural levain, of course. I have seen numbers all over the spectrum on TFL and it is interesting. It seems to me that a starter that takes 12-20 hours to double or triple is not that active. It will make bread but take its time to do so and a WW or rye might enzymatically degrade b4 it properly ferments. Will it survive a CF? I don't know-you have to try it. 

I woefully neglect my starters as I don't bake very often anymore but after the 2nd feeding, they (I have 3 starters) double/triple in 4-6 hours and in even less time after a 3rd fdg. Many of my recipes call for a preferment-1 c flour,1 c water, couple spoonfuls activated starter.  3-4 hrs later, make the dough and THAT dough can then be refrigerated overnight. Great fermented flavor-like fine wine. My starters are biased for yeast and the resulting bread is never sour. 

The purpose of cold, I always thought , was to slow down the fermentation  to preserve the dough and prevent enzyme destruction. CF allows the baker to control when to bake and have a dough that is properly fermented. Also, a slow fermentation generally contributes to the final flavor. The bread is flavored by the byproducts of digestion of the LAB,yeast and bacteria. If you have a high LAB population, it is generally more sour. If your starter favors a high yeast population, it is not sour but yeasty. Other incidental varieties of LAB,yeast and bacteria can influence the flavor. Each starter really does have uniqueness.

Take a look HERE 

Good luck! Bake some delicious fun!



odi92's picture

We're even, as I needed to google some of your stuff

Thanks for your reply, I have some questions and follow ups.

As for the long rise of the sourdough, from my understanding, the sourdough develops more flavours if I can give it a long rise. Usually for me as well at the second/third feeding it can rise in just a few hours, but then to give it a 10 hours rise for example, I feed in with rations of 1:4:4, etc..

You wrote about 'enzymatically degrade' and 'enzyme destruction' - and I think I'm missing something in here. Other than protease activity in a lower ph dough that breaks the gluten, what should I be aware of about the enzymes? 

Also, you wrote about a high yeast activity in the starter: "My starters are biased for yeast" and "If your starter favors a high yeast population"
Sorry if this is a too big question, but is there a way to have the starter to be biased yeast rather than LAB? I know how to have it biased into LAB and not Acetic acid, but biased to yeast sounds unfamiliar for me.

As for the preferment - do you do this for pizza as well, or for bread loafs? I usually dont do preferment, so I think that once I make the dough with the sourdough, I need to give it 1-2 hours in RT before putting it in the fridge, but the deep understanding on what are the effects of CF on the dough I still miss.


Thanks a lot!

clazar123's picture

Talked about a lot. Great explanations.