web analytics
Leoparding - The Discussion Continues... - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

Announcement

Collapse

Forum Issues Update

Things are progressing in getting things back in order on the Forum! User avatars should be showing up. Attachment and inline images are in the process of being uploaded. We are still looking for a migration path for the Photoplog gallery. Thank you for your patience!
See more
See less

Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

    Just thought I would raise this topic again and see if there are any new theories or thoughts on how to create it. Perhaps Peter R can offer some insight here.

    So far the most plausible theory seems to be a 48 hr cold fermentation which consumes all the sugar and minimises browning. This process produces air pockets that char at temps around 425 and 480 C and produce the spots.

    Comments welcomed...
    / Rossco

  • #2
    Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

    Hi Rossco!

    I think you have the right idea but I am not sure cold fermentation is necessary.

    I don't pursue leoparding particularly but when I have it and have seen it, the dark spots are typically associated with relatively large bubbles. Long retards tend to encourage that so...it makes sense. However, overproofing in general should provide similar benefits of sugar depletion (which I would think should not be necessary to get leoparding but would tend to make it look more visually pronounced) and airy/bubbly dough.

    I would expect that early balling of the dough would also be favorable to leoparding for it encourages airier dough. And relatively gentle shaping would also be beneficial as would a more extensible dough (and less elastic so easily shaped).

    The subtleties of dough are amazing!
    Jay

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

      Greeting Dr Jay!!!

      I made a biga earlier on this evening and plan to try out the 48 hr fermentation just to test the theory. What in your view would consume all the sugars the quickest? More/less yeast perhaps?? Longer fermentation??

      Interestingly the Da Michele pizzas have lots of leoparding which is what piqued my interest during my visit last year. The pizzas have a whiteish appearance so that spots contrast nicely. Definitely visually appealing in my view.
      / Rossco

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

        And back at ya, Dr. Rossco!

        I tend to think of yeast vs time as a balance. At a given temp (water, salt, etc.) the rate of yeast doubling will be essentially fixed. And at room temp the rate is nominally doubling every two hours. Thus a dough with half the yeast will take about two hours longer to reach the same level of sugar depletion. This is not literal for the enzymes will be breaking starches into sugars and more time means more sugar but...it is close enough IMO for general discussion. And using 1/4 as much yeast would mean about four extra hours...

        Methinks there probably is a minor advantage of long retards in that the enzymes will really have really hammered the starch and the dough will be more extensible. Dead yeast will also make the dough more extensible. AND, the level of residual sugar will almost certainly be lower for its rate of generation will be (I think) slower. I think it is likely to give you a whiter main crust than a shorter fermentation. But I tend to think they should be reasonably similar (though probably just a tad browner on a similarly overproofed dough). NOTE: I am confident that leoparding is benefited by overproofing. However, the overproofed dough is likely to be fragile and require careful handling to give optimal results. It will be fragile due to starch degradation, dead yeast, which reduce dough strength and its airy nature which allow it to be easily degassed (and you want gas IMO for leoparding).

        My gut feel is that less yeast and longer time are marginally preferable for leoparding. A one to two day retard is probably best though three would still work. Shorter ferments would need more yeast. To pull it off quickly (four hours) would probably require about 1 to 1.5 percent yeast (possibly even 2 percent) and would give a yeasty, rather simple dough taste due to lack of enzyme action byproducts and alcohols. But one should still be able to get leoparding with a quick dough. In all cases I would want to ball the dough early.

        Good Luck!
        Jay

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

          OK - one day down and another to go to hit the 48 hr fermentation mark. Have cranked the fire up and will run it until tomorrow night when I cook the pizza.

          Question - I need to run the oven at between 800 F (425 C) and 850 (455 C) but how does one prevent burning the crust at that temp?
          / Rossco

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

            You are above my normal temp range - I typically bake lower for just that reason of overly charring but I do occasionally dabble in hotter ovens and in my experience the dough needs to be relatively thin (but I associate that with leoparding anyway - not superthin and not thick) and the toppings sparse. You certainly need to be under two minutes cooking time at that temp and possibly much less depending on your flour/oven/pie habits.

            I ultimately think airyness is more critical for leoparding than oven temp but????I could be wrong perhaps they both have to be right?

            Good luck!
            Jay

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

              Have had the oven running overnight so the temp should ramp up to around 425 C easily when I get home from work this evening and do the test. Will aim for around the 400 mark so will allow the temp to drop down a bit before cooking. I have only made 2 pizzas so hopefully I will be able to prove the experiment with that number. Will post the results....
              / Rossco

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                Longer cold ferments favor enzyme activity and enzymes generate sugar. Long cold fermented dough contains more sugar than short ferments, not less. If you want to maximize leoparding, don't cold ferment, and don't ferment longer than 24 hours.

                High yeast activity short fermented doughs tend to have the least residual sugar, but I don't think this plays a large role in leoparding. Using an unmalted low enzyme 00 flour is critical, but I would think everyone's already doing that. The biggest player, by far, is heat. The faster the bake, the more leoparding you're going to get. It depends on what hydration you're working at and the thickness factor, but a 45-60 second bake is a good target to shoot for.

                I've never tested this myself, but prolonged kneading is supposed to oxidize the dough and make it a bit whiter. White dough = whiter crust = greater contrast. The acids generated by a sourdough starter also encourage leoparding, although I've seen plenty of nicely leoparded crusts that were cake yeast.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                  From a purely empirical standpoint, leoparding is caused by:

                  Small bubbles.
                  Thin walls on said bubbles.
                  High temps that char those thin walls while not browning the base crust (i.e. fast cook times).

                  In my experience, limited because leoparding is not a desired trait for my pizzas, they occur most frequently with a 24-30 hour warm rise, very hydrated (70%+) dough that never leaves the table when forming the skin and a sub 2 minute bake.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                    This is probably the most leoparding I have ever produced, and it fulfills all the criteria stated above: +70% hydration, 30 hour warm fermentation, first pizza of the bake (800+ floor, 1000+ dome) and less than 90 second bake.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                      I make a 65% hydration dough around 2.5hours before cooking. 30mins to prep/knead.. 1.5 hours to rise, ball and rise for 30..

                      I get leaparing all over the base.. so not sure what im doing right?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                        Originally posted by chidding View Post
                        I make a 65% hydration dough around 2.5hours before cooking. 30mins to prep/knead.. 1.5 hours to rise, ball and rise for 30..

                        I get leaparing all over the base.. so not sure what im doing right?
                        As I said before, high yeast activity short ferments promote leoparding, and 2.5 hours is a ridiculously short ferment (for Neapolitan), with the punch down promoting residual sugar consumption even further.

                        Elevated hydration will also promote leoparding, but it's something that you probably want to avoid because, with Neapolitan bake times, wet doughs will give you gum lines.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                          Thanks for the excellent feedback on this interesting topic. The Tscarb and Scott theories certainly add new light on the topic. So, tonight I will bake the 48 hr fermented dough and will move on to making a batch of 3 kgs for Saturday night's bash. I will make another quick biga and then prepare a quick ferment and compare the results.

                          Using Da Michele as the benchmark - their process involves the use of a biga and an overnight fermentation and they get really good leoparding. Quite a few variables in this so I am keen to test the relevant theories and determine the best outcome under my specific WFO conditions.
                          / Rossco

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                            Heliman, not to split hairs, but it is my understanding that Da Michele uses an old dough method, with an overnight bulk ferment. In this video (I had someone translate it for me),

                            Antica Pizzeria Da Michele - YouTube

                            the co-owner talks about the old dough method they use.

                            Also, just to be clear, although I think short ferments will favor leoparding, in no way am I advocating them. Malted American flours won't sit that heavy in your stomach with quick ferments, but unmalted quickly fermented European doughs will go down like a lead weight. Digestibility is an important component of Neapolitan pizza.

                            What's your current bake time? As long as you're breaking 60 seconds, bottom and top, you should be getting plenty of leoparding.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Leoparding - The Discussion Continues...

                              This video is a great find. Really good insight into their process.

                              Well I cooked two pizzas this evening. Results were good but the temp was only up around the 380 C mark so didn't get much leoparding. I am wondering if my using a biga with a miniscule amount of IDY will affect the sugar content.

                              I will do a sample tomorrow - make a single pizza with lots of yeast and let it sit a few hours and see if leoparding occurs. Will get the oven to around the 400C mark to test.

                              These are the pics from today.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by heliman; 11-04-2011, 02:02 PM.
                              / Rossco

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X