A need for speed: Tom Lehmann explains why you should not let your pizza dough rest after mixing

Don’t dilly-dally, says the Dough Doctor, when it’s time to cut and ball dough.



 

Q Why do you recommend always taking the dough from the mixer directly to the bench for immediate cutting and balling? Why not let the dough rest for an hour before cutting?

 

A Keep in mind that, while your dough is resting after being mixed, it’s also fermenting, which causes it to change in density—that is, it gets lighter in volume just sitting there. Also, as I mentioned in last month’s column, the yeast in your dough will typically exhibit a lag time of about 20 minutes before it begins actively feeding and producing the by-products of fermentation. By taking the dough directly to the bench for scaling and balling, we can get most or all of the dough balled before the yeast starts doing its thing. There is little change in dough density during this lag time, and the dough will be at its most dense right after the mixing process. Dense dough is easier to cool down than less dense dough. That’s because the improved insulating properties of less dense dough will impede the extraction of heat from the dough balls once they’re placed in the cooler.

This brings us back to a point raised in last month’s column, but it’s worth repeating: If the dough balls can’t be efficiently cooled, the fermentation process will continue in the cooler for a longer period of time and at a faster rate than would be considered optimal for your dough quality and refrigerated shelf life. In fact, under certain conditions, you will very likely end up with blown dough by the next day because the cooler was unable to sufficiently retard the fermentation rate.

 

Q What’s the difference between enriched flour and high-gluten flour?

 

A When we say a flour is high-gluten or high-protein, we’re really referring to the total protein content of the flour. Much of that protein forms gluten, so the higher the protein content, the stronger and more elastic your dough becomes. When we talk about enriched flour, we mean that a vitamin and mineral supplement has been added to the flour to restore it to the nutritional value it would have if it were a whole-wheat flour (minus the fiber content of the wheat bran). Aside from changing the nutritional value, enrichment has no other effect on the flour. 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Idea Zone: This Symbiotic Relationship With Hotels Is Key

Idea Zone: Ditch the Norm and Never Miss an Order Again

Sweden Goes Gourmet But Remains Loyal to Its First Love: Kebab Pizza

PMQ International Correspondent Missy Green takes on the tasty treat of Swedish kebab pizzas

Old World Asiago Chicken Pizza

Escalon serves up a recipe for a signature pizza featuring rotisserie chicken, Asiago cheese, caramelized onions and fresh sage.

The secrets of effective dough docking

According to Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann, docking helps control bubbling in your pizza dough, but only if you do it correctly.

California Dreamin’: How Golden State pizza chefs used fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to develop a pizza style that has spread across the country

Experts break down their approaches to crafting healthier, flavor-packed West Coast pies.

Wonder Women: Beyonce says girls ‘run the world,’ so it’s high time that pizzerias learned how to market to them

Seven female millennials talk about what they’re looking for in a restaurant experience—and what they hate.

Idea Zone: DoughSafe Doughbox Bags Will Cut Your Costs for Maintaining Clean Dough Boxes

This dough box hack saves time, money and employee grief.

Idea Zone: Peel-A-Deal Offers Win-Win Fundraising Opportunities for Pizzeria Owners

This unique peel-off coupon card lets pizzerias partner with local schools and nonprofits while increasing pizza sales and customer loyalty.

Idea Zone: Pinsa is Revolutionary in Flavor, Texture and Shape

Corrado di Marco developed the perfect blend of GMO-free flours to create a product that’s crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and low in gluten.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags