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

Recipe of the Month: Roasted Cauliflower and Prosciutto Pizza

Polly-O crafts a flavorful treat with this pie featuring roasted cauliflower, prosciutto, garlic and Parmesan

Pizza Without Borders - Competition Heats Up in the Eastern Bloc

As more pizza competitions and associations pop up in Russia, Bulgaria and Poland, the quality of pizza and prestige of the pizzaiolo continues to rise.

The Chef's Corner: Scott Wiener Q&A

PMQ test chef Brian Hernandez discusses the ins and outs of Scott Wiener's pizza tours, his experience with the pizza industry, and what's next for the pizza-crazed entrepreneur.

From the Editor - A New Year and a New Look For PMQ

This month we focus on the explosive growth of Artichoke Basille and roll out a new look for the magazine!

Product Spotlight: January-February 2018

Dough trays, tomato strips, yeast, menus, ovens and more.

Extra! Extra! Read all about the Pizza Press, a unique fast-casual chain in Southern California

At the Pizza Press, pizza makers are the “editors” and customers get to “publish” the pie of their choice.

Take a hike: How to cope with a higher minimum wage

A pizzeria owner in Washington state offers a four-pronged strategy for staying profitable in an era of rising labor costs.

10 tips for adding a take-and-bake option

Tom “The Dough Doctor” Lehmann walks you through the steps for modifying your dough formula and procedure.

All ‘Choked Up: How a couple of East Village pizza guys became Food Network stars

Artichoke Basille’s has boomed from a shoebox-size Manhattan underdog to a 12-store media magnet—and now sets its sights on franchising.

Get off to a successful start in 2018 with a social media calendar

Social media success hinges on knowing what you’re going to post and studying the data to improve your content every day
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags