Don’t underestimate the importance of temperature control in pizza dough fermentation

As the Dough Doctor explains, the wrong dough temperature can lead to problems in the cooler.



 

Why is it important to control dough temperature during mixing and kneading? The finished dough is headed for the refrigerator anyway, right?

 

A Finished dough temperature is important for several reasons. Once the dough has been mixed, it should be taken directly to the bench for scaling and balling and placed in the cooler within 20 minutes. Why? Because the yeast in the dough goes through a short (roughly 20-minute) lag phase during which it’s minimally active, but then things kick into high gear, and the yeast begins to actively ferment the dough. The fermentation process changes the density of the dough, due to the development of gas bubbles. These gas bubbles continue to grow and expand as a result of the yeast’s development of carbon dioxide.

If the dough is too warm, the yeast will be more active; if it’s too cold, the yeast will be less active. The dough temperature must be controlled so that you can have control over dough density as the dough goes to the cooler. Dough density has a great impact upon the rate at which the dough cools down. Dense dough cools more easily than gassy or less-dense dough. Once in the cooler, we expect the dough to cool to a point where the rate of fermentation is controlled, allowing us to store it in the cooler for several days or more without it blowing. But if the dough is so warm that the control temperature is not reached within the cross-stack time, the boxes will be down-stacked and sealed with too much heat still remaining in the dough. That means the dough will continue to ferment even while boxed in the cooler!

Add to this the heat of fermentation/heat of metabolism, which creates about 1°F of temperature every hour that the dough is actively fermenting, and you can see how the dough can quickly get out of hand, even in the cooler. By the next day, it will be lost. Additionally, the warmer the dough is when it goes into the cooler, the longer it will need to be cross-stacked if you’re going to have any chance of stabilizing the dough so it can be held in the cooler for a while without blowing or over-fermenting. 

 

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