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Would you push the expiration date on pre-made pizza dough?

blkery Aug 2, 2009 12:58 PM

I hope I don't lose all respect by admitting that I have some premade pizza dough in my fridge (Trader Joe's; I've never tried it before) or by being cheap enough that I'm interested in stretching it past the date, but the bag has an August 1st expiration and I probably won't get to use it until the 3rd. Should I toss it, or can I make it work for me 2 days past date?

  1. blkery Aug 4, 2009 09:45 PM

    Thanks everyone - for a reason I'm still trying to determine, the pie turned out a disaster - the dough was very, very wet and sticky, and tore very easily. The finished product had a very dense crumb and tasted like...well, not much. Still trying to figure out what happened :(

    1 Reply
    1. re: blkery
      b
      Brandon Nelson Aug 5, 2009 10:54 AM

      Wetter dough actually lends the best flavor, but it is VERY hard to handle.

      You can almost pour my latest batch ofpizza dough, as I have been experimenting with the hydration.

      The common mistake would be to add to much flour while trying to make the dough easier to handle (use oil on your hands instead). That fresh flour has not gone through the same process as the flour that is already in the dough. It doesn't have the flavor of the ferment, or the texture that was developed with hydration and kneading.

      If you let me know what you did (temp, handling, what you baked it on) I will do my best to make sure your next pizza is top notch.

    2. Boccone Dolce Aug 3, 2009 05:11 PM

      Another 'use it' vote!

      1. soniabegonia Aug 3, 2009 02:50 PM

        Depends. I've had TJ's dough turn grey and develop tiny black spots even before the exp date. If it's cream colored and clean, absolutely fine, regardless of date but I get squeamish about eating something that's stone grey. By the way, I use TJ's dough all the time and the key to success is to rest the dough for at least 45 minutes out of the fridge even though the package says 20. It will stretch more easily for that nice thin crust and I find that the edge rises better and gets nice and crusty outside and chewy inside. If you're planning to divide the dough, divide it first, form the balls using the heels of your palms, then rest. Trust me, it will stretch much better than after only 20 minutes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: soniabegonia
          chef chicklet Aug 3, 2009 06:27 PM

          I'm curious if it has eggs in it?

          1. re: chef chicklet
            b
            Brandon Nelson Aug 3, 2009 06:31 PM

            I believe it has flour , water, oil, yeast, and salt.

          2. re: soniabegonia
            chef chicklet Aug 3, 2009 06:29 PM

            I freeze dough all the time, or put it in the fridge when I decide on something else to eat. I use the mw, short bursts at 5 secs, works great, and your dough will become alive again and not spring back when trying to press it out.

          3. b
            Brandon Nelson Aug 3, 2009 12:29 PM

            Pizza dough with a little age is tastier than freshly made dough if it is kept cold.

            The yeast has more time to produce the by products of fermentation. It will give you a flavor closer to artisan type dough or sourdough.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Brandon Nelson
              e
              Emilyishere Aug 3, 2009 12:41 PM

              No.

              1. re: Emilyishere
                chicgail Aug 3, 2009 01:45 PM

                No? No what?

                1. re: chicgail
                  b
                  Brandon Nelson Aug 3, 2009 05:32 PM

                  In the last 24 hours his poster has offered such gems to threads like
                  "I agree"
                  "I am not really surprised"

                  "No" would be typical. Unfortunately I am not clever enough to see what point is being made.

                2. re: Emilyishere
                  b
                  Brandon Nelson Aug 3, 2009 05:20 PM

                  I had better stretch before dealing with this well though out, studied, technical response...

                  If one is reference credible well researched studies of bread baking; The bread Builders, America's Test Kitchen/ Cook Illustrated episodes one baguettes, and pugliese one will find useful info on the relationships between flour, yeast, and water when making bread.

                  When reading such texts one might discover that the longer yeast is allowed to work in a cool environment, the more complex and tasty the bread product it yields. The best results are achieved with pre ferments like sourdough starter starter. In absence of those products one can also achieve better flavor by using less brewers yeast, and long slow cold proofs. I make my own pizza dough (eating pizza tonight) out of my own starter and think it is best after 72 hours (for both taste and texture).

                  If course, I now await genius posts like "wrong" to totally disprove my post and make me look like the udder hack I am.

              2. fmed Aug 2, 2009 04:39 PM

                Use it. Many good pizza restaurants purposely age their dough for a few days in the fridge to enhance the flavour (it becomes pleasantly sour and the texture becomes slightly chewy instead of bread-y.)

                1. m
                  milklady Aug 2, 2009 04:32 PM

                  I would use it 8/3, but not a lot later than that. My husband once used the dough a week or so past expiration, and it was very bubbly and tasted very sour.

                  1. d
                    duck833 Aug 2, 2009 03:50 PM

                    I use TJ's dough for pizzas on my BGE all the time, lots easier than doing it from scratch when I only am going to make a few small pies. You will have no problem with date, I usually let mine sit on counter in a bowl for a couple of hours before using it.

                    For thin crust high temp pizza TJ's is great, our pies are as good or better than any pizza joint we have been to.

                    1. ipsedixit Aug 2, 2009 03:12 PM

                      I'd use it even if the expiration date for August 1st was in 2008.

                      1. chef chicklet Aug 2, 2009 02:40 PM

                        I make pizza dough and sometimes change my mind. What I do is throw it in the freezer and then use it another day. Just let it unthaw, and it will rise after awhile. Takes a little longer than normally.

                        But I'm not sure what your concern is with the expiration date. I thought about it and what I keep thinking about is that dough that I think is called friendship bread. You knead it for so many days, then you make another starter using a bit of the orginal dough, and pass it on. That seems to work just fine..maybe I'm wrong. The yeast is a living thing, unless you kill it, there shouldn't be a problem, it's already fermented if that's what your concern is.

                        1. blkery Aug 2, 2009 01:31 PM

                          I forgot to mention - it's in a plastic bag with a twist tie. When I bought it the bag clinged to the dough and had alot of slack in it; now it's inflated/blown up and is very tight - I assume that means the yeast is still happy?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blkery
                            greygarious Aug 2, 2009 03:24 PM

                            Yes, your yeast is still chugging along. On the off chance that this is your first time working with pizza dough - I've used TJ's whole wheat before (not sure if I ever tried the regular) and found that the finished bottom crust was still rather raw-tasting. I don't have a pizza stone so I invert a heavy aluminum sheet pan and preheat that, then slide both parchment and the pizza onto the pan. Since then I read on this board that it's best to partially bake the crust before putting on the toppings. I haven't mae it since, but will follow that advice in the future.

                          2. chicgail Aug 2, 2009 01:21 PM

                            You won't have a problem. Those expiration dates have more to do with a legal CYA than the actual usability of the product.

                            1. greygarious Aug 2, 2009 01:07 PM

                              Absolutely use it.

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