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Mar 31, 2012 02:51 AM

What to do with overproofed sponge part of Mozza pizza dough recipe?

I started making the famed Mozza pizza dough today, but got sidetracked and the sponge part (water, yeast, bread flour, wheat germ, and rye flour) sat a room temp proofing for SEVEN hours instead of the 90 minutes the recipe called for.

I was about to go throw it out when I realized how much gluten had been formed. It doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl and has an excellent elasticity to it.

So instead of throwing it away, I put it in the fridge and hope I can use it for something. Can I just pull it out tomorrow and continue with the recipe? I know some people do very long proofs (but normally in fridge the whole time), so maybe it'll be okay.


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  1. As long as it is still bubbly and the yeast viable, I'd refrigerate. You might add some flour to feed the yeast.

    1. It's FLAVOR! Add it to any new batch of dough. Freeze or refrigerate it if you're not going to use it right away, though.

      1. Thanks guys! I transferred it to a Pyrex bowl and refrigerated it (but didn't add more flour since I didn't read the replies until now).

        Do I need to keep the yeast alive until I want to use it?
        How much should I add to new batches of dough?

        I'll be re-doing the recipe today, so I can try to use up some of it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ah6tyfour

          I would just add it in to whatever recipe you're making and pretend it doesn't exist--the full amount or however much you want. It doesn't really matter until it's old enough that the gluten has broken down. At that point a large amount would affect the texture of the finished product, but what you've described has gluten intact and thus is a perfect pre-ferment. It sounds like the yeast is still likely to be active, but don't worry too much about that. Just proceed with the stated quantities of fresh ingredients. Depending on how wet it is relative to the final recipe, you might have to add a bit more flour, which you should be able to wing. Or if your recipe is written in bakers percent, you can calculate the difference in hydration very easily and alter your fresh ingredient content accordingly.

        2. I do an 8 hour (overnite) ferment of the sponge on the counter so you're fine. In the morning I put the sponge, plus the remainder of the flour, oil, salt in the Kitchen Aid and let it mix and knead while I take my shower. It is returned to the Rubbermaid container that I started the sponge in to ferment during the day and I make the pizza when I come home at 5:00pm.

          Getting the maximum flavor when you are baking bread is essentially playing a game of chicken with the yeast and you can usually double or even triple the ferment times because they are usually written more for convenience and speed than obtaining maximum flavor. If you like the longer ferments but find that the yeast is consuming all of the sugars you can cut the amount of yeast by up to 1/2 w/o any negative consequences when you use very long ferments.