HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Pizza Dough rising question

Hi - I am making my first pizza dough recipe and I actually started it just a couple hours ago. The recipe (http://americanfood.about.com/od/pizz...) said to put dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

My question is... I actually had to go to work only after about an hour of letting it rise (I didn't plan out the timing too well). It hadn't doubled in size. Do you think I should try to get home as soon as I can to put it in the refrigerator or can I wait until it's been about 4 hours (when I take my normal lunch break). If I wait that long - will it be MASSIVE and ruined?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I typically leave my out all day. I make the dough in the morning and form it into a pizza for dinner. I've never had a problem. I do put a wet towel over it.

    Sometimes I make it the night before and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

    Good luck!

    1. TP, I'd try a rescue. If it's not too warm at home it might be useable. The yeast might not be exhausted.

      Knock the dough down, divide and refrigerate the dough balls and see what you get. The worst you can get is a very thin crisp crust.

      1. Pizza dough can actually stand some aging. We make it at work almost every day. We form it into dough balls and then let it rest in the walk-ins over night. In experimenting with our dough to determine its' limits, we've found that we can hold it in refrigeration up to 3 days without adversely affecting the product.

        I wouldn't let it go all day as the dough will over proof. If you can go home and move it to your fridge, you should be fine.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiningDiva

          I agree. A dough that has spent an overnight or two in the fridge actually makes a much better and more flavorful pizza in my experience (both home and commercial).

        2. It will be fine.
          Many recipes ask to allow the dough a long initial rise, mostly for flavor.

          1. It depends on how much yeast, temperature of your house. If it's cool in your house, then four hours might be okay but if it's summer hot, it could overproof. You might end up w/ a cracker like toughish crust but it wouldn't be terrible.

            1. Move it to the fridge, but cover it with plastic wrap first.

              1. It should be fine.

                Depending on many things it could end up growing out of the bowl and/or sticking to the towel - neither of which will make it "ruined".

                If it has grown an insane amount and deflated, still not ruined. You will likely have to to punch it down and then let it proof again (which at this point shouldn't take too long) before forming pizza rounds (if you are using it tonight). If you are using it later this week or freezing you should probably punch it down and let it "re-proof" before freezing anyway.

                There are times when I purposefully let my dough sit out for a few days and let it really get going - this then is more of a "starter" but has great depth of flavor. You then add more "fresh dough" (flour, water, etc) to this and mix it all together to help revive the structure.

                So don't panic and don't stress over a few extra hours.

                1. Thanks guys! I ran home as early as I could. Overall i think it was raising for 3.5 hours as opposed to the 2 hours the recipe called for. It had doubled in size but didn't seem too much bigger than that. I punched it down and then placed in the fridge in plastic. Tonight will tell how it turned out!

                  1. I generally leave dough to rise for about a half day, then in the pan and left to rise again for about 2 hrs.

                    1. As other commenters have mentioned it all depends on temperature and how much yeast the recipe called for. (Also a bit on how hot the water was and how much salt you used.)

                      Also, as others have said, it's not a huge deal either way. Compared to bread, pizza is more forgiving of having spent too much time rising. You'll be okay.

                      In the future, if you want to let the dough rise for longer than the recipe specifies, try using less yeast, or starting with cooler water.

                      Also, if you're worried about the dough rising and sticking to the towel, consider using a pot lid that fits the bowl instead. With a bit of oil it will be just as non-stick as the bowl and will keep moisture in as well as a damp towel does.

                      1. Putting it in the fridge will slow down if not stop the rising, so you could do that if you're really concerned. But depending on the heat and humidity at your place, it can sometimes take a lot longer for the dough to rise anyhow.

                        Another option would be to do a second rise in the pizza pan(s) themselves. Grease your pans, spread the dough out in them, poke them a bit with a fork so they rise evenly then give them a light coating of oil again and wrap them in plastic wrap for a second rise.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Atomic76

                          The fridge _will_ slow it down but it won't stop it. A slower rise/fermentation definitely makes for a more flavorful crust. One of the other keys (as someone else pointed out) is to use less yeast. It will still rise to the same level as using more yeast but will just take longer. The flavor that develops in that extar time is well worth the wait.

                          Granted, some folks do like like a more flavorful crust...while others consider the flavor of the crust just as important as the toppings.

                          As always, best thing is to try it both ways and see what personal preference dictates.

                        2. I use the recipe from Mark Bittman's cook book Food Matters. He likes to age the dough. I make my dough in the morning cover the bowl with a damp towel and use it the evening. It doesn't seem to matter about the temperature of the room but if it's winter, our house tends to be very cool, so I put it in a warm place (shelf over the wood cook stove). His recipe, enough for two pizzas, only requires 1/2 tsp of yeast. Maybe the amount of yeast makes a big difference.

                          1. I think Its better to leave at room temperature :) dot go for refrigerator. Even i have used that dough in evening after keeping it a whole day in kitchen.. i guess that doesn't matter

                            1. First, don't worry about the dough being ruined. Yeast doughs are quite forgiving.

                              It just means the dough would have puffed up a lot more than double. Usually the next steps are to punch down the dough, shape for a final rising before baking.

                              Having just looked at the recipe, if your intent is to refrigerate overnight, I would go ahead and refrigerate before you go to work and skip the rising step. The dough will rise in the refrigerator.