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Cooking With Cold Fermented Pizza Dough

Dan TallaricoComment

Last weekend I made some cold fermented dough. In theory it’s a great idea for the summer time, but eventually you gotta turn that oven on to cook the dough. But hey, you get to put a bunch of flour in the freezer which is a fun novelty. 

I let the dough sit out for three hours at room temperature before preparing it for the oven. It didn’t rise too much which I chalked up to being part of the experience. Neapolitan pizza is the end goal here, which means a naturally thin pizza. I can vouch for this dough’s workability. It was smooth, soft, and a pleasure to stretch. It could get a job in any pizzeria if it needed one. 

Look at this guy, hanging out on my pizza stone with a thin layer of sauce and fresh mozzarella dotting the landscape. This was all about the crust so I opted to keep the toppings scant. One mistake I made was not precooking the crust. Most of the time when I make dough I precook it because it never cooks fast enough. My oven wasn’t made specifically for pizza dough so I gotta find other ways to make it work. No preheating the dough meant burnt cheese. 

I’m not too happy about it. The cheese was bland and the dough was flimsy. It couldn’t have ended any worst. You can see the dough lived up to the promise. It didn’t rise to the heavens, but was nice and crunchy. I went back to the drawing board with the second pizza and emerged with a better pizza strategy and a cute looking pie. 

I turned the heat up to 500 degrees fahrenheit from 450 and precooked the dough. I got it to brown to the level I wanted and the cheese and sauce weren’t absolutely ruined in the the sweltering oven. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that cooking pizza in the oven is less about set times and more keeping a watchful eye on the oven. Anything can happen in that heat den!  The best laid plans of mice and pizza, am I right?

Would I use cold fermented dough again? Possibly. It’s time consuming, but if you’re looking for thin crust this is your ticket. It was one of the easiest doughs to work with and once I got the handle on how it cooked we got together perfectly. If you want to make the type of pizza you get from a pizzeria you’ll want to avoid this and go for a traditional dough recipe with warm water. Again, you can find the recipe I used at 101 cookbooks