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It should be safe to skip the punch down step. In fact, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, who literally wrote the book (or at least a book: Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day) on making pizza dough ahead of time, strongly encourage us to never punch down. Actually, if you search their website for the words "punch down," you will find that it ...


You are going to want to let the dough rise as much as possible before applying oil. (The first scenario) This is so cracks and unoiled patches do not form in the rising process. If this is not possible, apply a little more oil to allow it to cover the increased surface area better, but do not use too much.

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