I have tried a number of times to make my own pizza dough. Where I am falling down is the sponge.

In general, I am mixing a packet of yeast with about 2/3 C of flour, and 3/4 cup of very warm water. Let rise in a warm place. I no longer have a gas oven. I leave it in the oven with the light on.

After the first 30 minutes, it looks like it is starting fine. I then add a cup of my flour/salt mixture, and a cup of cold water, then return to the lighted oven.

After 30 more minutes, it does not look right at all. It looks somewhat spongy, but not enough. It hasn't gained in volume, and judging from previous attempts, I abandoned making dough because it hadn't risen before.

Do I need to add heat somehow? For the process outlined, I was cooking on the range. Would that residual heat have been too much for the inside of the oven?

  • What happens if you go from your initial sponge, then add the remaining ingredients, knead, and allow to rise? ...and probably on the countertop is fine.
    – moscafj
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 21:07
  • In the past I have finished the dough, but it does not rise, and is not easy to stretch. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Might be temperature, might be technique. While the dough will proof faster at the optimal temperature, you can also proof it for longer. Some recipes proof the dough in the refrigerator (See Using low oven temperature to accelerate proofing). So you can compensate for a lower temperature by extending the proofing time.

Technique is also important. I don't know why you split the process into 2 parts, but my guess is adding the salt without a buffering agent is killing off the active yeast.

I have had a lot of success with no-knead recipes, which you can modify if you prefer to knead your dough. Add your flour to the bowl, 1 Tsp salt and mix well. Add your yeast (1/4 Tsp packet or bread machine yeast), and mix well. If desired you can add sugar and some olive oil. Add your blood temperature water (~ 38C) a 100ml at a time, reducing the quantity towards the end. You want add sufficient water to hydrate the flour until it just comes away cleanly from the bowl. Your dough is ready to be proofed when it just comes together and is neither too sticky or too dry. You can then cover and proof for between 2 - 18 hours or until it doubles in size. You can tell by the "stringiness" of the dough how well it has proofed.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.