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EMERGENCY! I am making a pizza recipe and am deciding between having it for dinner tonight or tomorrow. I was originally planning on doing it tomorrow because I wanted to let it have its first rise in the fridge since I've heard that is what makes it taste best.

However, the dough seems to have doubled already after being in the fridge for 6 hours. I also read that it should be punched down so I did and now I'm stressing...

Now that I have punched it down, should I leave it unrefrigerated and let it reach room temperature and do it for dinner tonight? Or should I put it back in the fridge and let it rise overnight again?

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There is no emergency, you have a healthy, active dough. You can punch it down as much as you like, remember that with pizza dough you are going to knock a load of air out when you make your pizza bases. You can keep it in the fridge until tomorrow, it should slow down as it starts to exhaust the available sugars.

If you find things still going a bit too fast reduce the yeast in the dough.

  • Okay, great! Thanks so much! You are right, I will be stretching out the dough like crazy when making the pizza dough anyways so punching it down should be fine. I'll give an update on how the dough turned out once I make it tomorrow! Thanks again! – SB. Oct 30 '19 at 22:06
  • I often make my pizza dough a couple of days in advance, it helps give it a complexity of flavor, I hope it does yours as well. – GdD Oct 31 '19 at 8:05
  • I'm so glad you said that because that is another question I've had... I see a lot of websites state that letting it sit in the fridge and do a cold rise will give it a more complex flavor but what does that mean? Like it will taste more like restaurant pizza? Or it won't taste sour? – SB. Oct 31 '19 at 11:04
  • Yeast produces flavor compounds, but other organisms and enzymes produce flavor too - and take much longer to do it. A cold rise gives slows the yeast down and gives time for the other magic to happen. – GdD Oct 31 '19 at 11:12
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After the first rise, you can split your dough into smaller portions and let it rise again in the fridge.

Just don't forget to cover with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel to avoid drying out.

  • I recommend the oiled plastic wrap ... I've had a couple of times when I've had to try to separate the mess of dough that clung to the towel better than I was expecting. – Joe Oct 30 '19 at 16:43
  • Thanks so much for the advice. I am keeping it in the fridge until tomorrow. I already had it tightly sealed with oiled plastic wrap because I saw that tip somewhere before making my dough :) – SB. Oct 30 '19 at 22:03

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