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I made a pizza dough and put it in the fridge until tomorrow. 100% wheat flour, 68% water, 3% salt, 0.3% yeast.

I don't remember where I got the recipe, I kind of obsessed with pizza last year and tried many recipes and this one gives the best crust and flavor for me. But I don't remember how to handle the dough after the cold fermentation in the fridge.

What I do is, mix the ingredients, knead just a little until it's not so sticky. After some rest I fold the dough and give it another rest, I repeat this a few times until the dough is smooth. The last time I divide and form the individual balls, put them in separated closed containers and put it in the fridge until the next day (usually 18-24 hours).

I take it out of the fridge about 8 hours before cooking them, but I don't remember if I should reshape the balls to strengthen the gluten (and then let them rest) before stretching and cooking them. Or should I just take it out of the fridge and not touch it until ready to stretch and cook?

  • This is a great question -- I've tried a few cold ferment pizza doughs as well and have yet to see guidelines on this. However, I'm thrown off by your 8 hour second rise / rest. I worry that after such a long period your dough will overproof and you will loose whatever structure you had. – Benjamin Kuykendall Oct 5 '20 at 1:43
  • When I've done refrigerated pizza dough, I just stretch it out after it comes out of the fridge, but I'm using a more wet dough and cook it in a skillet. I would suggest looking to see what the original recipe recommends, and as it's in individual containers, you might experiment to determine what you prefer. (I'd also suggest different times to warm back up, as it may be that re-working the dough requires the longer time out of the fridge, while it may be better to just go straight to shaping if you don't have the time) – Joe Oct 5 '20 at 13:58
  • @BenjaminKuykendall Never had issues with overproofing, idk if it's the weather or the temp of my fridge, or the containers I use. I tried different rest times and around 8 hours gives me the best crust. – devxapo Oct 5 '20 at 20:06
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Your recipe is very close to the one I use regularly. But I´m doing the cold fermentation as bulk proof. Then do the dough-balling ~5h (for 1d dough) to ~4h (for 2d dough) before baking and let them sit at room temperature. This works very well for me, but there are lots of variations possible in this process, so it´s recommendable to do some experimentation to figure out the process that works best with your ingredients and in your setting.

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You don't need to take them out 8 hours before cooking, that's too long. 1-2 hours is long enough as it gives your dough time to come back up to temperature before baking and get active again. If your gluten is well developed before you put it in the fridge you don't need to work it further, a bit won't hurt anything but won't help either, and too much could make your dough tough. If anything you want it to relax a bit as it will make it easier to shape into a base.

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