When I leave dough pieces (for pizza) to rise, I put a wet towel on top of them, and leave them for a few hours.

The problem is that when the process is finished, the dough sticks very strongly to the towel, and it's quite hard to scrap the dough from it for washing.

I've tried to top the pieces with plenty of flour, which improves the situation, but it doesn't work fully.

I've also tried with a food tent cover covered with a wet towel, but the dough gets drier, so I don't think this is an option.

Is there any clever way to cover the dough, in a way that it's also easy to clean?

  • 4
    I always put my dough in an overly large bowl to rise. The dough normally never even touched the towel (which was a dry towel, not wet). Are you using a container of any sort? Why a wet towel? Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 16:53
  • I worry about using wet cloths to cover dough. Wet cloth in a hot kitchen equals lots of evaporation, which could result in a small but possibly significant drop in temperature inside your dough bowl.
    – goobering
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 23:41
  • 2
    @goobering seeing that dough rises even at fridge temperatures, I don't see why you are concerned by that
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 11:45

4 Answers 4


I always let pizza dough rounds rise on a flat surface. A few options:

  1. Use plastic wrap or a large bowl covered by towel or plastic, as others have said. The dough can still stick to plastic wrap, but at least you're not cleaning it off a towel.

  2. Invert a bowl over the dough that has a slightly larger diameter than the estimated final diameter of the dough. The dough will likely not dry out much, if at all.

  3. Make a proofing box with higher humidity. This is my preferred method. You just need a way to create a somewhat enclosed area of higher humidity. This can generally be accomplished with a cup filled with hot or boiling water initially. Some people use a microwave. (Place dough in microwave along with cup of hot water. Shut door. Let proof.) Others use a small oven. If you need more space, you can use an inverted large pan if you have one, or an inverted plastic bin. If you don't have any of that and want to go really cheap, you can even make a larger box out of a cardboard box -- just tape up the bottom to "seal" very roughly, cut off the top flaps, and invert over your dough, along with the cup of hot water. It won't be a "tight seal," but it will be enough to keep the dough surface moist for a while. (For a very long proof, you can replace the water periodically as necessary.)

Professional bakers often have climate-controlled areas with higher humidity for these purposes. There are smaller proofing boxes manufactured for home use, though they tend to be quite pricey.


Spray the dough with oil, dust with a little flour, and either cover loosely with plastic wrap, or if the dough is on a tray, slide the whole thing into a food safe plastic bag.

  • 1
    Better: Get a non-reactive (ceramic, glass) bowl with ~2-3 times the volume of the dough, pour a little oil into that and rub it all around, throw the dough ball in and roll it a bit to coat with oil, place plastic wrap tightly over the bowl, cover the bowl w/ the towel. Even if the dough rises to completely fill the bowl and pushes the wrap up, it comes out easily, no mess. Your average medium-large salad bowl is probably sufficient for a normal size pizza (i.e., a dough using 1.5 - 2 cups flour).
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 20:55

Use a linen towel, a cotton towel that has no nap, not a terry cloth or velour finished cotton towel.


The easiest thing you can do, like already mentioned in a comment by goldilocks, is simply use a larger bowl. It will let the dough rise as much as it wants to.

It won't require you to alter your dough in any way.

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