I make my pizza dough with the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of water

I mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl of my food processor, turn on the machine, and add the water and olive oil. I watch it come together and add enough more water so that it all sticks together.

I knead it a few times by hand, put it on a bowl on the counter covered with kitchen towel, and let it sit for a day out on the counter.

This is basically the Mark Bittman recipe, except I leave it to sit for way longer than he recommends.

The pizza dough is always pretty easy to shape and tastes good. But, it is better tasting and easier to roll thin in the winter. I live in Maryland, so I assume our heat and humidity are the difference. Even with the AC running , the house tends to be 5-10 degrees warmer in the summer and there is a lot more moisture in the air.

The dough looks and feels identical as I take it out the machine, but while it rests, something is obviously different.

How do I adjust the recipe for the summer to make the dough have the same texture and qualities as it does in the winter?

  • 2
    That seems an awfully long time to rest the dough at room temperature. Assuming you mean an actual full 24 hour when you say "let it sit for a day out on the counter." Actually anything more than 2 hours should be put in the fridge rather than room temperature.
    – Jay
    Oct 28, 2015 at 19:00
  • 1
    The fact that it's better in the winter reinforces Jay's point: dough left at room temperature that long will almost certainly be over proved. Oct 28, 2015 at 19:07
  • 1
    @Jay if you are referring to the 2 hours rule of food safety, it doesn't apply to foods which are preserved in some way. Foods which are under active fermentation (such as a crock with sauerkraut, but yeast dough too) count as "preserved" in that sense. The dough can overproof, but the OP is obviously not getting any problems with texture, and he's certainly not complaining of bad taste either.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 29, 2015 at 0:02
  • @rumtscho not at all. Im referring to dough being over-proofed when left at room temperature for more than 2 hours without any de-gassing.
    – Jay
    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


Yes, the heat is the difference. You get a better gluten production with a colder dough. That's a pretty basic fact of baking, there are even recipes which insist on using ice cold water for making bread.

If you want to have the same effect in summer, you should use cold water. As cold as possible, I even tried once slush from the ice cream machine just for kicks and it indeed produced very strong gluten (actually too strong for my preferences).

You should use the cold water on the actual dough. The sponge should use room temperature water, because ice cold water is rather unpleasant to yeast. They can live with it after they've been reawakened from their dry state, but it's not good to use it for their hydration.

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