I tried a "bonci style" roman pizza. I followed a recipe that is basically a no knead 24hrs pizza "in a baking dish", in the sense that is not cooked in a brick oven but in a home oven. The directions say roughly to mix part of flour, water+yeast for a bit, add salt, more flour until combined. Hydration is 80%. The flour I used has the German classification 550, with 12% proteins. I do not have the info about its strength W.

Move to a board and give a few folds within the next hour, then lock it in an airtight container brushed with olive oil and store it in the fridge for 24 hours at between 5 and 7 Celsius degrees. After this time, let it reach room temperature and spread it with the help of hard wheat flour. The recipe goes by describing a certain way to spread it in order to keep the bubbles in the middle of the dough and not on the edges, which are supposed to stay flat.

But I didn't get to this step because, after some hours in the oven with the light on, it didn't raise at all and its manipulation was impossible.

I realize that the question is very vague, but when is such a dough supposed to raise?

edit: ingredients: 500 g flour as above 400 g cold water 20 g olive oil 10 g salt 1g dry yeast, that doesn't need to be activated first

  • So, first off, Jim Lahey has an entire book about this, so you could just borrow it from the library or something. Second, generally natural-raise, 24 hour pizza dough is risen at room temp (21C), not in the fridge.
    – FuzzyChef
    May 18, 2019 at 21:46
  • Can you post the details of the recipe you used, including at least the amounts of the ingredients or baker's percentages? Did you use active dry yeast or instant dry yeast? Can you expand on what you mean by "manipulation was impossible"? Was it too sticky to handle, or would it tear when stretching, or was it too elastic (wants to return to smaller size)? If you're unsure if your yeast is good, double check that separately.
    – NSGod
    May 18, 2019 at 23:30
  • I edited the main post with the ingredients. The dough did not stick to the board because of the hard wheat flour, but by impossible to manipulate I mean just too runny. It's supposed to be this consistency: youtube.com/watch?v=sKotvbfWdU4
    – David P
    May 19, 2019 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


So the recipe in baker's percents:

Flour               100%
cold water           80%
olive oil             4%
salt                  2%
instant dry yeast   0.2%

This looks like a high-hydration Sicilian-style dough that's calling for a 24 hour cold ferment (CF). As you can see in such a recipe, the yeast level is very low -- so low that you're unlikely to notice any appreciable rise in only one hour, even if it's at room temperature rather than refrigerated.

It sounds like the recipe is calling for an autolyse at room temperature for an hour or so, during which time you should try to make a few stretch and folds. I'm sure at this point the dough is going to be very wet and sticky, as there has been little gluten development. It most likely won't resemble anything like a pizza, and it certainly won't be able to be handled like in the video you linked to: that's what the cold ferment is for. You should follow the directions, ball the dough in an airtight container (a plastic bread bag works great, twist the end of the bag closed and tuck underneath the dough ball), and place it in the refrigerator at the specified temperature.

(The yeast level is low and the dough underdeveloped in a CF recipe because it's intended that it will take the entire 24 hour time period to accomplish what could take an hour or 2, were the dough fully developed with a higher yeast level).

During the CF, further autolyse will help more fully hydrate the dough improving gluten development. The dough will also undergo biochemical gluten-development from yeast activity. During this 24 hour period you should notice the dough rising, albeit very slowly.

After that 24 hour period, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to warm up to at least 50ºF (10ºC) before trying to open the dough up as he is doing in that youtube video.

What I see in the video is him opening up the dough and preparing to bake it. That dough is only workable like that because it's been given the full 24 hour period it needs to develop.

One last thought: I would caution against using too cold of water (I'm thinking it should be at least above 50ºF (10ºC)), as that could potentially shock and kill the yeast, which would then release glutathione into the dough. Not only would the dead yeast not provide any fermentation and biochemical gluten development, the glutathione would make gluten development more difficult.

  • I know it's still very vague but that's what I did and no idea of what went wrong. Maybe wrong yeast? --that works in other products-- Flour too strong?
    – David P
    May 20, 2019 at 18:38
  • So you're saying you did follow the procedure I outlined above, and even after the 24 hour CF, it was still runny and unworkable? If so, have you verified separately that the yeast from the same container are OK?
    – NSGod
    May 20, 2019 at 20:30
  • Actually not but two different tries with different packages should answer the question
    – David P
    May 22, 2019 at 15:17

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