Dough - cold fermentation

Has anybody experimented with the idea of using ice water or very cold water when mixing their pizza dough. My thought is that it could possiblly develop more flavor, similiar to the way a great baugette is made. I know you would have to wait a minimum of 24-36 hrs, but it might be worth the wait.

How about using a mother dough as part of your dough ingredients.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated

We kinda do that already when we mix a dough using water in the 60 to 70F range to give us a finished dough temperature in the 80 to 85F range, or for those who want to hold the dough 3 to 5 days in the cooler before using it, we shoot for a finished dough temperature of 65 to 70F using water in the range of 45 to 55F. As for using a “mother” or “madre de la masa”, in the RECIPE BANK I’ve got a dough formula for take and bake pizza using the sponge-dough process, which is very similar and serves the same process. I have always been an advocate of using any old, left over dough in my new/fresh dough. By limiting the amount added to not more than 15% of the total dough weight you don’t need to worry about introducing any unwanted inconsistencies into the dough, and you get the added plus of bumping the flavor up a little, not to mention the cost savings (putting dough in the trash costs you money). Some operatore are working with various types of sourdough for making their pizzas. While I was recently in China we made starter by mixing a dough consisting of 2 Kg. (about 4.5 Lbs.) flour, 5 g. (1/5 oz.) compressed yeast, and 1.5 Kg. (about 3.3 Lbs.) cold water. We left this set out, uncovered for several hours to become further inoculated with any yeast, bacteria, etc. in the air. We then covered it and allowed it to ferment for two more days at room temperature. On the third day, we made a pizza dough and added our pre-ferment (can’t really call it a sour as we hadn’t allowed it to ferment sufficiently long) at 25% of the new dough weight and mixed it into our new dough. We then managed the dough overnight in the cooler and used it to make pizzas on the following day. The flavor of the finished crusts was great. You could really taste the frementation. We then made some traditional French Baugette from the remainder of the dough, and they tasted equally as good. This is making me hungry.

Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We use water as cold as it comes from the tap in the winter which is about 55 degrees F. The finished temp is in the 80 degree range and we put it in the walk-in cross stacked to cool to 40 degrees as fast as possible. We have looked at putting water in the walkin over night in the summer but the 65 degree temp we have right now in July seems to work pretty well.

We make dough at 5-8AM and the dough can be used that evening if needed but will not brown as well. It is ideal on days 2 and 3.

Using this approach allows us to buffer the dough prep by always building every day to a 2 day forecasted supply. If we fall short on sales we just have less to make the next morning and we can do up to 2X our sales forecast without running out of dough.

Cold water!!


To be sure I understand, for the preferment method, are you saying that the total dough weight after the final mix (100%) = 25% preferment + 75% (remaining ingredients added as part of the final mix)?


PN; No, lets say the total dough weight is 40-pounds. The amount of pre-ferment in this case would be 10-pounds, making for a new total dough weight of 50-pounds.
When a sponge-dough process is used, we can up the amount added to the 30 to 40% (of the total FLOUR weight). For example: If we were using 40-pounds of total flour to make the dough, we could split the flour into two containers. One container would contain up to 40% of the flour (16-pounds) and the other would contain the remaining 24-pounds. To the 16-pounds add the yeast and about half of the flour weight in water (8-pounds). Mix this together as the sponge and allow to ferment for 3 to 5-hours, then add to the mixing bowl along with the remainder of the flour (24-pounds), salt, sugar (if used), oil, and any other ingredients, and mix just to the point of getting a smooth dough consistency. Then take to the bench and process as you would your regular pizza dough. The advantage to this is that you know exactly how much dough you’re going to end up with, and there is no chance of over loading your mixer. By the way, if you want a quick way to find out what you total dough weight will be just multiply your total flour weight by 1.63. So 1.63 X 40-pounds of flour = 65.2-pounds of dough.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor


Thanks for the clarification.

Can you tell me where the 1.63 number comes from?


P.N.; Sure, it is the sum of the total of bakers percent of all the ingredients in the pizza dough formula. Another way of looking at is is to say if I were to make a dough based on 100-pounds of flour, what would the totat dough weigh?
100 flour
1.75 salt
.5 yeast
3 oil
58 water
In this case it would weigh 163.25-pounds. So if you multiply the flour weight by 1.63
100 X 1.63 = 163-pounds (close enough for our work). If you were using this exact formula you could have used a factor of 1.6325 to get the exact number.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor