Dough Question for Tom

Every year when the weather changes so does our dough. The dough overblows way too fast. I have tried cooling the water down substantially to keep the finished dough at the right temperature but that is not working. We are currently using 1.5 oz of yeast per 40lb dough. Should/can I bring the yeast down to 1oz for better results? Thanks in advance!

I wouldn’t recommend reducing the yeast any further as it is already quite low 1.5-ounces = 0.234% based on 40-pounds of flour, hopefully, this is IDY. Any further reduction will probably open the door for the development of a feared gum line, especially across the center of the pizza where the dough is most likely to collapse under the weight of the toppings. If your final/finished dough weight is in the 80 to 85F range (walk in cooler) or 70 to 75F (reach in cooler) and your dough management procedure calls for taking the dough directly from the mixer to the bench for scaling and balling, and then directly to the cooler you should not have any problem with the dough blowing, but if you allow the dough to bulk ferment between mixing and scaling/balling, the dough can easily blow with even a slight increase in room temperature. If you would like to have a copy of my Dough Management Procedure, please e-mail your request directly to me at and I’ll be glad to send you a copy. To answer your question more specifically, if you don’t take the dough directly from the mixer to the bench for scaling, reduce any post mixing fermentation time by 50% and this should help.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

To add to Tom’s reply I would like to say that I have had the same problem, although carefully monitoring the water temperature usually fixes the problem.

At the same time, I have talked to our representative at the four mills and he tells me that there are also two other factors involved:

  1. The time of year and the exact strain of wheat used by the mill to produce the flour (as well as where it was grown)


  1. The fact that the mill is always switching between milling different kinds of flour.

This second point is much more problematic, because if the mill is not exceedingly careful to clean up, say after a batch of all purpose flour, some can get into your mix of high gluten flour and cause havoc. This usually happens to us in late fall.

Oh my, you have opened a “Pandora’s Box”. Flour issues are one thing that is very difficult for even the best of us to cope with. Spring wheat is planted in the spring of the year and harvested late in the following summer. Here’s the story as it playout nationally, in the late summer fresh wheat inventories are all but nonexistant so the flour mills have to look for wheat, sometimes far and wide, or they will begin purchasing wheat that has been stored on-site at local farms (smoetimes not so local too). The wheat at this time of the year has been oxidized naturally through the storage process (something like bromating the flour), this meand that it can/will produce flour different from the same wheat variety six monthe previous, also add to that the fact that the mill may not be able to obtain the desired varieties of wheat needed to produce their specif type(s) of flour and you have yet another, totally different issue to be faced by the flour miller, no, we’re not through with the flour miller yet. On top of all of this, every year there can be different varieties of wheat that the mill has to work with, and many times, if not most of the time these varieties are not developed to make THEIR flour, instead it has been developed for specific agronomic advantages, such as drought resistance, insect resistance, blight resistance, early maturity, etc. and if that isn’t enough, the same variety of wheat will produce different flour characteristice depending upon the amount and time that fertilizer is applied to the crop in the field, and the amount and timing of rain the crop receives in the field. With all of this said, we still expect the flour miller to continually produce the same flour from year to year with similar, if not the same performance characteristics. Every kid has a super hero, mine is the flour miller.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor