I own a small pizzeria and I am having an issue with my dough and the way it is cooking, and the way it looks when it is done cooking in the oven.

I make the dough on a daily basis in the evening. I have a small mixing bowl about a 16 quart. I use 8 quarts of flour, 1/2 salt, 1 1/2 sugar, 1 lb of butter, 1 cup of olive oil, 4 1/2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of yeast.

Once I mix it all togther, I make my dough balls and then I refridgerate it over night. In the morning, I take them out and place on top of the oven to rise and come to room temp. I then I hand toss and screen my dough and place back in the fridge.

My question is: Am I killing the yeast when I bring it out of the fridge,bring to room temp, screen and place back in the fridge or freezer? Once it has come up to room temp, do I have to use it right away? My pizza is cooking flat and thin. I don’t like the way it looks and I want my customers to enjoy the pizza. Please help.

Thank you.


Audra E.

I do it opposite after I make the dough balls I let it sit out for at least 2 hours than I put in fridge. When I take it out of fridge I let it sit for 10 min. then i make pizza works great

I am thinking that the heat on top of oven is proofing the dough up pretty good before you stretch it. Depending on how roguh you are, it is possible you are blowing out your gluten to the poin that yeast doesn’t have enough to to catch back up with gas by the time it bakes through.

If you are pretty gentle, and don’t use a rolling pin, then you may still keep some expansion possibility.

If you could help with a little more info, we can probably help…
when you refrig overnight, are they covered or uncovered?
They need to be uncovered for a few hours before you go home, and then you can cover them overnight.
In the morning, are the dough balls twice their original size, or still in tight balls.
After proofing all night, why are you proofing them on the oven more…
Did you say you after you stretch and screen them, you put them sometimes in the freezer?

I’m sure Tom will get to this question soon. He IS the man when it comes to dough questions. I’m curious about your problem though and I have a question for you…

What size is your large pizza and how many ounces is your large dough patty?

BTW, yeast is a living organism. You freeze it, you kill it (or severly retard the activity). No yeast, no rise.


You really haven’t provided me with enough information to determine what might be wrong with your dough, but with the information provided I’ll see if I can sort things out a bit.
With your dough recipe given in volumetrics I can’t ascertain if the ingredients are in correct balance or not. Additionally, 1/2 salt, 1/2 sugar (1/2 what? I’ll make a guess at cup. Then there is the yeast. Two tablespoons of what kind of yeast? It could be either instant dry yeast or active dry yeast, and there is a big difference between the two in a number of ways. Using your water amount of 4.5 cups (36 ounces) this should be about correct for 4 pounds of flour weight. Your total fat is at 1 pound of butter plus 1 cup (7 ounces) of olive oil. This equals 23 ounces (I’m not worrying about the water content of the butter). This is roughly 36% of the flour weight, or about twice the highest amount of fat I’ve ever seen used in making pizza. Typically, the total fat in a pizza dough is 2 to 5% of the flour weight, or in this case this would be about 1.25 to 3.25 ounces. With salt and sugar weighing in at roughly 7 ounces per cup, this puts your salt and sugar at close to 5% of the flour weight too. This is about double of where it should be. Your dough recipe has all of the earmark characteristics of a dough that is out of balance. To further the situation, the dough is being put into the freezer after it has fermented in the cooler overnight, this can severely damage the yeast to the point where it will have poor fermentative (leavening) power, hence your shaped dough skins would not rise as expected.
So, what’s a person to do?
Using the ingredients that you have listed, here is a dough formula that I would start with:
Flour: 100% (you decide how much you want to use, by weight)
Salt: 1.75%
Sugar: 2%
Butter: 2%
Olive oil: 2%
IDY: 0.5%
Water: 58%

First, decide how much flour you want to use by weight. Lets say you want to use 5 pounds of flour.
To find the weight of each ingredient: (use your calculator)
Begin by changing our flour weight to ounces. 5 X 16 = 80-ounces.
80 X 1.75 (press the % key) and read 1.4 ounces in the display window.
80 X 2 (press the % key) read 1.6 ounces.
80 X 0.5 (press the % key) read 0.4 ounces.
80 X 58 (press the % key) read 46.4 ounces.

Put the water (70F) in the bowl first.
Then add the salt and sugar.
Then add the flour and IDY and mix for 2 minutes at low speed.
Add the butter and olive oil and mix for 1 minute at low speed.
Then mix at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes.
Check finished dough temperature, it should be 80 to 85F.
Scale and ball the dough.
Place into dough boxes and wipe the top of the dough balls with salad oil.
Cross stack the dough boxes in the cooler for 90 minutes.
Then down stack and nest the boxes to prevent drying of the dough.
Leave in the cooler overnight.
On the following day, remove from cooler, leaving boxes covered.
Allow covered dough boxes to remain at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough can be shaped by hand.
Open dough skins and place onto screens, then place into the cooler on a wire rack to cool.
Cover the rack of dough to prevent drying. Dough can remain like this all day if desired.
To use the refrigerated dough skins, remove from cooler and allow to warm slightly (30 minutes) at room temperature before dressing and baking.
I hope this helps,
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor