Need some dough advice

Good evening,

We are a small independent that uses a cold proofing process for our dough. Typically, I like our dough to sit for 36 hours (made at night Day 0, not used Day 1) and it is usable on Day 2, and Day 3. As of Day 4 it is too blown, but can be used for breadsticks etc, just a pain to work with.

The problem we are running into is on hand inventory, because we are smaller. I would like to tweak my recipe to give the dough more time to proof (Day 1 and Day 2) which with proper storage could be used on Days 3, 4, and 5.

My recipe is as follows:

50lb General Mills All Trumps High Gluten Flour
14qts refrigerated (34 degrees) water
16oz Sugar
14oz Salt
12oz Oil
2oz Fleischmann IDY

We pour in water, oil, salt, sugar, mix thoroughly, add flour, sprinkle yeast on top, and mix for 10 minutes.

16" 20oz, 14" 16oz, 12" 12oz, 10" 8oz, stored in Cambro Polycarbonate Dough Boxes

They are cross stacked until the dough reaches 50 degrees, and then are downstacked

My question is, to hopefully save some time and money on trial and error, should I cut back the yeast / sugar, add more salt, or a combination therein to get my desired result?

Oh WOW! Your IDY is too low and the water is much too cold…what is the finished dough temperature? I use a similar dough formula and 65 to 70F water to achieve a finished dough temperature of 75 to 80F. When properly managed this gives me a cold fermented dough that can be used after 24-hours, has a sweet spot at 48-hours and will go to 72-hours if asked to. Try making a dough with 0.375% IDY (3-ounces) and the absorption increased to 60% (30#/15-qts.) with the water temperature adjusted to 65F. Let me know what you finished dough temperature is. Scale and ball and get into the dough boxes within 20-minutes of removing the dough from the mixer (this is very important). Cross-stack to 50F internal dough ball temperature, then down-stack and kiss goodnight. To use, remove box/boxes of dough from walk-in and allow to set at room temperature until the internal dough ball temperature reaches 50F, then begin opening into skins for immediate use, the dough balls will remain good to use for 2 to 3-hours if kept covered.This dough has a nearly 40-year track record and is the one that we used during all of our pizza seminars when I was at AIB.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Tom! Thank you for the in depth reply. Your insight is a great value to all of us here, and truly appreciated. I will do a test batch as recommended and get back to you. The goal I am trying to accomplish is getting a 5 or 7 day shelf life (similar to how I used to manage my dough when I was a GM for Papa John’s) so that we are only making dough 2, maybe 3, times a week instead of every day. This will allow me to bring in my best and fastest dough guys, and get it done before open, or after close.

I deleted my post, cause I dont use dough trays, and maybe my advice is bad

I think you should make dough every day. It’s just a part of the process. I dunno how much you can sideline the task of dough making if you really plan on having enough daily sales to stay open. Do you have enough refrigeration to hold 3-4 days worth of dough?

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Hi Souspizzaiolo,

The problem we are running into with making it every day is that, inevitably, some employees are significantly faster than others. For example when two of the employees are making the dough they will have the dough cut, balled, and cross stacked, in 15 to 20 minutes. The problem is they are both managers, and rarely work together. When they are not doing the dough I end up having 3, 4, sometimes 5 people (instores and drivers) making the dough, and it takes them 30 to 45 minutes to accomplish the same.

My thought was that I could schedule the two managers to overlap 3 days of the week to make extra batches of dough, and reduce the overall cost. We have a large walk in cooler, and can hold approximately 120 to 160 dough boxes comfortably if needed.+

correct me if I am wrong but is there not a difference in your pizza using the dough from a 24hr proof as opposed to 5-7 days. Maybe your dough recipe is alot more forgiving but I am not sure consistency of product would be there. I would think you would figure out your ideal dough and make enough batches daily in advance of that proof…


You’re not wrong. Our dough, as is currently, hits its sweet spot after 36 hours (so we make it at night on Day 0, and let it sit the next day, Day 1). From 36 to 84 hours (Day 2 - 3), we see consistent results with the dough, when managed appropriately. From 84 to 108 hours (Day 4) it is still useable, but we do see slight product degradation in terms of holding and working the dough. We will typically use this dough for our bread bites, and cheese bread, before discarding at the end of the night.