Refrigerator vs. Proofer and over-leavened dough

Hi,
After mixing, I leave my dough to rise overnight at room temperature. In the morning, I parbake about 400 pizza skins out of it. I use these parbaked skins throughout the day, but the dough is often inconsistent.

Two Questions:

  1. Would there be any benefit for me to put the raw dough in a refrigerator overnight vs. a dough proofer? (In terms of consistency and texture)

  2. I feel like my raw dough may be over-leavened at room temperature. I live in a tropical country with average temps of 80-90F. What are the signs that raw dough is over-leavened?

Thanks,
JP

Are you allowed to leave it at room temperature that long?..

Got any pictures?

Does it smell overly yeasty? Is it slimy?

You’d probably find it a lot easier to have a consultant product if you mature your dough in a fridge.

Your dough won’t be over leavened under those conditions, but it will most probably be over fermented, plus you’re taking a double whammy if you bulk ferment the dough overnight at room temperature. The outer portion of the dough will actually be cooler than the center portion of the dough due to heat of fermentation (it could be as much as 10F warmer than the outer portion of the dough, what this means is that there will be much more fermentation taking place in the center of the dough mass than around the edges. This might explain why you see variations in performance within the same dough. A better approach might be to mix the dough in the early morning, immediately scale and ball the dough, allow the dough balls to ferment at ambient temperature for 3 to 4-hours, possibly more (just be consistent with the fermentation time), then open the dough balls and par-bake as usual. This should give you a much greater level of consistency and overall quality. Don’t worry about unwanted stuff growing in the dough, if you added yeast, the yeast will be the dominant micro-organism, along with lacto- bacillus, which can exist and actually grow in the yeast leavened dough. Lacto-bacillus is also responsible for part of what we call “fermentation” flavor/aroma and it is safe to consume (think of a sour-dough). The flavor that develops in a baked product that is fermented is not a yeast flavor as many think it is, but rather it is a result of the by products (carbon dioxide, alcohol, acetic, lactic and propionic acids) of fermentation. In a dough system it is essentially impossible to propogate yeast (increase the number of yeast cells present) but it is easy to feed them allowing the yeast to product the desired by-products.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hey Tom,
Thanks for the reply.

My parbaking happens usually in the morning at 8am. I can’t have my employees come in 3-4 hours prior to that to mix and ball the dough as it’s too early. That’s the reason I’ve been mixing the dough to ferment overnight. We just bulk ferment it overnight. Then scale it in the morning.

Would making it into balls and then fermenting it overnight help?

Any other suggestions if I want to continue to par-bake the dough at 8am?

Thanks,
Janie