Retarding dough in bulk

Hi guys, im new here. My name is mike and I run a takeaway pizzeria in Northern Ireland… I have a question about dough management which i was hoping i could get a few answers to. I understand it is comman practice to retard the dough in dough balls for a period of 24 hours+. The problem i face is that i dont have the space to store dough trays in my cooler. Would it be sufficient to make the dough and let it retard in bulk for 24 hours? After which i would weigh out dough balls and allow them to rise in dough trays at room temperature. Perhaps you guys could suggest an approach to this problem.

Many thanks

Mike :slight_smile:

Not recommended - the mass will generate too heat due to the yeast doing its thing & it won’t cool to the levels needed…plus, its harder round & use w/o adequate rest for the dough - an inferior product will arise, IMHBCO…if yo had to, separate the dough into several smaller sections, but…

You might read the threads regarding the sponge method or poolish - but you can squeeze room if you think about it…where 'bouts in Ireland? lost the list of my life there in Drumcondra, Dublin…ah…another long story…

Thanks for the reply, i think im just going to have to make room for the dough balls. I live about 45 minutes from belfast. Dublin is a great city, did you live there for long?

as Tom Lehmann has suggested, ball your dough, oil and drop in a plastic food grade bag. This will save much space.

My wife’s family is from Longford, Slantie!

Contarary to Pratriot on bulk storing, we like yourself have limited coolroom space and successfully hold our dough without any problem.
We make 25kg batches and store it in 2 x 90 litre tubs with snap on lids. Patriot is correct with the heat in bulk but the way we get around it is to use water kept in the cooler at 0 -2 degrees clesius when making the dough. At times the dough expands forcing the lids up off the tubs but when we punch it back down al is fine. We do leave the dough for a minimum of 24 hours before using to ensure the heat goes out OK.
We it comes to using the dough from the coolroom we put the dough in the mixer for about 20 - 30 seonds to knock it back and then weigh and ball up. It takes anywhere from 20 - 60 minutes to weigh and ball up depending on the roll out that night. We then roll out on to screens and this again takes similar times dpending on size of roll out and the pans are then racked at room temperature. This process allows ample time for the dough to come to rise temperature without any dire consequences.
We have a superior product to any other outlet in ours and surrounding areas and have absoultely no quality proplems, but then again we are pretty particular on our dough handing processes.
As a means of allowing the dough to rise better and to stop any chance s of drying you can use rack covers. … 3ca970b260


Dave - a funny story, perhaps…as I began my pizza trek, I saw/read somewhere that we should store our dough in a 55 gallon trash can…

With only 2 reach in coolers, the process seemed like it might work…until our 1st 400 pie order/day (we were a wholesale operation then)

Bottom line - not enough dough on hand…we used cold H2O from the walk-in for years as well…

Recently tho we’ve been using temped tap H2O & find the end product superior…where as we used to age the dough several days, now only a day or so & the dough is great…I know Paul @ 5Star is so busy he uses most of his dough the day its made…

I prefer to hand toss the dough, but began using a sheeter…one thing I don’t like is the snap-back, or dough memory of young, freshly rounded dough is harder to hand toss (but there are some tricks I’ve learned since then…)

All of use have our own preferred method for dough production & there are many successful ones…you just need to experiment until you find the one that satisfies your situation…

We used to use H2O direct from the tap without problem just up until a couple of weeks ago. For some reason we began experiencing the dough heating and over swelling compared to what it used to be, hence the cold water. Funny the heating started when it became law that all flours, bread etc had to contain folate. I don’t know if this made any difference or not but it seems an odd coincidence that it started when this law came into effect.
Iknow other places that use the wheelie bins for putting their dough in but being a short ar$e I couldn’t reach the bottom of it and I don’t trust any of my staff not to tip me in if I was leaning into it (not that I would ever do it to someone :roll: ). The 90 litre tubs we use are abot 18" high so we can stack them 4 high and 2 deep which saves a lot of our limited cooler space.
Snap back is a problem especially with cold dough but if you put the dough balls in the microwave for 20 seconds (4 x 400gm balls at a time) it softens the dough and activates the yeast and actually makes a nice fluffy base.

Hi guys, thanks for the great posts. Just to clarify, if i’m going for the overnight ferment in bulk you would recommend using cold water and dividing the dough into smaller pieces? But if i was going for the dough ball option it would be better to use warmer water… perhaps 80 degrees f??