With this best cold-fermented pizza dough recipe, you will be having the best pizzas at home.
It is easy to do and you can practice your other skills in making the best pizzas on your day off.
This slow and steady process allows your pizza dough to become more flavorful.
It also gives the pizza a unique taste that you cannot quite get from regular pizza doughs that are proofed.
This process is also done with wines to make them even better.
If you have one, you can even pair it with your cold-fermented pizza and get a snack full of flavors and beautiful textures.
Since you allow the yeast to produce gases and different chemicals, you get all the flavors you need.
This also allows you to experiment with different toppings that you would like to use.
Just as long as you have a refrigerator at home, this process will be easy.
I even use this technique to store the pizza dough as cold-fermenting can last for multiple days.
While it might seem easy, you need to know specific instructions and procedures to perfect it.
So make sure to read until the end of the post for the amazing recipe we have.
What Is Cold Fermentation?
There are many components involved in cold fermentation but we will keep it simple here.
This process is mostly about the yeast you use when you try to proof the dough for your pizzas.
First, we need to understand how yeast works when you ferment it.
See, the main objective of yeast is to break down sugar components within the dough to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide(gas).
Yeast is also what gives the dough its unique smell that is sometimes unpleasant to other people.
This is where the production of flavor and texture starts so your pizza crust will not become bland.
When fermented at room temperature, yeast usually exhausts the sugar molecules in the dough quickly.
That is why dough is only fermented or allowed to rise for two hours with this.
This makes sure that you get to ferment the yeast properly but it does not take advantage of the sugars within the dough.
They are spent up and most cannot produce as much flavor as you want.
When yeast is cold fermented, it produces carbon dioxide slowly and takes advantage of the sugar in the dough.
This, more often than not, makes the pizza crust full of delicious flavors.
It also helps in making the flavors more interesting with complex combinations that you can only get when you slowly allow the yeast to ferment and develop the dough for your pizzas at home.
How Do You Aid The Cold Fermentation Of Pizza Dough?
Cold fermentation for pizza dough simply means that you need to allow the yeast to ferment slower than ferment it at room temperature to bring more flavors to your pizza.
To make this, you need to find the optimal temperature for cold fermentation.
This will get you to allow the yeast to act on the dough and make sure that it just slowly processes it.
The most common place to cold ferment the dough is in the fridge.
It is a great storage area as you can put as much dough as you would like and it does not get contaminated that much.
Just as long as you cover the dough properly, the other foods inside the fridge will not contaminate the dough.
That way, you can allow the dough to rise slowly and develop better.
A refrigerator is the most common appliance in the house to cold ferment the dough.
However, I must tell you that it can sometimes be too cold for the dough to reach properly and rise.
The optimal temperature for cold fermentation of pizza dough is 60 degrees to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
This can be too warm for other foods in the fridge so you need to adjust it.
You can use food storage to control the temperature or find a cold area in the house such as the basement to ferment the dough in a cold area but warm enough for the yeast to act.
How Long Should You Cold Ferment Pizza Dough?
After you have processed the dough properly, you can then ferment it and allow it to rise.
Using the fridge will usually take around 6 days to get those unique and complex flavors in the dough.
Just be careful and always check on the dough if it had proper fermentation and is not overdone.
There are other issues that you might encounter when you ferment it for too long.
At optimal temperature, cold fermentation usually takes around three to five days.
Around this time, the yeast would completely get activated and all the flavors start to be noticeable.
It usually takes longer to ferment in the fridge, and you will see great results after around 6 days.
This is especially true if your fridge always runs at a temperature of lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
When you have cold fermented the dough and overstays in the fridge, you will usually get an unpleasant smell and a sour taste. This means that the yeast in the dough is exhausted.
One way to avoid this is to put a date tag on the container where you put the dough.
That way, you will know when to process the cold fermented dough into a great crust for your pizza.
Important Aspects For Cold Fermentation
There are many different aspects and factors that you need to consider when you cold ferment dough.
These will help you get a better result on your dough and be easier to follow.
First, you need to consider the ingredients.
These are the yeast, salt, sugar, type of flour you use, and water to make the dough with proper hydration and enough flavors.
The amount of sugar and salt you need will depend on how much flour you have used.
There are also different types of flour that you can use to make cold fermentation better.
Yeast is all about quality and quantity. You need to ensure that the pizza dough has enough of it to ensure that the sugars are processed properly by the fermented yeast.
Temperature and humidity are also important as they will affect the whole process.
You need to ferment the dough at the right temperature and the humidity should be measured for hydration.
Measuring the ingredients in the dough is extremely important. It will determine the consistency, flavor, texture, and overall quality of the dough you will use to cook your pizza.
What Is The Best Flour For Cold Fermented Pizza Dough?
As I have mentioned above, there are many types of flour that you can use to make the best dough.
However, there are types of flour that go better when you cold ferment the dough.
Cold fermentation takes longer than the usual way of fermenting the dough.
That is why your first and best choice is to go for flour that has a lot of strength to maintain the shape of the dough.
Strength in flour is usually measured in ‘W’ and you need a strong flour for cold fermentation usually around 300W. This also means that there are more proteins in the flour.
It allows the dough to have more gluten and form stronger bonds for the long process.
Examples of strong flour are the Caputo Chef’s Flour and the Caputo Nuvola Super flour.
Tipo 00 flour is another strong flour that is commonly used in the cold fermentation of the dough.
You can experiment with both the flour and the temperature to see which one gets a better result.
Cooking Cold Fermented Pizza
There is not much difference when it comes to cooking cold fermented pizza and regular pizza dough.
You just need to get to the right temperature to make the dough crispier.
If you follow the Neapolitan pizzas and how they it cooked, you should know that you will need a lot of heat.
The heat is responsible for making the pizza crispy once it has been cooked.
You will need a lot of heat from the bottom of the pizza oven and radiant heat.
The heat at the bottom is perfect when you use a pizza stone or pizza steel preheated with the oven.
The pizza stone absorbs the heat when it is preheated and releases it back into the oven for radiant heat.
The super-hot stone instantly vaporizes the moisture on the pizza dough.
When this happens, the dough reacts quickly by rising and creating a crispy outer part.
I have used a pizza stone my whole pizza-cooking life and it is perfect for any kind of pizza that you want.
The radiant heat that comes from above or the ceiling of the pizza oven is then transferred back down to the pizza.
This is what evenly cooks the toppings that you put on your delicious pizza.
How To Cook Cold Fermented Pizza In A Home Oven?
Home ovens do not usually cook the pizza the way we want to.
The reason is that they do not usually have the right temperature to cook the crust properly with a crispy finish to it.
However, you can still make the best pizzas in a home oven if you know the right process and if you have the right tools.
It was easy to make the pizza in my home oven at just 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first thing you will need is a pizza stone.
The main thing is that you will need to have a hot surface to cook the crust quickly so the moisture does not settle inside the crust.
To achieve that, I experimented with different tools.
I used a baking sheet and a baking pan but they did not get hot enough as much as I wanted them and they cool down quickly.
Once I put the pizza on them, the baking sheet and pan became colder and did not retain heat.
That is why a pizza stone is a perfect companion for this part of the process.
So make sure that you preheat the pizza stone with the oven to allow it to absorb as much heat as it possibly can.
The pizza stone will also help balance the heat inside the oven to cook the toppings. However, you can also put the pizza near the broiler to cook it quickly like the crust.
Cold Fermented Pizza Dough Recipe – Let’s Put It All Together
What You Will Need
- 500 grams of either the Tip 00 Flour or the Caputo Pizza Flour
- 10 grams of salt
- 10 grams of extra virgin olive oil
- 320 milliliters of water
- 1 gram of instant dry yeast
Step 1: Activate The Yeast
Put all of the water in a large bowl and then around 55 grams of the flour with the salt.
Mix them well together with a whisk or a spoon until you have a batter-like consistency in the bowl.
Mix in the yeast to activate it and make sure that you mix it well.
Allow the yeast to dissolve into the mixture before slowly adding the rest of the flour while you continue to mix it.
Note: The water you use should be at room temperature and not too hot or it will kill the yeast and deactivate the gluten in the dough. It should be at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave the mixture covered at room temperature for about 20 minutes before adding the olive oil.
Allowing the dough to rest a little before you process it further will hydrate the gluten in it.
Step 2: Knead The Dough
Once the dough has per hydration, remove it from the bowl and then knead it by hand.
You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes if you think you cannot knead by hand.
I prefer kneading by hand since it gives you control over the dough and how well you can stretch it.
This can be a bit tiring and will take around 7 to 10 minutes to knead by hand.
Step 3: Initial Fermentation
Once you get the right consistency to the dough and have kneaded it enough, you can ferment it.
This is the initial fermentation and you do not need a cold space to do it.
This process is called bulk fermentation since it will almost double the dough once it is done.
So place the dough back in the large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
This makes sure that the yeast is activated to perform better when it is under cold fermentation.
Tip: You can brush a thin layer of olive oil on the bowl before putting the dough to not stick to the bowl.
Step 4: Cold Fermentation
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place it on a floured surface.
Do not add too much flour as it will mess up the consistency, just enough so the dough does not stick.
Cut the large dough into four equal pieces with a pastry scraper.
Use your hands to create dough balls by shaping and folding them in until each dough ball has a smooth surface.
Place them in a sealed container and make sure that they are air-tight so that the surface of the dough does not harden.
You can use plastic wrap before covering the container for this.
Put the dough containers in the fridge and leave them undisturbed in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
Do not touch or open the containers unless you will use them right away for cooking.
You can also put the dough in a cold room at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 days.
Let me know if you have any questions, also if you like the post then do not forget to share it on social media!