For the past three weeks, I have been doing many different experiments in order to closely examine the tangible effects of refrigerated dough on baked pizzas. It seems to me that once a Neapolitan pizza dough is refrigerated—even for as short as 1 hour at 36°F and almost at any stage in the course of its fermentation—, the resulting baked pizza will likeky acquire a certain degree of heaviness, not necessarily in terms of digestibility, but in terms of texture. To be more particular, the texture of the baked pizza base and the crumb embodied in the cornicione acquires a certain plastic or elastic nature that often renders them overly gelatinous. Hence, per my experiments, the pizza base and crumb lose their textural buoyancy or lightness to a degree.
Of note is my yesterday's experiment. Below are the resulting pictures of the pizzas that were subject to this experiment. Here is the basic recipe and procedure that I particularly devised for this experiment:
Caputo '00' Pizzeria Flour (Datum Point)
Sea Salt (2.8%)
Fresh Yeast (0.025%)
Mixer Used: Santos Fork Mixer
Initial Fermentation: 24 hours at room temperature (70-75°F)
Final Fermentation (Part 1): 5 hours at room temperature (70-72°F) (At this point the dough balls were ready, & I baked 6 of them, as the control group, while the other 6 were placed inside the refrigerator to be baked later.)
Final Fermentation (Part 2): 1 hour inside refrigerator (36°F)
Final Fermentation (Part 3): 3 hours at room temperature (73°F)
Final Dough Ball Temperature before bake: 72°F
Dough Ball Weight: about 260 to 270 grams each
Oven: Forno Piccolo
Floor Temp.: about 800°F
Dome Temp.: about 1135°F
Bake Time: Under 50 seconds without any doming at all
Although the dough was properly fermented during the initial fermentation and gained proper maturation during the 1st part of the final fermentation, just 1 hour of subsequent dough refrigeration, as described above, produced a tangible result in the texture of my pizza base and crumb. Although they were very soft, they lost, to a considerable degree, their light texture, perhaps because of the excessive dough gelatinization effect that took place during the 1-hour dough refrigeration.
Unfortunately, the pictures of the pizzas baked with the unrefrigerated dough balls are not available for me to post below since I accidentally cleared my camera's memory. If they were available for you to see, you would have discerned a substantial difference in how they baked and looked in contrast to the pictures I posted below. Good day!