Author Topic: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature  (Read 6213 times)

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Offline DanCole42

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Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« on: August 28, 2008, 03:13:09 PM »
I don't get home from work until around 6, and I usually like to have dinner no later than 7. That means it's hard to enjoy pizza on weeknights, mainly because it usually takes three or more hours for the cold dough in my fridge to warm up enough and relax enough to shape.

What would happen if I were to take the fridge out in the morning and leave it, covered, to come up to temperature for ten hours?
-Dan

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Offline enchant

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Re: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2008, 03:39:42 PM »
It would expand to fill your entire kitchen and diningroom, and perhaps halfway down the hall.
;)

But seriously - although it would definitely expand quite a bit,  I'll bet you could still get a decent pizza out of it - better than if you cooked it cold from the fridge.

What if you did something like take it out of the fridge and put it into a cooler with a little ice.  As the day progresses, the ice will melt away, and ultimately the dough will warm up.  You might have to do a little trial and error to come up with the right amount of ice.
--pat--

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2008, 04:07:38 PM »
Dan,

Technically, the answer depends on the temperature of the dough when it comes out of the refrigerator, its age when it comes out of the refrigerator, the temperature of the room where the dough will sit, and the amount of yeast in the original dough. If I had to guess, I would tend to agree with enchant (Pat) that you are likely to see a lot of expansion of the dough. Pat's suggestion should help restrain that growth. If you decide to implement your "plan" sometime, you might want to use the poppy seed trick as described at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6914.0.html to monitor the extent of the rise. Unfortunately, that method may not work well if the dough expands and then falls back after it reaches its peak.

Another possibility, albeit one that is not all that easy to pull off, is to make a same day dough that is fermented at room temperature for a good part of the day. An example of how this can be done is described at Reply 30 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg59762.html#msg59762. Another example, but over a longer period, is described at Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg60197.html#msg60197.

As you can see from the above examples, it does not take a lot of yeast to allow a dough to rise at room temperature. The trick is getting the amount of yeast right. The variable that is difficult to control unless you are using a unit such as a ThermoKool unit is the room temperature.

Peter

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2008, 07:34:25 PM »
How long is your commute?  you could always bring it to work and throw it into the fridge,  then leave it on the carseat on the way home.  Or put it on a cooler with icepacks in the car then pull the icepacks as if you were at home on break or something.  Otherwise,  just store your dough in the fridge in a disc shape.  more surface area means it should warm up faster.  -marc

Offline November

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Re: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008, 12:04:50 PM »
What if you did something like take it out of the fridge and put it into a cooler with a little ice.  As the day progresses, the ice will melt away, and ultimately the dough will warm up.  You might have to do a little trial and error to come up with the right amount of ice.

I don't think ice would be necessary.  Dan wants the dough to warm up, albeit over a longer period, not cool down or stay cool all day.  If the cooler is small and efficient (excellent insulation), the dough and air within the cooler will both reach an equilibrium temperature pretty quickly, but then together reach an equilibrium temperature with the environment outside the cooler over a very long timeframe.  That timeframe would depend on what the cooler's "R" value is.  As an extreme example, Coleman has an Xtreme 5-day cooler which boasts the following: "Xtreme coolers have extra insulation in the lid and case to provide superior cold retention, holding ice up to five days at temperatures up to 90 degrees."  That would be just a little too insulative for Dan's purposes, but you get the idea.  A poorly insulated cooler (I was actually thinking of a thick cardboard box) may actually be the best solution for letting dough come to room temperature over a long period of time.

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Offline November

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Re: Bringing Cold Dough to Room Temperature
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2008, 12:13:51 PM »
The variable that is difficult to control unless you are using a unit such as a ThermoKool unit is the room temperature.

If Dan had a unit such as a ThermoKool MR-138, he could just turn the unit off in the morning and the built-in insulation would keep the temperature of the dough from rising too quickly.


 

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