Author Topic: How to tell if dough has gone bad?  (Read 56197 times)

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Offline petef

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How to tell if dough has gone bad?
« on: November 08, 2011, 05:14:10 PM »
I had some dough in the refrigerator getting ready to make pizza, but things got busy and I never got to make pizza as planned. Now the dough has been in the refrigerator in plastic containers for about 10 days.

Two type of dough I have here..

* Store bought frozen pizza dough Landolfis brand.
It's simply been defrosting and keeping cold for 10 days.

* Home made pizza dough (containing Bread flour, Honey, ADY, Water, Olive oil.)
It's been cold fermenting for 10 days.

After 10 days in the refrigerator, the Landolfis dough seems no different in smell or texture than when I defrost it over night and use it right away. However, my home made dough has a bit of a sour smell to it. It's not overly unpleasant, but noticeable. Normally my home made dough does not smell sour.

I have it both doughs sitting at room temp & covered now. I usually let them sit for a few hours before starting to work with them.

My questions

What are the signs or general rules indicating that the dough has spoiled or should not be used? 
Does dough go bad where it will make you sick?


Online Pete-zza

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Re: How to tell if dough has gone bad?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 06:06:56 PM »

In the thread at,3985.0.html, I described several dough balls that were cold fermented for more than ten days before using to make pizzas. In one case, the dough ball was cold fermented for 23 days. I believe that Norma made a cold fermented dough that was even older than mine. But, since you mentioned ten days in your case, you can read about my 10+ day dough ball and pizza at Reply 23 at,3985.msg35370.html#msg35370.

The last time that I can recall where a member expressed concern about the viability of a dough ball from a health standpoint was the thread at,3980.msg33226.html#msg33226. In that case, the concern was over a dough ball with only 2-3 days of cold fermentation. However, if you look at Reply 4 in that thread, at,3980.msg33233.html#msg33233, you will see that member November discussed the health implications of long-fermented dough, including reference to nutrition specialists at North Dakota State who set 30 days at the outside limit for yeasted dough stored in the refrigerator.


Offline petef

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Re: How to tell if dough has gone bad?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 08:30:03 PM »
Pete-zza, thanks for the speedy reply and the good news. Looks like I'll be baking pizza tonight. It will be interesting to see how that sour smelling dough tastes. The fact that long cold fermentation periods of up to 30 days is acceptable is really good news for the future because it allows me to relax a bit when make some dough and not worry so much about baking it right away.

Thanks again!


Offline petef

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Re: How to tell if dough has gone bad?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 03:24:37 AM »
10 days fermenting in the refrigerator turned out some very good dough.

The biggest differences I noticed...

* My homemade dough had a bit of a sour smell to it, but it tasted fine.

* My homemade dough was more delicate than usual and I had to handle it very carefully to avoid stretching it too thin or breaking a hole in it. Extensibility was better than my usual 1 day fermented dough.

* Landolfis dough is normally much denser than my homemade dough and it has a very slight rise at room temperature but after the 10 day ferment it rose even less. No sour smell at all.

Baked Results...

I made two mini buns from the pizza dough to get a good idea of the taste. Landolfis dough rose much less than my homemade and it was much denser and weighed 9 ounces versus 8 ounces for my homemade dough bun. The pictures tell the story on texture. I preferred the taste & texture of my homemade bun, but in reality, Landolfis is probably more like pizza dough and my homemade dough is more like bread dough.

Pizza pies came out well. Pictures tell the story.  If you are wondering about the crust rim, before baking, I brush the rims with an emulsion of made from Olive Oil, Melted Butter, Garlic, and Sugar. The crusts have a very intense flavor.

The great thing about this experiment is now I realize that I can make my homemade dough or defrost some frozen Landolfis dough, leave them in the refrigerator and I have at least 10 days to find the time to bake my pizza pies. To me this is fantastic news! 

A special thanks to all who posted on this topic now and in the past.