The warmer the dough is coming off of the mixer the longer it will take to cool it down in the fridge to a temperature where fermentation will progress at a suitably slow rate to allow the dough to be held for several days in the cooler to develop the unique flavors of cold fermentation and develop the desired biochemical gluten development. Typically this temperature is about 40F +/- 2F. If the dough is too warm it will continue to ferment and also the heat of metabolism will enter into the picture to further increase the dough temperature at a rate of about 1F per hour so what you actually end up with is a dough which is essentially warm fermented as opposed to cold fermented. This can/will result in potentially excessive acid production by the yeast which can then degrade the flour proteins (gluten) during the refrigerated holding period resulting in anything from less than stellar dough performance, to collapse or difficulty developing the desired finished crust color due to the acidity of the dough blocking the browning reaction. If the dough is too cold coming off of the mixer the most common result is insufficient fermentation resulting in a tough dough which can exhibit excessive memory characteristics while attempting to open the dough into skins, or a lack of flavor and if your dough has sugar in it it might even develop crust color too fast resulting in a short bake time which ends up leading to a finished crust lacking body or which doesn't retain crispiness. It should be noted that I have said many times "Without temperature control you cannot have effective dough management" What this means is that while different dough management techniques will call for different finished dough temperatures, the goal should be to have consistency in that temperature whatever it might be. The correct finished dough temperature is not specific, but instead it is highly variable greatly dependent upon many different factors not the least of which are dough formulation, type of mixer and mixing time, shop/room temperature, efficiency of the fridge/cooler, amount of dough going into the fridge/cooler at any one time, type of container used to hold the dough and construction material, dough mass (bulk or individual dough balls), shape/thickness of the dough as it is placed into the cooler/fridge for cold fermentation, the list just goes on and on. Over the years I've been able to draw some rough temperature estimates for finished dough temperature: Commercial pizzeria with large walk-in cooler: 80 to 85F, with a reach-in cooler: 70 to 75F; Home made pizza dough: 70 to 75F for just a couple of dough balls or 65 to 70F if there will be more than three dough balls or the dough balls weigh 16-ounces or more. The idea is to try to get the dough temperature down to 50F in 2.5-hours for up to 3-days refrigerated storage time or 45F for up to 5 to 7-days storage time. Remember, these are just very rough numbers as some individuals are targeting very specific flavor characteristics which might only be achieved with significantly more fermentation so now all cards are off of the table, but again, what ever finished dough temperature you are targeting and whatever temperature you are looking for after 2.5-hours in the cooler/fridge, you will find it hard to replicate the finished crust unless you can replicate the conditions under which you made it and that means consistency in temperature control.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor