I’ve made homemade pizza several times now – including dough from scratch. Not from that box that you see at the stores… And it tastes great! Like one of my favorites, my Grilled Chicken Alfredo Pizza.
But I’ll admit, it takes a bit more planning than many of our other dinners as you have to prep the dough hours in advance.
But today I ran into a situation that lead me to do some research, and now put a theory (supported by info on the internet – good thing the internet doesn’t lie) to test. I need to make a home made pizza – in three days; but I won’t have the time on the day of to make the dough. So the question lies – can I prep the dough ahead of time?
I won’t keep you in suspense; the answer (according to the honest internet) is yes. And better than that, it sounds like that should be the preferred way to make your pizza dough as opposed to the day of. I’m not going to take credit for that statement though as J. Kenji López-Alt with Serious Eats put together a great article about their testing and analysis of how to make the best pizza dough.
The quick summary is that typically when we make breads, we set it to rise when the dough ball is warm, which activates the yeast quickly. What this also does however, is creates more of a sour flavor – not bad in many situations. However with a pizza crust, you don’t want the sour taste as much. So you instead have the yeast ferment at a cooler temperature in the refrigerator. This still allows the dough to rise as needed, however it slows down the production of the sour flavors.
So my dough ball is in the refrigerator for the next few days – we will see how it turns out later this week. I used their recipe as well, only I didn’t have the 007 flour they reference, so I used the regular ‘ole all purpose flour. Also I don’t have a scale, so I just measured my ingredients. I know, I’m probably not going to have the same experience as them, but I’m sure it’ll still be edible. ;)
One more point quick – I’ve seen elsewhere that you can freeze pizza dough balls for a few months, thus allowing you to really work ahead. I haven’t explored those recipes though, so I can’t say much more than they exist out there some place. If that intrigues you, well go do more Googleing. ;)