dough rising on metal bowl

The dough is made and left to rise in the fridge for at least 24 hours when making pizza bread using the cold fermentation method. Among the potential advantages of this method are a richer taste, a more tender bread, and a crispier crust.

This article will explain cold fermentation and how you can make cold fermented pizza dough.

What exactly is fermentation, and why is it important for pizza?

Yeast converts sugars into alcohol (responsible for the crust’s flavor and tenderness) and carbon dioxide during fermentation (creating the air pockets that bubble up in the oven). Because of this, yeast requires a period of fermentation to complete all of its tasks.

Similar to pizza, bread is made with flour and yeast, but unlike pizza, it is baked to completion. However, pizza ovens are only good for heating and browning, not transforming the dough; thus, any fermentation in the dough must occur before baking. Exactly how would that function?

Prolonged fermentation is the secret. Shaped and proofed dough undergoing a slow, cold fermentation has a more robust flavor and a satisfying crunch and chew.

What is cold fermented pizza dough?

The first and second rises of bread dough are the ideal times to experiment with a cold ferment dough. The standard procedure for baking bread entails: Making bread by combining ingredients, kneading the dough, fermenting it, shaping it, letting it rise again, and baking it. Alterations can be made at any of these points to produce better bread.

Bread’s extra flavor development can be traced back to the fermentation process when ethyl alcohol is produced. Have you ever been driving by a bakery and caught a whiff of something incredibly delicious baking? That smell is the alcohol (mostly) burning off. This contributes to the bread’s overall flavor, coupled with the sugars generated and the Maillard process (brown crust).

Bread that only had a little time to ferment can still taste good, but the flavor could be more interesting. Giving your bread more time to mature will improve its flavor without changing anything else about the loaf.

Cold ferment pizza dough recipe

Here is how you can make the best cold fermented pizza dough:

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine 500 grams of “00” flour, 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and 7 grams of fresh yeast (or 3 grams of active dry yeast). If you prefer, add a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter for added flavor and richness.

Step 2: Gradually add 325 ml of cold water, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together in a rough, shaggy mass.

Step 3: Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Step 4: Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours.

Step 5: When ready to make your pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to its highest setting, and lightly dust a pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal or semolina flour.

Step 6: Roll the dough into your desired shape on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin or your hands. Transfer the dough to the prepared pizza peel or baking sheet.

Step 7: Add your desired toppings to the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.

Step 8: Carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated baking stone or baking sheet in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Step 9: Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

fermented pizza dough

What is the right temperature to make cold fermented pizza dough?

Most people who bake at home only have access to refrigerators, which typically range from 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Some individuals keep their wine in refrigerators at a temperature between 48 and 51 degrees Fahrenheit, while others prefer the 50 to 60-degree range seen in wintertime pantries. In this case, any of the options will do.

Try different things at different times if you can access the warmer alternatives. Longer fermentation can yield better flavor but can’t go on forever. If you leave your bread out too long, sour and unpleasant flavors will emerge. Fermentation times should shorten as temperatures rise. As temperatures rise, fermentation speeds up, and more chemicals are produced. Flavors you want to avoid having in your bread may develop.

How long does it take to make cold fermented pizza dough?

Let’s be clear, cold fermentation can’t go on forever. 12 hours is a good amount of time to wait. Most dishes benefit from being let to ferment for an additional three to five days. After that point, you lose some of your burgeoning talents and develop certain unwelcome flavors. Remember that these are just suggestions and that you should enjoy yourself while experimenting with the recipe you end up using.

You can try the following:

Tips to make the perfect cold fermented pizza dough

Allow the dough to rest for at least one hour. The better the texture and flavor, the longer the dough ferments. Time is of the essence for gluten development. The dough will either bounce back or tear if stretched too far. Cold fermentation for three to five days is optimal, in my experience. The yeast dough should be full of life and bubbles and at least double in size.

Keep in mind that working the dough too much will cause it to lose air and fall flat. This is because the more the dough is worked, the more air bubbles will escape before it is baked. As a result, the dough will be tough, and the crust will be crunchy. Also, flour can prevent the dough from sticking when working with it.


Pizza bread can be coldly fermented by simply letting the dough rise in the refrigerator or another cold place instead of at room temperature.

Related Articles

dough balls in rows

How to proof a pizza dough?


Pizza by the Slice – From a Business and Profitability Standpoint

What is cold fermented pizza dough?