The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Retarding Pizza Dough...

Dough-No's picture

Retarding Pizza Dough...

Hey guys,

This weekend we are having a make your own pizza party for our 3 year old birthday. I have to leave from about 10-2 in the afternoon. Could I make pizza dough before I leave, put it in the fridge, take it out when I get back at 2:00 let it rise and then bake pizza a few hours later?

If that will not work, any suggestions would be awesome. Also, a decent whole wheat pizza dough recipe would be great as well.



BeekeeperJ's picture

Of course you can.  It will taste even better if left to rise slowly in the fridge.

asicign's picture

I usually do a four day retard in the fridge for my NY style pizza dough.  Sorry, don't have a whole wheat recipe.

mrfrost's picture

Designed to be (cold)retarded anywhere from 6 hours to 3 days. 25% whole wheat. You probably could try up to 33% ww(or more), with good results. The more ww you add, the more extra water may be required.

Whatever you do, a trial run or two is suggested. Don't want to end up with cardboard crusts on the big day.

You can post questions on the bottom of the pages there. Peter himself often responds. 

SylviaH's picture

I make my dough the night before, refrigerate it, and take it out of the frig for about an hour.  Depending on how warm you kitchen is give it an hour or two to take the chill off,  it's a little easier to shape when the dough is on the cool side.

The longer you keep your dough refrigerated..say 2 days..the more extensible it becomes..I like mine best the next day.  Use a little less yeast if your dough is going to be sitting in the frig for more than a day.



Dough-No's picture

Does someone have baker's percentages for Pizza dough?



G-man's picture

100% Bread Flour

about 66%-70% water depending on weather, less if it's been humid/rainy, more if it's been dry. The dough should not be dry, but should not be so wet it's sticky.

2% salt

Typically for the two of us I make about 16-17oz of dough and add about 1-2tsp instant yeast, let it sit for a couple hours, then let it retard in the fridge overnight and pull it out for use about an hour before I shape.


If I use my starter instead it'll look something like this:

80% Bread Flour

50-60% water

30-40% starter (which is a lot, but this isn't sourdough bread, it's pizza)

2% salt

Mix all the ingredients, let sit a couple hours, retard in fridge, pull out two hours before shaping. Again it'll come out to about 16-17oz dough for two people.

Gunnersbury's picture


After the two hours, it has probably risen quite a bit.  Do you punch it down prior to putting it in the refrigerator?

G-man's picture

Thank you so much for catching that. Not sure how I missed it.


I actually give it a stretch and fold, leaving it in that shape after it goes into the fridge and again when I pull it out until it is just about ready to shape. I generally shape it 20-30 minutes before it's time to put it into the oven in case it gives me some resistance while I'm stretching it into shape.


I would almost say this dough is overproofed, but I'm not looking for any real rise out of it by the time I've got it into its final shape. Even so I do get some rise still. It is pretty cool around here the majority of the year, so I get longer rising times.

Gunnersbury's picture

Very helpful.  Thanks, G-man