The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough pizza dough- length of bulk ferment vs final proof?

tortie-tabby's picture

Sourdough pizza dough- length of bulk ferment vs final proof?

So previously I was using instant yeast and roughly following recipes that called for a long bulk ferment (8 hrs to overnight) before cold fermentation, bench rest, and baking. I'm trying to make sourdough pizza now and am worried the proteolytic enzymes will make the dough too slack. Recipes for sourdough pizza seem more commonly to call for a short bulk ferment (2 hrs), cold fermentation, then a long final proof (5-6 hrs) before baking.

What's the difference between doing a long bulk ferment vs a long final proof? Is it related to the fact that it's sourdough?

How much should I adjust my sourdough percentage depending on the length of my cold ferment, or is there no fear of the yeast consuming all the starches during cold ferment?

idaveindy's picture

I've seen this web site referred to several times, concerning pizza questions here in TFL:

Someone once commented that that website is like the TFL for pizza.

In a couple of my pizza cookbooks (Reinhart's American Pie, and Gemignani's The Pizza Bible), the authors  go into sourdough-raised pizza dough.   My take-away is that it needs a stronger dough for a long ferment, which means higher protein.  

With US flours, stronger generally means more protein.  In American Pie, Reinhart calls for AP flour in yeasted doughs, but then high-gluten, or bread flour, for sourdough pizza dough.


Also a lot depends on what style crust you are making.   Gemignani uses sourdough for several American styles and I think a couple others, but most are not sourdough.


I use home-milled wheat and sourdough for my pizza doughs, but I have not been consistent enough to give any recommendations yet.  Just made a personal size pizza with  100% home-milled whole-wheat, a thick chewy crust, kind of Sicilian style, I presume.  I pre-baked the crust, flipped it over, then added toppings.  Without partially pre-baking (par-baking), the top of crust is still raw when the bottom crust is done.  But,  I make a thick crust, and use a lot of toppings.