Pizza dough making is an art. But is it all that easy to transport this portrait between different places? When making your dough and sending it off to a particular parlor for pizza making, the main question to consider is how to transport pizza dough.
If you wish to know the answer, you have come to the right place! The article below mentions how to transport your dough in the right way for that perfect, greasy, and cheesy pizza. Make sure to read it all the way!
Transporting is all about the temperature you give to the dough. For it to be usable, the best thing to do is to start with frozen dough balls in plastic containers and stored them in lined boxes or a large carrying box that helps keep the inside temperature cold despite the outside conditions. Once transported, the dough must be brought to room temperature to make it suitable for thawing and baking.
Fermentation is the process of uptake of carbohydrates by yeast and the formation of alcohol. A byproduct of this conversion is the production of carbon dioxide gas, which helps the dough rise. Incomplete fermentation means the improper rising of the dough (as less alcohol and gas are produced).
Excessive fermentation means rotting as more than necessary alcohol is made. This means the yeast stops working. Both these situations are very likely during dough making, and it’s best to be familiarized with the term and its meanings before you read on!
How to transport pizza dough?
The most important factor to keep in mind when transporting your pizza dough is the fermentation process. It’s what keeps the dough light, tasty, chewy, and soft. Messing up this process at any step leads to a flop pizza, the reason for which may remain a mystery to you if you don’t know. To avoid this from being problematic for you, follow the mentioned guidelines:
- Using flour, yeast, sugar, water, and a pinch of salt, form your pizza dough and let it rest in a warm place while covered for one hour.
Note: Skipping this resting stage and moving on to cooling impatiently will make your dough go bad in no time. Don’t be impatient.
- Once the dough rises when resting, form small balls according to the size of the pizza you wish to make. Shift these to a clean and dry airtight container.
- Next, wrap the container with plastic wrap to ensure no air goes in it.
Note: Ensure the temperature of the room is close to 45 ◦Fahrenheit (7◦C).
- Pack the boxes in a thermocol-lined container to keep the temperature constant inside. Place the boxes in your car/truck/van with the air conditioning turned on for transportation.
Note: Don’t place the packed doughs in the trunk as the temperature is not cold there.
- Avoid using plastic of low quality i.e. thin boxes. The main reason for this is the ability of scents and flavors to penetrate plastics. If placed in a busy area with other food items, or even toiletries such as soap and detergents, it is very easy and highly likely that the dough will pick up and trap the scent and flavor of its surrounding items. This will 100% affect and alter the natural flavor of your pizza dough.
- If you think storing and transporting the dough as a big portion instead of small balls is a good idea, you are very wrong. A large dough ball means it will expand to a certain size that will get disrupted once you form pieces or balls. Making small balls and letting them grow is a much better idea since whatever size they grow to, you get to keep them and work with them with zero losses.
What not to do when transporting
Sometimes, a lack of care for minor issues leads to major consequences in transporting. When you are wondering how to transport pizza dough, make sure you DON’T make the following mistakes:
- Don’t place the dough in a hot and humid place: Places with high temperatures and moist conditions are ideal for fermentation to accelerate. Don’t do this. Placing your dough balls in such locations as the trunk of your car, the hot storage compartment of your truck, or even close to the oven, can cause the dough to rise unnecessarily and, in some instances, cause microbial growth to occur. Both of these situations lead to your dough rotting before it even has a chance to bake.
- Letting the dough ferment overnight: Even if you get the temperatures right, excess of any resting period is harmful. If you leave your dough out overnight with the thought of becoming fluffy and big, you will be ignoring a very important factor: flavor development. While long exposures to fermentation will let you have a big dough, it will make the flavor sour and undesirable. It’s best to let the fresh dough rest at cool temperatures for some time as this lets the yeast ferment while the flavor it brings is what every pizza loves to cherish.
- Ignoring the bubbles: Flattening your dough before transportation when it’s fresh will remove all the bubbles necessary to make the dough light and airy. On the contrary, applying excessive force to the dough when it’s cold can cause the bubbles to burst, making the dough tacky and hard when it bakes.
- Refrigerating for too long: Keeping the dough fresh and baking it within 24 hours is ideal for getting that perfect brown crust. Leaving the dough out for longer periods causes the starches in your dough to break down, producing sugars. When baked, this sugar bakes faster than starch, causing the crust to cook faster and form black blisters.
- Not keeping the internal temperature constant: When transporting your pizza dough in batches or big bulk, keeping it in lined boxes is essential. Ignoring this when using plastic boxes means the effect of external temperature on your dough is easily possible. Lining boxes with thermocol sheets ensure a steady temperature of your dough regardless of the surrounding heat.
How to defrost frozen pizza dough?
To make your newly received frozen pizza dough usable, you can take a number of ways all of which are mentioned below:
- Letting the dough rest on a counter: Leaving your dough on the counter at room temperature for a few hours will allow it to defrost and rise once the temperature is suitable enough. It’s a simple way to get your dough running again.
- Placing it in the oven: A turned-off over keeps a warm temperature suitable for fermentation. Keep your frozen dough in a pizza pan and place it in your oven for a few hours. This will help keep the flavor of the dough consistent and will also allow your dough to rise further.
- Microwave: Microwaves are the next best thing after ovens for keeping doughs to defrost and ferment. You can keep the dough in a bowl and place it in your microwave for a few hours. Once defrosted, you can roll out your dough and even bake it in the microwave. This gives you the edge of keeping a close eye on your dough and not letting the crust burn.
Tip: a well-flavored dough with salt as a topping tastes out-of-this-world good when baked in a microwave. If you’re testing out a new dough recipe, make sure to try this technique!
- Water-bath method works best when you have a big enough bathtub. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and place the bowl of dough (COVERED) on the water’s surface. You can place a tray that floats on the water. You don’t want your dough sinking in a bathtub. Keep it in the water bath for a few hours until it is easy to work with.
Note: This method works best for homemade doughs. Also, if your bathtub is not very big, you might want to skip this method as defrosting will take very long.
- Refrigerating: Thaw the dough and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours (3-4) to make it easy to work with. The cool temperature will ensure no sour flavors develop in the dough and mess with the final pizza result.
How to make the perfect pizza works in direct coordination with how perfect your dough is. To get this right, mastering the art of how to transport pizza dough is a must. A little trial and error are needed in the process, but with the right amount of practice and a little help from the experts, you can make pizza from stored dough that your audience will always dote over!
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