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What happens if you don’t proof pizza dough?
There is nothing better than making your own pizzas at home.
You have complete control of the final results, you can choose the exact ingredients to use, what fermentation to go with, and what topping to use on your pizza.
The only downside is that the whole process of making the dough can take a long time, usually a few hours and even days.
Many of us don’t have or want to wait that long, we just want to eat our pizza!
If so, you might be wondering, what will happen if you won’t proof your pizza dough? Is it possible to make a shortcut and skip the proofing?
well, you got to the right place.
In this post, I’m going to answer that question and give you some useful tips on how to make a pizza fast without ruining its quality.
Table of Contents
1. What is proofing pizza dough?
In short, proofing pizza dough refers to the process of gluten development inside the dough.
When you let the dough rest, the yeast “eats” the sugar inside of the flour, and as a result, carbon dioxide is released, creating air bubbles throughout the dough.
In simple words, the dough rises.
At the end of the process, you will get a dough that doubled its size and if you cut it open, you should see lots of dough “webs” holding the dough together (Indicates that your gluten is well-developed).
The amount of time that the dough is proofed varies, and each individual will have their preferred fermentation.
Some will go with a 4-6 hour fermentation while others will prefer a 72 hour one.
2. Why is Proofing dough so important?
Proofing is arguably the most important step when making pizza dough, and it will be nearly impossible to find a recipe that won’t use proofing as a part of the process.
Let’s take a look at what makes it so important:
First, the dough’s fermentation quality will determine the texture of your pizza dough -A better proof leads to easier-to-work-with dough. (stronger, stretchier, smoother, etc).
In addition, proofing affects the eating experience in many ways. It determines how chewy your dough will be, how airy and crispy the crust will come out, etc.
Finally, it also plays a significant role in the flavor of your pizza.
A well-fermented dough will have a subtle “yeasty” flavor that enhances the other flavors in the pizza (cheese, sauce, toppings). On the other hand, an under or over fermented dough will taste sour or bland.
3. What happens if you don't proof pizza dough?
And now, the answer we all have been waiting for – do you have to let pizza dough rise?
In short, if you won’t proof your pizza dough, and use it right away, you will simply get some kind of a dense cracker topped with tomato sauce and cheese.
And if you want to get into details – When you don’t proof dough, no gluten will be developed.
So why does gluten development matter that much?
Here are some of the main consequences of a lacking amount of gluten in dough:
- The first and most considerable difference you will notice will be when you’ll work with the dough.
- Due to the lack of gluten development, the dough will be very sticky and almost impossible to work with.
- In addition, the dough will be dense and very hard to stretch, resulting in a very thick pizza.
Regarding the eating experience, I can ensure that unproofed pizza will not be your next favorite meal.
-The pizza will come out dense, chewy, and very difficult to bite through.
- There will be no air inside the dough. The crust will be dense, and won’t have that nice airy and crispy texture that we all love.
- The flavor of the dough will be bland since there wasn’t enough time for the yeast to develop the desired subtle “yeasty” flavor.
- And if that’s not enough, a pizza with a lacking amount of gluten development will be very hard to digest.
So there you have it, and if you ask me, eating an unproofed pizza is something I would give a pass.
4. How to proof pizza dough quickly and easily
Now that you know what happens if you skip proofing your dough, you probably regret thinking to give it a try.
But don’t worry, if you are in a hurry and want to proof dough quickly, there are a few easy ways to do it without ruining the dough’s quality.
Use a fast proof flour
In some countries, you can find a type of flour that is called “fast proof”.
This flour was designed to speed up the fermentation process while still maintaining the dough’s quality.
With this type of flour, all you will need to do is follow the instructions on the package, and you should get a ready-to-use dough in an hour.
Freeze your pizza balls
This is my favorite way to save time when making pizza.
Once I learned how to freeze pizza balls, I started doing it all the time.
The way freezing dough works is simple: you make a big batch of dough, and when the dough balls are fully proofed, you freeze them.
Now, when you decide you want to use the dough balls you just need to defrost them.
There are many methods to defrost the dough balls, but this one is my way to go when I’m in a hurry:
All you need to do is take them out of the freezer, put them on the counter, and wait about an hour, or until they have reached room temperature – and voila, you are ready to make a pizza.
Use store-bought frozen dough balls
Another great way to save time and even the hustle of making the dough will be to buy frozen pizza dough.
Many people that make pizza at home (including me) use bought pizza dough.
The store-bought dough comes with many benefits, it is cheap, high-quality, and saves you all the mess of making the dough.
It also reduces the proofing time that you are wasting if you are making your own dough, which works great for me.
Give your proofing a boost
If you still insist on making your own dough but want to make things happen a bit quicker, there might be some things you can do.
The first thing is to add more yeast. By using a dough calculator (Ooni app, for example), you will be able to select your preferred fermentation time.
If you wish to go for a fast proof, the calculator will tell you the right measurements of yeast you should use.
Another great way to speed up the fermentation process is by using warm water.
If you will use cold water when making your dough, the low temperature will slow down the yeast, which means the proofing time will be longer.
To get the maximum out of your yeast, aim for room temp water, and if you want things to go a bit faster try going a few degrees above.