When you are making pizza dough and notice air bubbles, have you wondered why?
Are Air Bubbles In Pizza Dough Dangerous?
No. The air bubbles and holes you see in your pizza dough are not harmful to you or your guests. The gas created by the yeast as it works will expand the dough during baking and only expand those bubbles.
Why does my pizza dough have air bubbles when rising?
The air bubbles are a result of the yeast breathing out carbon dioxide or CO2 gas. In order for dough to rise, the yeast must eat the sugar and release carbon dioxide. When added to a dough with flour and water, this gas will increase the expansion of the dough because it will also pull in moisture from outside sources. These effects can be seen as an increased volume and increased gluten formation.
Some of the most popular pizza dough recipes call for a step in which you must let the dough rise in a warm or hot environment, usually with some sort of yeast. The yeast works upon glucose and fructose to produce carbon dioxide which makes bubbles in your dough. However, these bubbles can cause problems when they get trapped inside the dough during baking.
The bubbles you see are actually holes formed by these gas molecules trapped inside your pizza crust because they try to escape due to increased pressure from heat and steam during baking.
Should Pizza Dough Have Bubbles?
The bigger the bubbles, the more flavor you will taste. If you want to achieve bigger air bubbles in your pizza crust, do what any good home cook would do: use more yeast! This gives your dough a lot of time to rise and create big holes in your pizza. The bigger the holes, the more flavor can escape during baking, giving you an even tastier pizza for dinner tonight.
Rising Pizza Dough Properly
The dough is ready when it has doubled in size. Pay close attention when you are seeing these tiny little air bubbles forming. If the bigger bubbles are still there when you lift up your dough, it’s not yet done rising properly. When using fresh yeast, it can take up to two days before the dough has risen properly.
It’s important that your dough rise in a warm environment. Do not put your dough in a warm, sunny window. The pizza dough can be harmed when exposed to too much heat.
When you let your dough rise in a warm environment, you need to know that this process creates a lot of thermal energy in a short amount of time. If the dough is going to be left out for any amount of time, it needs to have a barrier from the air so it doesn’t get ruined by any bacteria floating around outside of your home.
I like to rise my dough in an oven with just the interior light turned on. The heat from the light is just enough to get a good rise.
Should Pizza Dough Rise Before Baking?
Yeast has two major activities that are vital for dough. The first is to grow the yeast cells. To do this, they need oxygen and sugary liquids. Also, yeast will secrete alcohol. During this process, the yeast is multiplying rapidly producing CO2 gas bubbles which cause holes in your pizza crust. The second activity of the yeast is to help convert ingredients into sugar so that it can use them as food for its growth phase. Yeast actually begins to die when it reaches its maximum population in any dough.
Related – Why is sugar used in pizza dough?
So when the yeast has reached maximum population in your pizza dough, it will begin to die, releasing alcohol (which is how alcohol is added to many recipes). Also, the yeast will release large amounts of CO2 gas in order to push out of their cell membranes and transfer into the air or environment.
How Long Can Pizza Dough Rise At Room Temperature?
I typically let mine rise for about one to 24 hours at room temperature, but you can go up to 3 days. That is how long it takes before my yeast has had a chance to create those big holes in the dough.
No matter how hard you work with your pizza dough, your dough will only rise properly if you allow it time to do so. The most important thing here is that you can have a good idea of how much time your yeast needs before the yeast starts dying off and it stops creating those bubbles.
Also, leaving the dough out overnight at room temperature is okay.
How Long Can Proof Pizza Dough In The Fridge?
Because the yeast is going to be preserved in the refrigerator, you can let it sit there for awhile. The amount of time will vary depending on the temperature of your refrigerator and how active your yeast was before you put it in there.
If you are making pizza dough for later use, at least 1-3 days seems to work really well.
What Happens If You Let Pizza Dough Rise Too Long?
If your pizza dough has been left out for too long, it can become compromised. The internal structure is incorrect and the gluten is over relaxed. This results in the dough not tasting as good as it could and the texture doesn’t not turn out well either.
What Happens If You Don’t Let Pizza Dough Rise?
If you don’t allow your dough to rise at all, you are sacrificing quality for convenience. You will not be able to fully appreciate the amazing flavor that the yeast has created. It is important that your dough rise before putting it into the oven.
This ensures that you are getting the best possible pizza experience, every time. If you want to save time or are pressed for time, then put it into another container and let it sit there overnight so that it can have a chance to rise properly.
When you don’t allow your dough to rise enough, you will end up with a flat pizza crust.
Can You Eat Pizza Dough That Didn’t Rise?
Yes, you can eat a pizza dough that did not rise. To make a pizza without the dough rising, follow the same directions as usual.
It’s important to add that when you do this, your crust will not be as fluffy or hold together in the same way. Some people find that when they don’t let the dough rise, it is more cracker-like with sharper edges. As for taste? There is a difference between a pizza crust with no rise and a french bread in flavor and texture.
Related – Is you pizza dough sticking? – What to do with overworked pizza dough.
Should You Knock The Air Out Of Pizza Dough?
No. Knocking the air out of dough will make it tough and dry. This will cause your dough to crack or break apart during cooking. Also, knocking the air out of your dough will make for a less flavorful crust.
When you toss your pizza dough in a hot oven, the bubbles from the yeast will expand and create more of a chewy crust that is more flavorful. If bubbles are knocked out of a dough recipe, then the yeast won’t have any chance to expand and create more flavor during baking.
How Can You Tell If Pizza Dough Is Overproofed?
The easiest way to tell is to poke it with your finger. Press your finger into the dough and then pull back. If the dough does not spring back, it is good. If the dent remains, you have overproofed the dough.
Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough After It Rises?
Yes, you should be able to refrigerate your dough for up to 1-3 days. The yeast that you left in your dough should still be alive. If you want, you can continue to let the dough rise again after it has been refrigerated, which will help prepare it for cooking so that it does not dry out as much when you are cooking your pizza.
The advantage of refrigerating is that it will keep the yeast active so that you can immediately pop it right into the oven and see if everything is okay.
Do You Knead Pizza Dough Before Or After It Rises?
If you want to knead your pizza dough, then do it after it has rested. It will make the dough more elastic and works well with dough that has been refrigerated for a day or two.
How Do You Store Pizza Dough?
You should be able to store your pizza dough for up to 1-3 days in an airtight container or bag. I like to place my dough in the freezer after I pull off some amount of dough for pizza making. It is important to let your dough cool completely before you put it into the fridge or freezer.
When I look at my pizza dough, it makes me so happy. It is a living, growing food that I have given life to in my kitchen and in front of my eyes. Dough takes a little bit of effort for the yeast to grow in order to make a better pizza crust. It is a process that creates this delicious food that we all love all around the world.
I have taken the time to learn how it works and have been able to produce lovely recipes with healthy ingredients for you.