How to Proof Pizza Dough in an Oven?

By Kitchen Warrior | Pizza Baking and Cutting Tips

pizza dough in oven

When you make pizza, it takes more than using the best ingredients. In fact, how you prepare the dough is just as important. When you make pizza, the first step is proofing the dough. It is a simple process, but it makes all the difference in how your pizza turns out.

Why Do You Need to Proof Pizza Dough?

When you make bread, one of the ingredients is yeast. It feeds on the sugars in your dough and produces carbon dioxide. This process is called proofing. If you don’t proof the dough, it will be thick and flat, and you won’t have light and airy bubbles in the crust. You could even end up with a balloon-shaped pizza. The dough needs to be proofed so that it cooks the way you want it to.

How to Proof Pizza Dough Properly?

First of all, the temperature of the pizza dough has an impact on how it is proofed. If it is too cold or if it sits out for too long, it won’t proof properly. Both of these can allow the yeast to expend all the energy it uses to produce gas, and then the dough can deflate while you are getting ready to prepare the pizza. As a result, your pizza will end up flat and too dense.

Take a large container and put the dough inside. Make sure that you have room for it to expand. Cover the container with cling wrap or a dish towel, and let it sit until it is two or three times its current size.

How Long Do You Proof Pizza in the Oven?

The amount of time that you will proof pizza dough in the oven varies depending on your recipe. There are factors that will play a role in this, including how fresh your yeast is, the humidity, and heat. Using your oven allows you to control some of these factors, and it is always warm and free of any drafts.

Turn your oven on the lowest temperature setting, which is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit, you can turn it off. Then, put your dough in the oven and close the door. This way, your oven will end up between 75 and 85 degrees, which is a good temperature for proofing.

You will keep the door closed while you proof the dough. It is normal for it to take between an hour and a half to two hours for the dough to double in size. Then, it might take 30 minutes for the second rise. 

You need to follow your recipe to find out how many times your dough needs to be proofed. Your recipe will also tell you how much time you should plan for. Count on spending between one and three hours. When it is ready, it will be double the size and won’t spring back when you press it with your fingers.

How to Proof Your Dough Faster?

You might be pressed for time and want to speed up the process. There are no shortcuts if you want your dough to have the right texture and flavor, but there are a few tips that will help you speed up the process.

You can add extra yeast and sugar to the dough. The yeast eats the sugar, which is what allows it to produce carbon dioxide in the proofing process. When you add more, it will be able to create more carbon dioxide. This will make your pizza dough sweeter and it may have a stronger yeast taste in the crust, but it will speed up your proofing time.

Yeast ferments faster in warmer temperatures and greater humidity. You can find a warmer place to let your dough proof. Many people put it in the oven, but you can also put it on top of a water boiler or another warm, moist place. Just make sure that the temperature is between 68 and 100 degrees as this is the ideal range for proofing.

You can fill a shallow pan with boiling water and put your dough on a baking sheet above it. This will speed up your time. You can also take a cup of water and microwave it for a few minutes. Then, put your dough in the microwave and leave the cup inside. The steam and heat that comes from the water is warm enough to help the dough proof, but it won’t be too hot. You can reheat the water if you remove the dough first.

Final Words

When you proof pizza dough, it is important to follow your recipe. There are tricks that can help you speed up the process, but it is best to take your time. When you allow the yeast to ferment properly, it will improve the texture and add more flavor to the crust.