babadoh is the perfect size to proof dough balls to make pizzas up to 12” in size, which is around a 250g pizza dough ball. there is room to allow this size of dough ball to double in size.
if your 250g dough ball is more than doubling in size and is busting out of babadoh, there are a few factors that could be contributing to this:
- too much yeast has been used for the proof time allowed
- the temperature is too high for the proof time allowed
- the dough is over proofing (or proving if you prefer)
(of course, it may be that you want to make bigger pizzas with dough balls bigger than 250g. If that’s the case, give us a shout. if you need bigger babs, then maybe we can make bigger babs.)
how yeast works
yeast is an amazing living organism. it lives to eat, reproduce and fart. or in more technical terms it converts sugars in flour into carbon dioxide and ethanol. fermentation is the real chemical process going on here - the yeast breaks down the flour into simple sugars and eats up these sugars, burping out carbon dioxide (CO2) gas and filling the dough with bubbles.
why proof pizza dough?
it is essential to allow your dough to rest and rise before use. this makes the dough increase in volume, gives your pizza a light airy texture and a real good flavour. there are a few important steps to achieving that great proof:
- kneading your dough – this step creates a strong gluten network to trap the gas created during fermentation. If you don't knead enough, the walls won't be strong enough to hold in the gas.
- bulk proofing your dough - an important fermenting step to strengthen the gluten and increase the volume of dough.
- dividing the dough into individual balls and leaving for a final proof - where the gluten relaxes a little and the gas bubbles inflate more.
proofing each ball in a babadoh means your dough is hugged in a plump round shape as it grows in size. the flexibility of the silicone means you can easily release the ball while keeping that tight shape and all the gas bubbles you have lovingly created.
but…if you leave the dough to proof for too long, it grows in size too much, the gluten network weakens, the bubbles pop, the gas escapes and the dough busts out of babadoh. the dough will eventually deflate and collapse, resulting in a rubbish pizza.
the right amount of yeast and the right temperature
with yeast, a little goes a long way and the amount you need not only depends on the type of yeast you use (active, dry, or fresh) but also the temperature and length of time you plan to proof your dough.
how long should you proof pizza dough?
if you don’t have much time, you can go for a quick proof dough, which will need more yeast and a warm place to proof. but…the downside of the quick proof is a less tasty dough, possibly even yeasty flavoured. it will also be trickier to handle, snapping back easily when you stretch the pizza dough out.
is cold proofing dough better?
ideally, you’d use less yeast and go for a longer proof, either at room temperature or even longer with a cold proof dough. this could be anywhere between 24 and 72 hours and will result in a deep flavoured, light crispy pizza dough. the dough will be nice and relaxed and easy to stretch out.
we recommend you try various times and temperatures to see what you like best.
getting your pizza dough right
it’s basically a science and thankfully there are really handy calculators available to help you choose the right amount of yeast for your recipe.
we like to use PizzApp, which is available for all smartphones.
You simply input the following:
- weight of dough ball - we recommend a 200g ball for 10” and a 250g ball for 12” pizzas
- hydration - we like to go for 65%
- salt content - 3% is a good amount
the app will give you the right weights of flour, water, salt and yeast to use. be careful to check which type of yeast you have to hand and try to be as accurate as you can. it’s really worthwhile getting a decent set of scales with 0.1g accuracy for yeast.
most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment, no one gets their pizza dough right first time, we certainly didn’t!