How many times can a lump of dough rise?

A while back, I was making pizzas for our playgroup. I made about 14 that time. I actually made a bunch more dough than I needed. I was ready to make about 26. At the end of the day, I was going to pitch the remaining dough. It had already risen 3 times; 1 rise overnight, 1 rise during the day and 1 rise during pizza making. Andrew encouraged me to just round it and toss it in the freezer.

Big question: Should I take a chance and try reusing the dough. Everyone's sitting around the dinner table and I'm going to use it - after I allow it to thaw during the work day (it's 4th or so rise). Will I be serving them a beauty of a pie or an unleavened cracker-like pizza. Here's the final product - oops, none left to photograph.

I don't know technically how to determine when the yeast has run out of food and the dough turns into mush, but, empirically, it's still going strong after 4 times. A very cool observation in this don't-waste-a-damn-thing economy. Thanks for the tip Andrew.


Andrew said...

Glad it worked out-I don't know that much about yeast, but I just assumed, from making beer, that as long as they have something to eat, they'll keep cranking out (unless, in the case of beer, the alcohol gets too high and they die).
Interestingly, I made a few pizzas last week with expired instant yeast. They didn't really rise that well in the fridge, but turned out fine in the oven.

Anonymous said...

I have allowed a dough to rise in a cooler for four days before. It got punched down eight times. I had some "hooch" to pour out of the container when I finally took the dough out, but it was fine. It probably could have kept going for a few more days. The bred had a very interesting flavor since it was basically sourdough be the time I baked it. The crumb was very open and the crust was very glossy.

If you are really worried about using a dough that you think has expired, you could try feeding it like you feed a sourdough starter. That would be an interesting experiment.

Dave said...

Nice idea, thanks and thanks for the information.