What to do with over fermented pizza dough?

In this brief guide we will address the question, “what to do with over fermented pizza dough?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if your pizza dough is over fermented.

What to do with over fermented pizza dough? 

Oh, you left your dough for proofing and you forgot to take it out? What are you going to do with the over fermented dough now? Throw it? No. We might have an interesting recipe where you can use your over fermented dough. Moreover, there are some ways in which you still will be able to utilize your over fermented dough. 

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, sooner or later it will! I’m not saying that it should happen, but it definitely does because human error is always there. That is why we have this blog just for you. 

  1. Make a pancake

An over fermented dough is a sticky mess and it should be thrown away! Well…. Not really. You can just change the recipe a little bit and make a pancake instead. The sourdough will act as a starter and your other ingredients will be eggs, sugar, salt, milk, baking soda, and melted butter. 

All your pancake recipes will remain the same, however, you will be using the sourdough as the starter. Turns out, it gives some amazing results. Having said this, I would also like to emphasize that if you don’t like it, it is only a matter of your personal preference and I respect that. This recipe is safe and healthy to consume and it will not affect your health in any way. 

(Note: You can see the complete recipe here

  1. Break it, then make it! 

Another method that you can use to save your over fermented dough is to punch it after it has been over proofed. This will break the gluten structure inside and it will also eliminate the excess gas staying in your dough. 

It is important to understand the concept of fermentation here because it can literally help to save your dough. This method is useful when your dough hasn’t been left out for too long for proofing. 

The process of fermentation is simple, yeast breaks down starch and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol in turn. This gas gets trapped in the dough, giving it a uniform rise and an even texture. 

If your dough is under proofed, there is not enough gluten strengthening to entrap the gas, and if the dough is over proofed, it means that the structural integrity was compromised. Too much gas production will create pores in the surface and will escape out, resulting in a sticky mess without volume. 

Now let’s come back to this technique. When we break the structure, it means we are preparing the dough to get proofed again while also eliminating the excess gas. After punching/pressing it hard, you will then reshape it. The dough will fill the pores that were caused by excess gas production. Now is the time when you leave your dough for proofing again.

(Note that it is only useful soon after overproofing. If you leave it out in the open for too long, you can only make pancakes with it.)

Other FAQs about Pizza which you may be interested in.

How to cook frozen pizza in the Convection Oven?

Can you reheat pizza in an air fryer?

How long does pizza last in the fridge?

How to tell if your pizza dough is over fermented? 

When it comes to checking the proofing time, there are simple methods involving taste and smell that can be used. We will also discuss the poking test that you can use to identify whether your dough is over proofed or not. 

How does your dough smell?

Any off smell that your dough gives is probably a result of over fermentation. This is because when you give additional time to the yeast, it will convert the sugars into alcohol. Most people describe it as a beer-like smell. So right there is your main identification point if your dough smells a bit funny. This is a common problem with sweeter breads like brioche.

The finger poke test. 

This is a much simpler way to tell if your dough is over fermented. Simply poke a finger inside the dough and observe. 

If the dough does not come back to its original position, it means that your dough is over fermented. This is because when you over ferment, the dough loses its elasticity. This elasticity is only possible with a good proofing time when the gluten formation and gaseous production is adequate. 

Also keep in mind that this test should not be done immediately when you have set your dough to rise. This test should be done after you shape it.


In this brief guide we have addressed the question, “what to do with over fermented pizza dough?” as well as other questions pertaining to the subject at hand like how to tell if your pizza dough is over fermented.