"There's something that goes on with refrigeration and pizza dough," observes Jon Jackson, one of the Food Guys. Other Food Guy Greg Patent agrees and gives this phenomenon a name: it's cold fermentation, and you can take advantage of it when you make pizza dough or sourdough bread. After you've kneaded the dough, stash it in the fridge to give it additional time to ferment.
"It tastes better when you refrigerate before you bake it; all these products are happening in there almost by magic. You don't do anything; it all takes place in the cold," says Greg.
Here's Greg's recommended recipe for Neapolitan Pizza Dough:
Makes 4 balls of dough. Preparation time: 15 minutes, with 3 to 5 additional days of rising time in the refrigerator.
20 ounces (about 4 cups) of bread flour, preferably finely-ground Italian style "OO"
.4 ounces of kosher salt (about 4 teaspoons)
.3 ounces (about 2 teaspoons) of instant yeast
13 ounces of water
1. Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and incorporate it into the flour, using your hands, until no dry flour remains on the bottom of bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
2. Turn dough out onto lightly-floured surface and divide into four even-sized balls. Place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least 2 more days, and up to 4. Remove from refrigerator, shape into balls, and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before baking.