Skip to Content

Is Over Fermented Dough Safe To Eat

Is Over Fermented Dough Safe To Eat

Is Over Fermented Dough Safe To Eat

Over fermented dough is not safe to eat and should not be used in any baking recipes. It may seem delicious, but it is best to avoid this. The dough can become too sticky or gooey, it may develop an unpleasant odor, or it may start to fall apart.

Some people have noticed their dough might smell of alcohol, beer, or very sour when it is being formed, either while it is being formed or right after it is been fermented, but that is totally normal, and does not mean that your dough is not good. Yes, your dough may smell bad if it is going aoff, but it may also smell bad from the fermentation process. When your dough is over-fermented, that just means that it is producing too much gas in the process of rising.

By the way, if you’re interested in Does Sugar Go Bad, check out my article on that.

If your dough is over-fermented, there is a chance it produced an excess of gas during the proofing step. By over-fermentation, we are talking about a case where a dough has had slightly too long of time to ferment from being combined. In this process, over-fermented dough is reformatted once it has been removed from its initial form by pressing it on the counter for some length of time.

Side effectsShelf life
Bloating2 weeks in fridge
Infection from probiotics4 hours at room temperature
Headaches and migraines3-5 days in refrigerator
Side effects and Shelf life of Dough.

Fermentation begins once the ingredients are mixed, and continues until the dough is baked, with the yeast cells dying at high temperatures. This brings some extra food to work with for the yeast, so you get another rise from your dough. If the dough is coming back up, but not quite as much (about halfway through), and you have still got a few dings left, this means that the dough is fully fermented, and you are ready to put the dough into the oven for baking.

By the time your dough is a week old, yeast has probably exhausted all of its resources, and will not be able to raise the dough further. The speed with which a dough over-ferments will vary depending on how much yeast is present in the dough and how warm the temperature is kept.
Learn can you eat over fermented dough

With this in mind, it is obvious that pizza doughs that have lots of yeast will ferment more quickly than ones with less. All this means is that the fermentation process will produce more alcohol, which affects your pizza doughs flavor and aroma. To counteract an overly-alcoholic-smelling dough, the easiest thing to do is to use a lot less yeast, but still allow plenty of time for your pizza dough to rise and ferment.

Pizza dough that has a strong boozy smell typically means that the dough has been over-fermented, and it is more likely that it has an acidic flavor. If your dough smells slightly alcoholy (many say it has the odor of beer), you probably have over-fermented it. If you let your dough ferment for more than 24 hours, it will eventually smell and taste like alcohol.

In short, the fermentation process the yeast goes through when you let the dough ferment is like a beer fermentation process, and that is what will lead to the beer-like smelling dough. Over-fermentation occurs when yeast cells rapidly multiplied, which causes your dough to be too stretchy and sticky. When proper fermentation occurs with an excess of yeast, you quickly end up with an overly-alcoholic-tasting dough.

The starter is fine, though excessive fermentation will result in the pizza dough having a tart, boozy flavor during baking. Because dough is fermented throughout the two risings, the finished bread may taste acidic and unappetizing if this process continues for too long.

To learn about Does Brown Sugar Go Bad, check out my article where I cover everything you need to know.

Using a quick method may allow you to have a quicker dough to your table, but it does not have the same great flavor, since a longer fermentation is the key to better flavor and texture in pizza. Bread dough might not break down if kept slightly longer, but it takes longer for dough to rise.

If it is kept too cold, the dough will fail to gain any vigor during this phase, resulting in under-fermented bread. If your bread is over-fermented, this could be due to your dough being too hot, or, if left in the fridge overnight, it does not cool down fast enough to stop the fermentation.

You might even have baked the dough hoping that it would magically come back to life; instead, you get a pale, under-sized loaf with the aroma of expired liquor. You have been waiting many hours for your dough to rise, so that you can bake it, and then, somehow, you forgot about your dough (this is an easy thing to do, especially when juggling holiday meal preparation), and it over-proofed.

It is important to know how to tell if the dough has gone bad, because it is really easy to mess up good bread or pizza dough by letting it sit too long. Do not forget to check the dough every now and then, as dough can knead up faster or slower (depending on temperature and what kind of dough you are making).

When you are done mixing your dough and you put it into a container for rising, place it into the refrigerator immediately. Even if your doughball is sitting in the refrigerator, it will still ferment due to the presence of yeast. If you left your dough on your counter for hours in mid-August in Florida, and then threw it into the refrigerator, it is not going to keep five days. It is worth knowing that even leaving the dough in the refrigerator does not prevent it from going bad in just a few days.

At that point, probably the only way you can keep your dough around as bread is to use it as a pre-fermentation for another batch, which is to chop up your dough into pieces and stir into another batch of dough (perhaps tripling your total batch size, using no or maybe just a little bit of yeast). Adding your older dough into whatever bread you are making will be a big change from what is usually a standard loaf. Once bacteria has developed on your dough to the point that it is producing patches of mold, it is extremely dangerous and will make you sick if you eat it. Dough does not develop enough bacteria in that short a time frame to make it unsafe to eat, unless it is already been contaminated by something.

What happens if dough ferments too long?

The scores won’t open up during baking if your dough is over-fermented; instead, they will flatten and dissolve into the dough. Scores hardly ever change. The resulting bread won’t rise properly in the oven and will be flat. The crumb may appear crushed and dense near the loaf’s bottom.

What happens if the dough is over-fermented?

The scores won’t “open up” during baking if your dough is over fermented; instead, they will flatten and dissolve into the dough. Scores hardly ever change. The resulting bread won’t rise properly in the oven and will be flat. Particularly near the loaf’s bottom, the crumb may appear crushed and dense.

Can you still use Overproofed dough?

Overproofed dough can be easily saved, as we discovered. Simply give it a light punch, reshape it, and allow it to prove once more for the advised period of time. These processes produced bread in the test kitchen that tasters rated favorably for both texture and flavor.