Gray color and liquid on my dough: Is there something wrong?

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As your dough stores in the refrigerator, it might develop a uniform gray discoloration and liquid on its surface.  This is not mold and can be safely ignored– it won’t affect the final baked result. You can just pour off the liquid and proceed with the recipe.

If you see patchy light or dark areas on your dough, whether smooth or fuzzy, that could be mold and the dough should be discarded. You are not likely to see mold if you follow our directions for maximum storage life, and keep the dough in the refrigerator.

If the dough has become hard and leathery, that suggests that there’s too much air-space in your container (or that it isn’t sealed well enough).  You can decrease the effect of air that gets into the container by transferring into smaller containers as the dough is getting used up.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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126 thoughts on “Gray color and liquid on my dough: Is there something wrong?

  1. Can I do something to revitalize “older than two weeks old dough” and still be able to use it? I used 3+ weeks old dough, and it did not rise very well. Good flavor, though.

    • Hi Phillip,

      How much dough is left? Best thing to do is to add the “old” dough to a new batch to jump start the flavor of the new. Just mix the water with the old dough and then make the dough as normal. Blending the old dough and water with an immersion blender is the fastest way.

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Hello, Ma’am.

        Thank you for your note back to me. I had exactly enough dough left over to make one loaf.

        I am more grateful for your guidance. It sounds like a “winner” to me.

        I have enjoyed your book very much. I have read it through three times. Good stuff!

        Thank you.

        I was stationed in Sicily for 3 years recently, and travelled throughout Europe. I got so used to their breads. Yum.


  2. I make my dough for noodles one day, wrap in saran wrap, put it in the fridge and the next day when I go to use it, it has turned a dark color. What is wrong??? Thank You

  3. I have begun making my own greek yogurt and everyone says to use the whey that I strain in my bread. Can whey be substituted to water in the master recipe from your first book?

    • I’ve done it and I like the result– there’s a more sour flavor, see if you like it. Lot’s of nutrition in that whey.

  4. I had made homemade bagels from a recipe on pinterest. the recipe called for the bagels to proof overnight in the fridge. the recipe called to oil the parchement paper. I had no other oil other than olive oil so i lightly misted the parchement paper. the next morning i began boiling the bagels and noticed “green spots” on the bottom of the bagel dough when i flipped them during boiling. Is this just dye from the olive oil or did mold happen overnight??? thanks.

  5. Hi why does my freshly pizza dough get grey bits on the bottom and when I cook it , it turns into mould is its because I freeze it

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