How to Store Pizza Dough until Ready to Use

It is always helpful to be able to make food beforehand, making mealtimes faster and simpler. However, pizza is one of those meals that tastes best when it is fresh out of the oven.

So how can you make pizza ahead of time while still preserving its super fresh taste? Just make the dough beforehand! Unless, of course, you’re preparing pizza without dough.

how to store pizza dough

There are some ways in which you can store pizza dough while you’re keeping it fresh and tasty. Store your pizza dough the proper way, and you will be able to quickly put a pizza together, baking it on-demand, anytime!

If you have extra pizza dough or simply want to spare some time and work the next time you’re making pizza, you need to learn how to store pizza dough.

The length of time your pizza dough lasts depends largely on how much yeast you’re adding and the temperature at which the dough is stored. Yeast is more active in hotter temperatures, so the yeast will quiet down by reducing the temperature. Therefore, pizza dough preserved at a lower temperature, for instance, in the fridge, or freezer will stay longer than at room temperature. 

This article explains how to make pizza dough, different methods on how to store pizza dough, how to thaw pizza dough, and lots more.

How to Prepare Pizza Dough

how to roll pizza dough

Pizza dough is quite easy to prepare. You can have a perfect, restaurant-standard dough that will be the perfect dough for any pizza (even the ones with no sauce!).

To start, active yeast and water are combined and left to sit for several minutes, causing the yeast to come to life. Next, add the other ingredients (usually flour, sugar salt, and olive oil), and knead the dough together manually or with a dough kneading machine.

After you make a smooth dough as directed in your recipe, the pizza dough will rest for some time.

At this time, the yeast will begin to swell and release gases, causing the dough to rise. This process makes for a fine and fluffy pizza crust (or even any kind of fluffy bread!).

After the pizza dough has risen, you will have to punch it down to deflate the dough and mold it into your pizza crust. Some recipes will ask for the dough to swell again before baking (which is preferable), while some will say the pizza dough is set to use after just one rising. If the dough is too sticky after rising, try out these steps.

Read your directions thoroughly – both ways work fine!

Dividing Dough for Storage

If you are baking pizza dough, you really might as well increase the recipe, making more to prepare for your next pizza night.

Most pizza crust recipes will multiply just well, giving you the same dough results for four pizza doughs you would attain when making just one batch. So why not make extra! You may have to knead the dough a bit longer, but that can effortlessly be done.

When you make a large batch of dough, it is best to portion the dough before preserving it. If you made 4 batches of pizza dough, divide it into 4 equal parts before storing after the first rising. It is much better to use the dough later on when it is neatly divided like this.

Anytime you are ready to make pizza, you can just bring out one of your pre-kneaded doughs and make your pizza! No need to divide dough or mess with mixers each time you have a pizza craving.

Make time to separate the pizza dough before you store it- you will be glad that you did!

If you discover that your dough doesn’t stretch, try the steps mentioned below.

When To Store Pizza Dough

After kneading the pizza dough and letting it rise one time, you can store it using your desired method. Divide the pizza dough and store it as you wish (keep reading to find out how to store pizza dough!).

Before you prepare your pizza, you will need to allow the dough to warm up and rise one more time. However, this is a lot easier and less time taking than making dough from the beginning every time you want to make pizza!

How to Store Pizza Dough

how to store pizza dough to stay longer
fresh dough ready for baking

Method 1 – How to Store Pizza Dough on the Counter

If your dough were just kept at room temperature or on your kitchen counter, for instance, the yeast would continue to rise the dough, causing the dough to over-ferment and give it a poor taste.

When kept at room temperature, the yeast will last for a while and then die.

If you make pizza dough with inactive yeast, it will not expand since all the yeast effect has already been exhausted. Instead, the dough would be a tough, chewy, hard, bland crust.

So, the trick is, if you want to preserve pizza dough, it needs to be chilled to prevent the yeast from growing too quickly and dying. Chilling the dough slows down the effect of the yeast, causing it to become dormant.

Assume the fridge or freezer is a place your yeast can go to hibernate, relaxing and waiting until you are prepared to enjoy a pizza!

Method 2 – How to Store Pizza Dough in the Fridge

After you have allowed your dough to rise once and divided it into balls, which will be the size of one pizza crust (mini or large), wrap the pizza dough properly in an airtight storage rage container.

You can just lay the dough in a plastic container with a cover, or you can wrap the dough right in plastic wrap and put it in a bowl with the plastic wrap It is also easy to put the dough in a large zippered sac, press out the air from the bag, and seal it.

Once it is wrapped, the dough can go straight into the fridge. Pizza dough will stay for about 2 weeks in the fridge. When you are set to use the pizza dough, remove it from the fridge, unwrap the dough, and put it on your counter or in a slightly floured bowl.

Cover the dough lightly, and then let it get to room temperature. For ½ pound pizza dough balls, this will take around 30 minutes. Roll the dough to form a pizza crust, and then include your favorite toppings and bake it!

How to Store Pizza Dough in the Fridge for Flavor

Storing pizza dough in the fridge is an excellent way to enhance the flavor. By slowing down the fermentation speed, the yeast will consume the sugars and release CO2 at a slow and steady speed. This will create more mixed flavor compounds than swift proofing.

Leaving the dough in the fridge for 3-5 days create perfect consistency, combined with delicious flavor. This works better for Italian-style pizza dough with lesser yeast. If you have never attempted slow fermentation, It is ideal to reduce the amount of heat. This will slow down the fermentation process more and help prevent over-proofing.

Method 3 – How to Store Pizza Dough in the Freezer

Storing dough in the freezer is just like storing it in the fridge. You will have to wrap the dough tightly in an airtight container to stop it from drying out.

Then, lay the portioned dough in the freezer till you are ready to use it. Pizza dough will stay in the freezer for around 3 months.

When you are prepared to use your frozen pizza dough, you should transfer it from the freezer into the fridge to let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then, take the thawed pizza dough out of the fridge and uncover it.

Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface, loosely cover, and let it come to room temperature. Once it is warmed, roll or stretch the dough into a pizza crust, bake and enjoy!

Why Does Pizza Dough Spoil?

The main issue is over-proofing. Over-proofing happens when you allow the dough to rest for too long. It starts losing its form and texture because gluten cannot trap the gases inside the pizza dough anymore.

The top of the pizza dough is not airtight, like a balloon that confines all the gas inside, and gas is steadily escaping. Hence the yeast can release enough gas. The dough will continue rising. But if you let the dough stay for too long, the gluten strains will wear off, and the yeast will not produce enough gas to keep rising the dough. You will end up with dough with a poor composition that is not able to maintain its shape.

The quantity of yeast in the pizza dough regulates the pace of the fermentation. That means that the more yeast you include, the faster the dough will rise. Most homemade pizza recipes use a lot of yeast to achieve quick rising. Meanwhile, Neapolitan pizza uses much less yeast and therefore ferments in a slower process.

Pizza dough will not really spoil, in the sense that it is dangerous to eat just by letting it stay for long. As long as your ingredients are not contaminated, bad contains mold, etc. It is therefore really necessary to use quality ingredients when you prepare pizza. The dough may, however, produce off-flavors if it’s left out for too long.

how to use pizza dough
Pizza with sausages and cheese

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

If you want to defrost frozen pizza, place the pizza dough in the fridge for 8-12 hours. Then, let it thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes before beginning to roll it.

If you are short on time, you can thaw the pizza dough in a bowl of cold water. Ensure you keep the dough sealed in plastic and change the water every 30 minutes.

You can also allow the dough to thaw on the kitchen counter for about one and a half to two hours; however, make sure to refrigerate after two hours to avoid bacteria growth.

FAQs: How to Store Pizza Dough Once Made

Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough After It Rises?

You can refrigerate pizza dough after almost any stage, but after the first rise (or a little before that) works best. Store it, wrapped, in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. After removing the dough from the refrigerator, reshape and let rise again, covered, in a warm place.

How Long Can Pizza Dough Sit Out?

Pizza dough should not sit out for over 3 hours after it has risen. If you aren’t going to start rolling out the pizza dough right away, store it in a refrigerator. Even at room temperature, the dough will start to form a skin as it dries.

What Else Can I Do With Pizza Dough?

1. Breadsticks.
2. Buffalo Chicken Bites.
3. Crackers.
4. Cinnamon Rolls.
5. Garlic Knots.
6. Apple Galette.
7. Mediterranean Turkey Pot Pies.
8. Cheesy Onion Focaccia Bread.
9. Should Pizza Dough Be Room Temperature Before Use?
10. Bring your dough to room temperature.

Should Pizza Dough Be Room Temperature Before Use?

Before you start stretching, warm up your cold dough for at least thirty minutes at room temperature. Gluten, the protein that makes pizza dough tough, is tighter in cold temperatures like in the fridge, which is why cold dough will stretch out and then snap back just like a rubber band.

Why Does My Pizza Dough Not Stretch?

The gluten in cold pizza dough becomes tighter as a result of lower temperature, and this causes it to shrink and shrivel when stretched out or snap back into place. The best way to fix this problem is to make sure that your dough is warmed up to room temperature before you start stretching it out.

Can You Refreeze Pizza Dough?

The pizza dough will still be ready to use when you get back from work, but it will refreeze with good results if your plans change. Just flatten the dough, if it has risen tremendously, and return it to the freezer. If your frozen pizza dough is homemade, it’s best to freeze the dough after its first rise.

How to Prepare Homemade Pizza with Store-Bought Dough:

1) Use dough that is almost past its prime.
2) Let the dough stay at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
3) Use flour to stop it from being sticky.
4) Roll it thin if you prefer a crispy crust.
5) Pre-bake the crust for about 3-4 minutes before topping.

What Is the Best Flour for Pizza Dough?

All-purpose flour
All-purpose flour is one of the ideal flours for baking pizza. It is usually used to create thin New York-style crusts, Neopolitan-style pizzas, and deep-dish pizza crusts.

Why Is My Pizza Dough So Sticky?

The most usual reasons for sticky pizza dough are too much hydration, too much fat, or too little kneading. To fix a sticky dough, you can gradually add flour while kneading the dough. It’s important to add it gradually because both the added flour and extra kneading will make the dough less sticky.

How Do You Fix Overworked Pizza Dough?

Stretch the dough only as much as it naturally permits you, and if it doesn’t agree, simply let the dough stay on your work surface, covered in flour, for another 10 –15 minutes.

Final Words: How to Store Pizza Dough

From the article above, you can see that it is quite simple to store pizza dough. The dough will still bake perfectly, whether you froze it or merely refrigerated it for some days.

It is best if you stop making a single batch of pizza dough whenever you need to eat pizza, but you can make 3, 4, or 5 batches of pizza dough at a go, wrap them up and store them! It is the perfect, simple solution to making fresh pizza at home whenever you like!

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