Whether you love freshly baked, warm bread or you want to enjoy your pizza with homemade pizza dough, making dough yourself can take a lot of time and effort.
That’s why it can be useful to prepare your dough in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until you need it. But can you freeze dough?
Fresh pizza dough and bread dough can be stored easily in the freezer for a few months.
In this practical guide, we’ll show you how to store your bread and pizza dough the right way.
Storing pizza dough for longer is relatively easy because you can just place it in an airtight container and put it in the freezer.
This being said, there are a few things to look out for when you decide to store pizza dough in this way.
If you freeze yeast bread dough, like sourdough bread dough, then you need to put it into the freezer after the first rise.
Plus, make sure that you freeze fresh dough in the right shape. If you want to make bread rolls, then already shape dough balls.
If you want to freeze bread dough as a loaf, then place it into a loaf pan and put some cling wrap over it to protect the dough from freezer burns.
Non-yeast dough, like flatbread dough, should go into the freezer immediately after you are done kneading.
Shape the dough into small dough balls and then place them in a resealable freezer bag ready for storing in the freezer.
How Long Does Dough Last In The Freezer?
You can keep good yeast dough in the freezer for up to four months. This allows you to store pizza dough or bread dough as a big batch ready for your next pizza night.
Just keep in mind that storing pizza dough in this way can have a three-days thaw cycle, so you will need to remove the dough a few days before you want to use it.
Store-bought dough usually doesn’t have a long shelf life. This means that it may not last as long in the freezer as fresh dough and the quality of the dough may decline after a few months.
How Long Can Dough Sit On The Counter?
The longest time that you can leave pizza dough out on the kitchen counter at room temperature is four hours. If you want to freeze pizza dough, then it is important to freeze the dough after the first rise.
Keep in mind that a pizza base dough may include different, fresh ingredients that can shorten this storage time.
Plus, the storing temperature also affects how long you can leave your dough on the kitchen counter.
How Long Can Pizza Dough Last In The Fridge?
Homemade pizza dough that is stored in the right way can last in the fridge for up to five days. Make sure that you put the dough into an airtight container to stop the fermentation process.
The expiration date of your dough depends on how much yeast is in the dough and any other ingredients, such as dairy products, you added.
They can make the dough last longer or cause harmful bacteria to grow inside your dough.
That’s why, before you use your dough, make sure to check for a gray color, mold occurrence or alcohol or beer odor. These are signs that your dough has gone bad.
How To Freeze Dough
You can extend the shelf life of your pizza dough or bread dough by storing dough in the fridge freezer at home.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to halt the fermentation process of pizza dough to extend the shelf life of your dough until you need it.
Allow The Dough To Rise Once
Prepare your pizza dough according to your normal recipe. Follow the instructions through to the kneading until you get to the first rise. ‘
Allow the pizza dough to rise one time and stop before the second rise and before you bake it.
Shape The Dough Into A Roll Or Balls
After your dough has risen for the first time, punch it and shape it into either balls, a loaf or a small roll. The shape depends on the final product you want to make.
Prepare Your Pans
Next, you will need to prepare your loaf pan or a tray with parchment paper, so the dough doesn’t stick to the dry surface.
Cover The Dough
It is a good idea to cover the dough with plastic wrap, cling film or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. This also preserves the beige color and texture of your pizza dough.
Allow The Dough To Freeze
Lastly, you will need to put the covered dough tray or loaf pan into the freezer and allow it to freeze for at least 12 hours.
After twelve hours, you can leave the pizza dough in the freezer until you need it or you can transfer the frozen dough into a freezer bag to make storage easier.
When you want to bake your dough, keep in mind that thawed dough still needs a second rise, so leave it out at room temperature for twelve hours.
How To Use Frozen Pizza Dough
While you can store pizza dough for up to three months when stored properly, it is a good idea to use your frozen dough as soon as possible.
Frozen dough needs to thaw first before you place it into the oven, so allow your dough to thaw overnight on the counter or in the fridge.
If you love baking and you make your own dough for your favorite pizza, then you can store pizza dough on the counter for a few hours but you can also keep your pizza dough in the fridge overnight.
Alternatively, you can also put the dough in the freezer to prevent any mold growth or a sour smell.