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Home » How to Store Homemade Pizza Dough

How to Store Homemade Pizza Dough

Making the ideal pizza crust is not just about the ingredients–it’s about the proper preservation techniques. Preparing your dough ahead of time not only saves precious moments during a hectic week but also ensures a quick and effortless meal that brings the family together.

Wondering how to keep your homemade pizza dough fresh until you’re ready to use it? The key lies in choosing the right storage method based on when you plan to transform that dough into the perfect pizza. Whether you choose to store your pizza dough in the fridge or in the freezer, the choice lies in how soon you plan to use it.

Lifting a slice of pizza made from homemade pizza dough stored in the freezer.

Optimal Solutions to Store Pizza Dough

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the quality of your homemade pizza dough. The method you choose should align with how soon you envision turning that dough into a delicious pizza.

Storing Fresh Dough in the Refrigerator

Refrigerating your dough is an excellent option if you’re planning a pizza night within the next day or two. To ensure your dough remains moist and doesn’t dry out, start by placing it in a lightly oiled bowl. A thin layer of oil prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl and creates a slight barrier against air exposure. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to protect the dough further. Alternatively, if you prefer a more secure method, placing the dough directly into an airtight container can provide even better protection from the dry air and odors in the fridge.

The refrigeration process slows down the yeast fermentation, delaying the dough’s rising process and thus extending its usability. 

When storing homemade pizza dough in the fridge, it can last for up to 48 hours without any significant loss in quality or texture. This extended timeframe allows the dough to develop a more complex flavor profile, as the yeast continues to work slowly, enhancing the dough’s overall taste.

However, for the absolute best results and to fully capture the essence of a perfectly risen pizza dough, aim to use the dough within 24 to 48 hours. Beyond this window, the dough may begin to over-ferment.

When to Freeze Pizza Dough

However, if pizza night is on the horizon but more than a few days away, freezing your dough is a savvy choice that preserves its freshness and allows you to store it longer. 

Before freezing, we recommend dividing the dough into manageable portions that suit the size of your future pizzas. Smaller portions make it easier to thaw just the right amount and will help with even freezing and thawing.

Wrap each portion of fresh dough in plastic wrap to protect it from freezer damage and the absorption of any odors from the freezer. After wrapping, place the dough in a freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing to help prevent freezer burn. Don’t forget to label each bag with the date you’re freezing it, which helps you track how long it’s been stored.

For an added layer of protection, you can place these wrapped portions into an airtight, freezer-proof container. This extra step ensures your dough remains at its peak quality.

When you store pizza dough in the freezer, it can maintain its best quality for up to three months, although it remains safe to eat beyond that time. The key is to ensure it’s properly sealed and protected from air exposure.

Stored at Room Temperature

If you aim to use your homemade pizza dough within a few hours, allowing it to rise at room temperature is the way to go. This method is ideal for achieving that perfect balance of texture and flavor, essential for crafting the ultimate pizza experience. To ensure the best results while your dough rests and rises, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the Right Spot: Place your dough in a warm, draft-free area in your kitchen to encourage a consistent rise. Avoid spots near windows or doors where sudden temperature changes can occur, as this can affect the rising process.
  2. Cover the Dough Properly: To prevent the surface of your dough from drying out, lightly oil the dough ball and cover it with a clean, damp kitchen towel or plastic cling wrap. This keeps the moisture in, ensuring your dough remains soft and pliable.
  3. Monitor the Temperature: Ideally, the room temperature should be between 68°F to 75°F (20°C to 24°C) for optimal rising. If your kitchen is cooler, consider using the laundry room as an alternative, particularly if you’re drying clothes. The heat from the dryer can warm up the air, creating a more conducive environment for the dough to rise.
  4. Timing is Key: Keep an eye on your dough; it should roughly double in size. This usually takes about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the room temperature and the initial temperature of the dough. Remember, warmer environments accelerate the rising process, while cooler spots slow it down.
  5. Perform the Finger Poke Test: To check if your dough has risen enough, gently poke it with your finger. If the indentation remains and the dough slowly springs back, it’s ready to be shaped into your pizza base. If it springs back immediately, give it more time.

By following these tips, you can keep your fresh pizza dough in prime condition at room temperature, ready for when you’re set to assemble and bake your pizza. Proper dough storage is not just about where you keep it but also how you manage its environment to retain the perfect texture and depth of flavor.

Prepping homemade pizza dough to store in the fridge.

Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough

When you’re ready to use the dough, be sure to thaw it first. You can opt to thaw your dough in the fridge overnight, or if you need to use it sooner, you can thaw it with cold water. The US Department of Agriculture recommends putting your dough in a leak-proof plastic bag and placing it in cold water. 

Check the water often to ensure it stays cold. It should only need to be submerged in water for about thirty minutes to soften up. Once the dough has had enough time to thaw, you can roll, stretch, or shape it, depending on the recipe you use.

Homemade pizza dough after storing in the freezer.

Other Uses for Pizza Dough

What can you make with pizza dough? The truth is–a lot! If you made homemade dough and have some to spare, consider saving it for one of these delicious dish ideas. 

Make the perfect side dish like buttery soft pretzel bites, garlic knots, or breadsticks. You can also plan for dessert with easy, sweet cinnamon rolls. Your dough could also add a twist to your traditional family pizza night if you decide to whip it up into a calzone or stromboli.

Make Pizza Night Special

Pizza nights are excellent meals for making memories with your family. Having options to customize each pie makes for an exciting, interactive way to bond with one another and can make for a fun family tradition. Our recipes are designed to make cooking nutritious yet simple, so you can spend more time at the table with your family.

Preparing for your next family pizza night? Learn how long to let pizza dough rise in our latest post!

Freshly cooked pizza made from homemade pizza dough.


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