One of the most frustrating things about homemade pizza is that you must get the pizza dough recipe down to a T. Not doing so will result in bad pizza that is nothing like those you would get at a pizzeria.
Many would-be pizza chefs want to know whether pizza dough can be made in advance. In this article, we will be looking at whether you can start making pizza ahead of time and how easy this is to do.
In short, you can make pizza dough in advance, and when you make the dough before you need it, it can often mean that the entire process is far more easy and straightforward.
Can You Make Pizza Dough In Advance?
One of the great advantages of preparing your dough before you need it is that it can be kept in the fridge. You will also notice that on many dough recipes, there is the option to put the dough in the freezer if you don’t need to use it right away.
The prep time required for making the dough is minimal, but if you want a pizza that is reminiscent of a professional pizza master – leaving it to rise is essential. This is one of the main reasons that are making dough before you need it is a great idea.
Ways To Make Pizza Dough Last Longer
If you aren’t planning to bake your pizzas right away, then storing the pizza dough in a bowl and using it later on, is possible. However, when you plan on baking, the dough will impact how you store it.
Because the yeast and gluten in the dough need time to react and rise, this process must be slowed down if you want to keep for dough for more than a day.
It can primarily be kept in the fridge, especially if you will be making pizza within the next few days – be sure to take it out and bring it to room temperature before baking. This will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Alternatively, if you want to keep the dough balls for much longer before cooking, you can put it into the freezer. This method will allow you to prepare the dough ahead of time and give it the longest life. When you freeze the dough, it will last for as long as three months.
The cold temperature inside the freezer will stop the yeast and gluten from reacting, and the dough will not rise. When it is time to bake, you can take the dough out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Of course, it should then be returned to room temperature to let the dough rest and be ready for baking.
Another way to make the dough last longer is to add less yeast and sugar – these are key ingredients in the recipe, but more of them can make the dough rise more quickly.
Is It Better To Make Pizza Dough The Night Before?
There is the option to make your pizza dough the night before you plan to use it – you can keep it in the fridge, which will preserve it and begin the fermentation process in which the yeast reacts with the sugar and creates carbon dioxide.
However, it is important to note that when fermentation, otherwise known as proofing, occurs at a cold temperature, this will make the yeast and gluten react more slowly. Most pizza fanatics would suggest that leaving the dough in the fridge for three days will yield the best results.
That being said, leaving the dough in the fridge overnight will give you a reasonably texture result and will deliver a nice crust when you bake the pizza in the oven.
Does Pizza Dough Rise In The Fridge?
As we have briefly discussed, pizza dough will rise in the fridge, but this process usually requires a lot more time. You can quickly proof the dough at warm room temperature in as little as an hour (although 2 or 3 hours is preferred); doing so in a cooler environment like the fridge will need more time before the dough is ready.
Ideally, if you wish to prepare your dough in advance, you will want to give yourself at 3 days to see a difference; you will see how the dough will have doubled in size during this time.
When you take the pre-made dough balls out of the fridge, you should make sure to let the dough warm to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. It will then be ready to pop onto a pizza stone and into the oven.
Can Your Refrigerate Dough Before It Rises?
You can put the dough into the fridge before it starts to rise, but if you want to get ahead, allowing it to rise at room temp for a short time will make the whole process more quick and easy. This is especially important if you wish to use the dough the next day.
If you want to make your favorite pizza dough recipe in advance, you may have been concerned that the dough would not last. However, there are several ways of making dough and slowing down the proofing process if you want to make your pizzas somewhere down the line.
Keeping the dough in the freezer will let you make it well in advance, whereas the fridge will give you a few days before you need to bake your homemade pizza.
Furthermore, there are many easy to make pizza dough recipes that include less yeast and sugar, allowing you to hold off baking a little longer.