Do you like to make your own pizza, and enjoy having fresh, or at least semi-fresh dough on hand to work with? Whether you buy dough from your local grocery store or bakery, or you make your own, it is always a good idea to have more than what you need. That way, if you want to make another pizza the following day, or even a few days later, you don’t have to worry about not having enough dough.
But, how long is that dough going to last in your refrigerator? Well, that could depend on a few things, particularly the ingredients that have been used to make the dough. For instance, some people put an egg in their dough. If it is made with an egg, it is going to go bad quicker than it would if it didn’t have egg in it. Today we are going to take a look at how long does pizza dough last in the fridge.
If your dough has been in the fridge for a while then have a look at our article on how to tell if your dough has gone bad.
Pizza Dough Ingredients
First, we have to look at the ingredients that are used to make pizza dough. Every cook has their own “secret” recipe, but for most recipes, the basic ingredients are all pretty much the same: yeast, flour, salt, and water. By themselves, all of these ingredients can be kept for some time without going bad. But, once the yeast is activated, the dough must either be used right away, or refrigerated.
You may be asking, doesn’t the yeast stop working if it is refrigerated? That is a very good question, and one that many people ask. Yes, once it becomes cold, the yeast will no longer be active. But, it is merely in a state of hibernation, so to speak. Once you take the dough out of the fridge and let it warm back up to room temperature, the yeast is going to once again be active, and the dough will rise.
Making Pizza Dough
Now that you know the basic ingredients for pizza dough, it is a good idea to learn how to put everything together to create a dough that you can easily refrigerate or even freeze. Start out by combining a tablespoon of yeast with a tablespoon of white sugar (the sugar helps the yeast to activate), and add a cup or so of warm water. Place the bowl in a sink filled with hot water, and wait for about 10 minutes. The mixture should turn foamy. When it is foamy, it is ready to use.
Add the flour and salt (and an egg if your recipe calls for one), and mix everything together to form a smooth dough. Now you can start kneading. We recommend greasing your hands first, so you don’t end up in a sticky mess. Once you have kneaded the dough, place it into a greased bowl, place the bowl in a sink filled with hot water, cover, and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. That’s all there is to it.
Refrigerating Your Pizza Dough
Once you have let the dough rise once or twice, you can either use it right away, or store it in the refrigerator or freezer to use later. Again, don’t worry about this ruining the yeast. The dough has already risen anyway, but it will also rise again once it is warm and the yeast can reactivate. Refrigerating your dough is easy, and you don’t even need to keep it in the bowl, so it won’t take up a lot of room in your fridge.
The first thing you will need to do is to knead the dough into balls (one or more, depending on how much dough you make). You have two options, depending on how much space you have. If you have room in you fridge for pizza pans, you can spread the dough out and refrigerate it right on the pans, so it is ready to use. Or, you can keep the dough balls as they are and spread them out when you are ready to make a pizza.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. It is a good idea to use a couple of layers, to make sure that no air gets at the dough and causes it to dry out. When wrapped like this, your dough should stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week. It’s not a good idea to let it sit for any longer than that. If you don’t plan on making your pizza within this time, you should put the dough in the freezer.
Freezing Your Pizza Dough
If you are not going to use your pizza dough within a week of making or buying it, it is a good idea to put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it. This is going to let you have the dough for up to three months, or even longer if you don’t have any freezer burn. Again, make sure that your dough is very well wrapped.
You might even want to use a food sealer machine to make sure that absolutely no air comes into contact with the dough; this is going to help it stay fresher longer, even in the freezer. You can also do this with the pizza dough you put in the fridge, and it will stay fresh for a couple of extra days.
Have a look here for our step by step guide on how to defrost pizza dough.
There really is no food that can be kept in the fridge, indefinitely, but if you do take the proper steps, you can make some foods last in the fridge for as long as a week or two, and a lot longer if you use your freezer. When it comes to pizza dough, it is obviously at its best when it is as fresh as possible. But, it is pretty easy to refrigerate, and only a true pizza dough connoisseur is going to know that it wasn’t made that same day that it is going to be used.