Are you tired of ordering greasy pizza from the same old pizza joints, or even worse, bringing home frozen pizza that tastes like cardboard? It’s really easy to make pizza at home, and you can even make your dough, or even crusts, ahead of time so you can enjoy pizza any time you want, without having to compromise on flavor or price. So, how can you do this? You have a few options when it comes to the dough. Most grocery stores sell dough, and all you have to do is roll it out. You can also buy pizza crusts, but these are pretty close to cardboard, just like frozen pizzas.
We are going to look at making your own pizza dough, and find out how long does pizza dough last. There are several recipes available for dough, and it can get pretty complicated if you want to get into the “foodie” stuff. All you really need for pizza dough are five simple ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.
How Long will Pizza Dough Stay Fresh?
How long pizza dough stays fresh depends on a couple of things. Obviously, it can’t be stored outside of the refrigerator. It might last for a few hours, but we wouldn’t want to eat it if it has been sitting out overnight. You can put it in the fridge, where you can store it for up to one week before it needs to be thrown out.
If you plan on freezing your pizza dough, it will stay fresh for several months, as long as it doesn’t get freezer burned. We suggest separating the dough for as many pizzas as you like (the more dough, the thicker the crust), and then wrapping each dough ball in plastic wrap. Once it is wrapped, place it inside a freezer bag, and use a straw to suck out as much air as possible. It is the air that ruins foods that are in the freezer.
Now, you may be thinking that since yeast is what makes the dough rise, and since yeast needs heat to make it active, that it is going to be ruined in the fridge or freezer. Yes, the yeast will stop being active while it is cold. But, once it is thawed and warmed up, the yeast will go back to work and the dough will rise so you have a nice, thick pizza crust.
Make Pizza Crusts Instead
If you want to be able to make pizzas in just a few minutes, try making your own pizza crusts and freezing them so you have them whenever you want a pizza. Make your dough (using the recipe in this article), form whatever size pizzas you like, and pre-cook the dough without any toppings. Now you have pizza shells. You can refrigerate these for up to a week, or freeze them for several months as long as they are in an airtight freezer bag.
Whenever you are in the mood for a pizza, and you want it in a hurry, take one of these out of the freezer. Throw on a few pizza toppings, stick it in an oven that has been pre-heated to 400° Fahrenheit, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, just long enough for the dough to heat up and the cheese to melt. You don’t even have to thaw out your pizza shells. They will thaw in the oven while the toppings are warming up.
Making Your Own Pizza Dough
Okay, you want a good pizza dough recipe that is easy to make, and will freeze well so you can make it ahead of time and have it whenever you feel like making a pizza. The following recipe is easy to make (although time consuming because you have to let the dough rise), and it gives you a delicious pizza dough that can also be used to make your own bread.
You will have to let the dough rise at least once. How many times you let it rise depends on what type of texture you like for your pizza dough. If you like something that is chewy, letting the dough rise once is sufficient. If you prefer something that is a bit lighter, you might want to let it rise two or three times. Of course, since each rising session is 45 minutes to an hour, you may also want to consider how hungry you are and how soon you want to eat.
Pizza Dough (makes one 12-16 inch pizza)
- 3 C white flour
- 1 C warm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
Place warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel. Fill the sink with about two inches of hot water, and place the bowl in the water. The heat will help to activate the yeast. Once the yeast and sugar have expanded and there are no yeast granules left, add the flour and salt. You may need more or less flour, depending on how sticky the dough is. You should be able to handle it easily without getting too much on your hands.
Knead the dough several times until there are no lumps. Clean the bowl out, and then grease it. Form the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, and cover with the towel. Place the bowl back in the sink with more warm water, and let it sit there for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Punch a hole in the center of the dough, remove from the bowl, and knead it again. Now you can spread it onto your pizza pan. If you like a super-thick pizza, you can let it rise for another half hour or so, but this isn’t really necessary as the dough is also going to rise in the oven. Put your favorite pizza toppings on, and bake your pizza at 400°F for about 20 minutes.