If you want to make pizzas in the comfort of your own home, one of the most important things to consider is how to store pizza dough. If you aren’t ready to bake your pizza dough right away, you will need to make sure that it is stored correctly so that is doesn’t go bad.
Pizza dough will keep in the freezer for up to three months and in the refrigerator for three days but at room temperature, you will need to make sure you get baking pretty quickly.
In this post, we are going to be looking at the best way to store pizza dough and giving you some tips on the various methods.
How Do You Refrigerate Homemade Pizza Dough?
One of the joys of making pizzas at home is that you can do much of the preparation ahead of time. Making the dough is one such example of this but if you don’t intend on baking it the same day, you must store the dough in the fridge.
When kept in the fridge, your dough will typically last for around three days so this is a good method if you want to make your pizza dough at the weekend ready to use during the week.
To start, you will need to follow the pizza dough recipe which will include flour, water, yeast, sugar, olive oil and salt. Some recipes may not include certain ingredients but it is up to you which recipe you follow. This recipe makes the most traditional pizza crust.
Once your dough is prepared, you can then split it into balls with a dough scraper. Make sure that you have kneaded the dough well and then get a plastic container, typically a bowl, to but the balls in. You must lightly coat the inside of your bowl with olive oil as this will prevent the dough ball from sticking.
Place your pizza dough balls inside the bowl and cover it with either some plastic wrap or a lid. If you are using plastic wrap, be sure to properly seal this around the container to prevent air from getting inside.
Now place the dough in the fridge. One of the benefits of keeping pizza dough in the fridge is that it will rise, so you don’t need to let it rise before you store it.
Pizza dough that is kept in the fridge should be used within three days to taste it at its best. If it is not, you will find that it doesn’t have as good flavor and the texture of the crust may be drier than you would like.
When you are ready to start baking, you should take the dough out of the fridge and let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before putting it into the oven. You can leave it for a little extra time but try not to leave it any longer than 1/2 an hour.
Leaving the dough to warm will allow you to knead a stretch it much more easily. You can then work the dough into the correct shape before baking. However, we would also suggest that you let the dough rest for 15 minutes first.
Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough After it Rises?
The great thing about pizza dough is that you can pop it into the fridge at any point of the process. From the moment you begin creating your recipe, right through to after the dough has been baked, it can be kept in the fridge.
If you have let the dough rise at room temperature, you may then decide to chill it until you are ready to use it.
According to some of the best pizza chefs, putting the dough in the fridge after the first rise will give the best results. You can follow the same process that we discussed in the previous section but do remember to give the dough balls room to rise as it will expand.
After the dough has been in the fridge for a day, you will find that it is at its best for making pizza. This is because, at this point, the dough will have the most amount of flavor and texture. If you are looking to make pizza with a professional crust, it can help to use the dough after a day in the fridge.
When are ready to use it, reshape the dough and let it rise again. Then follow the same process as before, leaving the dough for around 15 – 30 minutes to come to room temperature. It will then be good to use.
How Long Can You Leave Pizza Dough To Rise?
When you make pizza, one of the most important parts of the process is to allow the dough to rise. You might hear this being called proofing or fermenting, but it is all the same thing.
The reason that this is so important is that, if you want to achieve a fluffy crust, the yeast must have time to react with the gluten in the dough. You will notice that all pizza dough recipes call for yeast and often sugar, along with flour and water of course. Some yeast needs to be dissolved in water whereas other types of yeast can be added directly into the flour and other dry ingredients; but all yeast acts in the same way.
Yeast is a living organism that needs to feed. When you knead the dough, you are creating a network of gluten structures that the yeast can feed on. During the rising process, the yeast ‘eats’ the sugar and creates air bubbles; this is what causes the dough to expand and is what creates that gorgeous fluffy crust.
So, after you have completed your dough recipe, you will need to leave it to rise but depending on where you place the dough will depend on how much time it will need.
You can leave the dough at room temperature in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and lined with a coating of olive oil or any other type of cooking oil. In this case, you should give it between 1 and 1/2 hours. It may take a little longer if the room is cool so don’t be afraid to give it a little extra time, if needs be. The dough should double in size and this is an easy way to tell when it is ready.
Alternatively, you can proof your pizza dough in the fridge. If you use this method, do be prepared to keep the dough there for longer as the cooler temperatures will slow down the proofing process. The dough will take at least 12 hours to proof. However, it is important to keep in mind that after a few days, the yeast will have run out of gluten to feed on and the dough will start to deteriorate.
Put the dough balls in to a container and follow the same process as before.
When the dough is ready for using, you can take it out and allow it to come to room temperature before putting it into the oven for baking.
Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?
If you don’t plan to use your dough for some time, or you have a lot of dough left over, it is entirely possible to store it in the freezer. This is a great method because you can separate the dough into balls and this is great if you wish to make one pizza at a time. Next time you come to use the dough, you can remove as much or as little as you need from the freezer and still have some for another day.
When you keep the dough in the freezer, it will stay good for up to three months. But it is important to store it correctly so that it is just like fresh dough when you thaw it.
You should separate the dough into balls and coat each of these in your favorite oil; this will stop them from sticking together in the freezer, making them easy to remove. To prevent sticking even more, you might place the dough into its own bag. You can use a freezer food bag but if you do not have a bag, you can use parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Make sure you remove all the air before you put the pizza dough in the freezer. It will be good to use for up to 3 months but after this time, the pizza dough may get freezer burn and this can effect the flavor of the pizza.
When you want to use the pizza dough, you should thaw it in the refrigerator. It is better to thaw overnight but as long as it has had around 12 hours, the pizza dough should be good.
After this, you should to follow the same process for dough that has been kept in the fridge, leaving it for 30 minutes at room temperature before working the dough.
Can I Store Pizza Dough In The Freezer After Cooking?
You can also make pizza and keep the finished pizza in your freezer. This is just as easy and can be executed just like freezing pizza dough, covering each pizza with wrap or in a container and allowing them to defrost when you want to use them. Frozen pizza should be used within two months.
Many people like to make pizza at home, it is easy to make and requires basic ingredients like flour, water, yeast and sugar; things that we all have in our kitchen cabinets.
However, it is vital that you treat your pizza dough with care and store it correctly before using it. This makes sure that your pizza always turns out perfect.
You can keep pizza dough in the fridge, freezer or at room temperature if you intend on using it directly after it rises. The good news is that pizza dough will keep for a few months when frozen so you can enjoy pizza long after making the dough!