The best method to thaw frozen pizza dough is to remove the dough from your freezer and place it in your refrigerator the day before you intend to start cooking. You need to place it in the fridge for at least 8 to 12 hours. People often ask me can you freeze pizza dough and absolutely you can.
The exact length of time for the dough to be defrosted will depend on how big the dough ball is. We recommend that when making your dough make sure you separate it (use a dough scraper) into 200g balls and allow them to prove before freezing. Below I have listed the exact method I use to freeze and thaw my pizza dough.
Pizza from frozen dough is just as good as pizza made from fresh dough . Even professional pizza chefs often freeze their pizza dough. A professional pizzeria will more often than not use a large dough machine to prepare their pizza dough. The batches of dough made by these machines are huge. Make a large batch allows them to save time and money. Yes they may use a lot the same day but freezing the unused dough cuts their costs. Providing you freeze it and then defrost it correctly no one will be able to tell the difference between fresh and frozen pizza dough. See below for our step by step guide.
Step 1 – Preparation for freezing
- Separate the dough into about 200g equal parts
- Roll each part into a dough ball and place into a dough tray
- Cover the each tray (depending on how much dough you have made) with plastic wrap
- Place the tray in a warm dry place and allow to prove for 24 hours
- Take the tray and place it into the freezer (if you think you may only be using 1 or 2 at a time then you need to make sure that each dough ball can be removed separately)
TOP TIP! – if you don’t have enough room in your freezer to place a whole tray directly in then individually plastic wrap each dough ball and place into the freezer
Step 2 – Defrost Frozen Pizza Dough
- At least 24 hours before you need to cook remove the dough from your freezer.
- If you can make sure each dough ball isn’t stuck to any of the other dough balls. Try to loosen them if they are. If they are stuck fast don’t worry too much as you will be able to do this step once the dough has thawed.
- Recover the dough with plastic wrap if you removed it in the previous step
- Take the dough and place it into your refrigerator.
- After 24 hours remove the dough and place it at room temperature for around 50 minutes before you want to make the pizza.
Using frozen dough for pizza still taste amazing. Most pizza chefs make up a whole batch of pizza dough so freezing some of it cuts down on waste and maximises their time. At home its unusual unless having a pizza party or a lot of guests to use a whole batch of pizza dough, so freezing some of the dough is a great way not to waste any and also saves you time in the future. Just make sure you remember to take it out of the freezer in time!
Pizza dough frozen? Depending on which method you use you can thaw it between 30 minutes and 24 hours. If you have enough time put the dough in the fridge for around 24 hours. Alternatively leave the dough out on the counter top (cover in plastic wrap) to defrost at room temperature. This method will take around 5 hours.
The quickest method is the microwave but this may start to heat the dough too much if you are not careful. You need to avoid the microwave cooking the dough. You only want to defrost it not cook it. This can be tricky and you need to keep an eye on the dough if you use this method. See below for our step by step guide on how to use the microwave.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough Quickly?
If time is really tight then the quickest way to thaw frozen dough is in the microwave. This takes a matter of minutes but may start to cook your dough if not done correctly. See below for our step by step guide. Alternatively leave the frozen pizza dough in a warm dry part of the house for around 5 hours. You will get a nice even defrost.
How Do You Defrost Pizza Dough In The Microwave?
You can defrost pizza dough in a microwave in less than 30 minutes but its certainly not a method I like to use. Put the pizza dough in the microwave on a microwave safe plate. Ensure the dough is in a sealed container or plastic bag. Microwave on full power in 10 second bursts. Turn the dough over between bursts and check to see if it is defrosted. When you first start this you will be tempted to do longer bursts but in my experience its best to avoid this.
You want to avoid cooking the pizza dough. You just want to defrost the dough enough that you can begin to work with it. If you have time try to leave it to rest for 30 minutes once thawed at room temperature before you start to make your pizza.
Why Are You Not Supposed To Thaw Frozen Pizza Before Cooking?
Now frozen pizza that you buy from the supermarket i.e. a whole pizza is different. You must defrost frozen pizza dough but don’t defrost a frozen dough pizza! Frozen pizzas are designed to be cooked from frozen. The main reason is that they retain water. If you defrost one you may end up with cold water coming out of the pizza as it thaws. Cold water may make the base soggy.
Avoid getting your pizza covered in cold water!
By far the best method in my opinion is using your fridge. I’ve tried all of the methods above and while they may all work if you have enough time then you just get better results using the fridge method.
On occasion we have decided at the last minute that we want to have pizza so the microwave was the only option. Now given the choice of using the microwave or not having pizza then fire that microwave up! If you are forced to use this method then please please take care with it. Its so important to just do short bursts. Keep checking the dough in between each burst. You will start to feel when the dough is getting softer. Move the dough around the microwave. Turn the dough over regularly.
When I make dough I tend to make it in a big batch. Even though we are a family of five we would never be able to eat that much pizza in one sitting (although I’m sure my three boys would have a good try 🙂
The ability to separate out the dough into individual serving sizes, use what we need that day and then freeze the rest for another day is fantastic. It also means you keep the cost per serving right down. Making pizza at home can cost as little as 50 cents per pizza depending on what toppings you go for!