How To Store Pizza Dough

Last updated on:

SToring Pizza Dough In Fridge, Freezer or at room temperature

I often make pizza dough in bulk, it saves so much time when wanting to have pizza nights. It’s therefore important to know how to store pizza dough properly.

Meal prepping is following a modern food trend. If you make the food ahead of time, it becomes faster and easier to eat. This is especially true for families who are busy.

Nothing beats the flavour of a fresh pizza coming out of the oven. But how exactly can you prep pizza in advance and still keep that fresh flavour?

It’s all about the pizza dough and making that in advance before stretching it out into a pizza. Below I’m going to share the impacts of yeast on the dough, what makes the dough go bad and also how to store pizza dough so you can make a fresh pizza any day of the week.

The shelf life of pizza dough is determined by the amount of yeast you use, as well as the temperature at which it is stored. Higher temperatures encourage the yeast to be more active, so lowering the temperature will limit its activity. As a result, refrigerator or freeze-dried pizza dough will keep longer than room-temperature dough.

Correctly Portioning Pizza Dough

To store pizza dough correctly, the first step is to make sure you properly portion your dough. There are two ways to portion it for storage, you can either take a whole lot of dough and either put it in the fridge to freeze it.

Or you can divide it up into individual dough balls.

The best option would be to put it into individual dough balls. This means you can control exactly how much you get out and know how many pizzas you can prepare for.

If you put an entire batch of pizza dough in the freezer, you may not know how many pizzas you’ll get out of it. Or you may not even want that many.

If I’m doing a batch then I’ll use a pizza calculator to work out how much dough I need. I’ll prepare it and then let it does its initial proofing. Once it’s ready to be balled, ill individually ball the dough and then only keep out what I intend to use and then freeze the remaining balls.

Before we get into how to store, lets me first go through why pizza dough goes bad.

Why Does Pizza Dough Go Bad?

Over-proofing is the most common cause of pizza dough going bad. Because the gluten is unable to contain the gases within the dough after it has rested for too long, it loses its form and texture.

Gas is continuously leaking out of the pizza dough, in much the same way as a balloon. The surface of the dough isn’t airtight like a balloon, and gas is constantly flowing out. The dough will continue to rise as long as the yeast can generate enough gas.

However, if you leave the dough to rest for too long, the gluten strands will weaken, and the yeast will be unable to generate enough gas to puff up the dough. You’ll get a dough with a poor structure that won’t hold its shape.

The amount of yeast in the pizza dough governs fermentation speed. This implies that the more yeast you add, the quicker the dough will rise. Many home pizza creations use a lot of yeast to achieve rapid rising. Neapolitan pizza, on the other hand, requires less yeast and takes longer to ferment.

In other words, while pizza dough will not go bad in the way that food kept for extended periods of time might be harmful to consume, it can still have a negative impact on your health. Your ingredients mustn’t be contaminated, mouldy, or otherwise hazardous to your well-being. When you make pizza, it’s critical to use high-quality ingredients. If the dough is kept for an extended period of time, flavours can develop in it.

How To Store Pizza Dough On The Counter

Now before we get into how to store pizza dough on the counter, it’s important to know when you should and shouldn’t store the pizza at room temperature.

As mentioned above if you store the dough at room temperature for too long, it will end up over-proofing and this will impact the flavour of the pizza. You should ONLY store the pizza dough on the counter if it’s the dough’s first proof or if you intend to use it.

If you plan to store it away for another day, NEVER store it on the counter.

How long can you store pizza dough on the counter?

It does depend on the type of pizza you make, as they usually have different amounts of yeast in them.

For example, a standard pizza recipe can normally last 2-3 hours, perhaps 4 at max. Neapolitan Pizza Dough contains less yeast, which allows you to leave it at room temperature for a good 24 hours.

How To Store Pizza Dough At Room Temperature

To prevent the dough from drying out it should be stored in either an airtight container or plastic bag. I advise putting the dough in a container as this will allow the dough to breathe.

It’s also a good idea to oil the dough and container before using it. This will not only assist prevent the surface from drying out, but it’ll also make it simpler to remove from the container when preparing pizza.

How To Store Pizza Dough in the Fridge

My favourite way of storing pizza dough is in the fridge. There are many benefits from keeping it fresh to improve the flavour. (which I’ll go into detail in just a moment).

The first thing you need to do is portion the dough into individual balls. Next, place these into a bag or an airtight container. (I use the Ooni stacks as containers)

When you’re ready to use your pizza dough and work with it, it’s important that it gets to room temperature. You should always leave it 30 minutes once out of the fridge.

If you don’t you’ll find it sticks to your pizza peel.

How long can you store pizza in the fridge?

The great thing about storing pizza dough in the fridge is that it slows down the yeast from fermenting and emitting gas. This means it can last a few days without going bad.

Now you can store pizza dough in the fridge for around 2 weeks, although I personally recommend 3-5 days. Any longer than that and I’d recommend putting it in the freezer.

The flavour benefits of storing pizza dough in the fridge

If you’ve joined any pizza making Facebook groups, you’ll no doubt see people recommending cold fermentations. This is basically when you ferment or proof the pizza dough in the fridge.

It’s recommended as it really helps to enhance the flavour of the dough.

By reducing the fermentation rate, the yeast will eat the sugars and produce CO2 at a moderate and steady rate. This will result in greater complex flavour compounds than fast proofing.

How To Store Pizza Dough in the Freezer

Storing pizza dough in the freezer is incredibly easy and very convenient. Tightly wrap each dough ball so that it’s airtight. This will stop the dough from drying out.

Then simply put them in the freezer until you’re ready for them.

The great thing about the freezer is that it will keep your dough for up to 3 months. It’s important when you do come to use it that you take it out for 3-4 hours to defrost.

I personally like to take it out the night before and keep it in the fridge.

Final Thought

I really hope this guide has helped answer any question you might have on how to store pizza dough correctly.

Personally, I tend to use all 3 methods at some point.

If I’ve decided that I’m having pizza that day, I need it to prove a little quicker so I’ll keep it on the counter.

If I plan to have pizza that week then I’ll store it in the fridge.

Finally, If I’m batch making and do not plan to have any that week then I’ll simply pop in the freezer.

Usually when I’m making pizza dough, ill always make extra so I have spare in the freezer. (You never know when you suddenly decide you want pizza!)

No matter which way you decide to do it, you will be able to make incredible pizza. Remember pizza tastes even better when made with a pizza oven, so if you want to up your game id recommend researching them.

Leave a Comment