how to thaw frozen pizza dough

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Defrosting Frozen Pizza Dough

If I’m looking for thaw frozen pizza dough, I’ll take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator. You should do this the evening before or in the morning of the day you plan to make pizza. You want to make sure it’s been in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

The length of time for the dough to defrost will be determined by the size of the dough ball.

I will often freeze my dough, as I like to make it in bulk and know that I always have some available. The great thing is that frozen pizza dough can taste just as good as fresh dough.

Pizza dough can last in the freezer for 2-3 months. If you need some tips on storing pizza dough, check out this guide.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to thaw frozen pizza dough. I’m going to share with you 6 ways to do it.

Now I would always recommend using a cold method to defrost pizza dough. Warm ways could run the risk of starting to cook the pizza dough.

Remember when you are thawing pizza dough, it should be eaten within a few days. Leaving it too long can make the pizza taste very sour.

How To Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough in the Refrigerator

Take your pizza dough out of the freezer. Ensure that it’s in a storage bag or air-tight container. It might expand whilst it defrosts so make sure it does have some room.

Put it in your refrigerator and leave for 8-12 hours.

The dough should now be soft and fully defrosted.

You want to remove it from the fridge. I will then re-ball the dough ball to help stimulate the yeast and gluten network. Place it at room temperature for 1-2 hours before you intend to use it.

Defrost Frozen Pizza Dough In Cold Water

The best way to defrost pizza dough is to put it in the refrigerator for a few hours before using it.

Giving it a cold-water bath is another excellent approach to defrosting pizza dough. This method will not damage the dough or inadvertently begin to cook it.

Once you’ve taken the frozen pizza dough out of the freezer, put it in a bowl that’s about medium in size. Fill the dish with cold water and make sure that the pizza dough is fully submerged.

It should start to defrost and become soft. It helps with defrosting as water will help to transfer heat better than air.

Usually, it will take a couple of hours to defrost but depending on the size it might take a little longer.

Once it’s defrosted, take it out of the bag. I then like to re-ball the dough ball and place it in an air-tight container at room temperature.

You may find that it starts to rise a little more in this time, don’t worry this is perfectly normal. I’ll usually leave this for 1-2 hours before I plan to bake the pizza.

Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough in a Bowl of Warm Water

Now if you are in a hurry you can speed up the process by using warm water. This will help the dough to defrost much quicker than leaving it in cold water.

You don’t want to leave the pizza dough in the water for too long, as you don’t want to start cooking the dough.

In a bowl place the warm water and make sure your pizza dough is still in the storage bag and that it’s fully covered by water.

It’s important that you do change the water every 10 minutes. The cold from the pizza dough will cool the water down. Replacing this water will make sure it continues to defrost.

Like previously leave it on the counter at room temperature for 2 hours before you plan to use it.

Thaw Pizza Dough Using a Microwave

I would personally not recommend using a microwave, as you run the risk of it starting to cook the pizza dough. It can do it but you need to be very careful.

Make sure you coat the microwave plate and dough with some oil. this is done to make sure it doesn’t stick. Cover the dough with plastic wrap.

Some microwaves come with a defrost setting. If yours does then use this and keep check the dough is done by touching it. Once soft, you know its fully defrosted.

If you don’t have a defrost setting then you will need to use the high setting. However, you should only do it for around 30 seconds and check if it’s defrosted.

If not repeat for another 30 seconds. Continue this until it’s fully thawed out. By doing it this way, you’re making sure that you don’t start cooking it.

Re-ball the pizza dough and again leave at room temperature on the counter. You should leave it for 1-2 hours before you plan to bake it.

Defrost Pizza Dough Using an Oven

The microwave and the convection oven are the two defrosting methods, although they work in much the same way.

You must be cautious not to cook your pizza dough while it’s being defrosted with either of these techniques.

Place the dough into a cooking pan, it needs to be larger than the dough as it will expand whilst its defrosting. Spray the pan and the dough with some oil.

Cover the dough with some oven-safe plastic wrap and give this a spray of oil as well to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to it.

Set your oven to its lowest setting. Some do have a defrost setting, if your’s does then use that. Leave it for around 30 minutes and check the dough.

If it’s not fully defrosted then leave for another 30 minutes and continue checking. If it’s very nearly defrosted then don’t leave it as long before checking.

It should also rise to double size whilst it’s defrosting in the oven. So you are ready to use it and make your pizza as soon as it comes out.

Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough On The Worktop

The final method is simply allowing the dough to defrost at room temperature on your counter. Depending on the size this will usually take around 2-3 hours.

You just need to ensure it’s fully covered and place it in a container to allow for it to rise and expand. It needs to be air-tight as the air will cause it to form a dry crust and we don’t want that.

There you have it, 6 methods of thawing frozen pizza dough.

I personally prefer to defrost pizza dough in the fridge. You can plan much better than as to when you want to cook your pizza.

Once it’s defrosted you can simply leave it in the refrigerator till around 2 hours before you need to cook…Easy!

Tips When Defrosting Pizza Dough

Below are some basic tips that you should follow when you defrost frozen pizza dough, no matter which method you follow.

  1. Make sure you leave the dough 1-2 hours after it has defrosted. This will help it rise and get it to room temperature. Which will give you a more even bake.
  2. When the dough has defrosted, make sure you do re-ball it.
  3. Whilst defrosting and rising, make sure the dough is always in an air tight container or fully covered.
  4. Do not heat the dough up enough that it begins to cook.


How Long Does it Take to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough?

It takes 30 minutes to 12 hours to thaw frozen pizza dough. It just depends on the method that you use to defrost it.

If making pizza later that day or the following day, put it in the fridge for 12 hours. You can cover it with plastic wrap and defrost at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Why Are You Not Supposed To Thaw Frozen Pizza Before Cooking?

It’s fine to thaw frozen pizza dough BUT you cannot thaw store-bought pizza. You see these pizzas are designed to be cooked when frozen.

If you let it thaw the water will be absorbed by the base, making it very soggy.

You also have to take into consideration the toppings. Some should be cooked frozen. (Always follow the instructions on any packaging on items you get from the store)

Will pizza dough rise after being frozen?

Yes. Not only will it rise, but it will expand to around double the size while defrosting in the oven or on the countertop.

When you freeze the dough it stops the yeast and gluten development.

When you take it out of the freezer, the yeast starts up again and it will begin to rise. This is important when you want to have nice, tasty pizza dough.

How do you thaw frozen pizza dough quickly?

The microwave is the quickest method, but if you aren’t careful, it may also cook the dough too much.

There are many ways to thaw frozen pizza dough. The best way is by placing it in the fridge for 12 hours if you don’t want it to rise too much.

You can also place it on your countertop or oven and defrost at room temperature.

If you have a microwave, be careful not to cook the dough when heating up!

There’s plenty of information about how to thaw frozen pizza dough here so take some time reading through this article before deciding what method will work best for you next time you need fresh-baked pizzas on short notice!

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