How to Store Pizza Dough – The Best Way

By Vanessa Richards

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how to store pizza dough

Storage is a great factor to preserve your dough in good condition. It should not become too old, soggy or very chewy.

In a sudden gathering with your friends, everyone is excited for your homemade pizza! What if you don’t have anything prepared yet? Fore sure pizza sauces and pizza toppings might not bother you. But making pizza dough? it won’t be easy-peasy.

This is why storing pizza dough will come to the rescue. Fold your sleeves and start making the dough beforehand. Got some extra dough? Don’t throw it away! If you practice the right process of storing pizza dough, you can serve your signature pizza fresh and hot every time you want.

Here is the deal. Keep up on this page as we unfold the best finds on how to store pizza dough for you to try.

◉ Store Pizza Dough – How to keep it good?

Before we jump on to the storing stuff, learn some interesting facts about how to keep your dough in good shape.

Quality ingredients

Pizza dough will be good as long as the ingredients have good quality. Meaning it must not contain mold, not spoiled or contaminated. As much as you wanted to make your pizza special, you must also consider selecting the right and quality ingredients for it to become delicious.

Yeast does the magic

Aside from the storage temperature, your pizza dough will last depending on the amount of yeast it contained. When the temperature is high, the more active the yeast could get. On the other hand, it slows down as the temperature lowers. Therefore, your pizza dough will last longer if stored in refrigerator or freezer compare to room temperature.

No to over proofing

Over proofing or over resting, will result to off consistency of the dough. It will disable the gluten in trapping gases inside the dough, that will cause loosen shape and texture. If the gluten is weakened, the yeast will not produce sufficient gas and the dough will be restrained from rising.

To fasten the fermentation phase, you need to add more yeast on your dough. This is mostly indicated in pizza crust recipes in order to save some time. However, if you attempt to do the classic Neapolitan-style pizza, allow it to take the fermentation a little bit longer because it requires lesser amount of yeast.

Learn how to make a pizza dough from scratch here –Read more

◉ Store your pizza dough in 3 easy ways

how to store pizza dough
Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

Things to do before storing pizza dough:

Store in well-sealed container or cover it with plastic wrap

This is to keep the moisture while it looks hard and dry on the surface.

Brush olive oil around the dough and inside of the container

It will prevent your dough from drying out and for it to be easily taken out of the container. Also, this consistency of dough will make it easier to bake.

Take note: make a big ball of dough first to put rest for about 1-2 hours in an oiled container. Do this before cutting it into portions for another recipe like bread.

1. Put it on the counter

how to store pizza dough
Photo by Sara Groblechner on Unsplash

A usual practice to store pizza dough is putting it on the counter. The more yeast you add onto your dough, the more it need to rest in a room temperature. Just a reminder, over proofed dough may leave an off taste to your pizza.

For standard pizza, it must be left on the counter to ferment for 1-2 hours. However, dough for Neapolitan pizza needed to be left on the counter to ferment longer at 8-12 hours or thaw it overnight to get the maximum quality.

2. Put it in the Fridge

how to store pizza dough

This storage is advisable for dough that takes time to ferment. Slow fermentation will make the dough tastier. If you have excess dough or wanted to make it ahead of time, it will be in good condition when stored in the fridge.

Do the same procedure like storing pizza in a room temperature. Store the dough after kneading is the proper way to do. Leave it to rest for 1-2 hours. Cut it in half and put the dough balls inside a mixing bowl coated with oil and cover it with plastic wrap. You can also put it in sealed container brushed in olive oil or any available cooking oil.

First rise is considered to be done at the time you store the dough in the fridge. Chilling the dough will slow the yeast from fermenting but will not completely stop its activity. Punch it down a few times after the first few hours of cooling in the refrigerator.

Final rise will take place longer than recipe description because of the cooling phase. Strictly follow the instructions of baking your pizza recipe.

Your dough will last inside the fridge or freezer for at least two weeks. However, it is best to use after 48 hours. It is better to put it in the freezer if you won’t use it within seven days to avoid over proofing. According to a review, dough that is stored for 3-5 days may give a sweeter taste to the crust.

When you decided to use the dough, remove it from the fridge and punch it down once again. Remember to take it out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to soften. Like the other fermented dough in a room temperature, leave it for a while before you start shaping. Keep in mind to only take out enough portions you plan to bake for a specific time. Not the entire dough you stored in the fridge. You can now start working on it to become a good pizza crust.

How to achieve flavourful dough in fridge storing

A more complex flavour can be achieved when you set the dough for slow fermentation in the fridge. If you want the dough to accumulate more taste, don’t make the proofing faster. Put lesser yeast on it.  The yeast will consume the sugars and will release carbon dioxide slowly and stable. Slow fermentation is recommended for Italian pizzas like the pizza Margherita and Neapolitan-style pizza.

3. Put it in the Freezer

how to store pizza dough
Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash

Storing dough in the freezer is convenient if you want to have available pizza any time. This storing process is preferable to meet sudden craving in odd times. If you put the dough in the freezer, it will prolong its shelf life or its ability to be an edible food component, not just for pizza but also for other recipe.

Unlike in the fridge, the dough will stop fermenting when you put it in the freezer. It will last longer rather than when you store it in the fridge. Freeze pizza dough is edible for at least three months.

There is a difference in freezing your dough at home and frozen dough you buy at the store. Commercial dough are freeze in a high-end equipment that freezes faster while making a little bit destruction to the yeast and structure of the dough. This is quite an advantage, because freezing dough at home will most likely prone to damage yeast and structure. It is the reason why you will produce more pizza crust in using store-bought frozen dough.

After kneading the dough, leave it in room temperature for about 1-2 hours before putting it in the freezer. After proofing, separate the dough into portions. Flatten the dough into a disk or about one inch thick and place it on baking sheet or parchment paper. Once the surface is firm and dries out, put it in sealed containers greased with oil. As a practical storage option, put the dough balls in zip lock-bags to create more space inside the fridge.

Take out the dough from the freezer and thaw it in a room temperature for around 3-4 hours. You can also thaw it by putting it in a lower segment of the fridge overnight. In case you do this, it still needed to be warm in a room temperature before baking.

How to prepare frozen dough for bread rolls

If you’re planning to make bread rolls for dinner, follow these steps:

  • Remove the dough from the freezer and thaw it for at least two hours.
  • Put it on a baking sheet or parchment greased with oil.
  • Allow the dough balls to rise for a while
  • Follow the recipe directions for baking
  • Serve it hot

How to prepare frozen dough for pizza crust

  • Take out the frozen dough from the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes on the counter or until it is soft enough to form a crust.
  • Toss the pizza till it reached the size you wanted
  • Placed it in the pizza peel and start pouring the sauce and assemble the toppings
  • Follow the instructions in baking
  • Serve it fresh from the oven

Get more ideas on how to effectively defrost a pizza dough –Click here  

◉ Did you know?

Freezing baked loaf breads will make it moister and fluffy. This method is called “bake first and freeze” Insert loafs of bread in a sealed plastic bag or cover it with plastic wrap. Double wrap it with another plastic bag and freeze it up to six weeks. Open the wrapped frozen bread partially to dry out a little bit. Wrap the bread again with aluminum foil and heat it in oven with 300˚F temperature for 10-20 minutes. Serve it warm.

◉ Conclusion

It is important to store pizza dough the right way because it contains yeast which is an active ingredient. Storage is a great factor to preserve your dough in good condition. It is not meant to become too old, soggy or very chewy.

The key points of good storing is that it must give your dough a complex flavour, good shape and texture for baking purposes. The length of fermentation depends on temperature. Room temperature will escalate the activity of the yeast. Continuous fermentation will happen as long as there are sugars for yeast to consume. However, lowering the temperature will calm it down. On the other hand, it stops when exposed to extreme temperature.

Different types of yeast require varied temperature. Setting the right temperature is vital depending on the type of yeast you chooses to use. Compare to fresh yeast, dry yeast needs greater temperature. Instant yeast on the other hand, will require much higher temperature than the above mentioned types of yeast.

how to store pizza dough
Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

Cold Storage is the best

When you already created your dough, it is set to activate the yeast. Your task now is to keep it steady. The best way to get it done, is to place it into cold storage like the refrigerator and freezer. You can use fridge-stored dough for two weeks long. But if you’re planning to use it in more than two weeks, it is better to put it in the freezer. This activity will stop the yeast from fermenting the dough. It can be good for at least three months of freezing.

Other ways of storing is good as well

Storing in a room temperature is good for usual pizza dough. Proofing must be done for at least four hours. Any longer hours of proofing must be stored in the refrigerator. It is necessary to proof your dough up to 24 hours if it will be used for Neapolitan-style pizza.

At last, you made it to the last piece of everything you need to know about the best ways of storing top pizza dough. It’s a pleasure to know if you try it on your homemade pizza journey. Let there be no abandoned pizza crust on your household.

Kickstart your pizza-making adventure! Read through the best pizza recipe books – Click here to read more


Vanessa Richards

Vanessa is a mom of 3 lovely children and a software geek. Outside of her career as a health and wellness instructor. She enjoys writing and researching on topics such as finance, software, health and culinary.

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