How Long Can Pizza Dough Last in The Fridge?

Pizza Dough

Have you ever left pizza dough in the fridge longer than intended? Maybe it slipped your mind or you were waiting for the right moment to bake. Recently, I discovered a batch of Detroit-style pizza dough buried in my fridge. Judging by photos on my phone, it had been there for at least two weeks. When I cracked open the container, it looked surprisingly lively, albeit with a hint of gray, yet it emitted a strong alcoholic smell.

Encouraged by past successes with older dough, I decided to experiment. I shaped it into a pan, drizzled olive oil, let it rest, dimpled it, and baked it like focaccia. The result looked perfect—beautifully puffed and browned. However, upon slicing it, the crumb revealed a dense, gummy texture, and the taste was overly yeasty and unpleasantly sour. It was unfit even for breadcrumbs, so it ended up in the trash.

Remembering a post on Instagram featuring very aged dough, I consulted with a friend who recommended a similar experiment. The Instagram post showcased 28-day-old dough, thin and beautifully topped with mango and chorizo, although slightly more sour than usual due to prolonged storage in a moderately cool fridge (around 39.2°F or 4°C).

How to Store Pizza Dough

Making pizza dough at home is straightforward and enhances the flavor of your pizzas. Whether preparing a large batch or small, proper storage is crucial to maintain quality.

To keep your pizza dough fresh, follow these tips:

Can I Store Pizza Dough at Room Temperature?

For short-term use, leaving pizza dough at room temperature for up to four hours is acceptable, depending on the type of dough. Dough with minimal yeast, like Neapolitan style, can last up to 24 hours at room temperature if covered to prevent drying.

How Long Does Pizza Dough Last in the Fridge?

Storing pizza dough in the fridge is ideal for preparing in advance. Here’s how to maximize its shelf life:

  • Storage Preparation: Coat dough with olive oil and store in an airtight container.
  • Fridge Conditions: Warmer dough ferments faster and reduces shelf life.
  • Shelf Life: Typically, fresh pizza dough remains viable for 3-5 days in the fridge. Signs of spoilage include a sour smell or dry, difficult-to-shape texture.

How Long Does Pizza Dough Last in the Freezer?

Freezing pizza dough extends its usability for up to three months, provided it’s properly stored. Prevent freezer burn by wrapping dough in oil-coated wrap and sealing in airtight containers.

How to Freeze Pizza Dough

Follow these steps for freezing pizza dough:

Step 1: Prepare and let the dough rise. Step 2: Divide into portions, coat with oil, and store in freezer-safe bags or containers. Step 3: Freeze and thaw overnight in the fridge before use.

Pizza Dough

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

When ready to use frozen dough, defrost in the fridge for at least eight hours. Alternatively, a quicker thawing method involves cold water immersion or microwave defrosting.

Homemade Pizza Dough Recipes

Explore these homemade pizza dough recipes for diverse culinary experiences:

  • Chewy Pizza Dough Recipe: Achieve a perfect balance of chewy interior and crispy exterior crust.
  • Soft-Baked Garlic Breadsticks from Pizza Dough: Utilize leftover dough for flavorful garlic breadsticks.
  • Neapolitan Pizza Dough Recipe: Master the art of making traditional Neapolitan pizza crust.
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe: Enjoy a healthier option with whole wheat flour.

These recipes cater to varied tastes and dietary preferences, ensuring delicious results.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively manage and maximize the shelf life of your pizza dough, ensuring optimal quality and taste whenever you decide to bake. Whether storing in the fridge or freezer, proper handling and storage techniques are key to preserving the integrity of your homemade pizza dough.