If stored correctly, pizza dough will last at least 3 days and up to 5 days in the fridge. Fresh pizza dough has a limited shelf life and should be stored adequately to retain its freshness and longevity. Not knowing the correct storing procedures can result in fresh dough turning sour into a sticky mess that isn't workable.
Aside from that, it can make you ill, which is the last thing anyone wants from making delicious homemade pizza dough. Today, we will be taking a deep dive into the fermentation process of making dough, knowing when it's bad, and how long pizza dough lasts in the fridge or freezer.
The effects of making pizza dough
A standard pizza dough recipe is made up of flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and water. Once this dough is prepared and left to rise, the yeast ferments and grows rapidly, creating air bubbles, which gives pizza dough its light, crisp texture. Check out my no yeast pizza dough alternative.
The amount of time you can store dough depends on 3 factors.
The more yeast you add, the quicker it ferments and breaks down the flour starches that help pizza dough grow.
The temperature of the dough is also key to how quickly the dough rises. Using warm water with active yeast instead of cold water when making the dough helps it grow faster but reduces longevity.
Each flavor variant contains a different amount of proteins. The more proteins in the flour equal more gluten, which helps hold the stretchy structure you associate with perfect pizza dough recipes. Typical flour dough like 00 and bread flour has more proteins and stores longer than regular flour.
Taking all of this into account, it is best to use less yeast with a higher protein flour and let the dough rise in the fridge overnight to ferment slowly. Allowing the dough to ferment as long as possible makes it easier to stretch as the gluten is more relaxed.
How to refrigerate pizza dough
Storing pizza dough in the fridge will last up to 5 days when preparing it with cold water and allowing it to ferment in the fridge. Whereas using warm water and letting it rise at room temperature will last up to 3 days.
Once the dough has doubled in size from proofing, it is best to make small dough balls (around 200-250 grams per ball), covering each ball in plastic wrap, or use a food sealer machine before refrigerating them in an airtight container.
If you purchase store-bought pizza dough, it will last up to 5 days from when it was packaged.
How to freeze pizza dough
To store pizza dough in the freezer, it is best to make dough balls after the proofing process and place the individual balls inside an airtight container or a freezer bag. It makes it easier to take a ball when you want to make pizza and thaw it overnight before making tasty pizza. Frozen dough lasts up to 3 months.
Does pizza dough go bad?
Yes, pizza dough goes bad during the fermentation process when it has been left for too long and becomes over fermented like sourdough. This results in a flat pizza dough that doesn't hold its structure.
Pizza dough also goes bad when left at room temperature for too long. It will start to smell overpoweringly of yeast, and harmful bacteria will grow if the dough isn't stored in the fridge or freezer.
The dough can also go slimy and become discolored in the fridge after 5 days once it has been proofed and shaped into balls. You may even notice a crust starting to form around the dough or grey color.
Frozen dough is susceptible to freezer burn and visible freezer crystals after several months in the freezer. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to throw the dough in the bin and make a fresh batch.
How to make pizza dough last longer
There may come a time when you have good intentions of making a delicious smooth dough for making pizza with, only to be interrupted by something, and then you forget about it, and it goes sour.
To make your raw dough last a few extra days to give you time to make a pizza, try following these few tips.
Use basic Ingredients
As mentioned previously, the correct formula for making the best pizza dough is flour, water, salt, yeast, and sugar, which gives the dough a longer shelf life. Avoid adding dairy products to the dough like butter, milk, yogurt, or sour cream, as they will drastically shorten its lifespan.
If you plan to use a recipe with dairy products, make sure to bake it and eat it the same day or the next day.
Store it correctly
Knowing when you plan to consume the dough will give you a good idea of how you want to store it. If you plan on eating it within a few days, it is best to store it in the fridge, and for over a week, you should freeze the dough.
Cut Back On The Yeast
Cutting back on the amount of yeast you use will significantly increase the dough's lifespan when storing it in the fridge. Add half or less than the recommended amount the recipe calls for to allow the dough to rise in the fridge at a slower rate will give you the best-tasting pizza dough.
If stored correctly, pizza dough will last at least 3 days and up to 5 days in the fridge before it goes bad and even longer in the freezer. Making homemade pizza dough is easy, far more delicious, and cheaper than store-bought pizza dough.
Are looking for more dough inspiration recipes? Check out my phyllo dough recipes collection with the easiest recipes to make for your family. And my homemade fried dough recipe ready in just 15 minutes!
Try one of my comfort recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!