Today, I’m going to teach you about something you may need to know someday. Specifically, I’ll be discussing how long pizza dough lasts in the fridge. The quick answer is that pizza dough will usually last in the fridge for 3-5 days. But it depends on several factors which I will go over.
First of all, everyone knows that the key to a great pizza is in the dough. When you make pizza dough from scratch you might end up with leftover dough. That’s a good thing when you know how to store it properly.
Maybe you made enough dough for 4 pizzas, but you only made 3. Now you have some extra dough you need to store.
Maybe you want to get a head start for a family pizza night and prep the dough when you have some free time during the week.
Whatever the reason is, you have some leftover pizza dough that you want to use in the future so I am going to discuss the best way to store it.
I want you to know that I have a lot of experience storing dough in the fridge. At Mortadella Head we make Roman style pizza with a homemade dough that is made to be stored in the fridge. Everyday we make a big batch of dough specifically to be put in the fridge. This fresh pizza dough goes into the fridge and gets better while it’s in there.
How long can you store that dough in the fridge before it goes bad? The goal is to make sure it’s just as good as fresh dough, or maybe even better, when you use it.
The Type of Pizza Dough to Store in the Fridge
Let’s start with the basics. This article is written for the standard pizza dough made with the basic ingredients you’d expect. It is a dough that would be used for Roman pizza dough, Neapolitan pizza dough, New York style pizza or Sicilian pizza. These are the types of pizza I have experimented with and have first hand experience on how to store the dough.
I have not tested any pizza dough containing dairy products such as milk, cream or butter.
My pizza dough recipe is made from a simple combination of flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil. When these ingredients are mixed together they form a dough that can be stretched and shaped into your pizza crust. It’s pretty simple.
If you are working with a sourdough, the shelf life may be a bit longer. Sourdough is naturally fermented and usually has a longer shelf-life. I have not experimented with sourdough. I have only worked with pizza dough made with yeast.
Like any other type of food, there is a certain shelf-life to think about before it goes bad.
The Benefits of Storing Pizza Dough in the Fridge
If you’ve read my recipe on how Mortadella Head makes its pizza dough, you know that I leave my dough in the fridge for at least 72 hours. These 72 hours are really important for developing flavor and creating a really light and airy crust.
After the dough is mixed, that’s when the fermentation process starts. The yeast starts to do its work by breaking down the gluten. During this time you’ll notice that air bubbles will start to form. When this is allowed to happen in the fridge it’s known as cold fermentation.
When you store pizza dough in the fridge the yeast works at a slower rate allowing for more air bubbles and flavors to develop. The lower temperature of the fridge also allows the dough to last longer.
When I store my dough in the fridge I do it in two stages. The first stage is the bulk fermentation where I leave the whole batch of dough in the fridge for 48 hours.
After the first 48 hours I portion it into pizza dough balls the size I am going to use. I then put it back into the fridge for another 24 hours. The result of the fermentation in the fridge will actually give you a better pizza dough.
Whatever type of pizza dough you have, you can store it in the fridge for a few days if done correctly.
How to Store Pizza Dough in The Fridge
It’s important to make sure the dough is properly wrapped and stored in the fridge.
You want to prevent the pizza dough from getting dried out. Storing the dough in a large bowl covered in plastic wrap will help prevent it from getting dried out.
It can also be stored in an airtight container with a tight lid or a plastic bag that is sealed tightly.
Leaving the dough exposed to air in the fridge will cause it to dry out sooner and it won’t last as long as it should.
I like to rub a little olive oil on the surface of the dough ball before I wrap it up. This helps prevent it from drying out.
If you are trying to save store-bought pizza dough, the shelf life could be longer. The dough you buy at the grocery store might have some preservatives in it that help lengthen the shelf-life.
Store-bought pizza dough usually comes with an expiration date which states how long it will last in the fridge. However, it’s still important to make sure the dough is properly stored to ensure its freshness.
Storing Pizza Dough in the Freezer
If you need to store your pizza dough for longer than a few days, the freezer is your best bet. Homemade pizza dough can be frozen for up to 3 months, and store-bought pizza dough can typically be frozen for up to 6 months. Just make sure the dough is properly wrapped and stored in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag.
If you see visible freezer crystals on the dough that is a sign of freezer burn. In this situation it’s a good idea to throw it away and start fresh.
When you’re ready to use your frozen pizza dough, simply move it from the freezer to the fridge the day before you plan to use it. This will give the dough plenty of time to thaw.
After it thaws out, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before you’re ready to stretch it out and bake your pizza.
What to Do Before Using Pizza Dough Stored in the Fridge
Always make sure to check your dough before using it. You don’t want to make a pizza with bad dough. If it has a sour smell, strange texture, or any signs of mold growth, it’s best to throw it away and start fresh.
Let your dough rest after you take it out of the fridge. Cold dough is not easy to manipulate. I suggest leaving the pizza dough on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours before stretching it.
In conclusion, the shelf life of pizza dough in the fridge depends on several factors, including the type of dough and how it’s stored. Homemade pizza dough will typically last for 3-5 days in the fridge, while store-bought dough may have a longer shelf life. If you need to store your dough for longer, the freezer is your best bet.
Go ahead and make a big batch of your own pizza dough. Make enough for today and your next pizza night now that you know you can. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to store your pizza dough with confidence and enjoy fresh, homemade pizza anytime you like.