How Long Can You Keep Pizza Dough Before Baking It?

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Pizza dough is a versatile ingredient used for making pizza of various styles, stuffed breads, calzones and even panini sandwiches. Whether you're planning to have a family pizza party, hosting an Italian-themed dinner party or just making a meal for yourself, purchase pizza dough from your local restaurant or grocery store and place it in the fridge or freezer until use. The storage times vary based on whether the product is fresh or pre-frozen.

Frozen Dough

  • Frozen pizza dough keeps indefinitely when stored properly. As your dough freezes, the fermentation process grinds to a halt. With yeast no longer active, there is no risk of the dough "spoiling." Additionally, pizza dough does not contain water in its cells like other foods such as meat or vegetables. Therefore the risk of crystallization or freezer burn is unlikely. Ideally, for best quality, consume your frozen pizza dough within three months.

Homemade Dough

  • Making pizza dough is a fairly straightforward process utilizing just a few ingredients including water, flour, yeast, salt and olive oil. After the dough is mixed, some recipes call for it to rise unrefrigerated, while others recommend refrigeration. Either way, store your leftover dough for up to two weeks in the fridge in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. The plastic helps seal in the moisture. Much like the freezing process, the cool temperature of the fridge slows the fermentation process of the yeast as it interacts with the other ingredients giving it a fairly long shelf-life in the fridge.

Store-bought Dough

  • If purchasing pizza dough found in the refrigerated section, check the "use by" date found on the package. Either use the pizza dough in a recipe or place it in the freezer by that date. Generally, store-bought dough is sold in sealed plastic and can be frozen as is.

Thawing Dough

  • Place your frozen pizza dough in a mixing bowl with enough room for it to rise as it thaws. Seal with a piece of plastic so moisture is retained. Store the pizza dough in the fridge for about 24 hours for it to completely thaw. Note that the dough won't rise a great deal in the fridge because the yeast is still in a cool environment and not as active as it would be if proofing at room temperature.

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