There’s nothing better than a big slice of gooey, cheese-laden pizza, especially homemade pizza!
Usually, this means hauling out the flour and whipping up a batch of homemade pizza dough, which can be time-consuming when pizza cravings hit mid-week or late at night. That’s when a handy piece of frozen pizza dough comes to the rescue. Read: Was Pizza Created in Italy?
If you’ve tried to freeze pizza dough before and the results have been less than satisfactory, it can cause you to wonder, can you freeze pizza dough in the first place.
And if you can, this raises further questions such as how long can you freeze pizza dough, what steps should you follow, and does freezing pizza dough affects its taste?
This article will investigate if you can freeze pizza dough and how to fill your freezer with convenient pizza dough balls ready to thaw, bake into delicious pizza and devour!
Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?
While many people say freezing pizza dough is a ‘no go.’ the truth is freezing the dough is entirely possible as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.
However, this doesn’t mean you will need extra effort into kneading the dough or require extra yeast or fancy ingredients. Instead, simply follow your usual dough-making process, and then it’s down to timing and technique.
So to answer your question, ‘can I freeze pizza dough?’ the answer is yes! Watch: How to Knead Dough the Tonight We Pizza Way.
After making Roberta’s Pizza Dough allow it to proof (rise) for the first time; then, it’s simply a case of bagging the fresh dough and popping it into the freezer. This is the most worrying part of the process for pizza connoisseurs, as they worry that when dough freezes, it won’t rise again.
But there’s really no need to worry as the pizza dough will rise as long as it is not over-proofed. The over-proofed dough can occur if the dough is left to rise for too long and has lost its springy form.
This can render the dough unusable for pizza making and is the number one reason why people say that freezing dough isn’t possible!
However, if the homemade dough is frozen after the first rise and not over proved, the yeast activity slows down and becomes completely inactive because of the cold temperature.
Then when the dough is thawed, the yeast reactivates and kick starts the rising process again. This is the same for when pizza dough is placed in the refrigerator, except that the yeast activity simply slows down rather than stops completely.
How To Make A Quick Batch Of Pizza Dough
Before you can freeze pizza dough, you need to have some to freeze. You may have a preferred pizza dough recipe, but if you are a newbie pizza stone owner, you may still be searching for a basic pizza dough recipe.
Follow the below recipe’s instructions for easy thin crust pizza dough.
What you need
- 177 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups flour (plus 1 cup of flour for dusting and kneading)
What to do
In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
- Allow the yeast to stand for about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt, and mix well using a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface or kitchen counter and knead for 8 minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Dust your hands with flour to prevent the dough ball from sticking to your hands.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel and put the bowl in a warm place such as a sunny windowsill. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes; this is the ‘first rise’.
- At this point, you can choose to roll the dough into thin rounds or freeze it for future use. If you are baking it off, baste each dough round with olive oil, pop on your topping, and bake until the crust is golden brown. This usually takes about 7-12 minutes. Alternatively, you can get ready to follow the freezing process below.
6 Simple Steps For Freezing Pizza Dough
Freezing homemade dough isn’t only just convenient; it’s also the best way to store leftover dough if you’ve made too much in anticipation of pizza night. We’ve all been in the situation where we have too much dough at the end of the pizza making, which can you leave asking, ‘can I freeze pizza dough?’
Freezing pizza dough is easy. All you need to do is allow the dough to rise before freezing it, divide it into equal portions, and place it in the freezer for use in the future. The extra dough can be frozen for up to three months and is easily thawed in the refrigerator or at room temperature overnight, ready for use the next day.
Follow the below steps to freezing pizza dough, and you’ll have access to easy mid-week pizza any time you please.
What You Need
- Fresh pizza dough
- Olive oil
- Basting brush
- Plastic wrap/zip-seal freezer bags
- Marker pen
What To Do
- Whip up a batch of your favorite pizza dough, and allow the dough to rise. You can use the handy recipe above.
- After the ‘first rise’, roll and divide the dough into single-size pizza portions and shape it into individual balls.
- Use a basting brush to coat each ball of dough with olive oil. If you don’t have olive oil, you can use baking spray. Ensure the oil covers the entire ball, turn it over, and coat the base.
- Cover each ball in plastic wrap and place the individual pizza dough balls into a separate freezer bag, remove the excess air, and seal. This protects the balls of dough from freezer burn.
- Use the marker pen to date and label each dough ball to keep track of how long they have been stored in the freezer.
- Place the sealed dough balls into the freezer for future use.
- If your next question is, how long can you freeze pizza dough?
- The good news is, for quite a long time! In fact, pizza dough can last for up to three months in the freezer, providing it is sealed correctly and isn’t exposed to freezer burn.
Can You Freeze Prebaked Pizza Bases?
Now that you have your answer to ‘can I freeze pizza dough?’
Did you know that freezing prebaked pizza bases is also just as easy and so convenient for those busy family evenings?
Pizza made from scratch tastes so much better than those from the grocery store!
However, instead of spending hours preparing pizza in a hurry now, you can simply prebake your favorite pizza, store it in the freezer and bake it off for an easy dinner.
The trick of prebaking the crust creates a crispier thin-crust pizza and base.
To prebake the pizza base, simply roll out the dough as you would when making pizza. Next, place in the oven and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 5 minutes.
The dough should appear puffy, and the pizza surface should be dry.
Allow the pizza base to cool before loading with your favorite toppings and covering it with plastic wrap—double wrap the pizza to prevent pizza burn.
Next, place it in the freezer. When ready to use the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, place the pizza on a baking sheet or parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. For an step-by-step guide read: How Long To Reheat Pizza In Oven
Job done! Easy homemade pizza in an instant!
Storing Pizza Dough In The Fridge
While freezing pizza dough is an excellent method to save time and prevent waste, keeping it in the fridge is also a great idea. Pizza dough can easily survive stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
However, the process is a little different from freezing pizza.
Instead of allowing the dough to rise (proof), place it in the refrigerator straight away. Roll the dough into balls, place them into an airtight container or plastic bag and refrigerate.
When ready to use the dough balls, put them on the kitchen counter to warm up to room temperature, then roll them out into pizza rounds ready for baking.
If the dough has already risen before you have had a chance to refrigerate it, deflate it by kneading it for a short time. Then roll into tight balls, dust with flour, and place them into a sealed container or bag.
Place them into the fridge for a maximum of twenty-four hours before using.
Storing dough in the fridge adds flavor, promotes elasticity, and enhances the texture of the final baked product!
How To Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough
Freezing pizza dough may be easy, but so is defrosting it! This simple process requires minimal effort and a little patience.
However, unlike other frozen items, placing the dough in the microwave on a quick defrost setting isn’t an option. Instead, you will need to allow it to defrost properly before baking it into a delicious pizza.
To do this, you will need to follow the below instructions:
- Remove the pizza dough from the freezer and place it in the fridge for 12 hours (overnight).
- Next, place the dough on the counter and allow it to warm to room temperature. This usually takes about 30 minutes. You can now roll up your sleeves and start baking!
Tip: To defrost the dough faster, place it in a bowl of cold water and change the water every half hour. However, be sure that the dough is in a sealed bag or container.
If you choose to defrost the frozen dough on the counter rather than in the fridge overnight, you will need to refrigerate it afterward to prevent any bacteria from growing. This option usually takes about two hours.
Further Reading: 3 Sauces for Your Pizza That You Need Right Now