Pizza dough has a limited shelf life once made and must be stored in the proper conditions to last. If the dough is stored incorrectly or for an extended period of time, it begins to taste unpleasant and becomes a floppy blob that is unworkable. Furthermore, it has the potential to make you sick. I’ll explain why this occurs and how to extend its duration.
Continue reading and I’ll explain what affects the dough to make it last longer, How long can you store pizza dough? as well as some storage tips.
What Affects The Storage Life?
The yeast in the dough is alive and fermenting. This means it consumes the sugars in the flour and produces CO2 gas, alcohol, and flavor. At the same time, gluten, the stretchy network that holds the dough together, is degrading and becoming less tight.
These by-products, along with the gluten structure, determine how long you can keep your dough. If you leave it for too long, the dough will become overly fermented. When cooked, it develops a sour odor and a strong taste that is unpleasant. The gluten relaxes too much, causing the dough to lose its shape because it can no longer hold air bubbles. It will not rise well enough to become light and crisp, and it will lack crust bubbles. Instead, it deflates in order to remain tough and dense.
The yeast amount, temperature, and protein content of the flour are three factors that influence fermentation and storage life.
The yeast amount increases the rate of fermentation. More yeast means a faster rate at which it will break down and consume all the flour starches.
The rate at which a dough ferment is determined by its temperature. At higher temperatures, the yeast becomes more active and ferments faster, reducing the dough’s usable life.
The amount of gluten that forms in the dough is determined by the protein content of the flour. More protein means more gluten, which allows it to last longer without losing structure. That is why higher protein bread flour is best for pizza – lower protein flour does not hold up to storing for any length of time.
Longer fermentation periods are important for developing deeper flavor and texture. The key is to let the dough ferment for as long as possible without over-fermenting it. This is accomplished by lowering the temperature of the dough in the refrigerator so that it can ferment slowly. It also relaxes the gluten, making it easier to stretch.
Is Over-Fermented Dough Safe To Eat?
When the dough has been over-fermented, it has had a little too much time to ferment since it was mixed together. It will lose structure and become flat and liquid-like, rather than a shaped ball. It will also have an overpowering yeasty fermentation smell and taste. This dough is still edible at this point, but it will taste sour and will not rise well in the oven. Always ensure that the dough is thoroughly cooked. When it has signs of harmful bacteria, it is unsafe to eat – does it smell “off”, is it slimy, is it discolored? If it exhibits any of these symptoms, it is not safe to eat.
Dough Smells Sour
This isn’t a sure sign that the dough has gone bad. The sour aromas are released as the dough ferments, which is why the term “sourdough” is used. Because it is a similar yeast fermentation process, the dough can smell alcoholic like beer as it produces alcohol. It reaches a point where the sourness is too strong and thus does not taste good. If the smell becomes more unpleasant, you know it has gone bad.
How long can you keep pizza dough?
- At room temperature: 4-18 hours
- In the fridge: 3-5 days
- In the freezer: 3 months
These figures are heavily influenced by the yeast quantity and temperature of the dough. As you can see, it varies greatly and it is difficult to provide an answer without context and a recipe. My pizza dough recipe has undergone extensive testing and is suitable for both room temperature and refrigerator storage.
How long can you store pizza dough In The Fridge?
The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. It depends on the temperature and condition in which it entered the refrigerator. This period can have a significant impact because the dough ferments faster outside of the fridge in higher temperatures. If you used warm water and allowed the dough to sit out for an hour before putting it in the fridge, it may only last three days. If you keep it cold and place it in the fridge right away, it can last for up to 5 days.
It will most likely be at its best after three days, with a nice bready flavor. After this, you might find the taste a little too strong to be enjoyable. Remember that when the dough ferments, it emits gases and alcohol, so the fact that it smells sour or like beer does not indicate that it has gone bad.
How long can you store pizza dough At Room Temperature?
This is heavily influenced by the amount of yeast in the dough. Because the dough is now warm, it will ferment quickly. The amount of yeast and how it should be prepared vary greatly between pizza dough recipes. To be certain, you must understand bakers’ percentages. That is the amount of yeast you used in relation to the total flour weight, for example. 1kg flour plus 10g yeast equals 1% yeast. For more information on calculating this, see my post on pizza hydration and other bakers’ percentages.
Many recipes on the internet use a lot of yeast (up to 2%), which speeds up the fermentation process for convenience and laziness. These recipes aim for a two-hour proof time, which does not produce very good pizza because it lacks the flavor that develops over time. And this dough will keep in the fridge for another 2 hours after the initial 2-hour proof, for a total of 4 hours.
On the other hand, there are recipes that include 0.2% yeast and are intended to ferment at room temperature for 16-18 hours before being used. The small amount of yeast in the dough allows it to ferment slowly at room temperature.
As you can see, this varies greatly depending on the recipe. Most recipes call for 1% yeast and an overnight fermentation in the fridge, followed by 2 hours out of the fridge before use.
How long can you store pizza dough In The Freezer?
Pizza dough can be frozen for up to three months. The color, flavor, and texture of the dough begin to deteriorate at this point. While you could keep it for a little longer without getting sick, it’s worth making a fresh batch. The dough is inexpensive to make, and the fresh dough is always preferable.
To use it after it has been frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator for 12 hours. It can then be treated like regular dough, with the yeast reactivated and rising. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days if placed in the freezer immediately after making it – less if kept for a few days first. Bring it to room temperature on the worktop for 2 hours in an airtight environment when ready to use.
How To Store Pizza Dough Properly
The dough is stored in dough boxes that are stacked on top of each other in a cooler in a commercial pizzeria.
You can do the same thing at home by using airtight containers and storing them in the fridge. If the dough comes into contact with air, it will dry out and form a hard skin on the outside, so keep it airtight.
You can either store the dough in one large piece or divide it into balls first. When I want to make a medium or large pizza, I prefer to store it in one large bulk and cut off 200g-240g pieces. Rather than a tray of individual balls, this is easier to store in my fridge. I believe that dividing the mixture into balls first will produce more consistent results because it cools down faster than one large bulk. However, I’ve discovered that storing it in bulk allows you to keep it for longer because the individual balls tend to relax and flatten out too much after 24 hours. Use whatever works best for you.
To prepare, I roll the dough into a ball and set it on the counter under an upturned bowl for 1-2 hours. It appears to produce fewer dough bubbles and relaxes the gluten for stretching. If I’m doing a lot of them, I store them in airtight boxes on the counter.
How to store store-bought pizza dough
You will have the most control and longevity if you put it in the fridge as soon as possible. When it is removed from the refrigerator, it ferments faster, rendering the dough unusable.
Remember to let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour before stretching and cooking. I’ve found that two hours is the best amount of time.
How long will store-bought pizza dough keep? It was most likely made that day, so it should keep in the fridge for the usual 3-5 days. Adjust this based on how old it was when you bought it and how long it was left out of the refrigerator.
>> Read more: 3 How to Store Pizza Dough homemade the Right Way
How Long Does Pizza Dough Last After Sell-By Date
Storing food past its sell-by date is entirely at your own risk. Keep the dough in the fridge because it will last longer than in the freezer. The dough was most likely made on the day you purchased it, so it will last 3-5 days before it begins to taste unpleasant.
Conclusion about How long can you store pizza dough
In this article, we’ve covered all types of pizza dough storage, which should cover all of your needs. My advice is to always use the best dough possible by planning ahead of time. Slowly fermenting the dough in the fridge for at least 24 hours results in a great flavor and texture. Follow my pizza dough recipe, which includes detailed instructions for consistently producing perfect dough.