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Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough After It Rises? Solved

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Lori Walker

A true pizza lover knows how vital good dough is for a tasty pizza. But ever wonder what to do with the extra dough once it’s risen?

Can you refrigerate pizza dough after it rises?

Read on to learn all the important aspects of refrigerating a pizza dough that has risen to avoid cooking one below your standards.

Is It OK to Refrigerate Pizza Dough after It Rises?

pizza dough

Yes. Refrigerating dough after its first rise has become a standard procedure for most experienced and professional bakers. It allows them to reserve it for later consumption.

More importantly, storing your pizza dough at a cool temperature helps prevent mold growth and slow down the yeast’s activities, which is the main cause of spoilage [1].

Yeast thrives in warm temperatures. The warmer the environment they are stored in, the faster they multiply and produce carbon dioxide [2]

But what to do if your bread didn’t rise?

When Is the Best Time to Do It?

Refrigerate your pizza dough after the first rise. The first rise is when proofing or fermentation takes place, in which the yeast feeds on carbohydrates and sugars.

“Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.”

— Anna Quindlen, Author

Cold fermentation after its first rise will allow the dough to rise slowly, which helps develop more savory notes and less sour hints. In addition, it will also develop quality texture. 

Refrigerating Pizza Dough After It Rises

Pros

  1. It enhances the quality of flavor and texture.
  2. It has a longer shelf life lasting for 3 to 5 days.
  3. It allows the dough to rise slowly and properly.
  4. It won’t have as much stickiness as it has before.

Cons

  1. It will only be more difficult to stretch, roll out, and shape.

What Happens If You Refrigerate It After It Rises?

The dough will continue to rise at a much slower pace since the yeast is still alive. You can expect a little expansion that you won’t even notice on the dough day by day.

The pizza dough will also develop points of enhanced flavors and improved textures owing to that slow proofing that continually happens. 

Check out the possible reasons why your pizza dough always tears here.

Can You Refrigerate It Overnight? 

Yes. It is common practice not to let your pizza dough sit out all night. Yeast is active and works at room temperature, thus making your dough not rise as it should. 

You also refrigerate the dough transferred from the freezer overnight until it is thawed. This step simply prepares the dough to be readily available for cooking tomorrow.

How To Properly Store Pizza Dough In the Refrigerator

pizza dough on a container

Let the dough rest for its first rise by placing it in an airtight container or a bowl covered in plastic wrap.

Cut the dough into separate balls. Make sure that each will fit the circumference of your serving pan when the dough is spread.

Place the dough balls in a glass container with a lid, airtight container, sealed plastic bag, or bowl covered in plastic wrap, and then store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Also Read: How Long Does Pizza Dough Last in the Refrigerator?

Can You Freeze Pizza Dough After It Rises?

Yes, but only after the dough takes its first rise and its second rise or final form, after which you cut it into small dough balls.

“Pizza doughs: the blank canvas for culinary creativity, where simple ingredients and a touch of imagination come together to create a slice of edible art.”

Leonelli Bakery

There is no harm in freezing your pizza dough as long as the conditions are met. Doing so will help extend its shelf life for at least 90 days.

If you plan to cook the frozen dough, thaw it in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Next, let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Afterward, it is ready to be cooked.

But how to cut the pizza if you don’t have a pizza cutter?

Tips & Tricks When Refrigerating Pizza Dough After It Rises 

  • Let the dough reach its first rising point before deciding on refrigerating it. 
  • Apply a small amount of olive oil on the portioned dough balls to prevent dryness.
  • Place each dough ball in a separate airtight container, sealed plastic bag, or bowl covered in plastic wrap. 
  • Set the refrigerator’s temperature at around 80 to 85 degrees F for an effective slow fermentation process.

Read:

FAQs

Do you freeze pizza dough before or after you let it rise?

Both are fine. Either way, the yeast will still feed on sugars and carbohydrates, but at a slower rate than at room temperature.

Furthermore, you can expect the same results for either technique: quality flavors and improved textures.

What happens if you let pizza dough rise too long?

The yeast will digest all the remaining sugars and carbohydrates, resulting in your dough not rising the right way.

While developing an off-putting, sour taste, the dough also tends to have a very weak structure and is likely to collapse. 

What happens if I don’t refrigerate my pizza dough?

Your dough will overproof. The longer the dough sits out and continues rising, the likelihood of obtaining a sour flavor is definite.

It will also result in less elasticity, dense and crumbly texture, and a flat crust. You’ll know that you have an over-proofed dough when you press your finger on it, and it doesn’t spring back up. 

Check out these warning signs to see whether your pizza dough is bad here.

Key Takeaways

Refrigerating a pizza dough before and after it rises is always the preferred option by many baking experts.

A slow dough-rising process helps create flavorful compounds and crusty yet fluffy textures.

Storing your pizza dough in the refrigerator and freezer helps extend its shelf life. 

Always let the pizza dough rest for 30 minutes after taking it out from the refrigerator. For ones in the freezer, thaw them in the refrigerator before resting.

Pizza dough will most likely be over-proofed if left to rise for too long or to sit out for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC91944/
  2. https://www.seriouseats.com/the-pizza-lab-how-long-should-i-let-my-dough-cold-ferment
Lori Walker

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