How Long does Pizza Dough Last in the Fridge?

In our opinion, making a sizable amount of pizza dough ahead of time and storing some for later is a great idea. You’re probably embracing the idea of preserving pizza dough. But how long does chilled pizza dough last? We wouldn’t advise keeping it for more than three to five days. Your pizza dough might over-ferment if this happens. It should go in the freezer if you need to keep it longer.

When it comes to storing your pizza dough, there are several options available. Some will last longer than others. Some will over-ferment, while others will remain fresh for several days. Read on to learn how to store your dough and what to look for. Also, read about the importance of wild yeast versus commercial yeast.

Pizza Dough

How Long does Pizza Dough Last in the Fridge?

This is not a simple solution. The maximum number of sites will tell you is three, but others will say five. Well, we support the three-day restriction. In the refrigerator, your dough can maintain its optimal freshness and fermentation for three days.

Does that imply you won’t be able to wait the full five days? Maybe. But why take a chance? The dough ball can be frozen if you want to wait longer than three days and removed the night before to thaw in the refrigerator. It’s essentially the same.

The fact that some dough will last longer than others should also be considered. Consequently, while freshly prepared dough may begin to over-ferment by the fifth day, another won’t.

Yeast Content

Your dough ball will ferment since there is yeast present, even though it is refrigerated. However, your pizza dough will ferment more quickly the more yeast you use.

In light of this, it stands to reason that pizza dough containing more yeast will ferment faster than dough containing less. Double-check your pizza dough recipe to determine how much yeast you’re using compared to other bakers to get a decent indication of how long your dough might keep in the fridge.

Temperature of Dough

It won’t last five days if you put your dough in the refrigerator after leaving it on the countertop for a few hours in the middle of August in Florida. Why? Because the dough will ferment more quickly the hotter the environment is around it.

What ought you to do? Put your dough in the refrigerator as soon as you knead it and set it inside the container for rising. The shelf life of food in the refrigerator will decrease the longer you keep it out.

Protein in the Flour

After a vigorous workout, protein in the flour does more than only rev up your muscles. Additionally, it keeps gluten nice and sturdy. Why is this important? A robust gluten network is required for flour to produce an airy and texturally appealing pizza crust.

More protein-rich flour, such as bread flour or 00 flour, will be able to maintain the structure for a longer period. Therefore, if you use high-protein flour, your dough will stay in the fridge for another day or two.

How to Recognize Bad Pizza Dough?

Take your pizza dough out of the fridge and carefully inspect it to determine if it has gone bad. If it has turned grey or has grey spots, it is too late and needs to be thrown away. Pizza dough that is past its prime turns crusty and dry.

An indication of sourdough is grey or greyish dough. A broken cell structure, defunct yeast activators, or freezer burn could contribute to the color. The pizza’s flavor will suffer as a result of these spots. Discard your pizza dough if you spot any of these. It’s important to note that many purchases are frozen pizza dough since they can use it later. The proving technique, however, will determine the dough’s quality.

If your pizza dough is dried out, that is one indication that it has gone bad. The dough won’t stretch properly and develop a tough, chewy crust if it is too dry. However, it won’t taste well. If you’re apprehensive about using this pizza dough, wet it before cooking. A dry crust will be more likely to cause issues while cooking your pizza and have a sour appearance.

Mold may be tricky, so you should toss the dough and start over as it grows. After properly cleaning your hands and equipment, throw away the dough. Despite not being visible, the mold spores will have spread throughout the dough.

If your pizza dough smells rancid, it’s time to start over. The long-fermented Dough will likely acquire acidity and alcohol, which will be present when eaten. This is a disagreeable flavor in your pizza rather than a sign that the dough has gone bad. You can also smell your pizza dough to determine whether it is rotten. It’ll probably smell like old cheese if it’s covered in cheese. When you pick it up, you can even smell anything. If you smell the pizza dough, it has probably passed its expiration date. Pizza dough should never be eaten raw, and any leftovers should always be thrown away. Don’t ever buy frozen pizza dough.

How can Dough be Made to Last Longer?

Make Use of the Fridge

Your pizza dough will ferment more quickly if it rises to room temperature. By lowering the yeast’s capacity for respiration, refrigeration extends the shelf life of the dough. We’ll have to wait longer if we don’t bake it straight away.

Avoid Using Sweeteners

The sugars in the dough provide food for the yeast. When a sweetened dough is kept in the refrigerator, there can be too many sweets to absorb. They are, therefore, more likely to show up as flakes, affecting the look of the dough.

Many of the complex carbohydrates in the flour will be broken down into a dough that has been fermented for a long time. There is no need to add additional sugar unless you are making a quick dough because this naturally sweetens the bread.

Maintain the Seal

To avoid your dough from drying out, you must keep it covered. Using a cover will restrict airflow over the dough’s surface, and moisture is blown off the surface when the dough is exposed to fresh air. Over time, the dough’s outer edge dries up and develops a tough crust.

Employ Less Yeast

Pizza dough is made by pizzaiolos using a minimal amount of yeast. This helps the dough’s delayed fermentation. Let’s face it; the pizza doesn’t need to rise that much. In actuality, we are only interested in observable expansion surrounding the crust. The best course of action is to elevate the dough to aid in its maturation gradually.

Avoid Over-Kneading

Kneading gives the gluten its initial strength and increases the amount of oxygen in the dough. However, after a lengthy first and vigorous kneading, we might run into problems. In this case, over-oxygenation of the dough is likely to occur.

The flour’s carotenoids are removed in this process, leaving the dough whiter but flavorless. Cold fermentation will take care of the rest of your dough in the fridge for a few days. Just give it a light knead.

Reference: Production of pizza dough with reduced fermentation time

By employing a Chopin® rheofermentometer to monitor the dough’s development throughout fermentation and a 22-factorial design to confirm the effects of time and temperature, this study aimed to shorten the fermentation period of pizza dough. The main goal was to produce distinctive soft pizza dough with bubbles, crispy edges, and softness in the center. The Quantitative Descriptive Analysis confirmed these qualities (QDA). The common ingredients were used to make the dough, which was then enlarged, mixed with tomato sauce, baked, and frozen after fermenting for 30 to 42 minutes at a temperature between 27 and 33 C. Using a rheofermentometer, it was confirmed that time and temperature had a positive and considerable impact on the release of carbon dioxide (H’m).

How to Knead Pizza Dough?

Tools and equipment You will require

  • 1 1/3 cups of 105° Fahrenheit warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Bread flour, 4 cups
  • One teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of sugar
  • 2/TBS of olive oil
  • Polythene wrap
  • Packaging for proofing
  • Rubber or wooden spoon
  • In water, dissolve the sugar and yeast.

Use a mixer, wooden spoon, or rubber paddle to stir sugar and yeast into a heated water dish. Five minutes should pass while the bowl is covered.

  • Add the dry ingredients in step two.

To create a dough, add the flour and salt and thoroughly whisk the mixture. Pizza dough is lean dough. Therefore no eggs or fats like butter or vegetable oil are needed.

Pizza bases without the fat will be crispy rather than soft and bready. However, I frequently add a bit of olive oil because it adds flavor and keeps the pizza base’s inside soft.

  • Prepare the Kneading Surface.

It is preferable to knead the dough on a spotless, level tabletop for convenience and efficacy. On the surface of your choice, sprinkle some flour. You’ll be able to knead the dough more quickly, and it won’t stick to the counter. For the same reason, flouring your hands is a good idea.

  • I am transferring the dough to the countertop.

The dough is now sticky and abrasive. Place it on the floured tabletop area after removing it from the bowl. Alternately, flip the bowl and allow the dough to fall out onto the counter.

Before kneading the dough, sprinkle it with a little flour if it is too sticky, concerning modifying the measurements of the flour.

A light dusting of flour won’t significantly impact the quantity or quality of your dough.

If you need to dust flour on your hands, dough, or the surface you’re kneading on, have the bag nearby so you can get to it quickly.

  • Shape the dough.

The dough should be placed on the floured surface, cupped in your palm, and gently twisted to form a dome.

Twist the dough, lifting it just a little bit off the surface. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on it and lift and twist it until it assumes the shape of a dome.

Don’t bother about neatly forming the dough. Sh shaping is to make the kneading process less chaotic and sloppy. It is not particularly important.

Pro tip: Practice picking up the pace. The likelihood of the dough sticking to the work surface increases as you move more slowly.

  • Work the dough

It’s time to begin kneading now that your dough dome has been formed. I like to alternate between two techniques when I knead the dough—this aids in creating the ideal pizza base, which is soft and crunchy on the outside.

So let’s start mixing. The first way to knead is with your knuckles. Make a fist and firmly press your knuckles into the dough with both hands.

Next, fold one of the dough’s sides and draw it toward the other side’s edge. Once pressing your knuckles into the dough, fold one edge over to meet the other. For a few minutes, keep doing this.

The first technique aids in making the dough stronger. When you’re ready to spread out your pizza base in preparation for baking, the second method gives it form and structure, which will be helpful.


The ingredients used and the storage conditions significantly impact how long the dough stays fresh. For instance, a dough ball will last much longer in the refrigerator than at ambient temperature and even longer in the freezer.

Additionally, dough containing particular ingredients will have a much shorter shelf life than regular dough. The dough with the shortest list of ingredients will have the longest shelf life because it only contains wheat, water, salt, and yeast (in some cases, oil).