Home » How To Defrost Pizza Dough - The Complete Guide

How To Defrost Pizza Dough - The Complete Guide

How To Defrost Pizza Dough - The Complete Guide

Having pizza dough in the freezer is a lifesaver when you don’t know what to make for dinner. But defrosting the dough may seem like a problem.

So how do you defrost pizza dough?  The best way to defrost pizza dough is to place the frozen dough in the fridge. This process takes between 8 and 12 years to fully thaw the dough. Other alternative methods are to bring the dough to room temperature and cook it in the microwave.

In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions for defrosting pizza dough using different methods. We will also give you some tips to make the process easier and more efficient.

Why freeze pizza dough?

If you’ve never thought about freezing pizza dough, it’s about time you did, as it’s a great way to save time. You also don’t have to dirty your kitchen multiple times. You can do it all in one go.

Plus, sometimes you end up with leftover pizza dough that you don’t want to use for days to come. In this case, it is best to freeze the dough.

And considering that when done right, pizza dough freezes pretty well, it’s worth doing.

Does freezing affect pizza dough?

Freezing will have minimal impact on the flavor and texture of your pizza crust if you use the proper freezing technique.

Freezing does slightly affect the flavor and texture of the dough as a result of the water in the dough turning into ice crystals. In this sense, fresh pizza dough is always better than frozen.

But since freezing the dough saves a lot of time and prevents a kitchen mess, it’s definitely worth it.

To avoid major changes in the texture and flavor of the dough, be sure to wrap it well before putting it in the freezer.

If you leave part of the dough uncovered, contact with cold air will cause freezer burn and create dry patches on the dough.

Also, not wrapping the dough well can cause it to absorb odors from other items in the freezer.

What you should know before freezing and thawing pizza dough

The process of freezing and thawing pizza dough raises many questions. This is what you should know about the whole process.

You can freeze any type of pizza dough

No matter what kind of pizza dough you’re making, yeast or not, you can freeze it.

When freezing yeast-based pizza dough, be sure to let the dough rise completely before freezing. 

You must taste the pizza dough after thawing it

As we have already said, you must let the dough rise before portioning and freezing it. But not everyone who freezes and thaws pizza dough knows that they must also proof the dough after thawing.

Fermentation is the final rise of the dough. Many people think that freezing dough kills the yeast in it. However, it is the high temperatures that kill the yeast in the dough. The cold simply makes the yeast numb.

When you thaw the pizza dough, you need to give it a little more time to prove. Even if the dough doesn’t rise much, it will rise a bit.

The rise of the dough depends on the amount of yeast you used when making the dough.

The final rise and fermentation of the dough will also make it taste better. But be careful not to over ferment the dough. Let it rest for a maximum of hours after defrosting it.

You should always keep the dough covered

Regardless of the method you use to defrost your pizza crust, be sure to cover it to prevent it from drying out. Just a plastic wrap or a clean towel.

If you let the dough thaw uncovered, its outer layer will dry out and crack when you try to roll it out.

Portion the dough correctly

Before freezing the leftover pizza dough, divide it into portions, taking into account the size you need for your future pizzas.

Keep in mind that the smaller the dough balls, the sooner they will defrost. If you’re not sure about serving sizes, make balls of dough relatively small so you can defrost and use as many as you need at the time.

How long does it take to defrost pizza dough?

The thawing time for pizza dough depends on the size of the dough balls and the thawing method you use.

Luckily, there are several ways to defrost pizza dough. You can do it in 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry, and you can let the dough thaw gradually over hours if you have time to wait.

How to defrost pizza dough

As we have already mentioned, there are multiple methods to defrost pizza dough. The most popular way to do this is in the fridge or on the counter.

But you can also thaw pizza dough in the microwave as a faster method. There are other ways to defrost the dough.

Read on for step-by-step instructions for defrosting pizza dough using different methods.

in the fridge

This method is suitable for times when you have 8-12 hours to defrost your pizza dough. Thawing pizza dough in the fridge is an ideal way to thaw the dough, as it does not expose the product to drastic changes in temperature.

This makes texture and flavor changes minimal.

Here’s how to thaw pizza dough in the fridge.

  1. Take the dough out of the freezer. 
  2. If you wrapped it in plastic before freezing it, remove it. Do this so that the dough can expand freely as it thaws.
  3. Place the dough in a larger bowl or container and cover it with plastic wrap. If you leave the dough uncovered, the cold air from the fridge will dry it out.
  4. Let the dough soften for a few hours . A ball of pizza dough can take 8-12 hours to thaw. Do not try to roll out the dough while it has ice crystals in it.
  5. Once the dough has completely thawed, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature . The dough will harden more at room temperature and will expand.
  6. Extend the dough and bake a pizza with your favorite ingredients. 

On the counter

Thawing pizza dough on the counter is another relatively quick and easy way to bring frozen dough back to life. Room temperature thaws dough more quickly than cold refrigerator temperature.

Frozen pizza dough will take about 2 hours to thaw at room temperature.

Here’s what you need to do to defrost pizza dough on the counter.

  1. Take the dough out of the freezer. 
  2. Remove the plastic wrap with which you have covered it. Take the dough out of the freezer bag if you have stored it in it.
  3. Place the dough in a bowl or container large enough for the dough to expand. 
  4. Cover the dough with a layer of plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. 
  5. Place the bowl with the dough on the kitchen counter and let it thaw little by little. The dough will thaw and rise at the same time.
  6. Use the dough once it has completely thawed. 

In the microwave

Thawing pizza dough in the fridge or on the counter is easy. You just have to transfer the dough to a bowl and wait for it to soften and harden.

But what if you need to defrost the dough more quickly? Luckily, there are other methods for thawing frozen pizza dough.

When you think of defrosting frozen food faster, the microwave immediately comes to mind. Although it doesn’t work well for many dishes and foods, it does work well for defrosting pizza dough in just a few minutes.

That being said, you should be careful not to microwave the dough and only thaw it.

Follow these steps to defrost pizza dough in the microwave.

  1. Take the dough out of the freezer and discard any type of plastic you covered it with.
  2. Get a microwave-safe plate and grease it. 
  3. Place the dough on the plate and brush it with a small amount of oil. 
  4. Cover the plate with a plastic wrap . Coating the wrapper with oil is an extra step to make sure it doesn’t stick to the dough.
  5. Put the plate with the dough in the microwave and heat it at maximum power for 25 seconds. 
  6. Take the dough out of the microwave, flip it over, brush it with oil, cover it with microwave-safe plastic wrap, and microwave it on high power for another 25 seconds.
  7. While these steps will soften the dough to some degree, they won’t completely thaw it.  Turn on the defrost setting for 3-5 minutes to fully soften the dough. 
  8. Once the dough is soft and thawed, remove it from the microwave and let it rest at room temperature. Be sure to keep the dough covered while it rises.

other methods

In case you don’t have a microwave or don’t want to defrost your pizza dough using the microwave method, here are three other methods that will help you defrost your dough more quickly.

use cold water

The cold water bath is an effective method to speed up the thawing process of frozen foods. To thaw the pizza dough with the help of cold water do the following

  1. Put the dough in a zip-lock bag.
  2. Fill a large bowl with water and dip the dough into the water.
  3. After about an hour, the dough will be much softer.
  4. Take it out of the bag and put it in a dry bowl to thaw completely and taste. Keep the dough covered to prevent it from drying out.

use lukewarm water

The warm water method is similar to the cold water method. The difference is that warm (not hot) water is used.

  1. Put the dough in an airtight bag. 
  2. Fill a bowl with warm water and submerge the dough in the water. 
  3. Change the water when it cools down. 
  4. Leave the dough in the warm water for about 30 minutes. 
  5. Take the dough out of the bag, transfer it to a clean bowl and let it rise. 

use the oven

Using the oven to thaw pizza dough is a similar method to thawing pizza dough in the microwave.

The nice thing about using the oven to thaw pizza dough is that the dough thaws and rises at the same time and it only takes an hour.

Here’s how to defrost pizza dough in the oven.

  1. Take the dough out of the freezer and discard the plastic wrap.
  2. Put the dough in an ovenproof dish large enough so that the dough expands twice.
  3. Do not forget to grease both the source and the dough. 
  4. Put the oven in the lowest position to avoid premature cooking of the dough . You can use the fermentation drawer if your oven has it.
  5. Check the dough after an hour to see the progress. It should be soft and fermented.
  6. If there are still ice crystals in the dough, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes and keep checking to remove it when it’s completely thawed.
  7. Take the dough out of the oven, shape it and bake a pizza with your favorite ingredients. 

How to thaw pizza dough overnight

If you want to make a pizza for the next day and you have pizza dough in the freezer, thaw it overnight using the fridge method.

The dough takes 8-12 hours to thaw in the fridge, depending on the size of the pizza dough ball. Even if the dough is completely defrosted when you get up, it will keep well in the fridge until you take it out and use it.

How to Thaw Store Bought Pizza Dough

When it comes to store-bought pizza dough, we recommend that you always read the instructions on how to defrost and cook your pizza.

In most cases, store-bought pizza crusts come with a “do not defrost” label. And, of course, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 

Store-bought pizza crusts are often already rolled out and topped with various toppings such as vegetables, meat, cheese, etc.

If you try to thaw the pizza crust with the toppings, the toppings will become soggy, release water, and ultimately destroy your pizza.

If the package instructions do not instruct you to avoid thawing the pizza dough, you can use the same thawing methods as for homemade pizza dough.

How long does thawed pizza dough last?

We recommend using thawed pizza dough when it has fully thawed and risen. If you are not sure if you are going to use the thawed dough or not, we recommend that you do not take it out of the freezer.

Since there are ways to thaw pizza dough quickly, it’s better to resort to these methods instead of leaving the thawed dough in the fridge for a few days. 

As for store bought pizza dough balls, they can last in the fridge for about 3 days once thawed. Afterwards, the dough will develop a sour taste.