Pizza dough has a middle ground for when you can use it at its best. You cannot store it in the wrong place for too long. You need to use the dough when it is in its best form. You need to give it time to rise before using but for how long?
This article will answer that for you in a second.
But first, what does make a dough perfect? It is simply science, you allow the proper biological process to happen in order to attain that dough you want.
Pizza customers and chefs both agree that the best part of a pizza is the crust and that all starts with making the perfect dough.
Storing it is another thing. You need to know where to place it and for how long you can leave it there to do its thing.
See, the main ingredient that makes dough rise is the yeast. It reacts with the sugar in the mixture and together, they create carbon dioxide inside and thus, the rise.
You also let the dough rise first so it can be workable meaning you can shape it into your desired pizza size with ease.
So how long does it need to be stored? How long can it be stored? Where can you store it?
Let’s discuss those questions and answer them for you.
But first, people ask whether you can keep the dough in the freezer or not.
The answer is yes. You can store the dough in the freezer but you need to attend to it every now and then.
First, you need to put the dough in a bowl and then slightly cover it with plastic wrap or leave a small opening if you are using the bowl’s cover.
This is to let the gases produced by the dough when rising have a way to get out of the bowl.
After two days, you can close the cover entirely with no openings. This will prevent the dough from drying out.
You can keep the dough stored in the freezer for 3 weeks up to one month.
Dough in Room Temperature
Leaving a freshly-made dough at room temperature lets the warmth speed up the process of the yeast and sugar.
You can leave the dough at room temperature for 1 hour before using it but if you want to store it at room temperature, the maximum time is 18 hours.
You cannot let it stay for too long or else the dough will turn grey and taste sour.
Dough in the Refrigerator
After making the dough, you can directly keep it in a fridge. You can do the same procedure when storing it in a freezer.
Keep a small opening on the cover for the airway to get the carbon dioxide and other by-products out of the dough.
You can use the dough after it has been stored for 24 hours in the fridge and you can keep it there for at least 3 to 5 days. I usually do not use the dough if its been sitting in my fridge for more than two days.
Usually, most of the pizza dough gets over within a day in my house and I highly suggest that you do not store it for longer than that.
What affects the storage life of the dough?
To put it simply, storage life depends on the size of the dough. You also need to consider the amount of the ingredients that you put into your dough.
These are the three main factors to consider in the storage life of the dough:
1. Amount of Yeast
- More yeast means more fermentation. Keeping it in a warm environment speeds up the fermentation process so if you put a lot of yeast on your mix, better store it in a cold place.
- As mentioned above, the temperature speeds up or slows down the process of fermentation and the breakdown of starch in the dough so consider the recipe you made and on what temperature should it be stored.
- The more protein in the dough, the more gluten it contains. This means that the dough can maintain its structure if there is more protein.
- More protein also means longer-lasting dough that is why bread flour is considered as one of the best flours to use in making pizza.
What happens when a Dough is stored for too long?
When the dough is over fermented or has been kept in store for too long, it becomes flat and more watery. Instead of it keeping its ball shape, it becomes wet and can be almost impossible to shape.
If this happens, then the dough is still safe to it although it may have some sour taste and it will have a hard time rising in the oven.
Just make sure to cook it properly for it to be safe. However, if you smell that the dough has a foul smell or a little bit slimy in texture, then throw it away. Do not risk it.
Here are other signs that your dough is no longer safe for cooking:
1. Diminished Texture
2. You see that the dough is dry even without touching it.
3. Grey spots on the dough or its color have become generally grey.
4. Bad odor or sour smell
Storing a dough is not hard if you make the right adjustments for the right recipe. It is also essential for the dough to rise before using it for your pizza so make sure to store it.
The process is quite entertaining as it allows the yeast to “eat” the sugar and it makes by-products such as carbon dioxide which makes the dough rise and alcohol.
Fermenting your dough will allow you to have more control when you stretch your pizza to your desired size so make sure that you allow the dough to ferment before using it.
Make sure you try to consume most of the dough as soon as you can. Pizza dough can last 3-5 days but consuming it within 2 days can give you the best taste.
It is a whole different story if you are interested in adding preservatives but otherwise, this is how long you should keep it at home.
I have had the dough sitting for 3-5 days and did not notice much difference just that the dough goes a little dry and you can see cracks being formed on the top surface.
This does make spreading the base a little inconvenient and the base goes dry but if used cleverly you could still manage to make a decent pizza out of it.
The final conclusion being the pizzas are best when the dough is freshly made and honestly, it doesn’t even take a lot of time to make some fresh pizza dough.
All you need are your basic ingredients and you need to knead and proof the dough and voila! Your dough would be ready within a few minutes.
Don’t let the dough sit outside for more than a day, which can cause some foul smell depending on the temperature of the city that you live in.
So, comment in the comments section and let me know how long have you let your pizza dough sit in the refrigerator.
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