I am sure almost everyone prefers ordering pizza over actually making it. Who can blame you?
I mean, the hassle of getting all the ingredients, making the dough, and actually baking it. It’s too much, I get it. But don’t you sometimes crave a family gathering where everyone gets to help in baking some delicious pizzas?
I remember this was like a big event where once a month all the family get together and we make pizza in our stone oven in the backyard. It tastes nothing like the readymade one, that’s for sure.
I believe everybody should make their own pizzas at least once, so that you get to experience the perfect, freshly made, heavenly pizza. That’s why I am going to share with you how to freeze pizza dough and how to defrost it so that you won’t have to go through the trouble of making fresh dough every time you crave pizza.
How to freeze pizza dough?
After the so many messages I got along the lines of “Can I freeze pizza dough?” I decided to share with you the best way with detailed steps to safely store your pizza in the freezer and enjoy it later on exactly like the freshly made one.
- Prepare one or more (preferable more than one, it’s already the same hassle) pizza dough. Store-brought dough can also work well with these steps.
- Let the pizza have its first rise, even if you left it for only 10-30 minutes so that all the ingredients come together and yeast activates and starts rising.
- This is an optional step where you should shape the pizza dough into a round disc after folding it a few times to release any air trapped after its first rising. Shaping the pizza eases its thawing later on and allows it to be stored in the freezer without taking much space.
- This is pretty much the most critical step. As much as the freezer helps to protect your dough and retains its freshness, yet it could potentially cause more harm to the dough than good if you weren’t cautious while storing it.
Here’s how you can keep your pizza dough safe:
- Push any trapped air out of your dough and make sure it’s compact and rounded.
- Place the rounded disk near the end of a spread plastic wrap on a leveled counter. Cover the edges of the pizza disc with the ends of the plastic wrap. Start flipping the rounded pizza dough many times on the plastic wrap so that every inch is covered with it.
- Repeat this till all the plastic wrap is used up and the dough is covered completely.
- Place the wrapped-up pizza dough in a zip-lock or freezer bag. This should be the second layer of covering to make sure it’s not exposed to any moisture or air.
- You might think that you could remember whatever you are storing in your freezer, but trust me, you probably won’t. That’s why it’s best to label the dough in the freezer bag and the date of its making in case you are storing many dough discs in one bag.
Now, that we have successfully frozen our pizza dough. It’s time to defrost it and start making some yummy pizza for dinner. I got all the best ways of thawing the pizza dough, none of them include using a microwave or an oven cause we don’t want to accidentally cook it. You will have yourself six different methods of defrosting and get to choose whatever works best for you.
How to defrost your frozen pizza dough?
1- Defrost your pizza dough using the refrigerator:
This might be the slowest, yet the most efficient way to almost defrost anything not just your dough. All you need to do is just move the freezer bag containing the wrapped pizza from the freezer to the refrigerator’s lower shelf and leave it there overnight. By the next morning, it will be softer and larger because of its expansion. When it’s time to knead it, let it rest outside of the fridge for an hour to reach room temperature. Now, you can do your thing.
2- Using a cold water bath:
This is a much quicker and safer method of defrosting. Just place your bag with the wrapped up dough in a large bowl filled with cold water and fully submerge it. It should take from 2-3 hours maximum to defrost, then transfer it to another empty bowl for an hour. That’s it!
3- Using a hot water bath:
Theoretically speaking, this is the quicker version of the “cold water bath” method. However, it’s more risky as there might be a chance of semi-cooking the pizza dough. That’s why you need to be careful when you use this method.
Use a large bowl filled with warm, not hot, water. Place the tightly wrapped dough in the bowl. Make sure to empty and refill the bowl with warm water every 10 minutes so that it’s warm enough to defrost your dough.
4- Leaving the dough on the counter:
From the freezer to an empty bowl on the counter. That’s all you need to do. It should take 2-3 hours to completely defrost and start rising again, that’s why we should use a large bowl after removing the freezer bag so that it has enough room to grow.
I know I said we won’t use a microwave and an oven. However, I am going to share with you how to use them so that you will have all the information, but I don’t highly recommend using them.
5- Using microwave:
Both the microwave and the oven are only reserved when the time is a critical factor and you don’t have much of it. Before you start the process, spray the plastic wrap covering the dough with oil, in addition to the plate containing the dough. Set the microwave to high and leave it for 25 seconds. Up till this point, the dough won’t cook. Repeat the same process after flipping the dough. Now, for the tricky part, set the microwave to “defrost” and leave the dough for 3-5 minutes to thaw evenly and completely. You should adjust the time according to the size of the dough. Place it on the counter so that it could start rising.
6- Using an oven:
You will need to remove the wrapping of the dough along with the freezer bag. Prepare a pan by spraying some oil on it so that the dough won’t stick. Place the dough on the pan after spraying the dough itself. Cover the pan with plastic wrap also sprayed with oil. Transfer the pan to the oven adjusted to 100 degrees or “bread proofing” setting. Leave it to defrost and rise in the oven for an hour or so, but monitor it carefully so that it doesn’t cook.
Since you now have all the possible ways of defrosting your pizza dough, you have the ultimate choice to pick whatever suits you best. Personally, I prefer any cold method over the hot ones.
Commonly asked questions:
How to defrost store-bought pizza?
It mostly depends on the instructions of each type of ready-made frozen pizza. However, they mostly don’t require defrosting and it should be stated on the package itself. That’s because there is a great chance that the readymade ones are already topped with everything so that you can pop them in the oven immediately. The toppings can cause the release of moisture on the dough which is of course unfavorable.
In the case of you not finding any clear label of avoiding defrosting, then go right ahead and use any of the mentioned methods of thawing.
How long does defrosted pizza dough last?
It always better not to leave your thawed dough in the fridge for a long time as once the yeast is activated, it probably won’t stop. That’s why if you’re hesitant about whether you will have time or not to make some pizza, then maybe use one of the quick methods of defrosting once you’re sure instead of leaving it overnight and not cooking it. On the other hand, the readymade ones bought from any market can only stay for three days in the fridge.