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Storing Pizza Dough – The Best Way

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There’s no denying the pleasure that pizza can bring into your life, so why bother trying? When you make pizza at home, you can eat it as often as the urge takes you and make it exactly how you like it. Pizza night every night? Why not!

The key to making homemade pizzas a regular feature on your at-home menu is storing the pizza dough properly.

With the right strategy, you can make your pizza dough ahead of time for multiple pizzas at once and be confident that it will be fresh whenever you’re ready for it. 

So, how do you store pizza properly? Pizza dough can be stored in your refrigerator safely for up to 2 weeks as long as the dough is carefully wrapped in plastic to prevent it from losing moisture and elasticity. Pizza dough can also be frozen in individually wrapped dough balls for longer-term storage.

This complete pizza dough storage guide will walk you step-by-step through the process of storing pizza dough for a few hours, overnight, or even a few days or weeks.

You’ll also read about our favorite pizza storage containers to make sure your dough is always preserved perfectly.

How To Store Pizza Dough

Whether you are storing your pizza dough for a few hours or a few weeks, there are rules or techniques that should be followed under any circumstance. 

The biggest risk to storing pizza dough instead of using it immediately is that it will dry out. To prevent this from happening, you need to store it properly.

Follow these recommendations for best results:

  • Always let your dough rise for at least half an hour before storing it in a cool or cold location, if possible.
  • For short term storage of 2 days or less, store loosely covered, either in a storage container covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight bag.
  • For longer-term storage of 3 days to 2 weeks, carefully wrap your dough individually to prevent it from drying out.
  • Lightly oil or flour your bowl or storage container before storing your pizza dough to prevent it from sticking to the container.
  • Store your pizza dough in individually folded balls, but do not punch them down.
  • Always let your dough warm to room temperature for at least half an hour before using it.
  • If you freeze your dough, let it thaw completely in your fridge and then return to room temperature in your kitchen before stretching it out

How to Store Pizza Dough for a Few Hours 

During the dough making process, you will need to allow your dough to rise. This is usually accomplished at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap or a towel, and takes about an hour and a half.

If you’re making your dough early in the day and not planning on using it until dinner, you will need to store the pizza dough for a few hours in between.

Ideally, you will let it rise for at least half an hour before refrigerating it, but if you need to run, you can put it in the fridge for a few hours until you’re ready to bake it.

If you’re only storing your pizza dough for a few hours, you do not have to seal it airtight. In fact, allowing it free range to rise is ideal.

Cover your storage container or bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and place it in your fridge, where it will not be squished accidentally.

It never hurts to flour your bowl or storage container a bit so that your dough won’t stick to the sides as it rests. Before stretching it for use, allow it to come to room temperature for 15 minutes to half an hour.

How to Store Pizza Dough Overnight

Dry pizza dough is a nightmare, but it does take a while for it to happen. If you’re storing your pizza dough overnight, ideally you’ll like it to be in a spacious container where it has room to relax and air to breathe.

But it still needs to be sealed against moving air that could exchange the odors and flavors of your fridge for all the moisture in your dough.

Choose a bowl or storage container that is at least twice the size of your ball of pizza dough and wrap the surface of the container with plastic wrap.

Keep it in your fridge where it will not be disturbed overnight.

You can also put it in an airtight bag, but allow some air to remain inside the bag. Make sure your dough will not be squished or jostled around too much in your fridge.

It should rest with as little disturbance as possible to protect its elasticity.

Can You Refrigerate Pizza Dough After It Rises?

Yes, you can and should refrigerate pizza dough after it rises if you’re not going to use it immediately, but it may continue to grow slightly, so make sure it has room to expand in its storage container. 

If you’re only storing your dough for a few hours, overnight, or for a maximum of 3 days, it should not be completely wrapped, as that will restrict its ability to continue rising. 

Only individually wrap your dough after 2–3 days of storage. By this time, it will have risen all it is going to rise and is better off being protected.

Freezing Pizza Dough

Pizza dough freezes easily as long as you give it plenty of time to rise before you freeze it. It will not rise after it’s been frozen.

Follow these simple steps to freeze pizza dough:

  1. Allow your fresh-made pizza dough at least 1 ½ hours to rise at room temperature.
  2. Separate it into single pizza portion sizes.
  3. Wrap each dough ball carefully with plastic wrap.
  4. Wrap each dough ball again with aluminum foil.
  5. Place the wrapped dough balls in a freezer-safe bag or container with an airtight seal.
  6. Make sure your dough will not be squished, at least until it’s thoroughly frozen.
  7. Completely thaw your frozen pizza dough overnight in your refrigerator and then let it come to room temperature before stretching it out to use.

If you freeze your dough using the proper steps, it should last you up to 3 months before the quality begins to deteriorate.

The 5 Best Pizza Dough Storage Containers

Following the rules for storing pizza dough gets a lot easier with the proper storage containers.

Here are our top picks:

RankProductKey Features
1.DoughMate Artisan Dough Tray KitSet of 2, putty scraper, durable
2.Winco Stackable Dough PansSet of 3, dishwasher safe, aluminum
3.Update International Aluminum Pizza Dough PanSet of 3, fridge or freezer, aluminum
4.Silicook Storage Containerset of 3, shatter-resistant and BPA free plastic
5.Cambro Clear Camsquare Food ContainerMeasuring marker, clear tub, fridge or freezer

We’ve carefully analyzed all the requirements for storing pizza dough and curated a list of the best 5 pizza dough storage containers for you to choose from. 

1. DoughMate Artisan Dough Tray Kit

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If you want professional quality storage designed specifically for storing pizza dough and allowing it to proof and rise as well, this is the product for you.

If you’re serious about your pizza making, these trays fit multiple balls of dough at a time. You even get two trays, for extra dough storage.

Key Features:

  • Includes 2 interlocking, stacking trays and a lid that fits nicely in standard refrigerators
  • Comes with a putty scraper to help you stretch and mold your pizza dough like a pro
  • Lightweight and very durable

Biggest Drawback:

This product is not dishwasher safe. Wash by hand or risk having the containers warp just enough to affect the airtight seal, which is terrible for storing pizza dough longer than a few hours.

2. Winco Stackable Dough Pans

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Stackable dough pans are designed to allow multiple balls of pizza dough to rise freely and be stored safely in their own individual pans.

These pans interlock so that your dough will stay fresh and you only need a single lid to cover the uppermost pan, or you can use plastic wrap.

Key Features:

  • 3 stackable pans designed to proof your dough, allow it to rise, and store it as needed
  • Dishwasher safe and very easy to clean and maintain
  • Made of aluminum, not plastic, which is clean and reliable for storage in the fridge or freezer

Biggest Drawback:

Aluminum is a light metal. If you’re not careful, you will dent your pans. If the shape is compromised along the very top or bottom, it might affect the seal when the pans are stacked, so try to be gentle with your pans.

3. Update International Aluminum Pizza Dough Pans

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These are specially designed for proofing and storing pizza dough overnight or a few days in your fridge.

The aluminum container keeps your dough fresh and protects the flavor even if you’re storing long-term.

Key Features:

  • Made of aluminum so they’re safe for storing your dough without worrying about plastic
  • It is a 3-pack and they stack perfectly to save space and keep organized
  • Transfer from fridge to freezer without stress or mess

Biggest Drawback: Lids aren’t included but because they’re stackable you only ever have to cover one, and it’s easy enough to seal with plastic wrap or purchase one lid separately.

4. Silicook Storage Container

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If you compare the design of these containers, they’re very similar to the DoughMate Artisan Dough Tray, with the exception that they’re not as deep and they don’t come with the scraper.

In other words, they are not specifically designed for storing pizza dough, but they will do the trick well and at approximately half the price.

Key Features:

  • Made from shatter-resistant and BPA free plastic which is ideal for a busy family kitchen
  • You get 3 of them with lids to make organizing your fridge or freezer easy while at the same time storing your pizza dough safely
  • Transparent containers make it easy to keep an eye on your dough without breaking the air-tight lid seal

Biggest Drawback:

They’re not very deep, so you’ll need to let your dough rise in a separate bowl before transferring to be stored in these containers. This is the ideal process regardless, so it shouldn’t affect your decision too much.

5. Cambro Clear Camsquare Food Container

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This container isn’t specifically designed for dough, but the large size works perfectly for allowing the dough to rise in a contained and still air-tight environment.

This is perfect for make-ahead pizza dough or storing pizza dough for a few hours or overnight.

Key Features:

  • Safe for use in your fridge or freezer
  • Conveniently marked with measurements so you can watch/track the rise of your dough
  • Comes with a lid to add extra protection to your plastic-wrapped dough

Biggest Drawback:

It is a large container, perhaps larger than you need for an individual pizza dough ball, and the container is also made from plastic that contains BPA, so never use it for hot items.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve answered your most pressing questions, we’ll address a few extra ones below to satisfy your curiosity.

How Do You Use Refridgerated Pizza Dough?

Before stretching your dough, let it come to room temperature. Simply place it in a lightly floured bowl on your counter, covered with a kitchen towel, for at least half an hour. Up to 2 hours is ideal.

If you stretch cold dough, it will be prone to capturing air and bubbling, which is inconvenient for pizza eating. It’s also much easier to stretch – and will stay stretched – at room temperature.

Once it’s room temperature, press it down into a large, flat disc. If it keeps shrinking back into a small dough ball, it needs to rest a bit longer at room temperature. 

Once you’ve been able to press your dough out so that it’s about 1/2 inch thick and roughly holding its shape, you can start stretching it.

Pull it from hand to hand, continuously rotating it, until you have a pizza crust that’s about 1/3 inch thick and is no longer shrinking.

Can You Freeze Pizza Sauce?

Yes, you can freeze pizza sauce. It’s best to freeze it in small, single-use serving sizes.

There are 3 simple ways to accomplish this:

  1. Ice Cube Tray – Fill an ice cube tray with pizza sauce and allow it to freeze into cubes. When they’re solidly frozen, you can pop them out of the tray and place them in a freezer-safe bag.
  2. Muffin Pan – Spoon as much sauce as you use per pizza – or if you always cook multiple pizzas at once, however much you would be thawing at one time – into a muffin pan. If you have a metal tin, oil the surface first to make it easy to remove the sauce when it’s frozen. If you have a silicone tray, you can skip this step. Allow the sauce to freeze thoroughly and then pop each sauce muffin out and store them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
  3. Baking Sheet – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spoon your serving size of pizza sauce onto the tray, making sure there’s enough space between each serving that they won’t run into each other. If you have egg rings, these will come in handy. Set the baking sheet in your freezer where it won’t be disturbed until the pizza sauce is frozen solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag for long-term storage of up to 3 months.

Can You Freeze Homemade Pizza?

Yes, you can freeze homemade pizza. This is a less expensive, healthier, and more delicious solution to quick and easy frozen pizzas on demand.

The most effective way to freeze homemade pizza is to pre-bake the crust at 450F for only about 5 minutes.

This is called par-baking and it protects the shape and quality of your crust from the freezer and sets it up for perfect baking when you’re ready to eat the pizza. 

Let it cool completely and then add your toppings. Place the fully loaded pizza on a large, flat baking sheet and put it into your freezer uncovered for at least 2 hours.

Once it’s thoroughly frozen, remove it from the freezer and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. 

For best results, wrap it again in aluminum foil to further protect your pizza from drying out while it’s frozen. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months in your freezer.

To prepare, unwrap it completely and bake it from frozen as you would normally cook your pizza.

Up Next: Can You Refreeze Frozen Pizza?

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