Making homemade pizza dough is pretty easy, but it can be time consuming. Whether you’re kneading the dough by hand or letting it rest overnight using my no-knead method, the key ingredient is time. So, what if you want to save that time and make a huge batch at once and freeze the extras? Can pizza dough be frozen?
Yes, pizza dough can be frozen. In fact, pizza dough is a kind of dough that freezes quite well and can last in the freezer for months without losing any texture or flavor.
I’ve seen lots of instructions online about freezing pizza dough and many of them suggest that you should freeze it all at once then divide it up and proof it after thawing. This can work but I feel it’s prone to mistakes and often leads to a dough that isn’t quite ready when you finally get around to using it.
To freeze pizza dough, the key is to freeze it immediately after proofing the dough balls. This means: kneading the dough, letting it rise, forming the dough balls, letting them proof and then freezing. This way the dough is completely ready to go as soon as it reaches room temperature again. On the other hand, freezing the pizza dough too early, before final proofing, can have problematic results.
Tip: To make sure the dough is fully thawed and proofed, lightly touch it. If it’s room temperature or slightly cool and a bit sticky, it should be ready to use.
The benefits of doing it this way is that the dough is ready for use almost immediately after thawing it overnight. We do this by bringing the pizza dough to its absolute peak form, just after final proofing, and then locking it all into place by freezing it.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to assume you already have a pizza dough or recipe you’re working with. I’m also assuming you know how to make dough balls because that step is crucial to this method working for you.
But if you answered no to either of those questions, take a look at my Neapolitan pizza dough recipe. This fool-proof recipe will get you a deliciously soft pizza crust that’s perfectly suited for a home oven and doesn’t require any kneading. There’s also a useful video included that shows you how to make pizza dough balls, which is necessary to do before freezing.
Tip: Be gentle when shaping your pizza dough since it will probably be fairly delicate after it’s thawed and proofed. This is especially true if your dough has a high hydration level, like my recipes call for.
How to freeze pizza dough
1. Make the dough
Follow your dough’s recipe and when kneaded and risen, form it into balls. (You can also follow my directions in the link above.)
2. Proof the dough
Let your dough balls proof at room temperature for 1-2 hours in a covered pan or other container.
3. Freeze the dough
When the dough balls are fully proofed, place the entire container of dough into the freezer.
4. Store the frozen dough
Several hours later, when the dough is completely frozen, pry it of the pan with a spatula or dough scraper and place it back in the freezer in a freezer bag.
5. Thaw the dough
When you’re ready to use the dough, place the frozen dough ball in a pan that’s lightly dusted with semolina flour and cover it tightly. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
6. Let dough reach room temperature
The following day, take the dough out of the fridge (still in its covered container) 1-2 hours before shaping it into a pizza, or until it reaches room temperature.
7. Use the dough
Be gentle when shaping your dough as it will probably be extra delicate from being frozen and thawed.
If all goes well, your dough should look, act, and taste the same as it would have if you hadn’t frozen it.