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The Best Ways To Store Pizza Dough, How To Do It, And What To Avoid?

Keeping pizza dough may save you so much time if you want to create a pizza at extremely short notice.

Storing it the right way should mean that it remains on demand and should still taste really fresh.

For the best storage, you should leave your pizza dough to rise and then put it into airtight containers which have a layer of olive oil either in the fridge or the freezer depending on when you want it. 

You could also use ziplock bags where you can press out the air or containers with tight-fitting lids.

Do not allow your pizza dough to overproof or overferment, and make sure that the yeast is still active.

The Best Ways To Store Pizza Dough, How To Do It, And What To Avoid

The Best Ways To Store Pizza Dough

Granted, there are some foods that you can batch cook and save some leftovers for another occasion which is fine.

Pizza dough is one of those which tastes great when freshly prepared but you may be surprised at how it can still keep its taste and elasticity for as long as two weeks when stored properly.

You may also look quite smart for preparing pizza dough in advance and having it ready to go for an impromptu pizza party. 

On The Kitchen Counter Top

Leaving your pizza dough on the counter top can be a dangerous situation.

This is due to the active yeast which will continue to be active and could result in an over fermented dough.

If you do have to leave your pizza dough out, wrap it up and put it in the refrigerator to slow down the activity of the yeast.

This placement prevents the yeast from growing too fast, expanding your dough, and then dying as the chilling temperatures should cause the yeast to become dormant.

In The Refrigerator

Once your pizza dough has risen and been portioned out into balls you have some options on how you can store it in the fridge for a later date.

You can either wrap the balls in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container that has a tightly-fitted lid, or put them in a sealed Ziplock bag with the air pressed out.

Whichever way you decide to wrap your pizza balls, they can go into the refrigerator and should be fine to use within two weeks but ideally within five days. 

After the pizza dough has been removed from the refrigerator it still needs a few extra steps before it is ready.

It should still be covered with some oiled plastic wrap and allowed to reach room temperature (typically around half an hour).

Using the refrigerator method is also ideal for cold fermented pizza.

This is where the active yeast is controlled by the chilling temperatures and the pizza dough slowly ferments. 

For Neapolitan Pizza

You can also store your pizza dough as it ferments, which is the ideal scenario for creating a traditional Neapolitan pizza.

A long and slow fermentation may take between six and 12 hours yet it can be worth it, if the dough is stored properly.

This means a proofing box which is an airtight container that keeps up to 12 pizza dough balls.

Without this storage, the surface of the dough will dry out and you would get a dough that is hard to stretch out. 

In The Freezer 

A similar method of storing pizza dough in the refrigerator is to put it in the freezer.

For this, you should strictly use an airtight container to keep some air around the pizza dough to prevent all the moisture from escaping.

In the freezer, a portion of pizza dough should last for around three months and you can leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight if you know you are going to use it the next day.

Just like any defrosted dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and allow it to reach room temperature, and then stretch it out to create a base. 

How To Store Pizza Dough?

The Best Ways To Store Pizza Dough, How To Do It, And What To Avoid

You should not feel pressured to use up an entire batch of pizza dough, even if you could make an exceptionally thick crust or another pizza.

Once you have portioned out your dough, you may have a couple of balls of dough leftover which you can still use at a later time.

Either keep the pizza dough at room temperature to use the next day or in the refrigerator to use during the next couple of weeks. 

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Active Time: From 1 to 2 hours or overnight

Difficulty: Easy


  • Airtight containers/Ziplock bags/A bowl with plastic wrap
  • A chopping board
  • Flour
  • A knife
  • Olive oil


  1. Leave the dough at room temperature to rest for 1 to 2 hours and portion out with a knife on a chopping board that is lightly dusted with flour
  2. Put the pizza dough in an airtight container that has a thin layer of olive oil where it can be kept for as long as overnight
  3. If the pizza dough is being kept in the refrigerator, it can be left in the container for up to a couple of weeks
  4. When ready to use, open up the container and place the pizza dough on the counter. If the pizza dough is coming from the fridge, give it around half an hour to reach room temperature before using

What To Avoid When Storing Pizza Dough?

The ingredients that you use and the timing that you deploy are both crucial elements to creating great pizza dough.

If the yeast is inactive or you leave your pizza dough for too long then it can create disappointing pizzas once you use the dough after it has been stored.

Using Inactive Yeast

When you are creating your pizza dough, it should rise when left in a warm environment for around an hour or so.

If it still looks flat then the yeast is likely to be inactive and even storing it for longer will fail to make much, if any, difference.

Using inactive yeast will create a chewy and tough pizza crust so if your dough has failed to rise, it will fail to be usable after being stored.

If anything, if your pizza dough looks lackluster it will be even more disappointing after being stored as chilling helps to slow down the yeast and prevent it from growing too fast so it has to hit a rise before being stored.

Leaving Pizza Dough Out For Too Long

Ideally, you want to avoid leaving your pizza dough at room temperature for too long.

This is due to the yeast which will continue to expand leaving a sour-tasting dough that will have over fermented.

It may be a while until the yeast finally dies yet by then the damage may already have been done.

How Long Pizza Dough Should Last?

The Best Ways To Store Pizza Dough, How To Do It, And What To Avoid

The duration for storing pizza dough largely depends on the method of storage and the amount of active yeast.

As a leavened and wheat-based dough, pizza dough balls can last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks though should be ideal inside five days.

That same portion of dough could last for up to three months in the freezer which is suitable for using as leftovers at a later date and for meal planning.

Do keep an eye on the amount of active yeast in the batch as the less, the better for the duration you can store it yet do not use inactive yeast as that will result in a chewy crust.

Why You Should Store Your Pizza Dough?

If you have created too much pizza dough, you should know what to do with it. Instead of wasting it on a pizza crust that is simply too big, you can save it for another day.

Simply by storing your pizza dough for a while longer, you can even enhance the flavors.

You can make the dough last longer and have it ready and convenient for the next time you want to create a pizza.

How The Right Storage Can Help Improve The Flavor Of Pizza Dough?

If you do want to enhance the flavor of your pizza dough, and the eventual crust, then consider using the refrigerator.

This will result in a slow fermentation as the active yeast will still eat the sugars yet the release of CO2 will be steadier.

With more control over the fermentation, you can create more flavor through the complex compounds that are created that you do not get from a quick rise.

This could take as long as five days for an Italian-style dough that includes less yeast.

How Pizza Dough Can Go Bad?

Your main danger when creating pizza dough is if it over ferments or over proofs.

This can occur once the pizza dough is left to rest too long while the yeast remains active.

Before long, the dough will lose its texture and shape as the gluten inside cannot trap those gases created by the yeast.

Over time, the gluten strains weaken while the yeast will die and the dough will be poorly structured. 

This is where the amount of yeast used in the batch of dough is crucial as too much can result in a quick rise which may be ideal yet better-flavored dough can come from a slower fermentation.

Keep your yeast in an airtight container as it can become inactive, and even contaminated, when left exposed for too long.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Pizza Dough From Scratch?

You can make a batch of pizza dough really quickly and really easily.

Combine active yeast with warm water to activate it then leave it for a few minutes when you should see some activity in the form of bubbles.

Add olive oil, sugar, salt, and pizza flour then knead the dough together until smooth and stretchy.

Once you are happy with the dough, you should exert some patience and leave it to rest. 

As long as the yeast is suitably active, it will expand and force the dough to rise as it releases gases like CO2.

That is an ideal situation if you want a pizza crust that is fluffy and full of air.

A risen dough then needs to be kneaded and punched down so it can be shaped into a circular pizza dough.

At this point, you can leave it to rise again for even more fluffiness yet it should be done and ready to coat in some sauce, your favorite toppings, and cheese.

When Should I Store Pizza Dough?

Once you have mixed your pizza dough, kneaded it down, and allowed it to rise a single time it can be stored however you like.

You may want to divide it based on how big you want the eventual pizza bases to be and you can use a lightly floured chopping board for the portioning.

Try to do this as soon as you are happy with the rise as it will help keep the pizza dough relatively fresh when you do decide to use it.


How To Store Pizza Dough

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 2 minutes

If you love your pizza, then it's a great idea to make pizza dough in bulk. The best way to store your pizza dough is in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Just ensure that the dough is the right portion size, so you can defrost it easily.


  • Pizza dough
  • Flour


  • Airtight container
  • Chopping board
  • Knife


  1. Portion your pizza dough: The best way to store pizza dough is in smaller portions. Sprinkle some flour on a chopping board. Then place your dough on top and cut the dough into smaller, usable portions.
  2. Place the dough into an airtight container: Put the different portions of the pizza dough into separate airtight containers.
  3. Store your pizza dough in the fridge or freezer: Pizza dough can keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. If you want to keep pizza dough for longer, then put it into the freezer.
Jess Smith
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