Homemade pizza is a dinner that always goes down well. It is so much better than store-bought pizza but it can be a lot of hassle to make pizza dough each time.
We are here to take you through the process of freezing homemade pizza dough and how to thaw it, ready for use.
Pizza dough, if frozen correctly, will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
It will likely remain safe to eat past this point, although you might notice a deterioration in the flavor profile or the dough’s texture.
How To Freeze Pizza Dough
Pizza dough is very easy to freeze. This means that you can have fresh, homemade pizza ready in minutes whenever the pizza craving strikes you.
The first thing that you will need to do is to make your pizza dough according to the recipe below.
Once you have knocked back the dough, you will need to portion it out. We recommend splitting the dough into balls sufficient to make a single pizza.
This will make it much easier for you when it comes to taking the dough out of the freezer and using it to make a quick dinner.
If you freeze your pizza dough as one large clump it will be almost impossible to split up for individual use. It will all need to be used at the same time as the thawed dough cannot be refrozen.
Once the dough has been split up, generously rub the exterior surface of each portion in olive oil. This will prevent the dough from drying out in the freezer, which will lead to a deterioration in quality.
Place each portion of the pizza dough in a separate ziplock freezer bag. Press on the bag to remove as much air as possible.
Air and moisture are the 2 biggest causes of freezer burn developing, so you should limit the amount of air in the bag as far as possible.
Once you have pressed out all of the air, seal the bag tightly. Label the bag with the contents and the date made so that you do not get confused about the items in your freezer.
It is important to write the date on the bag so that you know how long it has been sitting in the freezer. This makes it easier to keep track of when different foods need to be consumed.
To ensure the condition of the pizza dough remains good for as long as possible, we suggest wrapping it in a second freezer bag.
This will reduce the chances of freezer burn developing on the surface of the dough, making it much more pleasant to cook and consume.
You may also choose to find a really large freezer bag, and use this to store all of your smaller pizza dough bags.
Alternatively, you may like to put all of the smaller pizza dough bags into a large, rigid, airtight container.
This is really useful if you have a large chest freezer, or if yours is really disorganized. It will ensure that all of your pizza dough stays in the same place, and none gets misplaced.
To freeze store-bought pizza dough you can follow the same steps. Some commercially available pizza dough will not be suitable for freezing, but this will be clearly marked on the packaging.
You can also freeze the pre-baked pizza crusts, sometimes referred to as skins. This will only work on pizza dough that has been cooked until it is firm, but not browned in color.
You might notice that the center of the dough bubbles up a little in the oven, as there are no toppings to weigh it down. This can be counteracted with a thin layer of oil or tomato sauce.
How To Make Pizza Dough
Pizza dough is a super simple dough to pull together, requiring only 6 simple ingredients. You will need a strong white flour, such as 00, and a small amount of semolina flour too.
The other ingredients are salt, quick-action dried yeast, caster sugar, and olive oil.
Most pizza dough is made by a bread maker, which takes a huge amount of the work out of the preparation process.
In this instance, all you need to do is add the ingredients to the bread tin and set the machine to the appropriate setting.
If you have opted to make your pizza dough manually, sift the flour and salt onto a cleaned work surface, and make a small well in the center.
In a measuring jug, combine the lukewarm water, yeast, oil, and sugar.
Pour this into the well and use a fork to gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid. As the dough begins to come together, you can use your hands to work in the rest of the flour.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, then place it into a bowl that has been dusted with flour.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave it to prove in a warm place for at least an hour. By this point, the dough will have doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. This is known as knocking back the dough and helps to remove some of the air.
Your pizza dough is now ready for immediate use or to be transferred to the freezer for storage.
Can You Freeze Gluten-free Pizza Dough?
Yes, you can freeze gluten-free pizza dough. They are notoriously hard to work with, but they do freeze relatively well.
You can use all of the instructions above for freezing normal pizza dough, as gluten-free pizza dough will behave in the same way.
You may find yourself needing to use a little extra oil or gluten-free flour to cover the dough in the bag.
This is because gluten-free doughs are typically wetter and more sticky than regular pizza dough.
Not using a sufficient quantity of oil or flour will result in the dough sticking to the inside of the bag and becoming very hard to work with when thawed.
How To Thaw Pizza Dough
The best way to thaw pizza dough is slowly and steadily. It is a good idea to remove the pizza dough from the freezer in the morning of the day you wish to make it, or even the night before.
This will allow the dough to gradually thaw out and ensures it will be completely thawed by the time you are ready to use it.
Once you have removed the pizza dough from the freezer, place it on a plate.
Do not remove it from the freezer bag, as it can make a mess as the dough thaws. Using a plate is the best way to minimize the cleanup.
Place the plate into your refrigerator and leave it here to thaw gradually. It will take, on average, about 12 hours to thaw completely.
Once thawed, remove the plate from the refrigerator and instead place it on your countertop.
Allow it to rest here for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to come to room temperature, making the bake more evenly.
If you have more time restrictions, you can thaw your pizza dough at room temperature.
This is not recommended as it could result in a sub-par pizza. Where the slow thaw will take around 12 hours to complete, a room temperature thaw will be done in about 3 hours.
We also have some hacks for a super speedy thaw of your pizza dough. This is not the preferred method and should only be done when you are out of other options.
Grab a large bowl of warm water, ensuring that the water is about the temperature of a warm bath.
Place the wrapped balls of frozen pizza dough in this bowl and allow them to sit here for about 15 minutes.
Once this time has elapsed, remove the dough from the water bowl and place it on a baking tray on your countertop.
Based on the ambient temperature in your environment, the total thaw time should be reduced to about 1 and a half hours.
Can You Freeze A Fully Made Pizza?
Yes, you can freeze a fully made pizza. We do not advise freezing an assembled but raw pizza, and strongly recommend cooking it prior to freezing.
This is because the raw ingredients used as toppings may deteriorate in flavor and texture during freezing.
If you are trying to freeze a cooked pizza, you will need to allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a storage container.
You may choose to freeze the pizza whole, although this is typically not the most space-efficient manner to do so.
We recommend cutting the pizza into individual slices and storing it in individual portion sizes.
Wrap the slices in plastic wrap and then place them inside a labeled ziplock freezer bag with the air pressed out. This can also be stored for up to 3 months.
Can You Freeze Dough Balls?
Yes, you can freeze dough balls. Once your pizza dough has finished proving, divide it up into small, dough ball-sized pieces.
Roll them into small balls and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Leave a small amount of space between each one, so that they are not touching.
Place the baking tray in the freezer for a couple of hours, or overnight. This will allow the dough to freeze enough to hold its shape, meaning that the dough balls will not stick together.
Once frozen solid, remove the dough balls from the baking tray and transfer them to a large, ziplock bag. Label this and press all of the air out before you return the bag to the freezer.
We recommend removing the dough balls from the ziplock bag and placing them on a plate, spaced apart, for thawing.
If you do not do this, then the doughballs will merge into one giant lump of dough as they defrost.
You can also freeze and thaw filled dough balls. As with topped pizza dough, you should cook the dough balls before freezing.
These can then be slowly thawed and reheated when you want to consume them. The filling choices will dictate how well the freezing and thawing process goes.
Factors To Consider Before Freezing Pizza Dough
You should only freeze pizza dough that has been allowed to rise (prove). If you do not allow this important step to happen, your dough will not rise when it is cooked.
The texture and structure will be seriously affected and your family or friends will be disappointed in their dinner. Your dough will not rise or prove after it has been thawed.
We strongly recommend a slow thaw for pizza dough if you have the free time to be able to do so.
This is because rushing the thawing process can alter the texture of the dough and result in a weird pizza.
You should never refreeze thawed pizza dough. The number of temperature changes the dough will have gone through seriously increases the chance of harmful bacterial colonies growing.
This could lead to you giving your loved ones food poisoning, not something that you want to do! At best, continued freezing, thawing, and refreezing will alter the flavor and texture of your pizza dough.
If you have removed too much dough from your freezer, it is better to cook it into a pizza as soon as possible. Any pizzas that you cook from this dough can then be frozen with no adverse effects.
We hope that you now feel confident with freezing and thawing pizza dough. We have equipped you with all of the necessary information to perfect the freezing and thawing process every time.
You will now be able to have perfect pizza any day of the week, with no hassle. The best thing is that no one will ever be able to tell that the dough was made in advance!