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How To Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough (Safely Quick Thaw)

There’s nothing better than the taste of homemade pizza. Having a supply of pizza dough at home comes in handy on days where you want to rustle up a delicious pizza for you and your family to enjoy. 

A great thing about pizza dough is that it is suitable for freezing. Storing pizza dough in a vacuum-sealed bag or container the freezer is going to extend its shelf life and it will last for up to 3 months.

As such, if you buy the dough or make the dough in bulk quantities it is not going to spoil quickly. 

When you are ready to use the pizza dough you must remember that it needs time to thaw. The amount of time that the dough needs to defrost is going to depend on how much dough you have frozen.

It can take as little as 30 minutes or as long as 12 to 24 hours. If you do not separate the dough into balls before freezing, the process of thawing it is going to take longer. 

Below we have identified several methods that you can follow to thaw your pizza dough safely and quickly. 

How To Prepare Your Pizza Dough For Freezing 

How To Prepare Your Pizza Dough For Freezing

First, you must make sure that you correctly prepare the dough for freezing. If you are going to be making your own pizza dough, there are several recipes that you can follow.

After making the dough, you will need to equally separate it into 200g parts. Next, roll the dough into balls. You can either put the dough balls onto a tray or you can wrap them as they are.

It is recommended that you double wrap the dough to prevent freezer burn. If you are going to be placing the dough onto a tray, you will need to cover it with plastic wrap.

Set the try aside for approximately 24 hours and allow it to prove.

If you are going to be freezing the dough balls as they are, first you will need to wrap them in plastic wrap, before putting them into a freezer bag or wrapping them in foil. 

Now the dough is ready to freeze. It is recommended that you label the dough so you know what it is and also write the date that you are freezing it on so that you know when it needs to be used by.

If you are going to be freezing them in a tray but only intend to use 1 to 2 dough balls at a time, you need to make sure that you can remove them individually without affecting the others.

Thaw The Dough In The Refrigerator 

One of the most effective ways of thawing pizza dough involves putting it in the refrigerator.

Remove the pizza dough from your freezer and keep it inside the airtight bag that you froze it in before putting it into a large bowl.

It is important to make sure that the bowl is big enough to fit the dough as it expands.

If you froze the dough on a tray, take out the amount that you require and place it into a bowl that has been lightly coated with oil. 

Put the bowl into the refrigerator and leave it there overnight. In the morning, you should notice that there are tiny holes on the surface of the dough.

It should also have started to soften overnight. You can now take the dough out of the refrigerator and remove it from the airtight bag.

Set it aside and then allow it to rest on the counter for around one hour. Once the hour has passed, the dough is then going to be ready to use. 

Allow The Dough To Thaw On Your Kitchen Counter

You should expect your dough to take approximately two hours to defrost on your kitchen counter.

As such, this option is recommended for those who are planning on using the dough to make a pizza on the same day as they defrost it. This method is also super straightforward. 

Remove the dough from your freezer and take it out of the airtight bag that you froze it in. Next, you will need to put the dough into a container.

Remember to make sure that the container you choose is large enough to allow the dough to expand as it thaws. Use some plastic wrap to cover the container. 

Set the container aside for around two hours. During this time, the dough will start to soften, it is also likely to rise for a second time. Now it is going to be ready for you to use. 

Thaw The Dough In A Bowl Of Cold Water (Coldwater Bath Method)

Another popular method involves thawing the dough in a bowl of cold water. This is also known as the cold water bath method.

Opting for this method is not going to harm the overall quality of the dough. Soaking your dough in a bowl of cold water also is not going to result in accidental cooking. 

First, you will need to take the dough out of the freezer. Keep it inside the airtight bag and then put it into a medium-sized bowl that you have filled with cold water.

You will need to make sure that the dough is completely submerged. 

Place the bowl on the counter and allow it to thaw for between 1 to 2 hours. If desired you can change the water during this time but you will need to make sure that it is cold.

As the dough starts to thaw it will become softer and it will begin to rise. When you remove the bag from the water you will also notice that tiny bubbles have started to form on the surface. 

It is now time to take the dough out of the bag. Put it into another bowl that is dry and then let it rest for around 1 hour. After the hour has passed, you can then use the dough to make your pizza. 

Put The Dough In A Bowl Of Warm Water

This method is very similar to the cold water bath method, however, the most noticeable difference is that it calls for the use of warm water.

If you are going to be following this method you need to be cautious because there is a risk of partial cooking.

The biggest benefit associated with thawing your dough this way is that it takes less time and when done correctly, it should not harm the quality. 

After you have taken the dough out of the freezer you will need to make sure that the bag you froze it in is still airtight.

If it isn’t you will need to put it into another bag and then remove any excess air before you seal it. 

Take a medium-sized bowl and fill it up with some warm water. Put the bag of pizza dough into the bowl and then set it aside. The temperature of the water will get cooler as the ice starts to melt.

Because of this, it will need to be changed every 10 to 15 minutes to retain the warmth until the dough thaws. 

Once the dough has softened it is going to be ready for you to use to create your pizza.  

Use A Microwave To Defrost The Dough 

It is only recommended that you follow this method if you need to defrost the dough quickly.

If you have time to spare, it is recommended that you opt for one of the methods that we have mentioned above instead.

As the microwave is a source of heat, it may start to partially cook the pizza dough as it defrosts. 

First, you will need to spray the microwave plate and surface of the dough with some oil. This is going to prevent it from sticking. You should also spray a layer of plastic wrap.

Take the dough and wrap it in the plastic wrap before putting it onto the microwave plate. 

Next, you will need to program the microwave to operate for approximately 25 seconds. Once this time has elapsed you will need to take the plate out of the microwave.

Unwrap the plastic and turn the dough over. Rewrap the dough in the plastic wrap and then put it back into the microwave on the plate.

Program it for a further 25 seconds. You will then need to take the dough out of the microwave for a second time. At this point, it should not have risen, but it should start to feel cool.

Rewrap the dough for the third time and then put it back onto the microwave plate.

Make sure that you set the microwave to the ‘defrost’ function and then program it to run for between 3 and 5 minutes.

The time that it takes to defrost is going to depend on the size and thickness of the dough. Larger dough balls are likely to take around 5 minutes to defrost. 

Once the time has passed, you can remove the dough from the microwave.

Set it aside on the counter at room temperature. You should then notice that it starts to rise. It is then ready to use once it has risen. 

Defrost The Pizza Dough In An Oven

Just like microwaving the dough, putting it in the oven is recommended for those that need it to defrost quickly and do not have the time to wait for the other methods to work.

Again, there is also a risk that it may start to cook before it has properly defrosted. 

Select a pan that provides enough space for the dough to expand as it defrosts. Spray the surface with plenty of oil as this is going to prevent it from sticking.

Set the oven to a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a gas oven, you will need to opt for a lower setting to make sure that it isn’t too intense. 

Put the tray with the dough in the oven and then leave it for around 1 hour. After this time, remove the tray to check on the progress.

If it does not yet appear to have defrosted thoroughly, you will need to put it back in the oven for a further 30 minutes. 

Now you may be wondering how to tell when the dough is properly defrosted.

Essentially, it should have risen to almost double its size, and of course, it should also feel softer. If it is soft and risen you can take it out of the oven and use it to create your delicious pizza. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several methods that you can use to defrost pizza dough. You may find some of these methods to be more effective than the others.

It is also important to consider the time that you have available to defrost the dough because some of these methods can take a few hours.