Hello, fellow pizza lovers! Today, I want to take you on a journey into the world of freezing pizza dough. Yes, you read that right. Freezing pizza dough is not only possible, but it can also be a game-changer for all you home bakers out there who have busy lives and want to have some dough ready anytime an occasion to make pizza arises. Here at Baking Steel, we get asked about this a lot. So, if you've also been wondering whether you can pop that extra dough into the freezer for your next pizza night, stick around. I’m about to change your pizza-making game!
Debunking Myths about Freezing Pizza Dough
There's a common myth floating around that freezing pizza dough will somehow degrade its quality. I’m here to bust that myth wide open. Freezing pizza dough, when done correctly, can actually enhance your homemade pizza experience.
How, you ask? Well, for starters, it gives you the freedom to whip up a pizza whenever the craving strikes, without having to start from scratch and invest hours or days into the whole process and energy that goes into making the dough every single time. It also allows you to make the most of your pizza-making efforts by storing extra dough for future use. And the best part? Your frozen dough can yield a pizza that's just as delicious, if not more, as one made from fresh dough. So, not only is freezing pizza dough okay, but it’s also actually a smart move for any busy pizza lover!
A Freezer-Friendly Pizza Dough Recipe
Now that you guys know that freezing pizza dough is a fantastic idea, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I’m going to share a freezer-friendly pizza dough recipe that's a slight tweak of our beloved 72-hour pizza dough recipe.
Ingredients You Will Need
• 500 grams of organic bread flour (approximately 4 cups)
• 350 grams of water (approximately 1.5 cups or 12 ounces)
• 3 grams of active dry yeast (approximately 0.75 teaspoons) We add more yeast than usual because we will lose some due to freezing it.
• 16 grams of sea salt (approximately 2.75 teaspoons)
Let’s Get to The Procedure
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:
1. In a Baking Steel dough container or large bowl combine the bread flour and sea salt and whisk. Next add active dry yeast and whisk again. Finally, slowly add in your water and knead for 3 minutes until dough forms one large ball. Cover.
2. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature (about 72 F) for one day. This is where the magic happens as the yeast does its work.
3. After the initial rise, move the dough to the fridge and let it chill out for another day. This slows down the yeast activity and develops the flavor of the dough.
4. Remove from fridge. It's time to shape our dough balls. Once shaped, these dough balls are ready to be frozen.
This recipe is designed to be freezer-friendly, ensuring your dough rises beautifully, even after being frozen. I personally urge you to go ahead and give it a try! I promise, your future pizza loving self will thank you.
The Freezing Process
Now that you have your dough ready, let me tell you about the freezing process. This is where the magic of convenience comes into play.
1. Shaping your dough into individual balls. This step is crucial because it will ensure your dough balls freeze and thaw properly.
2. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap. This helps protect the dough from freezer burn. Once wrapped, place the dough balls into a freezer bag for an extra layer of protection. Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag before sealing it. This helps to keep the dough fresh and prevents ice crystals from forming. Alternatively, place your dough balls in your Baking Steel Dough container and place container in freezer.
3. Finally, store the bag in the freezer. Your dough balls are now ready to be frozen and can be stored for up to 30 days. You did it! Now you’re always just a few steps away from a delicious homemade pizza!
Thawing and Using Your Frozen Pizza Dough
When you're ready to use your frozen dough, the process is just as simple. Let’s go through the four easy steps you’ll have to take to get your dough ready to go:
1. Transfer the dough ball from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to make pizza. This allows the dough to thaw slowly and evenly. In a pinch, remove the dough from freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature, approximately 4 hours.
2. The next day, about 3 or 4 hours before you're ready to bake, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This is an important step, so don’t be tempted to skip it. It allows the dough to relax and makes it easier to shape. We call this the final proof.
3. When it's time to bake, preheat your oven with your Baking Steel inside for about an hour. A hot Baking Steel inside your oven is key to achieving that perfect, crispy and airy pizza crust.
4. Once your oven is ripping hot and your dough has proofed for a few hours, you are ready to bake.
And that’s it, you’re done! With your freezer stocked with ready-to-go dough, you're always just a few steps away from a delicious homemade Baking Steel pizza. So, go forth and freeze that dough!
The Joy of Pizza Making
Pizza making really is more than just a culinary activity—it's a labor of love, a creative outlet, its just plain art in the kitchen. To me, there's something incredibly rewarding about watching a simple ball of dough transform into a delicious, mouthwatering pizza that we can share with friends and family. And with my Baking Steel inside my oven, i have never made pizza more beautiful.
When you make pizza at home, you're not just feeding your body, you're also feeding your soul (and those of your family and friends). You're putting a piece of yourself into something that brings joy to you and those you share it with. And with your freezer stocked with ready-to-go 72 Hour dough, you're always just a few steps away from happiness.
Can I freeze pizza dough after it rises?
Absolutely! In fact, it's actually recommended to let your dough rise before freezing it. This allows the yeast to do its work and gives your dough a head start. Remember we did a bulk rise for 24 hours at room temp and then 24 hours in the fridge..
Can you freeze raw pizza dough?
Yes, we just showed you that pizza dough freezes very well. Just follow the steps above.
Do you freeze pizza dough before or after the final proof?
You should freeze pizza dough right after you ball it up.. The final proof should happen after the dough has been thawed and is ready to be baked at room temperature.
Can you pre-bake pizza dough and freeze it?
Yes, i would bake the dough on my Baking Steel, remove and let cool. For best results i would vacuum seal the cooled dough.
How long can i freeze pizza dough?
We think frozen dough is best used before 30 days. After 30 days, some of the yeast may not survive and the dough will not rise well.
Embrace the Pizza-Making Journey
So, there you have it, fellow pizza lovers! Freezing homemade pizza dough is not only possible, but it's also a total game-changer and pizza-making hack. With a stash of dough in your freezer, you're always ready for a spontaneous pizza night. Go ahead, give it a try. Experience the joy of pizza making on your own terms. Until next time, keep those ovens and Baking Steels hot and your passion for pizza burning!