How To Store Pizza Dough

If this is your first time making homemade pizza dough, you might wonder if you can store leftover dough that you weren’t able to use. There is also the question of how to store pizza dough and whether it will still be fresh when cooked the next day. These were also my concerns when I first started making pizza dough from scratch.

Well, the good thing is, pizzas are best done in advance! You just have to store your pizza dough properly to be able to still have a fresh pizza out of the oven anytime.

Storing pizza dough is simple. You can either store your fresh pizza dough on your counter at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, in a sealed container. If you store your fresh pizza dough correctly, it can last up to three months in your freezer.

But, it is not just about chucking your pizza dough in a container, putting it in your fridge, and calling it a day. There is still a proper way to store your pizza dough. In this article, we will look at the different ways to properly store your pizza dough. Read on to find out how to store pizza dough so you can have pizza anytime!

Portion Your Pizza Dough Balls

Portion Your Pizza Dough Balls

If you are following a homemade pizza recipe on the internet, chances are that the recipe will yield 2 to 4 12″ pizzas. And if you are making pizza with large amounts of flour, you’ll most likely have leftover dough.

Before storing pizza dough, it is best to portion it first so you can have your exact pizza portion before baking it. If the recipe says that it will yield two pizzas, divide your dough into two portions before storing them.

This way, you have two pizzas that you can bake on different days. If you portion your dough, you do not have to divide them each time you want to have pizza!

I recommend making a big batch and dividing the dough so you do not have to make pizza dough every time you crave pizza. After all, pizza dough can be made in advance.

When To Store Pizza Dough

When you are making pizza dough, you want to let it rise and ferment so you can have a good end result.

After kneading your dough, you want to let it rise at room temperature for at least one hour before letting it continue proofing in the fridge or in the freezer.

How To Store Pizza Dough

How To Store Pizza Dough

There are three ways to store pizza dough. Whatever method you prefer, the dough should be covered so it does not dry out and prevent a crust from forming on the dough. The crust that forms on your dough will be hard to incorporate back when you form your pizza.

Store Pizza Dough On The Counter

One of the methods of storing pizza dough is on your counter at room temperature.

Most pizzas can rise and double in size in about 2 to 4 hours at room temperature. If you are using sugar as part of your ingredient, the pizza dough will rise faster as sugar activates the yeast making the fermentation process quicker.

When my family asks for pizza in the middle of the day and I don’t have stored leftover dough anymore, I let my pizza dough rise on the counter at room temperature. It helps that I live in a warmer area so the dough rises quickly.

This method is preferred if you plan on baking your pizza the same day as the dough can over ferment which makes the dough taste bad.

When leaving your dough on your counter to rise, make sure your dough is placed in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. The oil should just be enough to coat the bowl around. I prefer using olive oil for this. You also coat your olive oil before putting it in the bowl.

Store Pizza Dough In The Fridge

If you want to have more flavor in your dough, let it ferment overnight in the fridge.

After you’ve portioned your dough, put the dough in your preferred container and cover it with a lid. Coat the dough or the inside of your container with olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl.

You can leave the dough to proof in the fridge for 3 days but I personally use the fridge for overnight proofing only. 

If you choose this option, make sure to let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours after you take it out of the fridge.

Storing Pizza Dough In The Freezer

If you want to make a big batch of pizza dough, storing them in the freezer is the way to go. 

When storing your dough in the freezer, put it in an airtight container or in a resealable bag. Make sure to coat your container or bag in olive oil.

I prefer individually wrapping my portioned dough in plastic wrap when I store them in the freezer. A properly stored fresh pizza dough can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Let the dough sit at room temperature for an hour or two after taking it out of the freezer before stretching it out.

This is my preferred method when I want to have pizza anytime as I just take out one portion, let it thaw, and then prepare my pizza!

Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan Pizza

You can store Neapolitan Pizza dough the same way as standard pizza dough. The difference is, Neapolitan pizza dough uses little yeast so it can stay at room temperature for up to 24 hours. When stored in an airtight container or reusable zipper bags, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you have a proofing box, that is the best way to store Neapolitan pizza. A proofing box is an airtight container where you can store 4 to 12 pieces of pizza dough at once. But you can just use whatever airtight container you have.

As usual, you need to let the pizza dough thaw before prepping it.

Cold Fermentation

When I started making pizza dough from scratch, I only ever let the dough rest at room temperature because I wanted to make pizzas right away.

But, cold fermentation slows down the fermentation process and allows the yeast to work in the dough. This then creates more natural flavors in your pizza.

So, if you are not in any rush in making pizzas, try letting your dough ferment in the fridge for 3 to 5 days to develop the flavors.

But, be careful in over fermenting the dough as it can result in a bad taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does pizza dough go bad?

Pizza dough can go bad if you leave it to ferment for too long whether at room temperature or in the fridge or freezer. When the dough over-ferments, the dough will be harder and will form a crust on its skin. This is because the dough has risen above the strength of the gluten structure.

Can I prepare pizza dough in advance?

Pizza dough is best prepared in advance as the dough develops more flavor the longer it ferments. If you plan on preparing the dough in advance, make sure you divide them and store them properly. 

Also, think about whether you are storing them for just over a week or for months. If you are making them 3 – 5 days in advance, you can store them in the fridge. Any longer than that, then you can store it in the freezer.

How long should refrigerated pizza dough sit out before baking?

Pizza dough can sit for about 1 to 2 hours at room temperature after taking it out of the fridge.

If you are taking it out from the freezer, let it sit in the fridge for about 12 hours before letting it sit at room temperature for another hour or two.

You can also put the frozen dough under cold water and let it thaw for one to two hours.

How do you store pizza dough after it rises?

If you are letting the dough rise at room temperature, put it in a bowl and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. You can also put the dough in an airtight container or just wrap the dough in plastic wrap. You can then put it in the fridge or freezer for storage.

Coat the dough and the bowl in olive oil so the dough does not stick to the container or plastic wrap.


Storing pizza dough is not as hard as you think. You only need a container with a lid, plastic wrap, or a reusable ziplock to store your pizza dough. 

You can store your pizza dough at room temperature for up to 4 hours if you plan on cooking it the same day. If you want to make your pizza dough last longer you can store it in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Make sure you store your fresh pizza dough properly so you can have pizza anytime you want!

Hopefully, this article helped you have an idea of how to store pizza dough. If you have any questions, let us know!