Pizza is an all-time favorite for adults and kids. It can pass as a bite for brunch, a time-out with friends, or a snack to binge on while watching TV.
Though you can easily order one, nothing beats the taste of a fresh homemade pizza. However, it may not always be feasible as making pizza from scratch is time-consuming.
So, it’s no surprise that people often ask if making pizza dough beforehand is possible.
You can make pizza dough in advance. This early preparation will save you time and enhance the dough’s flavor and texture. After preparing the dough, you must store it in a refrigerator or freezer to preserve it before making the pizza. However, you should avoid keeping the dough for an extended period before use.
In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of preparing pizza dough in advance.
You’ll also discover the appropriate methods for storing pizza dough and how long you can keep it before thawing.
Can You Make Pizza Dough in Advance?
If you’re a fan of homemade meals, I’m sure you love to eat your pizza fresh out of the oven. But this will be challenging with the hustle and bustle of daily activities.
Imagine coming home after an eventful day to start mixing ingredients and kneading dough for your pizza’s bread crust. Trust me, that’s not an experience you’d want to have.
Thankfully, you can satisfy your cravings with less stress by preparing your pizza dough ahead of time.
You should use less yeast and more salt to get a perfect dough. This practice will slow down the rate of fermentation and give you a tasty dough.
So feel free to make your dough hours or days ahead.
The Benefits of Making Pizza Dough in Advance
Most people are unaware that they can pre-make the dough for pizza. They feel it won’t taste nice. However, you can prepare your pizza dough early and keep it on standby.
It is advisable to pre-make your pizza dough as there are several advantages.
Below are some benefits of early dough preparation.
Saving Time With Pre-made Pizza Dough
The obvious benefit of storing pizza dough is that it saves time. If you plan to have pizza for dinner, you can prepare the dough in the morning and set it aside till evening.
If you keep it at room temperature, it will be fluffy, soft, and crusty by evening. So you won’t have to begin mixing a bowl of dough when exhausted.
Increased Nutritional Value
Not many people know this, but early pizza dough preparation can increase the nutritional value present in the snack.
When you freeze or refrigerate pizza, the cold affects the fermentation process, causing the release of antioxidants.
Slow fermentation also aids the complete breakdown of starch in the dough, making it easier to digest.
Flavor and Texture Enhancement
Pre-making pizza dough always involves storage. Interestingly, proper storage can enhance the quality of your dough.
When you store the dough in an airtight container for some time, the yeast in it begins to ferment gradually.
This slow proofing process causes the dough to develop an intense flavor with a little tanginess and improves it’s texture.
Also, the dough doubles in volume when left to rest but gains a better structure, thus making it tender. However, you have to handle it carefully when shaping it to get a perfect pizza.
Additionally, preparing pizza dough in bulk is convenient. Just thaw out your stored batch when craving fresh homemade goodness. It can also come in handy when hosting in-house guests.
So, if you’re a pizza fan, you can make and store fresh pizza dough weekly.
The Science Behind the Taste: Why Advance Preparation Enhances Pizza Flavor
The secret behind the enhanced flavor of pre-made pizza dough lies in early preparation and proper storage.
When preparing pizza dough ahead, two interesting things happen fermentation and slow proofing.
Once you mix your ingredients, including yeast, this microscopic wonder begins its job of fermentation.
Fermentation enhances flavor because as yeast ferments, it breaks down starches into simple sugars, creating sweet undertones in your pizza crust.
Also, refrigerating or freezing pizza dough after making it allows what bakers call slow proof.
When the pizza dough rises over an extended period, it allows for even more flavor development and improves texture.
So, making pizza crust in advance and giving it ample time for slow proofing will result in a rich-flavored, crispy, yet fluffy base.
How Long Can You Store Prepared Pizza Dough?
Pre-made or processed foods often have a shelf life. They’ll get spoilt if you don’t use them before the time elapses.
So, if you intend to prepare your pizza dough beforehand, you must know how long it’ll last to avoid over-fermentation.
The time for storing pre-made pizza dough depends on your storage method. It’s advisable to either refrigerate or freeze the dough.
Below is a table that shows the amount of time for storing pizza dough with each storage method.
|Refrigeration||Two to three days|
Refrigerated dough can last up to three days, while frozen dough can stay for even three months. However, you have to store it properly.
When refrigerating, apply olive oil in a bowl before placing the dough and covering it. If you’re freezing the dough, store it in an airtight container immediately after kneading.
But note that if you exceed the storage duration, your dough will over-ferment and become flaky, making it unsuitable for use.
Using Your Pre-Made Pizza Dough: Tips and Techniques
Pre-made pizza dough is an innovative way to prepare your pizza at home.
The beauty of early preparation of pizza dough lies in its convenience, versatility, and the enhancement of flavors from long-lasting yeast fermentation.
But still, you need to know how to revive your refrigerated or frozen dough. So here are some tips on how to make the most out of your pre-prepared pizza dough.
Defrosting/ Thawing Pizza Dough
The first crucial step in using pre-made pizza dough is allowing it to thaw to room temperature before shaping it.
Your refrigerated or frozen dough might be stiff. Letting it thaw makes it easier to handle.
Therefore, you’ll have to transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator for about 12 hours, then let it sit out in the kitchen to thaw.
Alternatively, you can use your microwave to defrost the dough for one minute on each side or let it sit underwater in an airtight bag for an hour.
Doing this will ensure excellent texture and make it easy to shape.
Shaping Your Pizza Base
When your dough is at room temperature, you can easily shape it. Pre-made pizza dough doesn’t tear easily. So, it’s perfect for experimenting with your creativity.
You can shape it into a traditional round pie or experiment with other forms like square or rectangular pizzas, then add your toppings and bake.
The tastiest pizzas come from sturdy bases, which you can achieve by making pizza crust in advance.
Therefore, rest assured that storing your dough properly will give you the most sumptuous pizza ever.