There are a lot of ways you can defrost pizza dough. The method you pick depends on how long you can wait!
But before you go on learning how to defrost pizza dough, there is just this one very important thing to note: If you are using store-bought or ready-to-cook pizza, you should follow the instructions on the packaging. Some store-bought pizza dough may have pre-cooked ingredients such as meat and vegetables on top of the dough. These often come with “Do Not Thaw” instructions. In that case, it would be best to follow the instructions that come with your food.
However, if your store-bought dough’s instructions do not prevent you from thawing pizza dough, or if you are using homemade dough, then go ahead and learn how to defrost pizza dough in five different ways.
Defrost And Proof
First things first, before you decide on how to defrost pizza dough, you have to learn what exactly you are doing and why.
Your ultimate goal here is to get good quality pizza from your frozen dough. There are two basic stages to get there: defrosting and proofing.
When you defrost pizza dough, the ice crystals in the dough slowly dissolve. This makes your pizza dough soft and malleable. It allows you to shape your dough into your desired shape and size.
The second stage is proofing. Proofing simply means letting the dough rest for enough time to let the yeast do its job on the dough. It makes the dough rise to twice its size. This is why it is important to use a container large enough so the pizza dough has enough space to expand in.
One last thing: you may notice that each method below calls for keeping the dough wrapped in one way or another. Some instructions call for wrapping the dough itself in plastic. Other methods call for covering the dough’s container.
You cover the dough to prevent drying. Dough that has dried out has its edges look cracked and dry. This kind of dough would break and crumble when you handle it, making it difficult to shape properly.
Now that you know the basics, you are ready to thaw your pizza dough!
The “Cold” Methods
The “cold” methods of are preferable. These methods allow the dough to properly thaw without the risk prematurely cooking the dough.
- Defrost In The Fridge (At Least 8 Hours)
This is the best method to defrost pizza dough. It also takes the longest – it takes eight to 12 hours, depending on how large your dough balls or discs are.
Place your pizza dough in a container. Remember to leave enough room around the dough since it will expand. Do not forget to keep the dough covered – either leave it in its own storage bag or cover the container. Leave it in the fridge to defrost for eight to 12 hours.
After that, you can remove the dough from the fridge (and from its bag, if applicable), and let it proof at room temperature for around one hour.
- Defrost On The Counter (At Least 2 Hours)
Discard any sort of wrap or cover from the dough and put the dough in a container large enough for the dough to expand in. Cover the container and leave it on the counter for around two hours. The pizza dough will defrost and proof at the same time.
- Defrost With Cold Water (At Least 1 Hour)
Put the dough in an airtight bag and completely submerge it in a bowl of cold water. After one to two hours, the dough would have defrosted and would feel soft. Remove the dough from the airtight bag. Then let it rest in a dry bowl or tray for around one hour to proof.
You can also use the “warm” methods if you are in a rush to prepare your pizza dough for cooking.
- Defrost With Warm Water (Around 30 Minutes)
This method is similar to the cold-water method. Put the dough in an airtight bag and completely submerge it in a bowl of warm water. Change the water as it cools until the dough is completely defrosted. This method takes around 30 minutes.
- Defrost In The Microwave (Around 5 Minutes)
You should exercise caution when defrosting pizza dough in the microwave to avoid prematurely cooking your dough.
Coat the dough with oil and wrap it in plastic. Put it on an oiled microwave-safe plate or container and microwave on high for 25 seconds. Remove the dough and re-oil the plate, dough, and plastic cover. Flip the dough and microwave it again on high for 25 seconds.
The dough should still feel cool at this point. Now microwave the dough on the defrost setting for three to five minutes, depending on the dough size. Remove the dough and let it proof at room temperature.
You now know five different ways to thaw pizza dough. Just remember the two stages: defrost and proof. And don’t forget to cover your dough, lest it ends up with dry and cracked. Now that you know how to defrost pizza dough properly, go ahead and make plans for pizza night! Here’s how to learn more about pizza dough.