Freeze pizza dough: what you should know

You’re certainly familiar with this situation: sometimes too much dough is left over when making pizza or the guests have not eaten as much pizza as planned and then you sit on the remaining dough or you simply want to use the dough at a different time due to time constraints. We are often asked: can you freeze pizza dough? Our answer: yes, you can! In this article we show you how to freeze pizza dough and how to thaw it so you can enjoy a freshly baked pizza without losing any of its flavour and as if the dough had been freshly prepared!

Will freezing impact the pizza dough?

No, if you freeze and thaw the dough according to our instructions, you won’t taste any difference in flavor when the pizza is baked. The fermentation process is paused during freezing and continues when the dough thaws. The pizza will taste as if you had not interrupted the fermentation process.

How do I freeze pizza dough?

In our experience, it makes sense to freeze the dough in smaller portions (also known as dough balls); on top of that, it also gives you more flexibility. In the dough-making process, this means that when you reach the step where you divide the dough into smaller portions (e.g. after kneading the dough or after proofing), you freeze the dough balls immediately after they have been formed.

If the dough balls have rested longer at room temperature (e.g. because for some reason not so many were needed), you can simply form the dough balls into a big round ball again and then freeze as described below.

Since you typically have a variety of things in the freezer and the dough balls should keep their shape, we recommend that you wrap the dough balls properly before freezing. Two ways we have used successfully in the past to wrap dough balls:

  1. Option: paper plates and freezer bags
    • First sprinkle a little bit of flour on the paper plate (square or round doesn’t matter) and place one or two dough balls on it, depending on the size of the plate. The paper plate should be large enough so that the dough balls do not touch each other.
    • Then brush the surface of the dough balls with a little olive oil and then carefully place the paper plate with the dough balls in a freezer bag and seal it airtight.
    • Place the freezer bag with the dough pieces in the freezer so that the plate is as horizontal and even as possible, to ensure that the dough balls retain their shape as well as possible.
  2. Option: Tupperware box
    • Make sure that the tupperware box is slightly larger because the dough will increase in volume after thawing.
    • Lightly oil the inside of the Tupperware box (e.g. with olive oil) and place one or two dough balls in it, depending on the size. The tupperware box should be large enough for the dough balls not to touch.
    • Then close the box with the lid and then put the box in the freezer so that it is as horizontal and even as possible.

Pictures of the pizza dough before freezing:

Pizzateig einfrieren - Setup
Freeze pizza dough – Setup
Pizzateig vor dem Einfrieren
Dough before freezing

How do I thaw the dough?

We recommend defrosting the dough as gentle as possible. This means that you should let the dough thaw in the refrigerator first after freezing and then let it rest further at room temperature. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before baking. For best baking results, thaw the dough about 24 hours before baking. The best way to do this is as follows:

  • Transfer the dough from the freezer directly into the refrigerator and leave it there for about 22 hours.
  • Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 2.5 hours before baking, and then bake it into a pizza. As a concrete example: if you want to make pizza in the evening, take the frozen dough out of the freezer the night before and put it directly into the refrigerator. Then take it out of the refrigerator about 2.5 hours before baking and let it rest at room temperature.

If you’re in a hurry:

  • Defrost the frozen dough in the refrigerator for 8 hours (overnight is also fine).
  • Then let it rest for 5-6 hours at room temperature and then bake it directly into a pizza.

Pictures of the pizza dough during the thawing process:

Pizzateig eingefroren
Frozen pizza dough
Pizzateig aufgetaut
Thawed pizza dough

Also possible: freeze the whole pizza

Of course, you can also freeze a ready-baked pizza! So you have your own homemade “frozen pizza”, which you can warm up at any time if it must go faster. To do this, simply place the pizza (once it has cooled) in a freezer bag and freeze it. There are two ways to defrost it:

  1. The quick variant: bake the still frozen pizza for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven at 120 degrees top and bottom heat.
  2. The gentle variant: let the frozen pizza thaw for approx. 4-5 hours at room temperature and then bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees for approx. 5 minutes (depending on preference, also a little longer).

What’s your experience with freezing and thawing pizza dough? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

Discover more

You’d like to start making pizza right away, but you’re wondering where to start? We have summarized the most important information on the following page for you.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading this article about how to freeze pizza dough. If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’d appreciate it if you could share this article with your friends.


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