Can You Refrigerate Yeast Dough Overnight?

Can You Refrigerate Yeast Dough Overnight

Can you refrigerate yeast dough overnight? If you ask the same question, then this post is for you.

Refrigerating yeast dough has been a hot topic especially for beginner bakers.

So, can you really refrigerate yeast dough overnight?

Yes, you can refrigerate your yeast dough, but refrigerating it overnight is not a good idea.

This is because the refrigeration process will cause a chemical reaction inside the dough to take place, and the gluten in your dough will become over-activated.

The result is a flabby, gummy dough that has lost all elasticity and will not rise properly when baked the next day.

However, refrigerating your dough for an hour or so can give you a nice, relaxed rise that helps develop deep flavors.

The longer yeast dough refrigerates, the more over-worked gluten becomes.

Gluten is a protein that gives bread dough its structure and elasticity.

As the yeast creates gas bubbles in the refrigerated dough (which over time deforms the shape of the gluten), gluten strands stretch to accommodate this expansion.

If refrigerated for too long, these strands will eventually break, resulting in the loss of elasticity that makes bread dough bouncy and easy to work with.

If refrigerated for a short time, the process of refrigeration relaxes the gluten and provides a long rise that helps develop complex flavors.

How to refrigerate yeast dough overnight?

Although refrigerating yeast dough overnight is not always recommended, it does not mean that you cannot try it.

This means that you can experiment with refrigerating your yeast dough and see how it goes.

To refrigerate yeast dough overnight, refrigerate the dough after letting it rise once.

The refrigeration step allows you to skip the second rising, which saves time and energy.

When refrigerating yeast dough overnight, refrigerate the formed loaf in a greased pan.

It is important to refrigerate the dough in a greased pan because refrigerating the dough in an uncovered pan will dry out the surface, resulting in a thick crust.

Make sure to cover the loaf with plastic wrap to keep out any condensation that may appear.

While refrigerating yeast dough overnight does save time, refrigerating the dough will kill the yeast and prevent the dough from rising again.

This means refrigerating yeast dough overnight will result in a flatter loaf of bread with a larger hole structure.

When refrigerating yeast dough overnight, make sure to start the process early enough.

If you refrigerate the loaf too late, the dough may rise all the way through the pan.

If refrigerated too long, it can cause condensation to work into the dough and make it soggy.

In the same manner, if refrigerated too long, the dough may also mold and cause a bad-smelling environment in your refrigerator.

The refrigeration time of yeast dough can be altered depending on the type of refrigeration.

If refrigerated at a high temperature, it will refrigerate faster, but the yeast will die more quickly.

Refrigerating yeast dough overnight at a low temperature allows for slower refrigeration, which allows the yeast to remain active for a longer period of time.

Can you refrigerate dough with instant yeast?

Yes, you can refrigerate dough with instant yeast.

In fact, refrigerating dough with instant yeast is a popular method.

To refrigerate dough with instant yeast, you need to refrigerate the dough overnight (or refrigerate the dough for at least 3-4 hours).

It is important to refrigerate dough with instant yeast overnight because refrigerating it overnight allows the dough to slowly rise in the fridge.

Can you freeze yeast dough? 

Yes, you can freeze yeast dough.

However, not everyone is able to successfully freeze yeast dough because when it thaws, the dough rises faster than refrigerated dough and the dough may collapse.

The best thing to do is to refrigerate the dough. After refrigerating the dough overnight, freeze it.

When you are ready to use refrigerated or frozen yeast dough, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Can you refrigerate yeast dough after it rises?

Yes, you can refrigerate yeast dough once it has already risen.

To refrigerate the dough after it has already risen, you need to refrigerate the dough for at least 3-4 hours.

It is important to refrigerate this risen yeast dough because refrigerating it overnight allows the dough to slowly rise in the fridge.

Once refrigerated, the dough can be used in various recipes or you can refrigerate the refrigerated dough overnight then use it in recipes.

How long can you keep the dough in the fridge?

Once refrigerated, refrigerated dough with instant yeast is normally kept for 1-2 weeks.

Refrigerated dough with active dry yeast typically stays good for 1-2 weeks.

Frozen refrigerated dough with either yeast is typically good for 2-3 months.


In summary, you can refrigerate yeast dough overnight.

However, this is not always recommended due to the potential effect of the refrigeration process on the dough.

But if you really want to try this route, you can definitely do it.

Just make sure that you are aware of the possible results.

By reading this post, I hope that you get a better idea of what to do with your yeast dough next time.

I also hope that this short article helps you make better decisions in your baking journey.

If you want to learn more about refrigerating foods, do not hesitate to visit my related articles here.

Thank you very much for reading.