How long can you keep the dough in the fridge? This is one of the most common questions I get from my readers.
If you ask the same question, then this post is for you. I will share with you some information I learned from my experience.
So, how long can you keep the dough in the fridge?
The dough can be kept in the fridge for about a week. Refrigerating dough prevents yeast from fermenting and expanding any further.
However, remember that once you take it out of the fridge, you need to let it completely come back to room temperature.
For most dough recipes, this is not a big issue. You can wait a few hours and the dough would come back to room temperature naturally.
If you are refrigerating the dough for a longer period of time, you should wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge.
Do not use a container that is airtight, like Tupperware. The dough would not be able to breathe properly, and it will start fermenting too much.
What are the benefits of using refrigerated dough?
The biggest benefit of refrigerating dough is that it can be stored for a longer period of time.
For example, if you make pizza dough on Sunday, you can refrigerate it for 4-5 days.
Then, whenever you feel like having pizza on Thursday, you can take the dough out on Wednesday and let it come to room temperature.
If you keep the dough in the freezer instead, you can use it for up to a month.
However, I don’t suggest freezing dough because it will lose its flavor and texture after thawing. Refrigerating it is a much better idea.
Can the refrigerated dough be reheated?
Yes, you can reheat refrigerated dough in the oven.
When you take it out the next morning, it will come back to room temperature in just 30-50 minutes.
Then, you can put it on a pan and reheat in the oven.
The reheated dough won’t have the same texture as freshly made bread, but it will still taste good.
Refrigerating dough helps you save time and effort, but it also increases shelf life.
Always wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap, or it might expand further. Refrigerating dough is a necessary step if you are making pizza dough ahead.
Next time you make pizza dough, don’t hesitate to refrigerate it for 4-5 days.
You can keep it in the freezer as well if you want to use it for a longer period of time.
How can you tell if dough is still good?
You can test your dough by poking it with your finger. If the dent you make doesn’t come back, then your dough is still good.
If the indentation does come back, then you need to use it immediately. Refrigerating dough won’t make it last longer.
Also, take a look at your fridge. If the dough starts to show any discoloration, then you know that it’s no longer good and needs to be thrown out.
Does refrigerated dough go bad?
Refrigerating and then storing dough for a long period of time (more than a week) makes yeast go into a deep sleep.
And, when yeast goes into a deep sleep for a long period of time, it starts to ferment too much and go bad.
To prevent the yeast from fermenting too much, wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap before storing it in a fridge.
Then, keep a watch out for any suspicious smell or taste from the dough.
When you are ready to use the dough, let it come back to room temperature and then punch it down.
If you want to use the refrigerated dough for pizza/flatbread/bake, you can skip the punch-down step and shape it.
Then, let it sit for about 2 hours before baking (at room temperature).
This will ensure optimal rising and good texture of the final product.
How can you tell if dough has gone bad?
When your dough goes bad, you will start to notice some changes.
For example, if you are baking bread and dough is already fermenting too much before it goes into the oven, your bread would come out with an unpleasant smell.
If you are trying to make pizza with the dough, and the yeast is fermenting too much, the bottom of your pizza would be very chewy and tough.
If you are trying to make flatbread (roti, paratha), and the dough is fermenting too much before going into the stove, your flatbread will come out puckering and hard.
If you notice these characteristics, then there is a high chance that the dough has gone bad.
Does dough go bad if you leave it out?
Yes, the dough can go bad if you leave it out for too long.
If you are making yeast-based dough (e.g., bread) and you are serving it the next day, then you can place your dough in a refrigerator.
This would slow down the aging process of dough and prolongs its freshness.
However, if you are making sourdough, no need to worry too much about time. Sourdough can be left out without going bad for a few days.
Also, the dough goes bad if it has been sitting out too long, or if it is exposed to sunlight.
If you see those black spots on your dough, then it has been exposed to too much sunlight and needs to be thrown out.
In conclusion, the dough can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
However, if you are making chewy dough (e.g., bread), let it come back to room temperature before baking.
This will help reduce the likelihood of under-proofing and over-fermenting.
If you are making sourdough, remember that it can be left out without going bad for a few days.
If you are making bread dough and it has been sitting out for too long, the best way to use it is to punch it down and shape it.
This will release the gases inside the dough so that your bread comes out with a nice texture and is not under-proofed.
Lastly, if you find black spots on your dough, then it has been exposed to sunlight and needs to be thrown out.
Thank you for reading! If you want to learn more about refrigerating foods, please feel free to visit my related articles here.