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Can You Freeze Dough? What to Look Out For

can you freeze dough
Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Nadya Spetnitskaya

Can you freeze dough? Freezing is a great way to preserve things if you've made too much, or want to prepare food ahead of time. We'll take a look at the best ways to freeze different kinds of dough.

Few things are better than freshly baked goods straight from the oven, but baking often requires more time than you have. The good news is that you can easily freeze dough, and take it out to use when needed. 

Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?

You can easily freeze pizza dough, so go ahead and make a double batch.
You can easily freeze pizza dough, so go ahead and make a double batch.
(Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Juan Manuel Núñez Méndez)

Pizza dough is a handy thing to have for busy weeknights, or days you don’t feel like putting too much effort into a meal. Homemade pizza dough does require a bit of upfront effort, but the taste makes it worth it in the end. The good news is that you can easily freeze pizza dough, meaning you can make a double batch when you have time and freeze it all, or only part of it. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Follow the instructions for your pizza dough recipe until it’s ready to be rolled out and baked. 
  • Divide the dough into individual portions. 
  • Roll each portion into a ball, and coat it lightly with olive oil.
  • Place each portion into sealable, reusable freezer containers, label it with the date, and place it in the freezer. Tip: Freeze Foods without Plastic: 6 Sustainable Household Hacks
  • This dough will be good for up to 3 months. 

When it comes to using frozen pizza dough, it’s best to remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Before making your pizza, let the dough come up to room temperature on the counter for approximately 30 minutes before rolling out. 

Freezing Cookie Dough

Can you freeze cookie dough? Yes – though certain doughs work better than others.
Can you freeze cookie dough? Yes – though certain doughs work better than others.
(Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Pam Menegakis)

You never know when you’re going to need some freshly baked cookies. They make a great welcome gift for new neighbors, and can make your home smell great when company stops by. Some recipes yield far more cookies than you can eat, so if you find yourself with excess cookie dough, or just want to ensure you always have some on hand, freezing cookie dough is a great option. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Scoop the dough out into cookie portions.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper alternative. 
  • Store the baking sheet in the freezer for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough is frozen through. 
  • Remove the dough balls from the baking sheet and place into a sealed freezer container, and place the container back in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Using frozen cookie dough is incredibly easy – it doesn’t require any defrosting. You can place your frozen cookie dough portions onto a baking tray and bake them straight away. You will need to adjust the baking time slightly, generally by about 2 minutes to accommodate for the cold dough. 

Tip: Cookie doughs that use a lot of butter or fat freeze best. This includes drop cookie doughs (like vegan peppermint chocolate cookies or healthy coconut oatmeal cookies), shortbread, or slice-and-bake cookies. For cookie-cutter doughs, you don’t need to portion them out, just leave them in a large dough ball and roll out when ready to use. 

How to Freeze Bread Dough

You can shape bread dough before freezing it.
You can shape bread dough before freezing it.
(Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Victor Rodríguez Iglesias )

Much like pizza dough, many bread doughs contain yeast, however not all yeast doughs freeze well. Bread doughs that are low in fat and salt, but high in yeast and sugar are generally the best doughs to freeze. Recipes that are suitable for freezing will typically mention it, so keep an eye out for that. 

There are two methods for freezing yeast dough: 

Before the First Rise

  • Flatten the dough and place it on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour. 
  • Once frozen, wrap the dough tightly using aluminum foil, place in a reusable freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. 
  • When ready to use, thaw the dough in the fridge overnight. 
  • Place on a greased baking sheet, cover, and let the dough rise in a warm location until it has doubled in size — this will take longer than normal since the dough was frozen. 
  • Punch the dough down, shape it, and let it rise for the second time before baking. 

After Shaping

This method works best for small items like homemade dinner rolls, but is not great for breads with sweet fillings like cinnamon rolls as they collect too much moisture during the freezing and thawing process. 

  • Shape the dough according to your recipe, place it on a baking tray, and freeze it. 
  • Once frozen, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 4 weeks. 
  • Thaw on greased baking sheets in the fridge overnight, making sure the dough is covered so it doesn’t dry out. 
  • Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size, then bake as directed. 

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