How long does dough last in the fridge? The typical yeast dough will last approximately two days in the refrigerator if it’s stored in a properly sealed and oiled container. Different types of doughs may last longer, but there are some points you need to be aware of before keeping dough in the long run.
Understanding the right method for keeping the dough in storage and the ideal timing to use it could be the key to success in your cooking routine, particularly when you frequently make pizzas, bread, flatbreads, bread cookies, etc.
Learn more about how to preserve dough with the correct method and know when it’s time to throw it out!
How Do You Keep Dough?
The dough usually contains sugar, water, salt, yeast, and flour. The ingredients by themselves will last for a long time. Once you mix them up and form your dough, the timer starts. Why?
Once the yeast mix is added to the dough, it begins to carbonate and produce gas. This gas creates the dough’s soft and fluffy texture. It also aids in expanding it until it can double in size.
After the carbonation process is complete, the dough begins to shrink and disappear in texture. It’s not obvious immediately and could take approximately 48 days before you notice any noticeable changes in the quality of the dough.
After a couple of days, the dough will become hard and difficult to use. It is also that it starts losing its texture and taste. It is still possible to use it, but it won’t be as good as freshly kneaded dough.
The best method to preserve yeast dough is to store it in a container lightly oily with a plastic cover on top and then store it in the refrigerator at a temperature of around 40°F.
Check that the dough has finished rising! Remember that the dough could require up to 12 hours to rise completely after being kneaded. Therefore you should take advantage of this time to keep it on the counter.
When it is at the correct size, you can use it in its current form or keep it in the refrigerator.
You can also put it in the freezer to make pizza dough. We suggest that you first shape it to make it easier.
You can, for instance, design and form the base of the pizza and then store it once it’s in the freezer. Make sure to lightly oil a freezer-safe plastic bag for the best outcomes. The dough will last for approximately a month in this manner!
It is possible to thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or cling-film the dough in a container and let it sit on the counter for 3-5 hours.
Storing Non-Yeast Dough
If you’re talking about different kinds of dough, including dough made with no yeast, the situation is slightly different.
For instance, flatbread is made from a mix of salt, water, sugar, and water, along with all-purpose and white flour.
The dough you make with this type of flour can last up to one week in the refrigerator. We suggest using a yeast-free dough within 3-4 days of mixing it.
You can recycle the dough after adding water and then lightly make it into a ball to release the gluten fibers that are inside.
The dough can slightly darken over time as it oxidizes; however, as stated that it is usable for a few days.
You can either get rid of the layer of darkened dough by cutting it off or by adding it to fresh dough in case you don’t want it to be wasted.
This kind of dough may also be kept at a freezer temperature for around 3 months, but handling a large amount of dough may be difficult and time-consuming as you first need to defrost it overnight.
We suggest breaking it up into small balls.
Then, you can store small portions of the dough in a freezer-safe, lightly oiled plastic bag. Be sure to set the dough overnight in the fridge since freezing using the microwave could cause it to lose a significant amount of moisture.
Remember, as there are numerous kinds of dough available, it may be difficult to find the best storage method for each one, which is why we’re using an overall strategy that can fit virtually every kind of dough.
How Do I Tell If Dough Has Gone Bad
There are a variety of ways to tell if your dough is bad. Here are a few of the most well-known ways:
This is the most straightforward method because you only need to look at the dough for any signs of mold, which must be evident. Any green discoloration, fuzz, or expansion of the dough could indicate that the dough is sloughing off.
So, it is better to throw away the entire dough instead of attempting to save it by removing the moldy portion.
The appearance of mold could be on top of the dough. However, it could be contaminating the entire dough; therefore, please don’t make the mistake of attempting to get rid of it completely.
The edible dough should be smooth, dry, and oily (if you’ve added oil into the bowl). If you notice any sticky or slimy material on the dough, it’s the right time to throw it away.
This slime could be the result of unhealthy bacteria, which may have weakened the bread dough.
The slime could or might not have an unpleasant odor. In any case, the best option is to toss the slime and create new ones.
Use Preservatives to Increase the Shelf Life of Dough
The chemical composition of dough can be altered to make it last longer. For instance, a fantastic way to extend the shelf time of dough is using commercial-grade bread enhancers.
These mixes contain special ingredients that not only help the dough bake but also be more flavorful and keep it for longer.
You will find many items similar to these in the stores. They’ll likely be found in the aisles where they store yeast and other bread-related products. Read my guide on how much yeast is in a packet when you follow instructions on adding preservatives.
Search for bread enhancers as well as other ingredients. Specific instructions accompany these ingredients on how to apply them.
Most of the time, it is easy to add these ingredients when mixing a mixture of dry and liquid ingredients, but you may also try different recipes for more effective results.
Dough created using these enhancers will last for about one week in the refrigerator and should last for a couple of months after it has been baked (or as specified).
If you prefer to go the traditional route, you could also use sweetener instead of sugar to make dough. This will alter the flavor, but it’ll let it last longer than normal dough.
Another method of increasing your dough’s shelf-life could be to use the starter for sourdough.
This kind of dough encourages the development of “good” bacteria that give its distinctive taste and texture. It also helps to slow the development of mold.
Sourdough can last 4-5 days in the refrigerator without losing its taste.
If, as mentioned earlier, you’re looking to last longer than a week and not ruin the dough, then the most effective option is to put it in a freezer.
Remember that frozen dough can last for months if kept in a safe place. The only thing you need to do is let it cool and come to the temperature of the room before you use it.
Other Questions Asked
We’ve discussed how to store dough properly as well as ways to prolong its shelf-life and much more. Here are some more concerns you might have regarding storage.
Can the dough be stored when it is in the process of rising?
It is recommended to preserve the dough once it is finished rising. The carbonation process is a delicate process, and if it is disrupted can result in a rough-textured dough.
Let the dough increase in size after kneading it. Then let it deflate and increase in size.
The yeast becomes dormant in temperatures that are cold or frozen; therefore, as soon as you put the dough in storage, it will slow down and then stop the process of rising. Storing the dough once it has begun to rise will maintain its texture, quality, and taste.
Can You Mix fresh dough with old dough?
You are indeed able to mix the old and fresh dough, but be sure the dough from the past is not damaged.
In most cases, you’ll need to begin by thawing the older dough, allowing it to be at the temperature of the room. Don’t let the dough rest for too long, or even overnight.
When the pastry is frozen, you can let it thaw in the fridge for a night and then let it get warm in the sun for not longer than 1-2 hours.
If the dough you used to make is soft, quickly work to make the fresh dough. Put it in the refrigerator before you use it.
Can you bake frozen or cold dough?
Yes, you can bake cold or frozen dough by removing it from the freezer/fridge and putting it directly in the oven.
The best method is to keep it in an oven dish. If you want to make bread, lightly grease your baking dish and store the dough in the fridge or freezer.
If you’re ready to bake, you just need to preheat your oven, place the container into the oven, and bake as directed. The dough could take a longer time, but it will bake similarly to the regular dough, provided it is stored according to the methods above.
Heya, I’m Norah! The foodie editor here at YummyTasteFood! I love absolutely everything to do with food, baking, and eating! I earned my stripes in the hospitality industry as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. I’m now a freelance writing nomad. I do not miss the hospitality industry! Be sure to join our Facebook group – it’s free to access!