Can Pizza Dough Be Left Out Overnight?


Pizza is a popular and enjoyable meal. Whether you order it from a restaurant or make it at home, most everyone loves a good pizza. Along with its toppings, what makes a pizza great is its crust. 

To make a pizza crust you have to leave it out for a while before baking it. Because this step can take a little bit, it may seem easier to just leave it out overnight. 

Usually you let pizza dough sit in the fridge until you want to use it but can pizza dough be left out overnight?

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You can leave pizza dough out overnight if it is a lean dough and does not include eggs or other perishable items. However leaving the dough out for 8 to 10 hours can cause it to overproof. So, you should try to avoid leaving pizza dough out overnight and instead store it in the fridge.

Can Pizza Dough Be Left Out Overnight?

So, pizza dough that is lean can be left out overnight. But, most of us sleep for around 8 to 10 hours and pizza dough usually only proofs for 1 to 4 hours, so 8 to 10 is really long to leave it out. 

Proofing is the step in the pizza-making  process where the dough is set to rest and rise before baking. The yeast in pizza dough helps it to rise to be fluffy and have a better texture. Proofing also makes the crust more flavorful. 

When you leave pizza dough out for longer than 1 to 4 hours, it can overproof. This will result in a flat textured and not as flavorful crust. So, pizza dough can be left out overnight but it shouldn’t be in most cases. 

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How Long Can Pizza Dough Be Left Out At Room Temperature?

You cannot leave dough out overnight if it contains milk or eggs. These foods are perishable and can go bad quickly at room temperature. But, how long can other pizza doughs like lean pizza dough be left out at room temperature for?

Pizza dough can only be left out at room temperature for about 4 hours without affecting its flavor or texture. If the dough contains eggs or milk then it can only be left sitting out for 1 to 2 hours before it will start to go bad. 

So, pizza dough containing perishable foods should be left out no more than 1 to 2 hours. After a couple hours, it can begin to grow bad bacteria which can make you sick if you eat it. So, always store this type of pizza dough in the fridge. 

If you need to leave pizza dough out overnight remember to keep it cool. This slows down the yeast’s activity and will make its texture and flavor much better. 

Another way to keep your pizza dough out overnight without it over proofing can be to use less yeast so it rises slower. Also, make sure it is tightly covered so it doesn’t dry out or get bugs in it. 

Really the best way to store pizza dough is in the fridge so if it is possible, try to store it in the fridge overnight. 8 to 10 hours can be a lot of time to leave pizza dough out at room temperature and it will taste so much better if you store it in the fridge overnight instead.

What Happens If You Leave Pizza Dough Out All Night?

So, let’s say you are wanting to leave your pizza dough out overnight. It doesn’t contain any perishable foods in its ingredients and you don’t want to mess with making room in your fridge. 

What happens if you leave pizza dough out all night?

If you leave pizza dough out all night, it can easily overproof resulting in a flat and less flavorful crust. If the pizza dough contains perishable foods like milk and eggs then leaving it out can cause harmful bacteria to grow.

So, if the pizza dough is a lean dough, then it can be left out overnight but there still is a chance it will overproof. Leaving dough out for a long amount of time can cause it to overproof. 

So, when you go to make it, the crust won’t rise anymore while it is baking. But, unlike bread dough, you can still use over proofed pizza dough. 

Pizza dough is normally flat so, it really isn’t that big of a deal if the pizza dough is over proofed. If you have a warm house, this can speed up the activity of the yeast causing it to overproof if left out too long. 

So, for a better tasting pizza crust, don’t leave the pizza dough out overnight. Pizza that is left out overnight can cause it to overproof resulting in a flat and less flavorful pizza crust.

Does Pizza Dough Need To Be Refrigerated?

So, pizza dough is typically refrigerated while it is proofing. That makes it a better crust to eat after it is served with all of its yummy toppings. But, what if you simply don’t want to put it in the fridge? 

Does pizza dough need to be refrigerated?

Pizza dough doesn’t have to be refrigerated right away but it will help aid the proofing process to make the crust taste better.

Unless you like flat and less flavorful pizza crust, it is recommended to store it in the fridge until you are going to bake it. This will make it taste much better and will save you the trouble of putting it away the next day. Pizza dough doesn’t usually contain any eggs or milk in it, but if it does, it cannot be left out. 

Usually pizza dough is made up of flour, water, salt, yeast and sometimes oil. So, if it doesn’t have any eggs or milk or perishable food in it, it can’t be left out overnight. But, just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done. 

Your pizza dough will be a lot better in texture and flavor if stored in a cold environment like the fridge.

Final Thoughts

Pizza dough (not containing perishable foods) can be left out overnight but this doesn’t mean that it should be. Your pizza crust will have a better texture and flavor if you store the dough in the fridge. 

Leaving it out overnight can overproof it so it is best to refrigerate pizza dough.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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