Can You Freeze Yeast Dough?

Last updated on July 14th, 2022 at 04:54 pm

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Fresh bread or homemade pizza is delicious but sometimes you just don’t have the time to make it from scratch. If you love making pizza with homemade dough but don’t have the time then you might be wondering if you can freeze it. 

You can freeze yeast dough without any issues. However, dough that has lower fat and salt content and higher sugar and yeast content will freeze better. 

Can You Freeze Yeast Dough?

Since you can freeze yeast dough it can save you some time when you are ready to bake. 

Some yeast bread recipes will freeze better than others. So, if you are planning to freeze some yeast dough for later use it might be best to search for recipes for doughs that are designed to be frozen. 

Doughs that freeze well are lower in fat and salt but have a higher sugar and yeast content. A few doughs that meet these requirements are your basic homemade bread recipe and pizza dough.

How Do You Store Yeast Dough?

When freezing yeast dough, you have two different options for when to freeze it during the dough making process. Your first option is to freeze your yeast dough after kneading it but before the first rise. 

To freeze your dough before the first rise you will flatten the dough onto cookie baking sheets and place them into the freezer for one hour. Once your dough is frozen you will want to remove it from the pan and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. 

Then place the wrapped dough into a freezer safe Ziploc bag and press all of the air out of it before sealing it. The dough will be able to stay in the freezer for up to four weeks.

When you are ready to use the dough, you will need to place it into the fridge overnight to thaw. Then you will place it on a greased baking sheet, cover it, and allow it to rise in a warm place. 

Allow the dough to rise until it has reached twice it’s size, this will take longer than usual because the dough has been frozen. After it has risen to double the size, you will punch down the dough, shape it, and then allow it to rise a second time. Now your dough is ready to be baked. 

You can also freeze your dough after it has been shaped but before the second rise. This method works great for dinner rolls but not so great for cinnamon rolls as the extra sugar in a cinnamon roll can collect extra moisture during the freezing and thawing process. 

After your dough has risen the first time you will want to shape it according to your recipe. Place your shaped dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place it into the freezer for an hour or two. 

Once your dough is completely frozen you will want to wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container for up to four weeks. 

To thaw your shaped yeast dough, you will want to place it on a greased baking sheet, cover it, and leave it in your fridge overnight. Once the dough has thawed you will want to place it in a warm place for the second rise. 

Make sure to cover your dough while it is rising. 

The second rise will take longer since the dough has been frozen. Once it has completed the second rise you will bake it as normal. 

It is better to freeze yeast dough than it is to freeze bread. As bread and rolls taste better when fresh than they do after being frozen. 

If you have a chance to make up some dough ahead of time and freeze it, it will cut back on time needed on the day that you want to bake your fresh bread or rolls.

Does Freezing Affect Yeast?

Yeast is affected by temperatures. If the yeast gets too hot it will kill the yeast. That is why every baker will tell you to use warm, not hot water when proofing your yeast. You need to be careful to not get it too hot or your baked goods will not rise. 

Freezing yeast causes it to go dormant. In fact, yeast needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. It can be stored in your cupboard, in the fridge, and even in your freezer! 

Yeast can stay fresh in the freezer for up to two years. Your yeast will wake up during the proofing process. 

During the proofing process you will need to make sure that your water is warm, not hot. The ideal temperature for proofing your yeast is between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Will Dough Rise After Being Frozen?

If you are considering freezing some dough but are unsure if it will still rise after thawing it out then this is for you. 

Dough will rise after it has been frozen. If you have frozen your dough you will still need to allow it to rise. 

My daughter likes frozen store-bought dinner rolls. The kind that she likes still needs the second rise. When dough has been frozen it will take longer to rise because the yeast needs time to wake up but it will rise. 

You will need to give your dough about twice the amount of time as normal for it to rise.

Can You Refrigerate Dough After It Rises?

Many home bakers and even professional bakers will place risen dough into the refrigerator after it has risen. Is that the right way to do it? 

You can place risen dough in the fridge after it has risen, you can even allow your dough to rise in the fridge. While yeast does slow down when it is cold it will not affect a dough that has already risen. 

You do not need to worry about your dough deflating because it is now chilled. This is great if you need to make a quick run to the store and your dough has already proofed or if your dinner is not quite ready but your dough has already proofed. 

You will want to avoid over-proofing your dough. Placing your risen yeast dough into the refrigerator will cause your yeast to slow down so your dough will not continue to rise at a rapid pace. 

Chilling your dough will not stop it from rising but it will slow the process down. You can place the dough directly into the oven from the fridge to bake it. 

What do you do if you over-proofed your dough? The only thing to do if you have over-proofed your dough is to punch it down, reshape it, and allow it to rise a third time.

Hannah R.

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

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