How to Defrost Pizza Dough

by Elizabeth Harding

Pizza Dough is one of the staples in many people's kitchens. It is delicious, quick, and versatile! Making the dough is also very easy. You can make it ahead of time and store it for weeks in the refrigerator or freezer so you will always have some on hand. It is for whenever the pizza cravings strike, but what do you do with dough that has frozen solid?

Do not fret! With this guide to defrosting pizza dough, you will not be stuck with rock-solid clumps ever again.

One of the best things about homemade dough is that it will not go bad if you freeze it before defrosting a few weeks later. Do not forget to take care when defrosting it so it does not get ruined. Also, remember the fermentation period continues even in the freezer. So you cannot leave it in there forever else the yeast would do its thing meaning you will not get that fluffy dough. More so with Neapolitan style pizzas.

Our Preferred Method - The Refrigerator

Our preferred method is to defrost it by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Approximately 5 hours should do the trick. It is assuming the pizza dough has been rolled into balls beforehand. If it has not been rolled into balls, leave it in the fridge for up to 8 hours.

Make sure that no air is allowed to get in. Do this by using cling film or an airtight lid.

The good thing about this method is that even if 5 hours surpasses, it can stay there another 24, 48 or 72 hours. The longer that pizza dough is left, the better it tastes.

Be wary of the other methods as there is the risk that room temperature would speed up the fermentation period. Therefore, the dough could become soggy or ruined if we do not keep an eye on it.

Leaving it in a cold water bath

The dough can also be placed in a bowl of cold water and stirred until thawed. Leave it in a cold water bath for up to 3 hours then let it sit on the countertop for another 30 to 60 minutes. You can then use it straight away afterwards.

If you choose not to use it immediately after thawing, it can be refrigerated for up to three days.

It is vital to ensure no water gets inside the bowl or bag which is holding the dough. You do not want any extra moisture inside or it can ruin it.

Only do this if you are confident in your kitchen bowls and airtight containers!

Leaving it on the countertop

There are a few tricks to keep in mind, but it is possible to defrost pizza dough on the countertop easily. But before you do so, there are some essential things that you must consider. The main goal is to keep as much moisture from escaping from your dough as possible. Also, do not let the dough sit on a wet countertop or it will stick!

To defrost pizza dough on the countertop, you need a few things.

First, you will need some parchment paper. The paper will act as a barrier between the dough and the surface it is sitting on while it defrosts. Also, you will need some round plastic lids; these are available at most grocery stores.

As the dough defrosts, it will become thicker, lose its moisture and feel colder. To prevent the dough from drying entirely you have to ensure that no air gets inside it. You will also have to watch the dough as it defrosts. You should see it 'sweating' or producing a tiny layer of water separate from the rest of the dough. It is normal and will happen for about thirty minutes. At this point, you can remove your pizza dough from the counter, sprinkle a bit of flour on top and start rolling it out!

Can You Defrost Pizza Dough in the Microwave

Whatever you do, do not do this.

It can ruin the structure and will start "cooking" prematurely. The best way to defrost pizza dough is by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.

If you must do it in the microwave, only use a short time as possible and then switch over to "cook" mode. As microwaves start to deform the dough, it messes with its thickness in the process.

Follow this method, but again- only if you are desperate to get it thawed in less than 10 minutes:

  1. Put the frozen dough in the microwave with a lid on top
  2. Place it in the microwave for 30-second intervals on the defrost mode. Do this 3 times at most.
  3. Put it on the cook mode for 5 seconds at a time.
  4. then put in a warm place until it's room temperature.
  5. Anything longer than 20 seconds in total will start to mess with the texture of the dough.


We always use the fridge method. It means less monitoring so we can let the yeast do its thing.

As stated above, try and avoid using the microwave to defrost pizza dough. Only use this tactic if you are in a rush, but do not come and complain to us if it ends up being a gooey mess!

About Us

At, we look at anything and everything to do with defrosting all edible items from the obvious to the obscure. Follow us on our journey to masterfully thawing out frozen items to perfection.