Does Pizza Dough Expire? (Fridge & Freezer Shelf Life)

The dough is a crucial part of pizza. So the fresh one you prepare on your own is the best possible option for your family. The commercially made product won’t be so high quality and tasty, but you can use it longer.

Does Pizza Dough Go Bad pin

Unfortunately, pizza dough expires and goes spoiled in time. Now, you should find out how long pizza dough lasts. Let’s see! After all, the safety of everyone should be your top priority.

Does Pizza Dough Go Bad?

Pizza dough can’t last long. And eventually, it will go past its prime. But the real problem is that there are no obvious signs that this has happened, especially when you keep it in the fridge.

You will notice something is wrong when making a pizza with one-week-old dough. Since the yeast exhausts its resources over time, your dough won’t rise during baking.

There is one more problem when storing pizza dough in the fridge for five days and more. Bacteria will develop excessively after that period. And it will worsen, especially when using dough that contains eggs or milk. This process will be much faster if you leave the dough at room temperature for a few hours.

How Long Does Pizza Dough Last?

When kept in the kitchen, your homemade pizza dough will be edible for only 4 to 24 hours. And once it’s past the mentioned time, you can expect it to dry out. It will stay usable for a few days when kept in the fridge and for up to three months if in the freezer. Keep in mind that a significant amount of yeast will accelerate spoilage.

Pizza Dough Shelf Life
Pizza dough Countertop Fridge Freezer
Live dough / / 120 to 180 days
Par-baked dough / / 180 to 365 days
Dough balls / 2 to 4 days 90 to 180 days
Homemade 4 to 24 hours 2 to 4 days 2 to 3 months

As you can see, homemade pizza dough can’t stay fresh for long. But it is a different story with commercially made products. Live dough products’ maximum shelf life is four months. However, you can use it for an additional two months if you don’t mind the decline in quality.

Par-baked products will stay fresh within six months from the manufacture date, but they will be edible for up to a year when stored properly. In the end, dough balls will stay of the best quality for three months stored in the freezer, but you can use them for another three months without worry.

6 Tips To Tell If Pizza Dough Has Gone Bad

Tell if Pizza Dough Has Gone Bad

Always check the expiration date on the pizza dough packaging and store it appropriately. Otherwise, you will face spoiled products you shouldn’t eat.


One of the most typical ways to determine that pizza dough went spoiled is to check its smell. It can smell sour or get an alcohol or beer odor due to the fermentation. As you know, you need to add yeast to the dough to allow rising.

During the anaerobe chemical reaction, glucose breaks down, and carbon dioxide causes air bubbles in the dough. On the other side, created alcohol will affect the dough’s smell and taste. When the process lasts too long, the sourdough will become tasteless.

Also, the overgrown dough won’t taste good because of fast bacteria growth. Remember that high temperatures will speed up the fermentation process. So storing it in the freezer will extend its shelf life.

Avoid eating this dough since it will probably cause unpleasant health issues, even poisoning.

In some cases, your pizza dough can smell like yeast. That doesn’t mean it is spoiled. But instead, the smell is a by-product of pre-fermentation. In other words, live yeast runs out of food, and you can solve the problem by adding some flour to the dough. You can use this dough after kneading and letting it rise again.


Fresh pizza dough has a cream or beige color. Grey color with flaky or orange peel over its surface is not desirable. And it means that it is time to throw this product away.

The color change appears after a while. It is a result of enzyme-catalyzed phenolic and fatty acid oxidation. These compounds come from flour, so you should expect this happens after a while.


You can expect pizza dough to lose elasticity and become dry, flaky, and crusty over time. Such a product is hard to roll into a ball or shape into a pizza base.


The final step is to check the pizza dough flavor. Once you notice its off-taste, it is time to avoid this product.

Freezer Burns

When you store inappropriately packaged pizza dough in the freezer for so long, you will notice some of the following:

Such a product is edible, but its taste is unpleasant, so you should avoid eating it if possible.


Any mold occurrence is a warning sign that you should get rid of pizza dough immediately. It is unacceptable to plan on removing the mold and then use the rest of the dough. You may not see it, but spores have already spread throughout the product, making it unhealthy.

3 Tips To Store Pizza Dough

Store Pizza Dough


The period you can keep your pizza dough in the kitchen at room temperature will primarily depend on the used recipe. Be prepared that recipes significantly differ in the amount of yeast used for dough making.

For instance, if you add approximately 0.5 teaspoons (10 g) of yeast into 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of flour, your dough will contain an optimal 1% yeast.

However, many recipes on the web have up to 2% yeast. That will speed up the fermentation process but negatively affect the pizza taste.

On the other hand, you can find recipes that include only 0.2% yeast. They allow the dough to ferment at room temperature for at least 16 to 18 hours and add a typical aroma to your pizza.


You can store pizza dough in the fridge for approximately 3 to 5 days, depending on its condition and the temperature of water used for making it.

When you use warm water and leave the dough on the kitchen countertop for an hour before placing it in the refrigerator, you can expect it will be edible for only three days. When you refrigerate it straight away, it will last at least 4 to 5 days.

After buying commercial pizza dough, you should store it in an original dough box in your fridge. Another option is to put it in an airtight container. The crucial thing is to prevent air from entering the packaging and consequently drying the product.

The more convenient option for homemade pizza dough is to split it into smaller 0.4 to 0.5 pounds (200 – 250 g) balls. These pieces are appropriate for medium and large pizzas. Be aware that this method is practical, but crust creation is slower when storing dough in bulk.



You can keep pizza dough in the freezer for three months without losing taste. After that period, you will notice changes in the product’s color, taste, and texture.

Another problem is the crust appearing on the dough surface after a while, especially if you failed to wrap and pack it correctly. You can use it, but there is no point eating such a low-quality product when you can quickly make another fresh dough.

Once you decide to use frozen dough, put it in the fridge for at least 12 hours before baking and let it thaw slowly. Then, let it sit on the worktop at room temperature for two hours before planning to use it.

That way, the yeast will become activated and rise again. Never keep defrosted pizza dough in the refrigerator for more than three days.

The Risk of Consuming Expired Pizza Dough

You can experience two problems with pizza dough. First, the raw dough contains harmful bacteria when stored for a long. Second, flour can become contaminated when kept inappropriately.

Once you consume compromised pizza dough, you may face severe E. Coli or Salmonella poisoning after a few hours to five or even six days. E. coli is particularly dangerous. It can cause fatal outcomes in some cases. The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle aches

Avoid consuming raw pizza dough, especially in larger amounts. The most severe problems are bacterial toxins, especially Shiga toxin, that will cause watery diarrhea and life-threatening dehydration.

Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?

When deciding to keep some pizza dough in the freezer, you need to wrap it appropriately to prevent drying, crust forming, and freezer burns.

The best option is to put your product into a freezing bag and seal it with a food sealer machine. That way, air can’t come inside and negatively affect the dough. If you follow the proper storing and defrosting procedure, your product will stay fresh and delicious for a long.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does freezing a pizza dough kill molds?

No. It can only suspend the growth of molds before disposal. Once undesired organisms develop in your dough, it is recommended not to use it. And if you think of removing the affected part, we recommend not to waste your time with it. Why so? These organisms are also gross in parts invisible to the naked eye. So don’t risk getting a stomach upset and craft a new one instead.

What are the black spots on frozen dough?

Little black spots on pizza dough are not mold. They are the result of the refinement process wherein the wheat berry separates from the bran and the germ. During fermentation, the ethyl alcohol oxidizes the bran creating the black spots. But don’t worry! It disappears once you bake them.

Why does pizza dough turn grey even after placing in the fridge?

There are a couple of situations wherein your dough will turn grey even after refrigerating it;

  • First, there is too much air circulation in the packaging, oxidizing the dough.
  • Second, the dough may be exposed to moisture due to an unideal spot in the fridge.
  • Lastly, you may have encountered an ingredient issue. Some salts can create discoloration on the dough, so ensure to differentiate a table salt and sea salt.

If you spot gray discoloration in any parts of the dough, don’t think twice and throw it already. Molds may be forming inside without you noticing it.


Pizza dough will last for a few hours, days, or months, depending on the making procedure, storing temperature, and amount of yeast the recipe contains. The homemade dough will be edible for only several days and stored in the fridge, while you can use some commercial products for up to a year.

Does Pizza Dough Go Bad pin 2

Leave a Comment