Last Updated on October 5, 2023 by Shari Mason
Ever wondered why people put dough in the fridge? It turns out, refrigeration plays a vital role in dough preparation.
But how long can you keep dough in the fridge?
As a seasoned home baker, let me give you some tips about dough storage, discovering the best practices to maintain its freshness and deliciousness. Keep reading.
How Long Does Dough Last In The Fridge?
As a home baker, I learned that dough can be refrigerated for around three days if properly covered and stored. If stored properly, it can last up to a month if frozen.
But drawing from my experience, not all doughs can be refrigerated without spoiling. The shelf life of dough depends on its ingredients.
Dough made with salt, flour, yeast, and oil can last longer. But dough made with dairy products and eggs can go bad more quickly because bacteria can grow easily.
Factors To Consider
Dough without yeast can last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if wrapped in plastic to prevent drying. You can also freeze dough without yeast for up to 3 weeks and use it as needed.
Dough with yeast can last in the fridge for three days, but it is best to use it within 48 hours.
After kneading, place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill. Punch the dough down after 1 hour in the refrigerator, then once every 24 hours.
When properly stored in an airtight container, the dough can last three days without losing quality or taste.
With yeast, it may double in size in a day, but you can flatten it. If you can’t use the dough within 24 hours, seal it to slow yeast activity.
First, you must incorporate the yeast and give it time to rise. Take the dough as you plan to freeze and roll it into a ball. If you’re freezing the entire batch, divide it into at least two balls.
Will The Dough Get Bad If Not Stored In The Fridge?
Yes. The dough proofs faster in a warm room, so after preparing the dough, I make sure to place it in the fridge. I attended a baker’s seminar two years ago and learned that heat increases yeast activity and gas production.
The amount of yeast and room temperature in the dough affect its shelf life. The basic dough can be baked and eaten 12 hours after proofing. 
“There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”– Mahatma Gandhi, Political Ethicist
If you can’t keep your bread in the fridge, store it somewhere cold to slow the fermentation.
Why Should You Not Keep It Longer?
If you keep the refrigerated dough  longer, it will go bad. Dough containing eggs or dairy products spoils faster than made with flour, salt, and yeast. It’s best to use the dough within three days.
“Dough in fridge: Freshness extended, flavors enriched, baking freedom embraced.”–Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
Dough left at room temperature takes 2-4 hours to double in size. If the dough is left overnight, it may deflate under its weight.
Always keep it in the refrigerator for the best results.
How To Tell If The Dough Has Gone Bad
If the texture of the dough is wetter than usual or feels slimy, it has gone bad. If you notice any dry and cracked spots on the dough’s surface, this is another sign that it spoiled.
If the dough smells rancid, it could indicate spoilage. If it smells more like spoiled cheese or something is rotting, it has gone bad and should be discarded.
If there’s mold on the surface, don’t eat it. If there’s ANY mold on the dough, it’s a big NO.
Mold grows quickly on room-temperature bread dough. If you live in a hotter climate, you must be careful with dough.
Can You Put The Dough In The Fridge After It Rises?
Yes, you can refrigerate the bread dough after it has risen. This allows the dough to rise, slowly producing a more flavorful bread.
However, before putting it in the fridge, place it in a bowl. Use a pan if you don’t want to shape it before baking.
To prevent the outer parts of the dough from drying out, wrap the bowl or pan in plastic wrap.
The dough can be refrigerated for 48 hours. However, it is best to use it after 12 hours.
Tips When Storing Dough in the Fridge
- Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or use an airtight container .
- Label and date the dough to track its freshness.
- Store the dough in the coldest part of the fridge, such as the back or bottom shelf.
- Discard the dough if it shows any signs of mold, unusual odor, or discoloration.
- Follow specific recipe guidelines for recommended storage durations to ensure optimal quality and taste.
Can dough stay in the fridge for a week?
No, dough can’t stay in the fridge for a week because it will go bad. A dough will keep in the refrigerator for about three days, but it is best used within 48 hours.
How do you keep dough fresh in the fridge?
Keeping your dough fresh in the fridge has many ways you can choose from.
You can cover the surface or the entire dough with plastic wrap or simply place it in a resealable plastic or airtight container.
Is it better to freeze or refrigerate the dough?
Refrigerating dough is the best choice for storing large quantities on the first rise. Yeast dough will never rise as well if frozen because some of the yeast will die in the freezer.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Drawing from my experience as a home baker, storing dough in the fridge is best if you use it within three days.
You can freeze the dough for up to one week, but the dough might not rise well because the yeast will die in the cold.
It is recommended to store your dough in an airtight container to avoid spoilage, and better use it within 48 hours because molds grow quickly.
The shelf-life of dough depends on where it is made. Always keep the ingredients in mind to avoid any storage complications.
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