The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best way to store dough for days?

Goosey's picture

Best way to store dough for days?

Hi Everyone,

I've been baking pizza for awhile, and the crust is okay, but nothing special - just kind of there. I use Wolfgang Puck's recipe for dough, so I'm assuming the problem is me and not him! I noticed on here that storing dough in the fridge for a day or two is great way for more complex flavors to develop. My question is, what is the best way to do this? Any time I've stored dough in the fridge, it usually gets a few dry spots no matter what I try - plastic wrap, oil, etc. For all the experts here, what is the best, most foolproof way to store dough over a timeframe of 1-2 days? Thanks

foodslut's picture

It's a bit labour intensive, but when I've made big batches of dough for use within the next day or two, I make 250g balls of dough (enough for an individual dinner-plate size pizza), take a length of cling wrap, spray it with non-stick spray, wrap the ball o' dough up, then take a square piece of parchment paper and wrap that around the plastic-covered ball o' dough.  That way, you have a complete package when you're ready to bake - unfold parchment, take dough out of clingwrap, onto parchment, spread, coat & cook. 

I've done this for up to 30 balls of dough (for back-to-back baking through the night for a birthday party), and found it very efficient and effective.

The funny part is if you have a bowl full of such packages, the dough continuing to proof makes the bundles "climb" out of the bowl.

I've frozen dough in such packets for up to 3 weeks with no problems (takes about 2 hours to FULLY defrost such packets).

LindyD's picture

Hi Goosey - welcome to TFL!

When I was trying the artisan bread in five recipes some years ago, I just kept the dough in a lidded plastic shoe box that snapped shut quite tightly.  

The refrigerated dough put out enough moisture to keep the box hydrated, so there were no dry spots.

I imagine any container which has a tight fitting lid will serve  you well.

Since you don't seem to be enamored with Puck's recipe, why not have some fun and visit Jeff Varasano's site.

Jeff's a fascinating guy who makes one heck of a pizza.

mkelly27's picture

I do my initial proofing in the fridge in "Cambro" 6 qt containers.  I divide onto an oiled sheet pan about 3-4 hrs before I use the dough and I keep them covered wit han oiled plastic sheet.

Goosey's picture

Thanks for the help everybody, some good ideas to try.

Thanks for the welcome, LindyD. I'm looking to take my baking to the next level, so I will be picking alot of brains around here in the future. Thanks for the tip on a new recipe - I'll check that out.

Question for both LindyD and mkelly27: the initial proofing in the sealed container - is the dough oiled, or just put in and the dough's moisture handles the rest?


greydoodles's picture

I have some 4-cup round glass containers with plastic lids (Anchor Hocking, bake/freeze/microwave/serve) that I use. Just spritz or wipe the inside, glass and lid, with oil, add the dough ball (also oiled), seal the lid, and stack them in the fridge. The "take-home" plastic storage containers would work as well (4-5 cups, round). The dough is kept moist. While they are on the counter, I unseal the lid in one area just enough for air expansion.

The oil inside the container and lid as well as on the dough ball is enough protection.

My dough balls have only been kept one day in the fridge. If longer, I might consider pulling them out and unsealing and resealing the lids daily. If plastic and for pizza dough only, I would put a small hole near the top of the container or in the lid.

Goosey's picture

If anyone's still reading, one last question:


I've made a dough last evening, I've just checked on it and it looks nice and damp (oiled glass bowl, covered very tight with a double layer of plastic wrap). Wondering though, should I knead it down once a day or so, or should a person just let it be until it's time to use it?