How to Defrost Pizza Dough – Practical Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough Tips

Ding dong!! Your doorbell rang, and you found your husband with his colleagues. “Hey honey, can you treat us with freshly baked “meat feast pizza” tonight,” asked your husband in front of those unwanted guests. You and those guests exchanged fake smiles; you welcomed them for your “Pizza test.”

How to Defrost Pizza Dough

I know you weren’t left with any other option.

Again, I know you are a marvelous chef, but what about the frozen dough residing in your freezer for the last 2-3 weeks?

Defrosting the pizza dough tests your patience and skills. But how to defrost pizza dough swiftly in an emergency pizza case?

Below are some fruitful and practical tips from my kitchen to give the right treatment to the frozen pizza dough. Let’s jump onto the steps whether you have homemade or store-bought pizza dough.

How to Defrost Pizza Dough – Easy Steps to Thaw Frozen Dough:

Remember, Patience is the win; hurry is the risk. Pizza dough is like man’s ego; it even rises unnecessarily against the low temperatures. Jokes apart, if you ask how to quickly defrost pizza dough, the microwave or conventional oven is the first thing that welcomes you with a broad chest and open arms.

How to Defrost Pizza Dough

However, Can you defrost pizza dough in the microwave?

The short answer is yes! Microwaving the dough should be the last solution you should have in mind if an emergency (sudden guests) is not hanging over your head. But considering your case, let’s discuss this first.

Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough via Microwave Oven Method: 

First of all, you can thaw pizza dough via microwave but have to be a little careful.

Where all other methods take multiple hours to unfreeze pizza dough, undoubtedly, microwave does it a lot more quicker. The risk comes with defrosting pizza dough in the microwave – a little carelessness in the temperature settings or defrosting durations, you should be expeditious for a big mess.

Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough via Microwave Oven Method

Precisely, it can bake the dough before you stuff it with ingredients.

Well, I assume you have made the perfect puff of your pizza dough ball before freezing it.

  • When you go for microwaving the dough, put the pizza dough puffs upside down as the base should come upside.
  • Put some dust on your frozen dough balls and cover them with a lid.
  • Don’t forget to preheat the microwave at some 90-100 degrees.
  • Place it in the microwave at defrosting temperatures for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of the pizza dough balls.
  • Most chances are, you won’t get the dough fully thawed as the sides will feel soft and defrosted while the middle of the dough will still be frozen.
  • Beware, you don’t have to re-microwave it. It will most likely make you fail your “Pizza test.”
  • Now cover the partially defrosted pizza balls with a hard lid again and leave them at room temperature for at least 30-40 minutes, depending on the situation of ice crystals it has.
  • You’ll get a perfectly soft and flexible dough when the timer ends.

You passed 50% of your test this way, and the rest, you know how to make the perfect pizza.


  • Can quickly thaw pizza dough
  • Perfect for emergency cases


  • More chances to get destroyed
  • Needs diamond hands to tackle this method

The Refrigerator Method – How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough:

What can I say regarding this method, “The slow, the reliable, and the tastiest.” This method is for families who enjoy weekend pizza parties. This slowest but the best way to thaw pizza dough method requires around 15-16 hours to get a fully unfrozen dough.  

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough with Refrigerator Method
  • Place the frozen pizza dough balls in crockery (bowl, tray, ceramic plate, etc.) that should be bigger than the dough ball. It’s because the yeast has to do fermentation, and there will be a rise in the dough, so we need to give space for expansion.
  • But before placing it in the refrigerator, you should puff some oil on the dough balls as they don’t stick when they get thawed.
  • Cover the bowl, and let it refrigerate between 1-5 degrees overnight or for more than 12 hours.
  • As the duration ends, let the dough settle at room temperature for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the pizza dough balls.
  • Check the softness of the thawed pizza dough; if it’s entirely soft from edge to edge, the middle of the puff, you are good to roll out the dough. Otherwise, leave it for a further 10-15 minutes proofing at room temperature.


  • Most reliable and best way to thaw pizza dough
  • Fewer chances of getting your dough dried
  • Keep the original taste of dough – doesn’t make it sour


  • Time-consuming
  • Not for emergency cases

How to Defrost Pizza Dough with a Cold and Hot Bath Method?

The Cold and Hot Bath is almost the same process apart from the cold and hot water, which you will use to thaw the pizza dough. Also, this process lies between the fastest (microwave) and slowest (refrigerator) methods for defrosting pizza dough.

How to Defrost Pizza Dough with a Cold and Hot Bath Method

In both cases of cold and hot bath methods;

  • Wrap the pizza dough balls in a zipper bag and squeeze out the air from the bag as much as possible.
  • In case of a cold bath, rest the bag in cold water for 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the dough.
  • For a hot bath, the water temperature should not be sizzling hot, but mild warm like your body temperatures, and let the dough bag rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • One struggle here is that you must keep changing the water as the frozen pizza dough will decrease the water temperature. So it would be best if you keep changing the water for effective results.
  • After you are done with this process, leave the dough to rest at room temperature for another 30-40 minutes but can you leave the pizza dough out overnight?


  • Moderate processing time like 4-5 hours
  • You can make pizza within a day
  • A reliable way for defrosting pizza dough


  • In the case of a hot bath, hot water temperatures can partially cook the dough.
  • The hot water bath is a bit of a struggle.

People Also Ask – FAQs

How long can pizza dough sit out?

Depending on the method, the proofing duration should not be more than 4-6 hours. It’s like making the dough rot due to a concentration of yeast in it.

Does refrigerated pizza dough need to come to room temperature?

Yes, it’s necessary. The floor through which you make dough contains gluten – a form of protein. Gluten is like a soft, chewy, and stretchable substance. Cold temperatures tighten it, so you can feel your dough like a chewing rubber band with fridge temperatures. That’s why refrigerated dough needs treatment at room temperature.

The Bottom Line – You are About to Make the Best Pizza

So how to defrost pizza dough to spill the yummiest tastes through your fingers? Defrosting isn’t tiring, but you have to be easygoing to experience the perfect pizza. Other than the methods mentioned earlier, there is also a countertop method that only needs the dough to rest at room temperature for 8-10 hours.

For me, I like the refrigerator method the most as it gives the softest thawed pizza dough without any risk. Other than that, I use the microwave for emergency cases, but I can’t recommend this to fresh pizza chefs.

Rest is the cold and hot bath method, which you can use as per your choice.

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