Pizza aficionados and novices agree: the crust is the most important part of the pie. The crunch of a thin crust or a satisfying deep dish chew is rewarding and memorable when pizza is prepared with fresh crusts and dough.
Not sure if the crusts and dough on your shelf or in your freezer are in peak, customer-pleasing season? Here are some tips to keep guesswork low and quality high.
So, how long does pizza dough last in the fridge?
Well, that depends on the type of dough. The easiest way to stay on top of crust and dough freshness is to keep an eye on the calendar. We recommend these guidelines for gauging maximum useful life:
Guidelines for Gauging Pizza Dough Freshness
- Self-rising crusts will show the most lift within 120 days from the date of manufacture, but are good up to 180 days frozen. Note: self-rising crusts should not be held refrigerated.
- Par-baked crusts will last roughly one week refrigerated and are great up to a full year from date of manufacture.
- Dough balls will proof and bake the best within 90 days, but will continue to perform up to 180 days from the date of manufacture. Refrigerated proofing can last anywhere from overnight to 120 hours, with peak performance in the middle of that range (more on that below)
One final note about timing: Should you choose to store crusts and dough for their respective maximum useful lifespans, there is no food safety risk provided you use proper procedures to prepare pies.
How to Tell If Your Pizza Crusts and Dough Have Expired
Pizza crusts and dough have physical “tells” which let you know they’re past their prime and could underperform:
- A sour smell
- Diminished texture
- An exceptionally dry feel and appearance
- A general gray color or flecks of gray that denote dead yeast activators, failed cell structure, and/or freezer burn
Proofing Impacts Quality
Carefully managing your inventory of pizza crusts and dough to ensure top quality pies can be an effort in futility if you don't pay attention to proofing.
Par-baked and self-rising crusts need no proofing. On the other hand, frozen dough balls require fermentation — the process whereby yeast digests sugar and produces carbon dioxide gas in the dough — to increase volume and workability.
Much like discerning how long pizza dough lasts in the fridge, timing is everything when it comes to the perfect proof. In keeping with the dough ball lifecycle, adhering to a 48-72 hour proofing "sweet spot" is essential. Following these best practices ensure maximum proofing, delicious outcomes, and really happy customers.
Your customers deserve fresh, high-quality pizza crusts, and they want the signature taste that only your pizzeria can deliver. Check out our Pizza Dough and Crust Types Quick Reference Guide to see which dough balls are best for your operation.