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How to Defrost Pizza Dough

By Robert Parsons May 5, 2021

When it’s time for family pizza night, a boxed pizza from your local grocer’s freezer section will do in a pinch. However, even though there are some excellent frozen pizza options, nothing compares to that homemade taste. Everything from the taste to the texture tends to be more – satisfying

The best part about using pizza dough is that you can stick it in the freezer, and it’ll stay fresh for weeks until you’re ready to rock with it. Just keep in mind that defrosting it will require some careful attention to ensure perfect pizzas. 

Below, I’ve listed five ways you can thaw frozen pizza dough!

Use the Refrigerator

When you’re ready to bake delicious savoury pizzas everyone will love, one tried and true method of defrosting pizza dough is using your refrigerator. 

Simply take your dough out of the freezer making sure it stays inside its storage bag. Since it will expand as it thaws, you’ll want to place it into a bowl with enough room that allows for an increase in size.

Then, put it in your refrigerator and leave it there through the night. When you check it in the morning, you should see small bubbles on the surface. At this point, you may take it out of the storage bag and allow it to rest on your counter for about an hour, after which it’ll be ready to use!

Cold Water Bath Method

Giving your frozen dough a bath with cold water is another effective method of defrosting that will prevent harm or accidental cooking.

Once it’s been removed from the freezer, make sure it stays within its storage bag and place it into a medium-sized bowl. Fill your bowl with water that’s cold in temperature until all of your dough is completely covered. 

For one to two hours, you can leave it within its cold-water bath. During this time, it’ll soften and rise. When it’s ready to be taken out of the water, you’ll notice small bubbles on its surface.

Remove it from its bag and let it rest in a dry bowl for about an hour, then you’re ready to bake!

Warm Water Bath Method

When you’re using the warm-water bath thawing method, you’ll need to be cautious since you want to prevent any partial cooking. If done correctly, this method will defrost your dough quickly without harming its integrity.

Remove the dough from your freezer, ensure it’s in an air-tight bag and take out any excess air before sealing it. Then, place it within a medium-sized bowl filled with warm water. Since it’s frozen, it will cool the warm water quickly, which is why you must replace the water every 10 minutes until your dough is thawed.

Microwave Your Dough

Being that microwaves get hot, you’ll want to avoid using this method unless you absolutely need to thaw your dough quickly. 

Start by spraying oil on your microwave-safe plate and coating your dough with oil as well. Then, set it up on the plate and wrap it with oil-sprayed plastic wrap to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to it. 

To start the thawing process, microwave on high for 25 seconds. Next, remove it from the plate, spray the plate and dough again, wrap in plastic, and flip it over. After recovering it, microwave for an additional 25 seconds.

After removing the dough for a second time, it should feel cool and not have risen yet. Place it back into the microwave, set it to defrost, and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the amount of dough you’re thawing.

Once it’s done, you may set it on your counter at room temperature and allow it to rise. Once risen, you’re ready to bake with it!

Good Old-Fashioned Countertop

Lastly, when you’re contemplating how to defrost pizza dough, remember that you can always just use your good ole, trusty countertop.

Simply remove your frozen dough from the freezer, take it out of its storage bag, place it into a container with enough room to allow for it to expand, and cover it using plastic wrap. Let it sit there for about two hours, in which time the dough will thaw, soften, and rise.

Once again, if it’s risen, it’s ready to bake with!


Using any of the methods listed above, you’ll be able to properly defrost your pizza dough without harming or accidentally cooking it. If you have the time, we’d recommend using the cold thawing methods over the warm ones. Of course,  if time is not on your side and you need quick defrosting, the warm methods will work just fine as long as you’re careful and attentive!

Now that you’ve learned how to correctly defrost pizza dough using a variety of tried and true methods, I  wish you luck and, more importantly – lots of fun with your future pizza-baking adventures – bon appetit!