How Long To Defrost Dough – By Type Of Dough

If you love to make bread, pizza, cookies, or other baked treats, you know that making dough from scratch takes more time and effort. A stash of frozen dough saves you ample preparation time. Before using frozen dough, you need to thaw it at the right temperature to allow other ingredients to bind well. If dough defrosts adequately, you can achieve the best results in baking. To help you defrost your dough, we have researched tips from experts on how to do it.

The time needed to defrost frozen dough differs on the type of dough you will use. Some types of dough do not require defrosting, while some types defrost as quick as 5 minutes or as long as 8 hours. The types of dough that need defrosting include pizza, bread, pasta, or pastry dough. The exceptions are pasta ribbons, drop cookie dough, and unbaked pie crust that you can use straight from the freezer. The location where you defrost bread is also vital. Defrosting in the microwave is the quickest while letting the dough stay in the fridge can take overnight.

Defrosting is essential to prepare the dough before creating your recipes. If your dough is not properly defrosted, there might be changes in texture and flavor when dough bakes. Defrosting allows the yeast to properly function, allowing the dough to rise. Unless you are making flatbreads, other baked goods will not have good results if the dough does not rise. In order to avoid that, read further on how to properly defrost your dough.


Raw dough with rolling pin and raw flour on wooden table. How Long To Defrost Dough - By Type Of Dough

How To Quickly Defrost Dough

Warming the dough at the right temperature is key to avoid baking the dough. There are certain ways to defrost that are suitable for different types of dough. You can either defrost by transferring the dough into the refrigerator or simply letting the dough stay at the kitchen counter.


You can defrost dough properly by transferring it into the fridge. This process is easy but will defrost the dough overnight or at least 8 hours. All types of dough can undergo this process. If you plan to bake some goodies, defrost the dough ahead of time. Bread and yeast dough defrost well using this method. Follow these steps on how to defrost dough in the refrigerator.

  1. Put some cooking spray on the pan. Choose a pan that has enough space for the dough to expand.
  2. Also, put cooking spray on the plastic wrap before wrapping the dough.
  3. Put the pan in the fridge and leave it there for at least 8 hours or overnight.

At Room Temperature

Another way to defrost dough is to let it sit at room temperature. This method will take from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Pizza crusts and pastry sheets can take 30 minutes to defrost on the counter. Also, take the dough rolls out from the freezer to sit on the counter for 1 and a half to 2 hours before baking. For pasta dough, it will take at least 3 hours to completely defrost. Likewise, frozen yeast or bread dough defrosts quicker than letting it sit in the fridge.

Regardless of the dough you use, do not let the dough sit out in the open. Make sure to cover the dough all the time. You can use plastic wrap or parchment paper. This prevents the dough from drying out and coming in contact with foreign objects. Aside from this, make sure the dough is at room temperature before adding other ingredients and baking.

pizza dough resting on wooden board with flour dusting

How Do You Defrost Frozen Dough In The Microwave?

The quickest way to defrost dough is by using a microwave. The likes of pizza and bread dough will defrost at around 4 to 10 minutes. Defrosting time also depends on the size of the dough. There is a defrost function in microwaves that warms up the dough. Setting the temperature at low levels prevents the dough to bake. After this, you can add the other ingredients before baking the dough.

Here are the steps to follow when defrosting pizza or bread dough using a microwave:

  1. Use a microwave-safe plate. Coat the plate lightly with cooking spray or some oil.
  2. Also, put cooking spray on the plastic wrap. Place the dough on the plate, then cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Microwave on "defrost" setting for 1 minute on each side.
  4. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature.

Will Frozen Dough Rise Again?

It will still be possible for the frozen dough to rise again. Freezing does not affect the yeast that much, but freezing weakens the gluten structure of the dough. There are factors that can stop the rise of the dough. These include the following:

  • Yeast that is old or dead due to fluctuating temperatures and improper storage.
  • The flour used in the dough is not that strong.
  • Liquids used in recipes are so hot it kills the yeast cells.
  • The kitchen temperature is too cold or not warm enough.
  • Not giving more time for the dough to rise.

Risen bread dough in a tin

If you plan to freeze the dough, make sure you double the amount of yeast in the dough. This is because yeast may lose its power when freezing. Another way to make the dough rise after freezing is by using flours with high protein content. Low gluten content flours like rye will not rise well after freezing.

In order for the dough to rise after freezing, freeze the bread after its first rise. You must also knead, shape, or roll the dough before freezing. When already defrosted, make sure that the temperature is warm enough for the dough to rise. If the kitchen is too cold, it will not rise properly.

How Long Do You Bake Frozen Bread Dough?

Before baking, let the bread rise at room temperature. This will take you around 1.5 to 2 hours. Then you can proceed to bake your frozen bread dough for at least 25 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit. For some dough, baking can take from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the complexity of your recipe. A golden brown color on the sides can tell you that the bread is well-baked.

Try these creative bread dough recipes you will love.

Can You Bake Frozen Cookie Dough Without Thawing?

You do not need to defrost cookie dough before baking. This is possible if you had pre-scooped your cookie dough (i.e. drop cookies). Skipping the defrosting process will work for all drop cookies. Baking will take at least 2 to 3 minutes to accommodate the cold temperature of the dough.

Raw Cookie Dough on a wax paper lined tray

You can try this easy chocolate chip cookie recipe using frozen cookie dough.

How Do You Use Frozen Pastry Sheets?

There are a variety of ways to use frozen pastry sheets. A stash of pastry sheets will save you time for quick treats. Always remember to let the pastry sheets completely defrost. It will take at least 30 minutes to defrost frozen pastry sheets at room temperature while defrosting in the fridge will take at least 4 hours. If you are ready to use your pastry sheets, here are some ideas you can follow:

Do I Need To Thaw Pie Crust Before Baking?

Tart pie preparation, dough with yeast and rolling pin on white kitchen table

For the unbaked pie crust, you do not need to thaw before baking. You can take it straight to out of the freezer, but you need to add 3 more minutes in your baking time. For cooked crusts, whether partially or fully cooked, defrost the crust for at least 15 minutes at room temperature. The same time for defrosting will also be the same for two-crust pies.

Final Thoughts

Defrosting dough is essential to achieve the best results in baking. Defrosting can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as overnight. You can either defrost frozen dough by using a microwave, the fridge, or letting it stay on the kitchen counter. Regardless of how you defrost the dough, you must have patience in the process of defrosting. Also, make sure that the temperature is just right for the dough to warm up. If you know the proper ways to defrost any type of dough, creating your baked treats will be a piece of cake.

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