How To Thaw Dough Quickly

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If you’re fond of baking, you might already have experienced creating a dough just to set it aside in the freezer at some point. You’re not alone. A lot of bakers also store their dough in the freezer because freezing retains its freshness. But while freezing dough is easy, thawing takes a little time and requires you to follow a few steps. We looked for the best thawing methods from bakers, so you don’t have to anymore. 

The following are four ways you can choose from in order to thaw your dough:

  • Putting your dough in the microwave, using a microwave plate with a microwave-safe plastic wrap cover
  • Defrosting your dough in the oven preheated up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Thawing at room temperature by leaving the dough on your countertop 
  • Refrigerating your dough or leaving it in the fridge overnight

And there you have the easy ways to thaw your frozen dough. But despite how easy these defrosting methods might seem, there is another thing you must take into account, and that is the type of dough you will be defrosting. That’s what we’re set to enlighten you about in this blog. So be sure to keep reading.

A woman kneading a dough on the large chopping board, How To Thaw Dough Quickly

can you defrost dough in the microwave? 

Yes, you can defrost your dough in the microwave. Follow these steps for the quickest way to thaw your dough:

1. Prepare a microwave-safe plate and apply a non-stick cooking spray. If you don’t have one, you can simply spread olive oil on the plate to avoid the dough from sticking on the plate. 

2. Put the dough on the plate. Get a microwave-safe plastic wrap and spray or spread oil over it as well. Then cover it, making sure that the wrap tightly hugs the dough. 

3. Place the dough in the microwave for 25 seconds, setting the heat level to high. Don't worry about the dough getting cooked, as the high heat setting on the microwave will only soften it.

4. Remove the dough after 25 seconds and flip it over. Cover it again with the same plastic wrap, then place in the oven again for another 25 seconds. 

5. After that, remove the plastic cover and check if the coldness and softness of the dough are just right. 

6. Put the dough back in the microwave. But this time, set the microwave to defrost setting and leave it for 3 to 5 minutes. 

7. Once finished, place the dough on the table or counter and wait for it to rise. 

How to thaw dough in the oven? 

Refer to the steps below when using an oven to thaw your dough:

1. Prepare a baking pan or a bowl large enough that will accommodate the dough’s risen size. Spray or apply your favorite oil on the baking pan or bowl to prevent sticking. 

2. Place the dough on your chosen baking equipment and tightly cover with heat-safe plastic wrap. 

3. Place the dough in the oven with a heat level of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) for 1 hour to thaw. Then, check if the dough has defrosted and risen. Put it back in the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes if it still has not defrosted completely. 

How do you thaw frozen bread dough at room temperature?

A Chef pouring flour on the dough to make it flowy

As the simplest method of thawing the dough, you only need to contain the dough in a big bowl while covering it with saran wrap. Leave it on the counter for 2 hours to thaw. 

However, we highly discourage you from thawing any dough, including cookie dough, at room temperature. Most dough contains raw egg that increases the likelihood of bacterial growth in the dough when exposed to room temperature. 

All types of dough can exponentially grow bacteria once exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, just like any type of food, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

How to defrost pizza dough overnight?

The last method of thawing dough, which is usually used by pizza lovers, for good reasons, is overnight defrosting in the fridge. 

Fridge defrosting is the safest way to thaw a pizza dough as this can avoid the possibility of cross-contamination. The process of fridge thawing does not vary greatly from the steps used when defrosting dough at room temperature. The only difference is that you should place the dough in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours or overnight. 

One important thing to note when defrosting the dough in the fridge is that you must always cover it in plastic wrap. Wrapping the dough will avoid exposing it to cold, stale air in the fridge that may contaminate it or prevent it from rising. 

How long does frozen dough take to thaw?

A baker kneading a big pile of dough on the countertop

Frozen dough thaw time will vary depending on the defrosting method you used. 

The three fastest defrosting methods only take seconds to a few hours to do. Read below to find out how long each method takes:

  • Thawing the dough in the microwave will only take approximately 5 minutes, depending on the heat level you set the microwave on. 
  • Defrosting using an oven needs at least 1 hour to completely soften the dough. But if the dough remains a bit frozen and has not risen enough, put it back in the oven for another 30 more minutes. 
  • A frozen dough being thawed at room temperature will take around 2 hours before you can use it for your baked goods. 
  • Thawing the dough in the refrigerator is the most time-consuming method. It requires you to leave the dough overnight or 8 to 12 hours for it to completely thaw. 

Now that you know the time required to completely thaw your dough is dependent on the thawing method used, we bet the fastest one will be your top choice. 

How to defrost puff pastry dough quickly?

As a special and delicate baking ingredient, frozen puff pastry dough needs more extra attention when thawing. The countertop defrosting method below is the quickest and most efficient way you can thaw pastry dough. 

Countertop defrosting

While putting puff pastry dough in the microwave is the quickest way to defrost this valuable baking asset, it’s not the most effective and can even make your dough gummy and exhibit a buttery consistency. As an alternative, just leaving the pastry dough on the countertop is the best and ideal way you can thaw puff pastry dough without compromising its quality. Here are the steps for the countertop puff pastry dough defrosting method: 

1. Cover a plate or a baking pan with a clean, dry kitchen napkin. 

2. Separate pastry dough from each other. Do not fold them while frozen. 

3. Spread the dough on the plate or baking pan, making sure they aren’t touching each other. 

4. Lastly, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter. Check the thawing progress every 20 minutes within 2 hours.  

Will dough rise after being frozen?

As you know, the dough has yeast, which is a generally harmless, living single-celled microorganism responsible for making the dough rise. When frozen, yeast will turn inactive and discontinue its magic, which begs the question: will a frozen dough rise after thawing? 

Fortunately, whichever method above you use still ensures that your dough will rise. Freezing does not kill every single yeast in the bread; it only makes the yeast go dormant due to the cold. But when the dough slowly defrosts, they become active again, albeit in smaller numbers, because some of them may have perished due to freezing. This is the reason why some dough only rises a little, while those that have been stored in the freezer for too long rise so little or not at all.

In closing

The four simple ways of thawing provide options when defrosting your frozen dough. So whether you're in a hurry or just enjoying a Sunday in the kitchen, you will be able to make your goodies whenever you want. Just choose one method in this blog that will work best for you. 

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