Homemade Pizza School

Updated: August 2, 2023

Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The 3 Fastest Ways to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

You made some amazing pizza dough and put it in the freezer for the next time you want to make homemade pizza. But the day you decided to make homemade pizza, you spent the day buying your favorite pizza toppings like pepperoni and fresh mozzarella cheese. Trying hard not to forget your ways to thaw frozen pizza dough.

ways to thaw frozen pizza dough
Photo by Peter Yost on Unsplash

Then, you spent some time making a homemade pizza sauce for the best flavor on your homemade pizza. Next, you are busy preparing dipping sauces. But when you go to roll out your dough, you realize, whoops, you forgot to defrost the dough. It sounds like a nightmare, and it happened to us.

Luckily we figured out how to get our frozen pizza dough ready for the oven despite having forgotten to take it out to thaw. Of course, you could just give up then and grab a take-and-bake pizza, or you can try an alternative way to thaw your dough.

We want to share with you so you can learn from our mistakes. We’re not talking about just taking fresh dough out of their proofing boxes. We’re frozen here, folks. Here are the three fastest ways to thaw frozen pizza dough:

Cold Water Bath

thawing frozen pizza dough in ice cold water bowl
Photo by Aman Krishna on Unsplash

A cold water bath is an easy way to thaw frozen pizza dough. Dig through your cabinets and find the largest bowl you have. You need a big bowl that is big enough for the entire dough ball to be submerged. If you have more than one dough ball, then you need more big bowls.

It is difficult to do more than one per bowl. Next, fill it with ice cubes and add cold water. Place your pizza dough, still wrapped in plastic, into the cold bath and make sure it is completely covered. Use something like a plate as a weight if it doesn’t stay submerged. 

We know you are probably thinking, why use cold water when hot water makes more sense? And you are right. Hot water would defrost it even faster, but the hot water will damage the texture and pliability of the dough by partially cooking the dough, and then you won’t be able to stretch it out the same way.

Trust us, use cold water and ice cubes. If you keep your frozen homemade pizza dough balls in reusable bags, just place the whole bag in. And if you just have them wrapped in plastic wrap, make sure they are completely sealed. Getting the dough wet will also ruin a perfectly good dough. Now just leave it on the counter and wait for it to thaw.

Within an hour or two, your homemade pizza dough will be ready to shape into pizza.


thawing pizza dough in a microwave
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Can you defrost pizza dough in the microwave? The magic of the modern-day microwave. One of the fastest ways to thaw frozen pizza dough is in your microwave. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and put it in a microwave-safe bowl with a plate to cover it so it doesn’t get exposed to direct heat, which can damage the dough.

Then use the defrost button and work in thirty second intervals. It is easy to overcook the dough, which is exactly what you want to avoid, so keep it to thirty second intervals and check after each one.

All microwaves are different and have slightly different strengths. So while one microwave might thaw frozen pizza dough in three minutes on defrost, another may take five minutes, so be sure to watch it carefully, checking throughout the process.


defrost pizza dough in a conventional oven
Photo by Stefan C. Asafti on Unsplash

You can use the oven to thaw frozen pizza dough, but again, you need to be careful that it doesn’t cook the dough. Take a large baking dish and spray it with non-stick spray the place the frozen pizza dough ball in the center and cover it with plastic wrap.

Spray the plastic wrap before covering the dough so it doesn’t stick to the dough, ruining the dough. Place in the oven at 100º F. Check the dough every ten minutes to see how it feels and if it’s thawing.

To keep the dough from drying out, place an oven-safe bowl with water in the oven to add some moisture to the whole process. This should take around an hour to get your frozen pizza dough to thaw and get it ready to make some delicious pizza pies.

How Long Does It Take To Thaw Out Frozen Pizza?

The time it takes to defrost frozen pizza dough can vary depending on the size and thickness of the dough. In general, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to defrost pizza dough in the refrigerator. For a quicker defrosting method, the dough can be left at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, but this method can be risky as it can lead to uneven defrosting and potential bacteria growth.

Microwaving frozen pizza dough is another option for those who need to defrost it quickly. This method typically takes only a few minutes, depending on the microwave’s wattage and the amount of dough being defrosted. It’s important to note that microwaving can partially cook the dough, so it’s essential to keep an eye on the dough and avoid overcooking.

No matter which method is used, it’s important to ensure that the dough is completely defrosted before using it to make a pizza. Partially defrosted dough can lead to uneven cooking and a less desirable texture. It’s best to plan ahead and allow enough time for the dough to defrost slowly and evenly, resulting in a delicious and evenly cooked homemade pizza.

Pro Tips

  • Plan ahead! If you know you want to make pizza the next day, leave out a visual cue like your pizza cutter or something on your counter to help remind you to remove the dough the night before. While not the fastest, it is the absolute best way to thaw pizza dough.

    Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with plastic, and place it in the refrigerator overnight in the morning or about two hours before you want to make the pizza. Remove the bowl and place it on the counter to warm up to room temperature.
  • Never let pizza dough dry out. Always have it in a reusable plastic bag or plastic wrap. Aluminum foil is fine in a pinch but, ideally, not the best choice.
  • Consider par-baking your crusts instead of freezing the dough. Roll out your pizza dough, brush it with olive oil, then bake for three to five minutes. Let cool and freeze par-baked crusts so you never have to remember to thaw pizza dough, and you always have homemade crusts ready to go.

What’s your favorite way to thaw frozen pizza dough?

One of our Favorites

Consider buying a microwave to thaw your frozen homemade pizza dough because it can save time and ensure even thawing. Microwaving dough is faster than thawing it on the counter and can allow for more flexibility in meal planning as it can quickly thaw frozen dough when unexpected guests arrive or when a last-minute pizza craving strikes. Overall, a microwave can be a useful tool in a home chef’s kitchen for thawing frozen pizza dough and other ingredients!

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DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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