How Long to Let Pizza Dough Rise

Let’s face it – making homemade pizza can be pretty intimidating. Everything needs to be just right, or else your pizza could come out too dense, too airy, too crunchy, you name it. All of the steps are important, whether you’re kneading, stretching, proofing, or baking.

That leads plenty of people to ask the question: how long do I let my pizza dough rise? The good news is, this part isn’t too tricky. If you need your pizza dough fast, you can leave it on the countertop for a few hours. If you’re not in a time crunch, it’s best to let it rise in the fridge for 24 hours.

Well, hello there! My name is Michelle, and I am a self-taught baker that loves, loves, loves pizza. I have had so much fun baking pizzas over the last few years, and I’m here to share my findings with you today about how long to let pizza dough rise.

Who’s ready to learn about rising pizza?

How Long Should Pizza Dough Rise

The fun thing about pizza dough is there really isn’t a right or a wrong answer when it comes to proofing. You can make the process as quick or as slow as you’d like. A slower rise will create an airier and flavor-packed crust, though, so it is desired to go the slow route.

Follow the Recipe

My first recommendation is to follow the recipe. Every pizza is going to need a different amount of proofing time. For example, margarita pizza and deep-dish pizza will require vastly different proofing times. 

If You Need it Quick

If you need your pizza dough within the hour, you can speed up the pizza proofing process by placing the pizza dough inside a preheated oven. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven. The oven should be on the lowest setting, which for most ovens, is 200F. You can use 150F or 200F for this process.
  2. Place dough in an oven-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. 
  3. Turn off the oven. You don’t want to cook the pizza dough. You simply want to create a warm environment for the proofing process to start. 
  4. Place the bowl inside until it’s doubled in size. You will know your dough is ready when it has doubled in size. Remove as soon as this occurs; otherwise, you risk over-proofing the dough and ruining it.

If You Need it Somewhat Quick

Have a little bit more wiggle room? Then you can always let your pizza dough sit on the counter! Just place it in a big enough bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a towel. The dough should take a few hours to rise, although if you’re in a warm and humid climate, it could take just an hour.

If you are in a chillier environment, though, you might want to include the help of your kitchen sink. Fill your kitchen sink with hot water and place the covered bowl of dough inside. Just make sure that the water is low enough to not seep inside the bowl and hamper the dough.

When using the kitchen sink method, you can expect your pizza to rise in about an hour, possibly two. This makes it a great go-to for Saturday night dinner parties when you have a few extra hours to spare. 

No Time Crunch

No time crunch? Perfect. It is recommended to cold-proof dough for around 24 hours. This allows the crust to develop the perfect texture and flavor, regardless of the type of pizza you’re creating.

The low and slow method goes like this:

  1. Place the pizza dough inside a covered bowl. Remember that the bowl should be large enough to accommodate dough that’s doubled in size. Use plastic wrap or a lid.
  2. Place the bowl inside the refrigerator. This method uses the cold air from the fridge to slow down the proofing process, which is essential for a perfect pizza crust.
  3. Leave inside the fridge for up to 24 hours. Twenty-four hours is usually the golden number for pizza dough rising in the fridge, but keep an eye on it. Some pizza doughs might be fine with 15 or 20 hours of rising instead. 


By now, you’re an expert on how long to let pizza dough rise. The low and slow method in the fridge is the best option, if possible. Still have some lingering questions? Then keep reading! Below are some must-see FAQs.

Is it bad to let pizza dough rise too long?

Yes, letting your dough rise for too long is bad. Most pizza doughs are done within 24 hours (although some can handle up to 48!). Anything longer than that will cause the yeast to convert the sugar, which will negatively affect the flavor and texture.

Can you let pizza dough rise for 4 hours?

Yup! If you are short on time and you need your pizza dough to rise quickly, you can leave it on the countertop for a few hours. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this could very well be around four hours (or less). Keep an eye on it.

Can you let the dough rise for 2 hours?

Yes, you can let the dough rise for two hours. If you only have two hours to spare, then I would suggest using the kitchen sink method. Place the bowl of dough inside a kitchen sink filled with hot water, and it will rise quickly. You can also use the oven method listed above.

Final Words

When it comes to proofing dough, the best way to do it is to stick it in the fridge and let it rise slowly. This produces the best flavors and textures for your crust. If you don’t have 24 hours to let it rise, use the counter, kitchen sink, or oven to speed up the process.

How long do you let your pizza dough rise when you make pizza? Do you have any tips to share with us about proofing times? Share with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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