How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

I always recommend having at least one batch of pizza dough in your freezer. It’s a blessing when you want pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and don’t have time to make dough from scratch. Of course, you need to know how to thaw frozen pizza dough to be successful.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I am a lover of pizza. I make pizza for any occasion! I have recently even dove into the world of breakfast pizzas, and my kids couldn’t be any more thrilled. Regardless, having frozen pizza dough in my arsenal at all times is a must.

Thawing pizza dough is pretty easy. Whether it’s thawed in the fridge or counter, the key is to make sure it’s still covered. This is essential for the second rise of your pizza dough, making it ready for toppings and baking.

What are we waiting for? Let’s learn how to thaw frozen pizza dough.

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

Did you know there are many ways to thaw frozen pizza dough? Whether you need it within the hour or 24 hours, there is a method that will work for you and your timeframe. Here are the top five ways to thaw frozen pizza dough.

1. Thaw in the Fridge – Slowest (12 Hours)

The slowest way to thaw frozen pizza dough is in the fridge. This is a good idea if you need the pizza dough for dinner tomorrow night. To thaw in the fridge, simply do the following:

  • Remove the pizza dough from the airtight bag.
  • Place inside of a bowl large enough to hold the dough as it expands.
  • Cover with some parchment paper or wax paper.
  • An hour before using the dough, set it out on the counter to come to room temperature. Don’t try to add toppings to the chilled dough!

2. Thaw in a Bowl of Cold Water – One to Two Hours

Need it within a few hours? No worries. As long as you have a bowl that’s large enough to house the ball of dough and water to cover it, you’re golden. Here’s how to do it.

  • Place the dough inside a large bowl. Make sure that the dough is in a sealed bag. If the dough gets wet, it will get damaged.
  • Cover the dough with cold water. The dough will keep the water chilled, so you don’t need to dump it out and refill the bowl.
  • Wait until the dough starts to rise. The dough should become soft and begin rising an hour or two after being placed in the bowl.
  • Place dough on the counter for an hour before using. Again, it’s all about ensuring the dough is at room temperature before adding toppings and baking.

3. Thaw on the Counter – Two+ Hours

If you don’t want to fiddle with water and go the old-fashioned route, then you can simply plop your pizza dough on the countertop and wait. This is the easiest way to thaw pizza dough as there are no special steps required. Just do the following:

  • Unwrap pizza dough and place it in a large bowl.
  • Cover the pizza with some type of wrap, such as parchment paper.
  • Wait.

The amount of time it takes your dough to thaw will depend on many factors, such as the temperature in your kitchen. I like to keep my home around 70 degrees, which is fairly chilly. But during the wintertime, it could drop below 70. 

As a basic rule of thumb, the colder the kitchen’s temperature, the longer it will take to thaw. Even so, you shouldn’t wait around for your pizza dough to thaw for longer than a few hours. 

4. Thaw in a Bowl of Warm Water – Fastest (About an Hour)

If you don’t want to wait an hour or two with cold water, you can also opt to use warm water. Warm water will work much quicker than cold thanks to the heat. However, make sure you don’t use too hot water. You don’t want to cook the dough accidentally. Instead, do this:

  • Place the dough inside a large bowl. Again, make sure that it is sealed and there is no way for water to seep through.
  • Cover the dough with warm water. The emphasis here is warm. 
  • Replace the water every ten minutes. The chill from the frozen pizza dough is going to cool down the water. Replacing every ten minutes ensures that the temperature is right for thawing.
  • Wait until it’s at room temperature, top, and bake!

5. Not Recommended – Microwave or Oven

The microwave or oven is going to be the fastest way to thaw frozen pizza dough. Do I recommend it, though? Nope. Unless you are very experienced with thawing pizza dough this way, I say stay away from it.

The issue with thawing pizza dough in the microwave or oven is that it has the potential to accidentally cook it, which would render your pizza dough useless. If you want to give it a whirl anyhow, here’s how to do it.

  • Microwave. Keep the pizza dough in the airtight wrapper (not tinfoil). Cook for two 25-second intervals. Then, use the “thaw” setting for three to five minutes. The size of the ball of dough will determine the length of thawing. Keep an eye on it.
  • Oven. Use the lowest setting available (100F) or use the bread proofing option (if available). Place bread on a large baking sheet and let it sit in the oven for about an hour. If still not completely thawed, place in the oven for an additional thirty minutes.


Thawing pizza dough is pretty simple. Whether you use the fridge, counter, or a bowl of water, the key is to make sure there is enough room for the dough to rise and is properly covered. If you still have questions, don’t panic – just keep reading.

How long does pizza dough take to thaw?

It depends on the method you’re using. If you’re using the fridge, it could take 12 or more hours, depending on how cold your fridge is. The fastest way is to simply plop the pizza dough in a bowl of warm water and change the water every ten minutes for about an hour or less.

Will pizza dough rise after being frozen?

Yup! Yeast becomes dormant when it is frozen. However, as the dough begins to thaw, the yeast becomes active and will ferment the flour to produce the necessary gasses for rising. That is why it is critical to keep it covered.

Why did my frozen pizza dough not rise?

Did you keep the dough covered? If not, that is likely the culprit behind your frozen pizza dough not rising. That, or the original recipe was not followed, or it was a bad recipe. Try this easy bread recipe next time!

Final Words

Frozen pizza dough is incredibly handy to have in your freezer. To thaw it, I recommend simply sticking it in the fridge overnight. But if you need it faster, you can use a bowl of cold or warm water. Or simply plop it onto your counter for a few hours!

How do you thaw your frozen pizza dough? How long does it take? Got any tips?

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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