Can Dough Over Proof In The Fridge

Dough proofing is an essential part of bread making. It’s also a technique used in other types of baking such as pizza dough.

When you’re ready to bake, you want to ensure that your dough has enough gluten strength to hold its shape. If you’ve ever tried to roll out a ball of dough and it just falls apart, you know that there’s too much gluten.

But what happens if you overproof your dough and then refrigerate it before shaping it into loaves or rolls? Can the excess moisture be absorbed by the refrigerator air, causing the dough to rise too much when baked? Or will the extra water cause the dough to collapse on itself during fermentation? I decided to find out!

Can Dough Over Proof In The Fridge?

Dough proofing is a technique used to prevent dough from rising too much during its first rise. It is done by placing the dough in a warm place where the temperature is between 70°F and 80°F.

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The dough can overproof in the refrigerator, but if you’re cautious, it won’t happen. The amount of time it may survive before over-proofing is largely determined by the amount of yeast employed. A ball of dough may stay up to a week in the fridge without over-proofing if you don’t use too much yeast.

When the yeast runs out of sugars and starches to feed on, this is known as over-proofing. As a result, the dough only rises a little and does not brown correctly while baking. When too much yeast is introduced, it quickly depletes its resources, causing the increase to accelerate. This results in a very large loaf with a dense crumb.

If you have leftover dough after using all the yeast for one batch of bread, you should freeze it instead of letting it sit at room temperature. Freezing prevents any further growth because the enzymes are inactive once frozen. You’ll need to thaw the dough before using it again.

If you want to learn how to make bread at home, then you should read this article. It has all the information you need to get started.

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How Long Can You Keep Dough In The Fridge?

You can keep the dough in the freezer indefinitely. However, freezing causes some changes in the structure of the proteins within the flour. These structural changes affect the way the dough behaves when cooked. For example, the protein strands become more rigid than they were prior to being frozen.

Retarding Dough: Overnight Refrigeration | The Home Pizzeria

This means that the texture of the finished product might change slightly depending upon whether the dough was stored in the freezer or kept at room temperature. In addition, the flavor profile of the final product could vary based on which storage method was chosen. So, although you can store the dough in the freezer indefinitely, we recommend storing it in the refrigerator until needed.

The most basic dough, consisting only of flour, water, salt, and yeast, has the longest shelf life in the fridge, lasting up to a week with some yeast activity. If you leave it any longer, the yeast’s food supply will be exhausted, but you’ll still have bread dough that you can bake and enjoy. If you chose to bake it, keep in mind that it will not rise. However, there are other ingredients that can extend the shelf life of your dough even further.

Some people add sugar, milk powder, butter, eggs, oil, etc., to their doughs. They do so to improve the taste and appearance of the end product. But these additions also slow down the rate at which the yeast consumes the available carbohydrates. Therefore, the dough will last longer in the fridge.

Enriched dough with extra ingredients such as milk and eggs will have a lower shelf life since it contains readily spoilable components. While yeast activity can last for up to a week, components like milk can spoil fast, therefore baking and eating enhanced dough after it has been in the fridge for more than 5 days is not recommended.

Tips For Storing Your Dough In The Fridge

To ensure that your homemade bread lasts long enough to eat, follow these tips:

Keep the dough refrigerated. Bread dough needs to stay cold to prevent fermentation from occurring prematurely. To maintain optimal conditions, place the dough into an airtight container and seal tightly. Store the sealed container in the refrigerator.

Use fresh yeast. Yeast loses potency if left sitting around for extended periods of time. Make sure to use active dry yeast rather than instant yeast. Active dry yeast must first be dissolved in warm liquid before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. Instant yeast does not require pre-soaking; simply mix it directly into the wet mixture.

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Use whole wheat flour. Whole grain flours contain complex sugars that help protect against bacterial contamination. This makes them less likely to go bad quickly.

Use Less Yeast For A Slower Rise

If you want to make a loaf of bread that rises slowly, then reduce the amount of yeast used by half. You may need to increase the amount of leavening agent to compensate for this reduction. Alternatively, you can choose to omit one of the two rising agents altogether.

Adding less yeast will result in a slower rise because the gluten network formed during kneading cannot stretch out as much when the dough is underbaked. As a consequence, the crust won’t develop its characteristic chewy structure. It will instead remain soft and tender.

Slower rise is very important if you’re thinking of refrigerating your dough overnight or for several hours. When stored properly, the dough should retain its shape without collapsing. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to handle and form into loaves.

Use An Appropriate Container

Making use of a proper container is necessary to store your dough safely. Ideally, the container should be made of glass or plastic. These materials allow light to penetrate through the walls, preventing mold growth on the surface of the dough. Avoid using metal containers, especially aluminum ones, as they react chemically with certain foods.

Store the container upright. Do not stack the containers together. Instead, lay each container flat on top of another. This prevents condensation buildup inside the container.

Avoid storing the container near heat sources. Heat causes moisture to evaporate faster, which leads to the rapid deterioration of baked goods. If possible, keep the container away from direct sunlight.

Keep It Airtight

Bread dough requires oxygen to ferment. Therefore, it’s best to avoid letting any air gets trapped between layers of dough. Use only clean hands when handling the dough so there are no bacteria present. Also, do not touch the sides of the container while mixing the dough.

When ready to bake, remove all excess water from the dough. Place the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface. Gently pat down the dough until it reaches about 1/4 inch thick. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or an inverted bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Keep An Eye On It

After resting, check the dough every 15 minutes. Remove the cover and gently press down on the center of the dough. If bubbles appear, let the dough continue proofing. However, if the dough appears too firm, place it back in the refrigerator immediately.

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Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down again. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a greased baking sheet. Bake according to the instructions below.

It’s Safer To Refrigerate On The First Rise, Not The Second

The first rise occurs after adding the yeast to the flour mixture. During this time, the yeast begins to multiply and create carbon dioxide gas. Once the dough doubles in volume, the second rise takes place.

This means that once the dough has risen enough to fill up the entire pan, it needs to rest before being shaped and placed in the oven. Storing the dough over-proofed could cause the dough to collapse due to insufficient rising power.

If you want to make sure that your bread rises well, follow these steps:

1) Make sure that the dough is completely cool.

2) Add the yeast directly to the flour mixture. Mix thoroughly but don’t overmix.

3) Allow the dough to double in bulk.

4) Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal portions.

5) Form one portion into a loaf and set it aside.

6) Roll out the other half of the dough and shape it into a round loaf. Transfer it to a greased cookie sheet.

7) Repeat Steps 4 – 6 twice more.

8 ) After the final shaping step, brush the tops of the loaves with egg wash. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds.

9) Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Proofing can be tricky because it depends on many factors such as ambient humidity levels, how much space the dough occupies, etc. But by following our tips above, you should have better luck next time!

Have questions about making homemade pizza crust? Check out our guide here. And if you’re looking for some inspiration, take a look at these delicious recipes we’ve rounded up for you.

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