How Long Can You Keep Bread Dough In The Fridge?

There’s something magical about the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the kitchen, captivating our senses and promising a delightful treat for our taste buds.

For avid bakers and bread enthusiasts, the process of kneading, proofing, and baking dough is a cherished ritual that leads to the creation of delectable loaves.

But what if you find yourself with a surplus of dough or need to plan ahead for a busy week? Fear not, because the refrigerator can be your secret weapon in extending the lifespan of your bread dough.

Bread dough is a living entity, a symphony of yeast, flour, water, and flavorings that requires proper care and attention to reach its full potential.

While freshly mixed dough should ideally be shaped and baked promptly, sometimes life’s demands or unforeseen circumstances may call for a delay.

Luckily, the refrigerator can help slow down the fermentation process and give you the flexibility to bake your bread whenever it suits you best.

How Long Is Bread Dough Good For In The Fridge?

A properly stored loaf of bread dough will last up to 3 days in the fridge. In order to achieve the best results, the dough should be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag.

By doing so, you will be able to keep the dough fresh for up to three days without it drying out. After that, you should discard the dough.

To prevent the dough from becoming hard and difficult to work with, it is important to keep the dough at a temperature that is not too cold.

In addition, dough should be kept away from strong-smelling foods, as the odor can transfer to it and affect its taste. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days if you keep it in the right environment.

Factors To Consider

Having said that, I can tell you from my experience that not all dough can be refrigerated without spoiling. Ingredients determine the shelf life of dough.

Salt, flour, yeast, and oil can extend the shelf life of dough. Nevertheless, dough containing dairy products and eggs is more likely to go bad faster since bacteria can easily grow on it.


If you properly store the fresh dough at 20°F at a core temperature of 0°F, it can last up to three months.

The first step is to incorporate the yeast and let it rise. Prepare the dough for freezing and roll it into a ball. When freezing the whole batch, divide it into at least two portions.

Properly Stored

Keeping the dough in an airtight container will ensure that it keeps its quality and taste for three days.

If you flatten yeast, it may double in size in a day. You can seal the dough if you can’t use it within 24 hours.

With Yeast

Yeast dough can be stored in the fridge for three days, but it is best to use it within 48 hours of making it.

Cover and chill your dough after kneading it in greased bowls. Once every 24 hours, punch down the dough after it has been in the refrigerator for one hour.

Without Yeast

It is possible to store dough without yeast in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if it is wrapped in plastic to prevent drying. The dough without yeast can also be frozen for up to three weeks and used as needed.

Can You Freeze Bread Dough?

It is possible to freeze bread dough. You can save time and money by freezing bread dough. The dough will stay fresh for up to three months when frozen.

The dough should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator and allowed to come to room temperature before shaping and baking. As a result, you’ll always have freshly baked bread on hand.

All yeast-bread doughs can be refrigerated. After you have kneaded the dough, before it has risen, oil it lightly, cover with plastic wrap or use a ziplock, and refrigerate.

Until the dough has reached refrigerator temperature, the yeast action will slow down as it cools in the refrigerator.

After that, the yeast is still active, but it is working very slowly. Therefore, if you keep the dough in the fridge for the first few hours, you may need to punch it down a bit, because the yeast may still be active.

The dough may not need any further attention after it has completely cooled, but you should still check it every 12 hours or so.

It can be punched down at any time if it grows to double its original size. If babysat like this for up to three or four days, most doughs will be fine.

When the dough is ready for baking, punch it down again (if necessary), shape, and let it rise as if it hadn’t been in the refrigerator.

Since the dough will be at room temperature for a longer period of time, it will take longer to rise, but it will be ready to bake when it looks like a non-refrigerated dough of the same type.

Do your usual baking. There are probably exceptions to the basic rules I’ve laid out, but I’ve never had a problem using yeast-bread dough in this way.

Can It Be Left Out At Room Temperature?

You can leave bread dough at room temperature for up to four hours, but it should not be left out longer than that. Leaving the dough out too long will cause it to become over-risen and not produce a high-quality product.

Besides allowing bacteria to grow, leaving the dough out can lead to contamination, making it unfit for consumption. In this case, following the recipe instructions is crucial to ensuring the dough is left out for the right amount of time.

Will The Dough Get Bad If Not Stored In The Fridge?

That’s right. I place the dough in the fridge after preparing it, as it proofs faster in a warm room. It was two years ago that I learned that heat increases yeast activity and gas production.

Dough shelf life depends on yeast content and room temperature. 12 hours after proofing, you can bake and eat the basic dough. You can slow the fermentation of bread by storing it somewhere cold if you can’t keep it in the fridge.

How Long Can Bread Dough Proof In The Fridge?

Depending on the recipe, you can proof bread dough for as long as five days in the fridge.

The dough will rise slowly and evenly as a result of this slow fermentation process. Also, the cold temperature prevents the dough from over-proofing, so the finished loaf tastes better.

To prevent the dough from drying out, store it in an airtight container. Before baking, check the dough for signs of spoilage if it has been left for more than five days.

Why Should You Not Keep It Longer?

The refrigerated dough will go bad if you keep it for an extended period of time. Eggs and dairy products spoil more quickly than flour, salt, and yeast dough. Three days is the best time to use the dough.

The dough doubles in size within 2-4 hours at room temperature. It is possible for the dough to deflate if it is left overnight. Refrigerate it for best results.

How To Know If It Has Gone Bad?

  • Mold Growth: Mold is an indication that bread dough has gone bad if it grows on it.
  • Slimy Texture: A slimy texture indicates that the bread dough has gone bad.
  • Change in Color: A change in color indicates that the dough has gone bad.
  • Unpleasant Smell: Bad bread dough has an unpleasant smell.

Tips On How To Properly Store Bread Dough

  • Make sure the dough is thawed overnight in the refrigerator before using.
  • In a large zipper-top bag or plastic container, store the dough in the freezer if you plan to store it for more than three days.
  • Place the dough in a large zipper-top bag or plastic container in the refrigerator if you plan to use it within three days.
  • Placing the dough in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap is recommended if you intend to use it within 48 hours.
  • Covered dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours if it is going to be used within that period of time.
  • The dough can be stored for three days in the refrigerator.
  • You can place the dough in a large zipper-top bag or plastic container after it has been wrapped in plastic wrap.

What Happens If You Leave Bread Dough In The Fridge For Too Long?

A fridge-refrigerated dough can develop a sour taste if left too long. The texture may also be gummy.

How Long Can Sourdough Stay In The Fridge?

As long as it is properly stored and covered, sourdough can be kept in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Can You Refrigerate Bread Dough After It Has Risen?

After the dough has risen, it can be refrigerated. The dough should be refrigerated in an airtight container and allowed to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator.

As a result, the finished bread will have a better texture and will have a more intense flavor.

Why Is Your Refrigerated Dough Not Rising?

If your refrigerated dough isn’t rising, there are several possible causes.

It could be that you don’t use enough yeast, don’t let the dough come to room temperature before you bake it, add too much salt, don’t knead the dough properly, or don’t proof the dough long enough.

Can You Refrigerate The Dough After It Rises?

The dough can be refrigerated after it has risen. You can use this method to slow down the rising process and give yourself more time to work with the dough.

Is It Better To Freeze Or Refrigerate The Dough?

For large quantities of dough, refrigeration is the best option. Due to the death of some yeast in the freezer, yeast dough will not rise as well if frozen.

How Do You Keep Dough Fresh In The Fridge?

In order to keep your dough fresh in the fridge, there are a number of ways to go about it. The dough can be covered with plastic wrap or placed in an airtight or resealable container.

Can Dough Stay In The Fridge For A Week?

It’s not a good idea to keep dough in the refrigerator for a week. Dough keeps in the refrigerator for about three days. However, it is best if it is used within 48 hours of being stored.

Final Words

If you want to avoid any potential health risks, you should use or discard bread dough after five days in the refrigerator.

For longer shelf life, it is best to freeze the dough if you plan to keep it longer than five days. You can freeze bread dough for up to three months if it is properly stored.

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