Whether you begin to crave something else right in the middle of baking or simply trying to enhance the flavor of the baked food, preserving dough well is essential. What better way to do that than putting the dough in the fridge?
If you are new to this procedure, you may have concerns about how long dough can last in the fridge.
Although shelf life in the fridge is different for various types of dough, on average, dough lasts about two to five days in the refrigerator as long as it remains sealed in an oiled, airtight container. Its shelf life also depends on the ingredients used.
How long does dough last in the fridge?
Generally, yeasted dough can last about five days in the fridge. Although after three days, the dough begins to harden, losing its overall quality.
The best way to store yeasted dough is to place it in an oiled, airtight container inside the fridge for 2-3 days. This way, you can conveniently prevent over-proofing and drying.
Alternatively, storing the dough in the fridge within the time frame above gives it a more rounded flavor and helps it rise slowly.
Meanwhile, non-yeast or unleavened dough can last about a week in the fridge, but we recommend using it within three or four days after kneading.
How long does bread dough last in the freezer?
Bread dough can last up to a year in the freezer, but it is better to use it earlier, from 2-6 months, as the quality will not have dilapidated yet.
Here’s a quick how-to on freezing bread dough:
- Leave your freshly made bread dough in a greased bowl at room temperature to rise for 45 minutes after kneading.
- Knead the dough again.
- Divide the dough into sizable sections and oil a loaf pan.
- Place the dough into the loaf pan and press it in, covering all spaces.
Another way to freeze your bread dough, replace the loaf pan in step 3 with a greased baking sheet, reshape your dough into rolls, and place them individually on the baking sheet, ensuring they’re not touching one another.
What happens if you leave bread dough in the fridge too long?
It becomes sour. Bread dough can conveniently sit for three days in the fridge.
When you leave bread dough in the fridge for longer than three days, it begins to ferment too much until it becomes too sour.
Can I refrigerate dough after a second rise?
You can, but it is usually better to refrigerate your dough after the first rise. Cooling dough after the first rise enhances the dough’s overall texture and flavor quality.
Can I bake dough straight from the fridge?
You can bake dough straight from the refrigerator. However, only if the oven is roasting would the dough bake evenly. The dough doesn’t necessarily have to reach room temperature.
However, if you’d like your dough to reach room temperature as a right of passage, leave the dough to rise at room temperature for about two to four hours.
What happens if you eat bad dough?
Eating raw dough can result in food poisoning, characterized by slight fever, abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
Eating moldy dough can negatively impact your immune system, trigger allergies, and cause respiratory issues.
Ingesting sourdough can also cause an increase in body temperature.
How can you tell if dough has gone bad?
Like any perishable, dough will eventually go bad. Here are some warning signs you should look out for in your dough if you have doubts.
– Rotten smell
A foul odor is probably the most obvious warning sign of dough undergoing spoilage. If it gives off an unpleasant smell when you open it up or sniff it, you should not eat it. Your dough should smell somewhat fermented, like beer.
– Color change
A healthy dough should be white or off-white. Once your dough begins to change color or acquire grey spots, that’s a sign to get rid of it.
You can tell your dough is going bad if you see mold spots. Don’t hesitate to throw out all the dough if you come across such, even if the mold is just on one side.
– Texture change
A healthy dough shouldn’t feel wet and slimy or dry and cracked. If your dough falls into either category, it has probably gone bad.
Can you use dough that smells like alcohol?
You can use dough that smells like alcohol. It is safe to use dough that smells like alcohol because the alcoholic smell is a product of yeast’s fermentation in the dough.
So, the longer the dough ferments, the more alcoholic it smells.
Why does dough get black spots?
In two words, bran residues.
When bran particles in the dough are exposed to air for a lengthy period, they absorb water, become oxidized, and attain a dark color. This oxidation process occurs when you refrigerate your dough for some days.
Bran residues are pretty common and will disappear while your dough is baking. They shouldn’t be cause for concern.
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I write about the intersection between evolutionary biology and food. I also talk about practical applications, sustainable agriculture, and general tasty things