pizza dough - how long can I keep it?
We've been having the most amazing pizzas lately. I've been making the dough and then using it within 2 hours.
We're going out of town this weekend to visit family - it's about a 5 hour drive - and we'd like to make pizza with them when we arrive. My nieces will love it. Problem is, the dough. Ideally, I'd like to make it the night before - as I'll be at work in the morning and then leaving for our trip at noon. Is this possible? If so, do I make it and then leave it in the fridge overnight? Or, do I freeze it and allow it to thaw as we drive (either way, it will be in a cooler)?
Or, is this too ambitious and the dough will be ruined?
Thanks for any advice.
Pizza dough is totally fine to keep in the fridge. In fact aging your dough in the fridge for a day or two can have great results.
In your case freezing probably is the best way to go, since if your cooler isn't cold enough to retard fermentation your dough will over-rise during a 5 hour voyage.
To safely freeze dough, coat your dough in a very thin layer of olive oil and then pop it in a freezer bag. I do this all the time with my doughs because it allows me to make huge batches of dough and then get individual balls out of the freezer as needed. The dough can be slowly thawed in the fridge (or in your case the cooler).
Dough can keep for days in the fridge, and gets better. I make my dough and let it ferment in the fridge for 2-3 days before using (or freezing). After the fridge, you should let it rest on the counter at least 2 hours before using it.
Assuming you want to use it the night you arrive, you can let it rest at room temp in your car, no need for a cooler.
I make mine but also buy from my local pizza guy. It keeps good either way as graydyn mentioned in the fridge. In a cooler should be just fine. But also a good rec with the freezing. But me. I would put my dough at the bottom of the cooler.
And here is a tip. I always fill a plastic large baggie with some water but only 1/3 the way, just a small layer on the bottom and lay flat. Then lay your dough already in the small baggie just inside the big baggie. It has that thin layer of ice on the bottom and will keep it icy cold for the trip. I do this all the time.
But freezing will work but I prefer not too if possible. 5 hours is good and iced is usually cooler than your fridge.