When it comes to making bread, one of the most important steps is leaving it to rise. But what is the best way to store bread dough as it rises? Is it safe to store bread dough overnight?
Here’s our guide for the best way to store bread dough overnight.
Can You Store Bread Dough Overnight?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, storing bread dough overnight might be the better option. Generally, recipes will recommend leaving bread dough for at least 2 to 3 hours. But this is usually because people don’t have the patience for waiting overnight.
It is also because leaving it to rise for 2 to 3 hours is just enough. But, generally speaking, the longer you leave the dough, the better the bread will be. This is because the yeast has more time to work within the dough.
But, be prepared. The dough will rise a lot overnight. So you need to consider the container in which you keep it.
You would normally leave bread dough on the counter under a tea towel to rise. But this isn’t the best idea if you’re going to leave it overnight. So there are a few more things to consider than usual.
Read on to check out our guide for the best way to store bread overnight.
How to Store Bread Dough Overnight
Most recipes will recommend leaving bread dough to rise in a well-oiled bowl covered in a tea towel. This should also be in a warm and dry place. These are the best conditions for yeast to activate and begin to work.
But, the longer you leave the dough to rise, the longer you will give the yeast to work. This will make the bread bigger and fluffier. So, if you are trying to make your bread thick and fluffy, leaving it overnight is a great idea.
But, what should you leave it in and where should you leave it?
As we mentioned above, the bread will continue to rise overnight. This means that it needs a big container, otherwise it will overspill.
Although we said that leaving bread dough to rise overnight will allow it to become thicker and fluffier, there is a limit to this. It is possible for bread dough to overprove. This means that it’s a good idea to leave bread dough in the refrigerator.
Although it’s a good idea, you don’t really need to leave bread dough in the refrigerator. But keeping it in a cool place, such as the refrigerator, will slow down the work of the yeast.
This is why recipes will tell you to leave the dough in a warm place to encourage the yeast to work quickly.
So, what about the container? This depends on the size of the dough. If you’re making a relatively average loaf of bread, then you can easily leave it in the bowl you mixed the dough in. Especially if you’re planning on leaving it in the refrigerator to delay the rise.
To make sure it doesn’t get stuck to the bowl, make sure to oil the inside of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or some cellophane. But make sure that the cellophane doesn’t completely seal the bowl. The yeast will need oxygen in order to work properly.
For How Long Can You Store Bread Dough?
Can you leave bread dough for longer than just overnight? If you have made more than you need, it can be infuriating as you might not know what to do with a big lump of raw dough. (Although it is delicious, there is only so much bread you can eat before it goes stale).
If kept in the refrigerator, bread dough can last for around 3 days. Any longer than this and it won’t bake properly and it can begin to fall. To make sure you get the best out of your bread dough, try to bake it within 48 hours.
Although you can store bread dough out on the countertop, or just in a warm place (on top of the washing machine is often tipped as a good place). But this shouldn’t be for longer than a few hours.
To make sure it keeps properly, make sure to store the dough in a refrigerator.
When you’re leaving the bread dough to rise, it’s best to make sure it has enough access to oxygen. But, if the dough has risen enough and you simply want to keep it to bake another day, then it’s a good idea to cover it completely in cellophane.
This will stop it from rising too much. But it will also stop it from going bad (for a little while at least). Or you can use other eco-friendly alternatives such as silicone dish covers.
Bread dough is difficult to store as it is so sticky. Make sure to keep the container well-oiled.
Can You Freeze Bread Dough?
Surprisingly, yes you can! If you don’t think that you will be able to use the bread dough within 48 hours, it’s a good idea to freeze it.
To freeze the bread dough, place it on a well-oiled baking tray or in a well-oiled bread tin. Once it has completely frozen, place it inside a freezer bag or (for a more eco-friendly option) a reusable plastic container.
Frozen bread dough can be kept for up to 6 months. This is great if you enjoy freshly baked bread but don’t enjoy making it as much. Freezing bread dough is a great way to make sure that it doesn’t go bad before you can use it.
But it’s also an easy way to regularly have freshly baked bread. To defrost the bread dough, place it on a baking tray or in a bowl. Then cover it with a tea towel as you would with freshly made bread dough.
In the freezer, the bread dough will likely have shrunk. Leave the dough until it has doubled in size and completely defrosted. Then bake it as you normally would.