How to Tell When Pizza Dough Has Gone Bad

Traditional Italian pizza
Homemade pizza dough can keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Homemade pizza is cheaper, more nutritious and more versatile than the pizza you'd get from the freezer section of the grocery store or the local pizza parlor. The tough part is having the dough prepared and on hand when you want to make pizza in a hurry. One solution is to keep purchased or homemade pizza dough in your refrigerator ready to use when the craving strikes. Stored correctly, refrigerated pizza dough can stay good for up to 2 weeks. For ready-made pizza dough, use the label instructions as your guide for the correct length of storage time.

Step 1

Check the expiration date on the label of commercially purchased pizza dough. Discard pizza dough that is past the displayed date.

Step 2

Smell the pizza dough. Throw out any unused pizza dough that has a sour or unpleasant aroma.

Step 3

Inspect the pizza dough for discolored patches that may be lighter or darker than the surrounding dough or that appear fuzzy or slimy. Discard any pizza dough that has these patches.

Tip

Pizza dough that is slightly gray, has some accumulated liquid on the surface or has become leathery is not bad, assures cookbook authors Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois.

To help you keep track of the shelf life of homemade refrigerated pizza dough, put the dough in a zip-top plastic bag and use a permanent marker to label the outside of the bag with the contents and the date the dough was prepared.

If you have pizza dough that you want to keep longer than two weeks, shape it into 1/2 pound balls, wrap it tightly and store it in a labeled plastic bag in the freezer for up to three weeks.

Warning

If at any time you question whether your refrigerated pizza dough is good to use, it's best to throw it out and purchase or make more. For pizza dough that hasn't reached its expiration date but looks like it has gone bad, take the package to the manager of the establishment where it was purchased.

Store the pizza dough in your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, according to the USDA.

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