Trader Joe has been an integral part of American pop culture since its foundation in 1958, in Pasadena, California. It has received numerous awards and honors, and currently has around 500 stores across the United States. Its pizza dough is currently one of its staples, and it’s basically pre-made dough that has a similar shelf life to bread and that you only have to stretch and bake. It’s usually sold refrigerated, though it can also be sold alongside other frozen Italian food items. You can also buy their pizza sauce jar to complete the combo. If you have bought a large batch of this product, you may be thinking about these questions. Can you freeze Trader Joe pizza dough? How long can it last in the fridge?
You can freeze Trader Joe pizza dough. And in some cases, you should! In fact, it’s a very easy process and doesn’t take much thinking nor effort.
You may be surprised by how easy this actually is. Just take your dough pack and store it as if it came from the grocery store into the freezer. There is absolutely no prior preparation needed.
If you already opened the package, you can transfer the dough to an airtight container or bag and seal it. You can also stretch and prepare the dough and, just when you’re ready to add ingredients, allow it to flash freeze for a couple of hours instead. Then wrap it carefully but exhaustively in plastic wrap, making sure no gap is left behind and store it in the freezer. Optionally, you could also transfer the wrapped dough to a freezer bag for additional protection. Adding ingredients to the flattened pizza dough before freezing is not recommended as you may risk the integrity and consistency of the recipe, since some ingredients don’t freeze well.
You can also freeze the dough as balls using the same method described above. And it may actually be easier that way. The difference is that you will have to thaw the dough before you can flatten it when you want to cook it.
Provided that you followed the methods outlined above, there should be no discernible change in taste and texture. It also depends on how long you left the dough in the freezer, but it should be okay when used within its “best by” period.
Some sources claim that already thawed pizza dough (even on the counter) can be frozen again with no discernible differences in taste and texture. One of the main concerns many people may have about refreezing the dough is how it affects the yeast. So, to answer the question, I’m tempted to say yes, just don’t do it too often and try not to leave the thawed dough for too long at room temperature so as to not attract bad bacteria to it.
In the fridge, it’s recommended to not leave the pizza dough there for longer than 2 days. Usually, pizza dough should last over a week in the refrigerator, but since this one is bought pre-made, there is a good chance that it already spent a good amount of time under intermittent temperature changes and chances are that bad bacteria may start to build up.
In the freezer, the pizza dough is able to endure up to 3 months without considerable loss in quality, although it’s normally in its best shape within the first month. Nevertheless, the dough will not spoil in the freezer as bacteria is deactivated at this temperature.
Pizza dough doesn’t require a particular thawing method, and some sources actually agree that it’s okay to defrost on the counter, as long as it’s not uncovered. I personally prefer doing it the safe way and leave it resting in the fridge for a day. If you’re not ready to wait that long, you can also thaw it in the microwave by using the defrost function, and use the dough right after.
If you have the frozen pizza dough stretched and ready to bake, you have the option of taking it out of the freezer, remove the wrappings, add the ingredients and place the pizza in the oven preheated to approximately 500º F. Just a word of advice. Thawed pizza crust cooks faster and better than frozen pizza crust, and the texture will turn a little crispier, though it should still be thoroughly enjoyable in the end.