How Long is Wheat Dough Good For in the Fridge?

After kneading the dough, no baker would like to see it over ferment or deteriorate in quality. You won’t enjoy the bread or pizza made from such dough.

So how you store your dough is vital. If you store it correctly, you’ll get the desired outcome. The dough can over ferment when you don’t keep an eye on it or store it properly. The dough can also deteriorate in quality in the fridge or freezer.

Now, the question is, how long wheat dough good for in the fridge? We’ll answer this question and provide detailed information about dough handling to help you make the best decision.

So, are you ready? Let’s get down to business.

How Long Can We Keep the Wheat Dough in the Fridge?

You can leave your wheat dough in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. But it is best to use it within 48 hours. It doesn’t matter if your reason for storing the dough in the refrigerator is to slow down the rise or let it absorb more unique flavors. 

Additionally, avoid abandoning wheat dough in the fridge.  Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t become over-proofed or under-proofed. 

A Handy Tip: Keep in mind that over-proofed dough won’t deliver great results when used for baking. And the same goes for underproofed dough. It won’t expend when used for baking. 

Overproofed dough collapses because of its weakened gluten structure and excessive gas production. 

Under-proof dough, on the other hand, doesn’t yet have enough carbon dioxide or doesn’t produce enough that would enable the dough to rise. 

Furthermore, over-proofed dough is dough allowed to rise for too long. So, keep an eye on your dough after kneading to get the best result.

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Does Refrigerated Dough Go Bad?

Yes, the refrigerated dough can go bad. The dough can only last a few days in the fridge before it starts going bad. However, the ingredients used to make the dough will determine how long it will last in the fridge. 

You cannot use ingredients like egg and milk-based ones and expect the dough to last long at room temperature. Because of these ingredients, your dough will only stay for a couple of hours. 

But, generally, the standard dough can hold up in the refrigerator for 5-10 days. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to use the dough as quickly as possible. There’s no need to store it this long. 

A Handy Tip: What bakers mean by standard dough is one that boasts traditional ingredients, such as salt, flour, yeast, and water. This dough usually lasts longer, given the ingredients used in making it. 

You can see that nothing in this dough regarding ingredients can go rancid quickly. So it does last longer. 

The dough doesn’t go bad within a short time unless it has been contaminated before you kept it in the fridge. 

Overproofed dough can also be referred to as spoiled dough because you can’t use it for baking. This condition also happens when you store dough for a long time. 

After the first week of storage, the yeast would have used up all resources it deploys to cause the dough to rise. Thus, when you bake such dough, it will collapse instead of rising. Why? The dough has been over-proofed. 

Can You Freeze Whole Wheat Flour?

Yes, you can. Keep whole wheat flour in the freezer if you want it to last long. Storing whole wheat flour in the freezer is best because it boasts natural oils that can cause spoilage faster. 

A Handy Tip: Whole wheat flour boasts some or all of its bran and germ. And as you already know, germ and bran are rich in nutrients and natural oils. 

So they can go bad or rancid faster. Additionally, the germ and bran make these flours a tastier snack for pests when stored in the pantry. 

Now, you can see that the best place to store whole wheat flour is in the freezer. It will stay fresh for many months there.  

How Long Does Whole Wheat Flour Last?

How long whole flour last depends on how you package and store them. An opened bag of whole wheat flour can last for months if stored properly. 

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Places you can store wheat flour and how long it would last.

  • Pantry – You can expect your whole wheat flour to last within 1 to 3 months in the pantry. 
  • Fridge – Whole wheat flour will last 6 to 8 months in the refrigerator. 
  • Freezer – Your whole wheat flour can last up to a year in the freezer. 

Note that refined or all-purpose flours last longer than whole wheat flour. These flours can even stay fresh for over two years. 

You can increase your whole wheat flour’s shelf-life by taking simple things. Store the flour in an airtight container, and keep it away from sunlight if stored in the pantry.

Keep in mind that sunlight not only generates heat. It can also cause oxidation. 

How Do You Keep Dough Fresh in the Fridge?

Keeping dough fresh in the fridge depends massively on the material used, including how you store the dough. 

Below are the materials you need to store the dough in the fridge and ensure it stays fresh for a considerable period.

  • Oil
  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap
  • Clean towel
  • Self-sealing Plastic bag 

Step 1: Place dough in a mixing bowl

Placing the dough in a plastic bag is the first step to keeping the bowl fresh for later use. You can also set the dough in the self-sealing bag if you don’t have a mixing bowl. 

Ensure the bowl or plastic bag is twice as large as the dough. Then, cover the plastic bag or bowl with oil (apply oil lightly) to prevent the dough from sticking. 

Step 2: Get the dough covered

You have to cover the dough before transferring it to the fridge. Use a plastic bag to protect it if you’re using a mixing bowl, and ensure it is tight and well-sealed. 

Step 3: Keep an eye on the dough

Monitoring your dough will help prevent it from becoming over-proofed or under-proofed. So keep an eye on your dough once transferred to the fridge. 

Allow it to remain in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours (use within this period for best quality). Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it rest for a while before you start baking. 

Ways To Preserve Wheat Dough

Use the tips below to preserve the quality of your wheat dough.

1: Store dough in an airtight container

Store your dough in an airtight container or zip lock bag before transferring it to the fridge to prevent spoilage.

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2: Put light oil on the dough’s surface

You can preserve your dough by covering the surface with a thin layer of oil. Doing so will help prevent the dough from spoilage.  

3: Put the dough in aluminum foil or cling film

You can use aluminum foil if you don’t have cling film. The priority is to cover the dough thoroughly before putting it in a container. 

Please cover completely to ensure there’s no air bubble left inside the covered dough.

4: Use water wisely

Avoid adding excess water while kneading your dough, as it could cause the dough to spoil faster. Add smaller quantities of water gradually. 

You can always add dry flour if you think the dough is too watery. 

How Long Can You Keep Bread Dough in the Fridge?

You can store your bread dough in the fridge for 3 days after kneading it. But keep in mind that the best time to use your dough is within 48 hours. You’ll get the best quality during this period. 

However, always cover your dough tightly before transferring it to the fridge. You can use the tips discussed on how to preserve dough.

Eating dough that has spoiled is not safe. You have to discard such dough. And below are simple ways to know if your dough has spoiled. 

1: When the dough produces a foul smell

How does your dough smell? Does it smell rancid? If you sniff the dough and discover it smells rancid, consider discarding it.

However, note that not all dough that gives off such a smell has spoiled. The fermentation process can cause the dough to smell like alcohol, beer, and even sour. So if your dough smells like alcohol, it’s still safe to use. 

2: Mold or bacteria growth

Observe the dough. Do you see any visible signs or patches of mold or bacteria? If there is, you need to discard such dough immediately. 

Conclusion: How long is wheat dough good for in the fridge?

The primary determinant is storage. How you package the dough will determine if it will last longer. 

However, dough packaged adequately and stored in the fridge will last 3 to 5 days. But the best time to use dough kept in the refrigerator is within 48 hours. 

You can also store whole wheat flour in the freezer to increase its shelf-life. Note that whole wheat flour boasts natural oils that can become rancid fast. You can prevent this from happening when you freeze the flour. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)