Refrigerating is detrimental to bread; it's better to freeze it or simply leave it at room temperature. Does the same hold for bread dough?

1 Answer 1


Storing bread and storing bread dough are two entirely different decisions, depending on completely different factors.

Baked bread is a finished product which will keep both in the fridge and in the freezer, but in the fridge, the starch will undergo a special process which makes the bread dry and unpalatable (the same as at room temperature, only quicker). This is why the linked answer tells you to choose a freezer (or for short terms, room temperature).

Bread dough is a living ingredient. If you leave it out at room temperature, your biggest worry is overproofing - letting your yeast colony overcrowd and produce too much waste products, and of the wrong kind. And yeast is still very much active at fridge temperatures, so if you don't want this to happen, you have to stick your dough in the freezer. It hits the "pause" button on biochemical processes, while the fridge doesn't.

This doesn't mean that bread dough cannot go into the refrigerator. If the recipe has been designed to foresee a fridge-temperature proofing step, then you should use the fridge, as prescribed. But then you aren't storing the dough, you are proofing it as part of the recipe (or you are caring for an indefinitely lived preferment, such as a lievito madre). For actual storage purposes - as in, you started baking a recipe that is proofed at room temperature, but realized you have no time to finish it, and will continue later - the fridge will only work if you resume within 6 hours or so, somewhat longer for low-yeast recipes. Else the dough will overproof right in the fridge.

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