How Long To Let Pizza Dough Rise?

When it comes to making homemade pizza, the dough is truly the heart and soul of the finished pie. But how long to let pizza dough rise

While we all want our dough to reach peak perfection, it can be tricky to know exactly how long it needs to rise. Too short, and the crust may end up dense. Too long, and your dough could collapse or be over-fermented, creating off flavors. 

In this blog post, we will walk through the different factors that influence rising time and share my recommended methods for letting your pizza dough rise just the right amount. Let’s start now!

Overview About Pizza Dough

Pizza dough is the foundation of a pizza. It is the base on which all other ingredients are added, making it a crucial component in creating the perfect pizza. 

The origin of pizza is believed to be in Naples, Italy, where it was first created as a simple flatbread topped with herbs and cheese. However, the use of dough as a base for food can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Egyptians.

They used various types of dough, including unleavened and leavened, to create different dishes. The modern pizza dough that we know today is a blend of these ancient techniques and has evolved over the years to become what it is now.

How Long To Let Pizza Dough Rise?

To answer the question: “How long should pizza dough rise?”, you ought to know that the length of time needed for pizza dough to rise will depend on the recipe and the ingredients used. 

However, a good rule of thumb is to allow it to grow until it becomes double in size. This might take between 1-1.5 hours at room temperature or between 12-18 hours overnight in the refrigerator.

Some recipes also call for a second rising after the dough has been shaped into its desired form, adding more time to the rising process. It’s essential to follow the recipe instructions carefully for best results.

Requirements To Let Pizza Dough Rise

One of the key steps in making pizza dough is allowing it to rise. This process involves letting the dough rest in a warm environment, allowing it to ferment and develop flavor. 

It also helps create pockets of air within the dough, making it light and airy when baked. For proper rising, there are a few requirements that need to be met:

1. Warm temperature: Yeast, one of the main ingredients in pizza dough, thrives in warm temperatures. The ideal temperature for yeast activation is between 75 and 90°F (about 24 to 32°C).

2. Moisture: Yeast also requires moisture to activate and grow, so it’s essential to add enough water or other liquids to the dough.

3. Time: Depending on the recipe, pizza dough can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight to rise fully. Patience is key in allowing the dough to rise and develop its flavors.

4. Yeast: Choosing the right type of yeast is crucial for successful rising. Instant yeast or active dry yeast are popular options used in pizza dough recipes.

How Long Does Pizza Dough Sit Out?

After the dough has risen, it’s time to shape and bake it. But if you’re not ready to use the dough immediately, how long can it sit out before being baked?

The recommended time for pizza dough to sit out is no more than 2 hours at room temperature. This is because after rising, the yeast will start to become less active, and the dough will lose its volume and structure. 

If left out for too long, the dough may also develop a sour taste. If you need to leave your pizza dough out for longer than 2 hours, it’s best to cover and refrigerate it. 

This will slow down the fermentation process and keep the dough fresh until you’re ready to use it. Once refrigerated, pizza dough can sit out for up to 18 or 24 hours before baking. 

Rising Times For Different Pizza Doughs

As mentioned, pizza dough’s rising times have been affected by lots of factors such as yeast, hydration, and ambient temperature.

1. Based On Yeast

The rising time for yeast varies depending on the type and the environment in which it is proofed. 

At room temperature (approximately 70–75°F or 21–24°C), the active yeast typically requires 1-2 hours to rise. Conversely, when stored in the fridge at a colder temperature (around 38–40°F or 3–4°C), the rising process tends to be slower (18–24 hours, up to 3 days).

For instant yeast, the rising time at room temperature typically ranges from 45 to 60 minutes. However, when placed in the fridge at a cooler temperature, the rising process extends significantly, requiring approximately 12 to 18 hours, and sometimes up to 2 days, for optimal results.

Fresh yeast, when proofed at room temperature, typically requires a rising time of 2 to 3 hours. However, when refrigerated at a lower temperature, the rising process slows considerably, necessitating a longer timeframe of 24 to 36 hours, and potentially up to 5 days, for full activation.

 Types Of YeastRising Time
At Room Temperature (70-75°F/21-24°C)In The Fridge (38-40°F/3-4°C)
Instant Yeast45-60 minutes12-18 hours (up to 2 days)
Active Yeast1-2 hours18-24 hours (up to 3 days)
Fresh Yeast2-3 hours24-36 hours (up to 5 days)
Sourdough Starter4-6 hours24-48 hours (up to 5 days)

2. Based On Dough Hydration

The purpose of hydrating dough is to generate carbon dioxide gas, facilitating its rise. During the kneading process, these carbon dioxide bubbles become trapped within the gluten structure of the dough, enabling its expansion.

With low hydration (60–65%), it can take 2–3 hours to rise at room temperature, while it needs 12–18 hours, up to 24 hours if it is in the fridge. Because the yeast has to make an effort to generate carbon dioxide gas, resulting in a longer rising period.

Medium-hydration (65-70%) doughs exhibit a good balance of water and flour, which results in a moderate rise time. In particular, the rising time at room temperature is 1.5–2 hours. When refrigerated at colder temperatures, around 38–40°F or 3–4°C, the dough’s moderate hydration level allows for a longer fermentation process, spanning from 18 to 24 hours.

Finally, higher hydration levels enable yeast to produce carbon dioxide gas more effortlessly, accelerating the rising process. It typically undergoes a rising phase lasting approximately 1 to 1.5 hours when left at room temperature and 24-36 hours or up to 5 days in the fridge.

HydrationRising Time
At Room Temperature (70-75°F/21-24°C)In The Fridge  (38-40°F/3-4°C)
Low Hydration (60-65%)2-3 hours12-18 hours (up to 1 day)
Medium Hydration (65-70%)1.5-2 hours18-24 hours (up to 3 days)
High Hydration (70%+)1-1.5 hours24-36 hours (up to 5 days)

3. Based On Ambient Temperature

At different ambient temperatures, the dough requires varying amounts of time to rise both at room temperature and in the refrigerator.

For temperatures ranging from 75–80°F to 24-27°C, the rising time at room temperature is typically 1–1.5 hours, while in the fridge, it extends to 12–18 hours.

At slightly cooler temperatures of 65–70°F or 18–21°C, the dough rises over 1.5–2 hours at room temperature and between 18 and 24 hours in the refrigerator.

For even cooler conditions, around 60-65°F or 16-18°C, the rising time increases to 2-3 hours at room temperature and up to 24-36 hours when refrigerated.

Ambient TemperatureRising Time
At Room TemperatureIn The Fridge
75-80°F/24-27°C1-1.5 hours12-18 hours
65-70°F/18-21°C1.5-2 hours18-24 hours
60-65°F/16-18°C2-3 hours24-36 hours
40-42°F/4-6°C18-24 hours48-72 hours
38-40°F/3-4°C24-36 hours72-96 hours
34-36°F/1-2°C36-48 hours96-120 hours

How To Know Pizza Dough Is Ready?

There are a few different ways to determine if your pizza dough is ready. Here are some methods you can try:

1. Visual Cues

One of the easiest ways to tell if your dough is ready is by looking at it. After kneading, the pizza dough should have a smooth, slightly shiny surface. You can also check for any visible air bubbles on the surface of the dough.

2. Finger Test

The finger test is another popular method for checking pizza dough’s readiness. Simply press your finger gently into the center of the dough and if it springs back, it means that the gluten has developed enough and your dough is ready.

3. Time Test

If you’re following a specific recipe, you can also rely on time as an indicator of readiness. Most recipes will include a recommended proofing time, and it’s best to follow this closely. Normally,  let it rise for about 15 more minutes and check again.

Aside from knowing when your pizza dough is ready, there are a few other things to keep in mind for the perfect crust, such as the dough’s size, jiggle, bubbles, and smoothness.

How Do You Make Pizza Dough Rise Faster?

Knowing how long to let pizza dough rise is one thing. But figuring out how to make it rise faster is another. There are a few ways to speed up the process:

1. Use warm water: Instead of room temperature water, use warm water (around 110°F/43°C) when mixing the ingredients. The warmth will help activate the yeast faster.

2. Add sugar: Adding a small amount of sugar to the dough can help feed the yeast, making it grow and rise quickly.

3. Use instant yeast: Compared to active dry yeast, instant yeast does not require proofing (mixing with warm water) before adding it to the dough. This can save time and speed up the rising process.

4. Place in a warm environment: Placing the dough in a warm, draft-free spot can help speed up the rising process. You can also cover it with a damp cloth to retain moisture.

5. Turn on the oven: Some home cooks like to turn on their oven at the lowest setting for a few minutes, then turn it off and place the dough inside to rise. The residual warmth from the oven can aid in the rising process.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the time needed for pizza dough to rise without compromising its flavor and texture. 

However, it’s important to note that allowing the dough to rise at a slower pace will result in deeper and more complex flavors. So when possible, take your time and let your pizza dough rise naturally. 

Common Mistakes That Prevent Your Dough From Rising

If you’ve followed all the steps and your pizza dough still isn’t rising, here are some common issues that may be preventing it:

1. Old Yeast: If your yeast is past its expiration date, it may not activate properly. Always check the expiration date before using.

2. Cold Water: Using cold water instead of warm water can slow down the activation of yeast. Make sure to use warm water (around 110°F/43°C) for the best results.

3. Improper Kneading: Not kneading the dough enough or over-kneading it can affect gluten development and result in a dense crust.

4. Lack of Moisture: If your pizza dough seems dry, it may not have enough moisture to properly activate the yeast. Try adding a little more water to the dough.

5. Low Temperature: If your kitchen is too cold, it may take longer for the dough to proof. Try placing the dough in a warmer area or near a heat source.

What Occurs When Pizza Dough Is Allowed To Rise Very Long?

You’ve got the answer to the question: “How long does pizza dough need to rise?”. But what happens if it rises for a long time?

While it’s always better to let the dough rise at a slower pace, leaving it to rise for an extended period won’t necessarily ruin your pizza. However, there are a few things that can occur when pizza dough is allowed to rise very long:

1. Over-proofing: This happens when the dough has risen beyond its peak and starts to deflate. Over-proofed dough will be too soft and difficult to shape, resulting in a flat and dense pizza.

2. Sour taste: Long fermentation can result in a tangy or sour flavor as the yeast continues to produce gases and acids. This is not necessarily a bad thing and can even add depth to the pizza’s flavor profile. However, it may not be suitable for everyone’s taste.

3. Longer baking time: When dough has risen for a long time, it may take longer to bake in the oven. This is because the gluten structure has weakened, making it harder for the dough to expand and rise further during baking.

Overall, allowing pizza dough to rise for an extended period can result in changes in flavor and texture. It’s important to keep track of the rising time and not let it go beyond what the recipe recommends. 

Some Tips To Keep Your Pizza Dough From Rising Too Long

I’ve given you the problems with your pizza dough if it is allowed to rise too long. Now, we will explore some useful tips to prevent this. 

1. Keep an eye on the dough: As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to keep track of the rising time and not let it go beyond what the recipe recommends. Set a timer if needed.

2. Use less yeast: If you know that you won’t be able to bake your pizza within the recommended time frame, consider using less yeast in your dough to slow down the rising process.

3. Refrigerate the dough: If you need to pause the rising process, place the dough in the refrigerator. This will slow down fermentation and extend the time needed for it to rise.

4. Plan ahead: Instead of waiting until the last minute to make pizza dough, plan ahead and allow enough time for it to rise naturally at a slower pace. You can even make the dough a day in advance and refrigerate it until ready to use.

By following these tips, you will make sure how long to let pizza dough rise for just the right amount of time, resulting in a delicious and well-structured crust. 

Remember, patience is key if you want to make great pizza dough. So take your time, enjoy the process, and savor every bite of your homemade pizza.


In conclusion, understanding how long to let pizza dough rise is an integral part of the pizza-making process. The rising process is crucial in achieving the desired texture and flavor in your homemade pizza.

Keep in mind that patience is key, and allowing the dough to rise naturally at a slower pace will produce deeper and more complex flavors. 

Whether you’re in a rush or have time to spare, these guidelines on how to let pizza dough rise will enable you to create a pizza of superior quality in your kitchen.

Leave a Comment