How to Defrost Bread Dough in a Microwave

Gone are the days when you had to knead fresh dough each time you needed to bake bread. Now, you have the option of kneading bread dough months in advance and storing it in the freezer for later.

Alternatively, you could buy frozen bread dough from the grocery store, which is just as good. Whichever option you choose, you need to know how to defrost the dough before baking.

The fastest way to do this is using a microwave.

So,here is how to defrost bread dough in a microwave.

Spray some cooking oil onto a microwave-safe plate and place your bread dough on the plate. Spray some more oil on the dough and then cover with a plastic wrap. Microwave on the defrost setting for 3 to 5 minutes, flip the dough, and then reheat at 1-minute intervals until it is thawed.

In this article, we will explore more about frozen bread dough and break down the process of defrosting bread dough in a microwave into simple steps. I will also suggest some helpful tips to ensure that you get the perfect results every time. Frequently asked questions about thawing frozen bread dough will also be answered here.

First Things First, What is Frozen Bread Dough?

As the name suggests, frozen bread dough is pre-kneaded bread dough preserved by freezing. It is prepared using the same ingredients as regular bread dough: flour, yeast, oil, water, and salt. However, rather than leave the dough to rise ultimately, it is immediately stored away in a freezer in its final form after the first rise.

Grocery stores provide a variety of frozen bread doughs, saving you the hassle of buying individual ingredients and kneading the dough yourself. Nonetheless, if you prefer to do it yourself, it can be just as good as the store-bought dough.

Preparing the dough yourself gives you the freedom to get creative and experiment with different unique recipes. Just ensure that you indicate the date on your frozen dough to confirm that it is still safe to bake.

This frozen dough can be used to bake more than just bread. You can also use it to prepare doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, pizza, sticky buns, dinner rolls, and other pastries that use the same essential ingredients as bread.

Perhaps you may be wondering whether it is easier to freeze bread dough or bake more bread and freeze it that way. Sure, freezing bread seems more convenient. But, if you freeze batches of bread dough, you can enjoy fresh, hot pastries every time. Frozen bread doesn’t live up to the same standard.

Frozen bread dough is rock hard, and you need to defrost it before baking. Here is how:

A Guide to Defrosting Bread Dough in a Microwave

You can defrost bread dough in many ways, but using a microwave is undoubtedly the most efficient method. However, it is not as simple as tossing it in and cranking up the heat. You need to know precisely which steps to follow to get the best results.

Step 1 – Cut the Dough into Equal Sections

This step applies to pastries that require you to section the dough, for instance, if you are making buns or dinner rolls. You can easily slice through frozen dough using a knife. Cutting up the dough before thawing will ensure that the sections defrost evenly and therefore get evenly baked.

Step 2 – Spray some cooking oil on a microwave-safe plate

Spray some cooking on the microwave-safe plate that you will use. Drizzling a little oil and spreading it with a brush or using the palm of your hand works just as well if you do not have cooking oil spray. This thin layer of oil will prevent your dough from sticking to the plate as it defrosts. Just be careful not to use too much grease, leading to greasy pastries.

Step 3 – Place the dough on the plate and coat with a thin layer of oil

Place your frozen bread dough on the oiled plate without overlapping any pieces. Spray another thin layer of oil onto the dough. Coating with oil will prevent the plastic wrap, which you will use to cover the dough, from sticking to the dough. If you have sectioned the dough, leave some spaces between the dough pieces so that they do not stick together during the thawing process.

Step 4 – Cover the dough with plastic wrap

Cover your dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out as it thaws. Ensure that the wrap clings to the frozen dough. The heat from the microwave can dry out the bread dough, which will result in dry pastries. To retain the much-needed moisture, cover the dough with plastic wrap. A plastic wrap is ideal because it will trap any evaporating water and rehydrate the dough.

Step 5 – Microwave the dough on the defrost setting for 5 minutes

Microwave the dough on the defrost setting or at the lowest heat level on your microwave. The temperature in the microwave should not exceed 175 degrees Fahrenheit. After 5 minutes, check whether the dough is thawed and turn it over if needed. You can repeat this process as many times as required, leaving 10 minutes between each cycle. Keep checking that the dough is getting evenly thawed.

Tips for Defrosting Bread Dough in a Microwave

Following the step-by-step process when defrosting bread dough in the microwave is good, but sometimes it is not enough. Here are a few more tips to help you to get the perfect softened bread dough using your microwave:

  • Keep the temperature below 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Resist the temptation of increasing the heat to fasten the thawing process. Microwaving the dough above 175 degrees Fahrenheit may cause parts of the dough to start baking, affecting the pastries’ outcome. Additionally, raising the temperature may cause uneven heat distribution.
  • Stick to more diminutive pastries. Using a microwave to defrost frozen bread dough may be convenient, but it is not the best method when trying to defrost large batches of dough. This is because the dough may defrost unevenly because of its thickness. A microwave is sufficient for more miniature pastries such as rolls and small-sized loaves.
  • Flip the dough over. After 3 minutes in the microwave, flip the dough over to ensure that the heat is distributed evenly through the dough. Check that the dough rises just as much on the bottom side as on the top side to be sure that it is evenly heated. Forgetting this crucial step will leave you with unevenly thawed dough.
  • Grease up adequately. Apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the microwave-safe plate to prevent sticking. Please do the same to the top of the dough before covering it with plastic wrap. You can also spray the plastic wrap with cooking oil instead of the dough itself with the same results.
  • Keep the dough covered throughout the defrosting process. Ensure that before you place the dough in the microwave, it is well covered in plastic wrap. The wrap should hug the dough tightly. Replace the wrap the same way after flipping the dough so that it does not dry out while thawing.
  • Monitor the dough as it thaws. Keep your eye on the dough as it defrosts to identify any mishaps quickly. Your microwave may not distribute the heat evenly, causing some parts of the dough to thaw and rise faster. Taking swift action in such situations will save your dough and ultimately grant you perfect pastries.

Faqs On How to Defrost Bread Dough in a Microwave

Can you thaw bread dough in the microwave?

You can certainly use a microwave to thaw bread dough. Begin by sectioning the dough according to the pastry you intend to make, then lightly grease a microwave-safe plate. Place the dough on the greased plate and cover with a lightly greased plastic wrap. Microwave at the lowest heat setting for 3 minutes, then flip your dough and repeat the process until the dough rises evenly (as the top side).

How do you speed up frozen bread dough?

Using a microwave or an oven to defrost frozen bread dough will give you faster results than thawing it at room temperature or defrosting it in the fridge. To speed up the process even further, microwave your dough on high for precisely 25 seconds, then take it out. You need to set it to the lowest heat level and microwave it for 5 minutes while checking the process regularly.

How do you defrost bread quickly in the microwave?

The fastest way to defrost bread in the microwave is to place the individual slices on a kitchen towel and a microwave-safe plate. Do not overlap the slices. Microwave the bread on high for 15 seconds, then confirm whether it is done. If not, keep microwaving at 10-second intervals until the desired level.

How do you heat up the dough in the microwave?

Section your dough according to your pastry of choice, and place it on a lightly greased microwave-safe plate. Cover it tightly with a greased plastic wrap and microwave on defrost setting or lowest heat level for 3 minutes. Flip your dough over to heat evenly and repeat the process for about two minutes. Keep feeling your dough to ensure that it is heating up evenly.

How do you defrost frozen dough?

Microwaving frozen dough at defrost setting for 5 minutes is one way to thaw it. Leaving the frozen dough at room temperature for 2 hours is another method. You can also take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight. Another method is placing the dough in an oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Each of these will get the job done, but using a microwave will save you the most time.

How long does it take to thaw frozen bread dough?

This depends on the method you use to thaw your frozen bread dough, and it can vary from 5 minutes to an entire night. Thawing frozen bread dough should take 5 to 6 minutes using a microwave. If you opt for an oven, it will take an hour for the dough to defrost. Leaving the dough at room temperature will take two hours to thaw it out, and for the fridge method, you need to leave it for an entire night.

Why is my frozen bread dough not rising?

Adding too much sugar, salt or flour can cause your dough not to rise. Baking is a science, so you need to measure all ingredients as recommended. Otherwise, the pastry will not meet your expectations.

Another cause for flat dough could be expired yeast. Confirm that the yeast you used to prepare the dough has not passed the expiry date. Frozen bread will not rise adequately if you use insufficient yeast. Additionally, when you subject yeast to temperatures that are either too high (for example, boiling water) or too low (like ice-cold water) will kill the yeast. Therefore, use lukewarm water when kneading bread dough.

How do you use frozen dough?

The frozen dough can be used for various pastries, including bread, pizza, rolls such as cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls, doughnuts, stuffed bread, and any other pastry that requires the same basic ingredients. You can also experiment by mixing the defrosted dough with different nuts, spices, herbs and extracts to make your pastries unique.


Using a microwave to defrost frozen bread dough is a simple process to master. The key things to remember are to keep the temperature low, ensure that your dough is well covered and flip the dough to ensure even distribution of heat.

It is advisable not to re-freeze defrosted dough, so ensure that you only defrost as much as you need. Microwaves defrost dough intended for more diminutive pastries better, so keep this in mind before defrosting.

Overall, it is much better to freeze the dough for baking later than prebake pastries and freeze them. The latter gets you fresh pastries every time.

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