You can freeze dumpling dough, and it’s something I would recommend over freezing premade dumplings any day of the week. Dumpling dough freezes better and is much easier to ration. Doing so will prolong its shelf life by several months, and the process is remarkably simple.
What Happens if You Freeze Dumpling Dough?
Once frozen, dumpling dough will slowly begin to degrade. The pace of degradation is in your hands, so all you need to do is ensure your dumpling dough is cut up into smaller pieces, double wrapped in aluminum foil, and packaged in airtight containers.
When the dough becomes frozen, yeast cells will slowly die off and release glutathione. Furthermore, there is a certain amount of moisture in dumpling dough, around which ice crystals will form at freezing temperatures. Ice crystals may damage the dough’s texture over time, although the damage will only be apparent after three months.
How Do You Freeze Homemade Dumpling Dough?
Freezing dumpling dough is remarkably simple, and you’ll need only the most basic freezing tools to do it, including a bit of aluminum foil, some plastic wrap, and enough freezer-friendly containers to store it:
Step 1: Cut the Dough into Dumpling-sized chunks
Nothing’s stopping you from freezing the entirety of your dumpling dough. However, by cutting it into tiny pieces, you’ll be able to retrieve, thaw, and use smaller portions instead of the whole piece. It’s an excellent way to ration food and prevent spoilage, especially since dumpling dough doesn’t refreeze too well.
Step 2 (Optional): Flash Freeze Dumpling Dough Chunks
Flash freezing will shrink your dumpling dough, allowing you to easily store (now smaller) chunks. This is an optional step, and you shouldn’t approach it if you aren’t too confident in your freezer’s temperature consistency.
Step 3: Wrap Dumpling Cuts with Plastic Wrap
Layer your dumpling dough with plastic wrap to provide reassurance and additional protection against freezer burn.
Step 4: Place Dumpling Chunks in Airtight Containers/Freezer Bags
The choice of containers is not as relevant as dumpling chunks shouldn’t be physically touching each other directly. Double wrap in plastic, if need be, and place the chunks in airtight containers or freezer bags.
How Long Can You Freeze Dumpling Dough?
Dumpling dough can be kept in a freezer for about three months. Personally, I recommend using it as soon as you’re able. The more time it spends frozen, the higher its chances are of losing quality. The ice crystals I’ve mentioned probably won’t start forming during the first month or two, but there’s no guarantee they won’t appear in the third month.
How To Defrost Dumpling Dough?
While premade dumplings don’t need to be thawed for use, you’ll need to defrost your dumpling dough before you can make your dumplings.
There are several ways to do it, and I’ll point out the benefits and drawbacks of each one, so let’s start with:
In my experience, fridge thawing is generally the safest but also the slowest route for thawing foods and groceries. However, thawing dumpling dough is a different story, as you won’t need to let it sit the entire night in the fridge.
You simply need to crack the ice and mellow the dough a bit, for which you’ll need two to three hours tops. You’ll evade the risk of harmful bacteria attacking the dough, and you don’t need to buy a microwave if you don’t have one.
The only drawback is that you’ll need to empty the bottom-most portion of your fridge, else it may become soaked from the thawing ice. Aside from this messy part, fridge thawing dumpling dough is easy and almost quick enough not to be annoying.
Microwaving food is not only fast, but it’s also healthy, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This approach is perfect for defrosting pretty much any kind of food, including dumpling dough. The only reason why I didn’t recommend it as the first option for dough-related foods is that a lot of beginner chefs still don’t know how to gauge when the dough is still frozen and when it’s overcooked.
If you own a modern microwave that allows you to input specific cooking temperatures, modes, and timers, this is easily the best way to defrost dumplings. Simply choose the Defrost function, select the Dough or Bread option, and set the timer to 10 minutes.
The only drawback of microwave thawing is that older, worn-out microwaves can overheat your dough and ruin it.
In other words, thawing at room temperature. Place your dumpling dough in a big bowl, because it will expand as it thaws. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it defrost. Keep checking on it every hour or so; once it becomes soft again, it will be ready for use.
Can You Refreeze Dumpling Dough?
Although it’s definitely not a good idea, it can be done. Keep in mind that with each refreezing process your dumpling dough will lose texture, flavor, and a good portion of taste, which is the main reason I’m neither recommending it nor considering it as a viable option.
Freezing Different Types of Dumpling Dough
Not all dumpling doughs are comprised of the same ingredients, which is why I’ve created a section for the three most popular types:
Can You Freeze Suet Dumpling Dough
Suet freezes fantastically well, and any dumpling dough that features it will freeze great.
Can You Freeze Potato Dumpling Dough
Yes, although I only recommend doing so if you’ve thoroughly cooked the potatoes you’ve used for the dumpling dough. Potatoes freeze phenomenally well in their original form, but since you’ll turn them into mush for the dough, they need to be cooked well beforehand.
Can You Freeze Chinese Dumpling Dough
Yes, Chinese dumpling dough freezes pretty well and can be kept in a freezer for up to 3 months. Unless you are using any unconventional toppings, you can simply repeat the above steps to freeze Chinese dumpling dough.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are just a few more things I’d like you to know about freezing dumpling dough and dumplings in general, including:
Can You Freeze Fresh Dumplings
Not only you can, but I encourage you to freeze fresh dumplings over stale, old ones. Whenever you place any piece of dough into your freezer, you are basically “locking” it in time. In other words, you will preserve the characteristics your dumplings had at the time when you put them in the freezer. Fresh dumplings freeze the best.
Can You Freeze Dumpling Wrappers
You can freeze dumpling wrappers as easily as dumpling dough. Coat the wrappers with aluminum foil and place them in a sealable airtight container before freezing.
Can You Refrigerate Uncooked Dumplings
There’s no reason to refrigerate your uncooked dumplings, and doing so may hurt them. Uncooked yeast is full of moisture, which will be encouraged to spread across the dumplings in a damp, cool environment. If you don’t want your dumplings to become a mushy, flavorless mess, don’t refrigerate them.
Dumpling dough is easy to freeze, and it’s much smarter to do than freezing whole dumplings. You can thaw them after two to three months in a fridge or a microwave, and use them immediately after.
I’m a huge fan of Chinese dumplings and I’m constantly freezing my Wonton dough. What’s your favorite dumpling dough type? Do you add any special ingredients to spice your dumplings up? Tell me all about it in the comments below, and make sure to check out my other content for more frosty food guides!