The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rich dough issues - freezing, oven spring etc.

luc's picture

Rich dough issues - freezing, oven spring etc.

I have been experimenting with richer doughs lately.
Tonight was a go at Chelsea buns... brown sugar, egg, butter and raisins... rich as you like. :)

Here are my questions regarding these kinds of doughs:

1) Should/will a window test work with this kind of dough?

I tried to no avail. Even after about 10 minutes of kneading it never really formed a dough that appeared to have much gluten development... at least not the kind that could survive a window test. Interestingly enough - prior to a 1 hour rise when I placed the ball of dough into an oiled bowl to rise - the surface tension was really good - the dough doubled in size with no problem in one hour.

2) Will a rich dough like that used for Chelsea buns handle freezing well?

Example: I want to prep several trays the night before - all the way down to being chopped down off the roll and placed down on a tray... that way so the next morning when I get to the shop I can just pop the tray in the pre-heated oven and get them baked before I open the doors. Is that realistic with a rich dough?

From what I've read on sweet/rich breads - they often don't tend to freeze very well post baking.

3) How well do they freeze when still in the doug form?

4) Should I be looking for 'oven spring' in a rich dough the same way I do in my rustic breads?

Best regards,

Floydm's picture

Here are my thoughts:

1) I've never had any luck with windowpane test on rich doughs. The texture does change though... it seems to get smoother and silkier after a few minutes of kneading.

2) Does it have to be frozen or can it just be chilled down to close to freezing? The bakery I worked in during high school made sticky buns. We'd make them and shape them in the evening, then place them in the walk-in cooler which was slightly above freezing. The next morning we'd pull them out prior to preheating the oven so they'd have half an hour or an hour to wake back up before we put them in the oven to bake.

3) I don't know about freezing them. I've never tried.

4) I don't think you get the same kind of spring making sweet buns that you do rustic bread, but, yes, you should see a pop during the first 5 minutes.

I've made cinnamon rolls twice in the past couple of weeks, both times using Dan Lepard's Chelsea Buns recipe as the starting point. There is nothing like a warm, sweet bun and a hot cup of coffee on a rainy day!

luc's picture

Thanks for that info.
Much as I suspected. You're right I don't neccessarily have to freeze them. I can just pop them in the walk in - as it's also slightly above freezing. That's exactly what I want - something that I do up the night before and then have the kitchen staff pull out in the A.M. and pop in the oven.

I'll give this a try tonight and see how it goes. Thanks again.

Best regards,