Can freezing actually improve a baked loaf?
Baked Reinhart's Pain de campagne (BBA 195). Not exactly my greatest Reinhart success: crust less than crackling, crumb too dense. But still tasty enough, especially when eaten fresh.
I baked two boules, one for now, one for later. "Later" was cooled thoroughly (maybe an hour and a half), put in a zip lock bag with the air squeezed out, and left in the freezer for 6-7 days.
Took the zip lock bag out last night, left in bag at room temperature overnight. When I cut a piece this morning I couldn' t believe how wonderful it tasted! Just the right chew, rich taste that I hadn't noticed in the unfrozen loaf. Better, I'd say, than when fresh.
Is it possible that the brief stay in the freezer somehow did some good? Or is it that between the two boules I ate a bread machine white bread (baked mostly for bread crumbs), and I simply noticed the contrast?