The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Freezing doe

bobku's picture

Freezing doe

Can you freeze just about any type of dough before it is cooked, whether it's after first or second rise or when dough is shaped ready to go into oven? Can you defrost it and continue where you left off? I'm referring to non sourdough recipies if that makes a difference.

subfuscpersona's picture

I have never frozen a doe :)

I do, however, routinely freeze bread dough made with commercial yeast.

The best point at which dough should be frozen is after the bulk fermentation. Bulk fermentation is the last rise before the final proof (final proof or bench proof when dough is shaped prior to the final bake and allowed to rise one last time. When risen, the dough is baked).

I have success freezing bread dough that is relatively simple in ingredient components - that means it is not a dough that contains a large amount of fat (like a brioche dough with it's high butter content) or a dough with seeds/nuts/dried fruit or dough with a lot of non-gluten flours or dough with mostly dairy liquid (milk/buttermilk, etc).

A reasonably firm dough (up to 68% hydration) freezes quite well.

If you use a preferment as an ingredient in your bread doughs, you can make a large batch and freeze the extra in suitable portions for subsequent bakings. This works well for a firm biga or patee fermentee.

If you intend to freeze your dough, you will find it most convenient to do the bulk fermentation in the refrigerator. That way, the dough is cold and can be portioned, wrapped, labeled and placed in the freezer before it warms up sufficiently to (re)activate the yeast. Flatten the cold dough into a disk (rather than a round ball) so that the the cold freezer can quickly penetrate to the center of the dough, preventing any rise in the freezer.

Other doughs besides yeast-rising bread dough can be successfully frozen. In addition to bread and pizza dough, I routinely freeze pasta dough and pastry dough.

Frozen dough that contains commerical yeast will certainly keep for 4 weeks (minimum) and up to 10 weeks. I normally use my frozen yeast dough within 6 - 8 weeks of freezing, so cannot give you firm guidelines beyond that time frame.

Although I do routinely make sourdough bread, I have not experimented with freezing sourdough bread dough. I am not confident that the yeast in a home-grown sourdough culture will still be robust after the freezing process.

Best of luck. Do post back to this thread if you have further questions.