The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking ahead for fresh sweet bread

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clairedenver's picture
clairedenver

Baking ahead for fresh sweet bread

I'm planning on making sweet breakfast rolls to bring to a gathering in the mountains.  My questions are related to serving the rolls in the best/freshest way.  I am quite new to the baking of yeast breads.



  1. Do I bake the rolls ahead and reheat?

  2. Or bring the shaped dough and bake before serving?

  3. Should I freeze or just wrap well if baked 2 days before?


These rolls are also frosted so would do this just before serving.


Thanks for any suggestions. Claire


 

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

If I am making bread for an "event" and I can't make it too close to the actual eating day, I make it and freeze it.  Here's how:


1)  After baking, allow your bread or rolls to cool thoroughly.


2)  Wrap them tightly with foil (I think you can get away with wrapping a batch of rolls together and not separately).


3)  Wrap your foil package tightly with plastic wrap, OR put in a freezer zip bag, but make sure to push all the air out. 


4)  When you are ready to use your frozen goodies, take them out and allow them to thaw at room temperature (6 to 8 hours).  NOTE:  DO NOT unwrap them.  Moisture will condense and then be reabsorbed by the bread if you keep it wrapped up.  If you unwrap them, they may dry out. 


5)  To restore them to just-baked freshness, heat them in a moderate oven (325 to 350 degrees) for about 10 minutes (rolls may take less time).  I leave them in the foil, slightly vented (but don't forget to remove the plastic wap!).  If you want to crisp up a crust, put that bread in the oven unwrapped. 


You can keep bread like this for a month or perhaps two.  After that, it's probably not worth it.  I regularly make 4 challahs at a time, and we eat them on the next four Friday nights--they are as delicious as the day they were baked. 

clairedenver's picture
clairedenver

I've just finished cooking the rolls so can now cool and follow your suggestions.  As we are going in 2 days I may just wrap tightly but only keep in the fridge.  Or would you suggest putting them in the freezer, even though only a few days?  Thanks again.  Claire

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Do not put them in the fridge.  I can't remember the "official" explanation, but the fridge will cause the bread/rolls to stale, it will not hold them in what is essentially "suspended animation' as the freezer will. 


There is a more scientific explanation.  I have it in a book somewhere, but I'm at the office and all my books are at home--something about the effect that holding the temperature within refrigerator ranges has on the starch molecules in the bread.  It may slow the development of mold but will accelerate staling of the bread.  It won't taste good after several hours in the refrigerator.  I guess freezing the bread suspends the starch molecules and prevents staling, while refrigerating them encourages staling. 


Anyway, put them in the freezer!

clairedenver's picture
clairedenver

Immediately moved the rolls into the freezer so all is well...  Have printed out your suggestions for reheating, etc.  I'll let you know how things come out after my return.  Cheers, C