The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can you freeze dough?

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lisa7688's picture
lisa7688

Can you freeze dough?

I have been asked to bake bread for a bake sale in a few weeks.  It will be during the week so I'm trying to figure out how to bake 4-6 loaves after work!  They are requesting a rosemary bread I make which makes two loaves at a time. 


Can I make the dough ahead of time on the weekend, freeze it and then bake it the night before???  Something tells me this is not a good idea.  Any suggestions for making this many loaves in the shortest amount of time possible?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

It's not a good idea to freeze the dough.  Why not bake the breads and freeze them instead?  


Wrap them very well in deli film, put them in a large freezer bag, then take them out the night before the bake sale and they'll be thawed by morning.  

emmsf's picture
emmsf

I actually have a different perspective.  I think you can ge terrific results if you freeze shaped loaves.  Some doughs respond better than others, but it's not an uncommon practice.  Make sure to fully develop the dough fully so the glutens are strong.  Then you can thaw and bake.  As an alternative, you can refrigerate the dough for up to a few days, again depending on the dough.  This will actually improve the bread's flavor profile.  It's called 'retarding' and there are great discussions here about it.  If you only have to wait a few days, I'd recommend retarding over freezing, but both can work.

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

It will work to some degree, but I think Lindy is right.


The farther you stray from the "Artisan" methods discussed on this and other similar sites, the more your breads will resemble commercial and grocery store type breads.


Depends on what you're trying to achieve.


Michael

emmsf's picture
emmsf

I agree - freezing isn't adhering to true Artisan principles and in the perfect world it isn't optimal.  But when you find yourself facing extenuating circumstances, like having to bake 6 loaves after work as described here, you do your best.  No need to be a slave to Artisan principle, as long as one understands the ways such compromises affect the final loaf.

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

If it were I, the last thing I would choose to do would be to deposit compromised loaves at my local bake sale, slave or not.


Michael

emmsf's picture
emmsf

Your purity is no doubt commendable.

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Thank You.


Michael

emmsf's picture
emmsf

And your inability to detect sarcasm is just sad.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I assume this applies to pizza dough as well?  I've wondered why I so often see recommendations for freezing dough balls for later use, because I feel my crusts suffer when the dough is frozen.

lisa7688's picture
lisa7688

I don't think I'll try freezing the dough.  I think my best option is to do as much prep work as I possibly can in advance- measuring out all my ingredients and getting out all the utensils I will use, etc. the night before.  Then I'll try to leave work a little early and get going as fast as I can.  It takes 2.5 hours for each batch of 2 loaves.  That will be 5 or more hours!  The things I get myself into!  I was going to experiment this weekend with some of your suggestions but I've been sick all weekend so my options are going to be limited.  I welcome any ideas for advance prep work and baking 4-6 loaves of bread in the shortest time possible.  Sigh.