The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to par-bake, freeze, and do final baking?

BakerNewbie's picture

How to par-bake, freeze, and do final baking?

I'm making some dinner rolls. I'd like to bake them (but not to completion), then freeze them, then bake them to completion when I am ready to consume them. The post here seems to suggest I should bake until 194F / 90C. Is this correct?

I'm worried about opening my oven to take the internal temperature. Can I just set my oven to 194F / 90C and leave the buns in the oven for half an hour? The temperature of the bread would never get past 194F / 90C then, right? And maybe half an hour (or more?) is enough time get that internal temperature? Or would this cause problems with the oven spring? (By the way, I am thinking of this approach because of what I know about sous vide cooking.)

And once I have properly parbaked dinner rolls that have been frozen, what temperature and how long do I need to cook it to completion? Would I need to thaw out the bread first?

Antilope's picture

There is a section about "partially baked goods" in the book
"Baking Science and Technology, by E. J. Pyler v.2",1952, page 470

This is about how to prepare commercial baking products like "brown and serve rolls", etc. It gives detailed information on how to bake these products (baking temp, dough temp, internal done temp, etc)

In summary, the article states that a stiff dough should be used, the oven temp should be 275-F to 300-F (baked for as long as possible without appearance of crust color) and the dough should reach an internal temp of 180-F. Mixing dough temps should be 90-F to 95-F. Proofing temps should be 100-F to 105-F.

Here is a link to the article (scroll to the bottom of the page for the article). Due to copyright issues, this URL is only visible from U.S. internet connections. You can download individual pages in PDF format by clicking on the left hand link titled, "Download this page (PDF)". You can download the entire book with a university library account (which I don't have).

Baking science and technology, by E. J. Pyler v.2;view=1up;seq=106

Antilope's picture


Late in 1949, General Mills, Inc. introduced an entirely new baking
concept with the so-called "Brown N' Serve" process which results in the
production of semi-finished rolls, breads and pastries that are fully formed
and prebaked to exact shape and size, except for color or crust browning.
The purpose of this process is to make available to the housewife bakery
products of great keeping quality which she can finish baking in her own
kitchen oven, thereby providing her with oven-hot bakery goods.

The "Brown N' Serve" process requires a modified formula, fermenta-
tion process, and baking condition (40). The objective is to bake yeast-
raised products to a point of rigidity and full volume without any sem-
blance of crust color. This is attained by reducing the oven temperature
to a range of 275°-300° F., and by properly conditioning the dough so as
to minimize undesirable oven spring normally resulting from baking at
lower temperatures. Hence those factors that promote dough develop-
ment and oven spring will have to be minimized in some formulas. In
general, the following modifications of normal procedure are required for
the new method: Dough consistency should be stiffer than normal to
promote the desired rigidity out of the oven. Straight doughs call for
higher mixing temperatures, in the range of 90° to 95° F., while sponge
doughs may be mixed at normal temperature. Both the yeast and the
yeast food should be reduced slightly to prevent excessive oven spring.

Generally, a fairly rich formula, especially with respect to shortening and
eggs, is preferable as contributing to the flavor, aroma, and eating quality
of the finished product. Fermentation should proceed in a warm room.
Proofing at a temperature of 100° to 105° F. is desirable as promoting a
fast proof and assisting the final baking. Baking must be done within a
temperature range of 275°-300° F. for as long as possible without the
appearance of crust color. Given a solid heat, a baking time of 10 to 15
minutes will be adequate in most cases to impart rigidity to the product.

The interior temperature of the products must be over 170° F. as they
leave the oven, otherwise they will tend to collapse during cooling. The
inside temperature should preferably reach 180° F. The attainment of
this temperature without exterior coloration is aided by high proof tem-
peratures. Following baking, the subsequent cooling and packaging must
be done under highly sanitary conditions to reduce the possibility of mold
development on the one hand and to preserve the unique appearance of
the products.

BakerNewbie's picture

Seems very technical (which I love), but probably doable for the home baker.

So cool the buns after, then freeze, right? How to finish them off after? Thaw first? What temperature to bake them at? For how long?

Antilope's picture

from the Walmart website: 

Directions for rolls that are at room temperature: 

Betsy Ross: Brown N Serve Rolls


Heating instructions: 1. remove rolls From package. 2. preheat oven to 450 degrees. 3. place rolls on ungreased baking sheet. 4. brush tops with melted butter or margarine (before or after baking). 5. serve fresh from your oven in 6 To 8 minutes.


Rainbo Enriched Brown 'N Serve Rolls


Oven-fresh rolls in 7 minutes! Directions: preheat oven To 425 F. place rolls on ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops w/melted butter before or after baking. Bake From 7 To 10 minutes. They're ready To serve. Delicious!


Directions for rolls taken from the fridge or freezer:

Gardner's: Brown & Serve Rolls


Rolls taken from the refrigerator or freezer should be brought to room temperature before baking. Remove rolls from package and separate, place on ungreased baking sheet or in muffin pans. Preheat your oven To 450 degrees. Hot rolls on your table in 8 To 10 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter, serve piping hot.

GregS's picture

What are the advantages of parbaking over completing the bake and then freezing?

All the manipulation of the dough described above is to keep it from browning; otherwise the item is completely baked (180 degrees). I can zap a finished frozen roll in my microwave for a few seconds an have pretty good results.

I have noticed recently that a company in Seattle is retailing almost finished french-style bread. The marketing pitch for this bread is that you can store it in its wrapper without refrigeration for two or three months and then finish it quickly.They package it in an exotic shrink-wrap with an oxygen-absorbing packet included inside. The buyer finishes the loaf at high heat for about ten minutes, which crisps up the crust. Is a crisp crust the goal in parbaking?



Antilope's picture

the customer buys the almost complete product and has a browned roll in 10 minutes, plus the yeasty smell of baking bread. This is great for non-bakers or someone with little baking skills or little time. My mom didn't have the baking skills. As kids, we loved brown n serve rolls. It was the only close to home baked bread we got.

As a home baker, I don't see an advantage to partially baking at home and then doing a brown n serve later. I would rather bake fresh. I even question every bread recipe that makes 2 loaves. Why bake 2 and store one to be eaten somewhat stale later? I would rather bake twice and have fresh bread.

But for me, it's fascinating to see the commercial brown n serve process laid out and how it is done at the bakery.

haykoa2's picture

Hi everybody, I have a question about par baked focaccia. I baked it to 194F internal temperature, then froze it, after 2 weeks it was cracked. What can be the reason of cracking?