The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Freezing bread dough to bake later

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Freezing bread dough to bake later

This topic just came up in the small loaves thread.  What does it take to successfully freeze bread dough for later baking? I assume it's possible because they sell frozen dough loaves at the grocery store.  Are there any special tricks?

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

As I reported in the other thread, I have not had particularly good luck freezing dough because the yeast does not want to revive.  It's not a problem with pizza dough because it doesn't really have to rise again, but it is for loaves.  I might try the brown-and-serve loaf idea.

Commercial loaves are made under conditions that we don't have in our kitchens.  Mike Avery gave a good explanation that foreshadowed my lack of success.  Perhaps he'll chime in here.

Rosalie

Cooky's picture
Cooky

I think the bake-at-home stuff you buy in grocery stores is not raw dough, but partly baked loaves.  

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

ElaineW's picture
ElaineW

I freeze unbaked bread dough all the time. The only thing you have to remember is to thaw the dough in the refrigerator over night and then allow sufficient time to fully rise the way you would normally let a bread rise.

When I freeze a pan bread such as white or wheat: line your pans with plastic wrap allowing sufficient extra wrap to cover the dough.  I shape the dough then wrap as tightly as possible, so the dough does not have room to expand, then place the whole thing in the freezer.

A freeform bread I just wrap after shaping and place on a pan in the freezer.  I freeze rolls on a cookie sheet until they are solid then transfer to a plastic baggie.

Properly wrapped, plastic wrap and either heavy duty foil or heavy plastic bags, I have kept dough in the freezer for up to 3 months with no quality loss.

Freezing the dough unbaked allows me extra room in the freezer and also the flexibility of being able to have fresh baked breads, cakes and rolls when I either have no time or do not want the mess. You can also use them as gifts to people who whould love to have fresh baked goodies but do not bake breads themselves. I just give them baking directions.

Elaine                                                                   

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thank you Elaine!  I like the idea of giving them as gifts. I imagine your friends are pretty happy about it as well.

ElaineW's picture
ElaineW

What I didn't mention before is that when you put the dough in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, unwrap the bread completely, place in or on the greased pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been greased. In the morning, remove pan of bread and allow to rise as you normally would except allow extra time. What I would normally let rise for an hour will take about 2 1/2 hours to fully proof.

When I give breads or cakes as a gift, I use foil pans. I line the foil pan with plastic wrap and place the dough in it so it will have the right shape.  I freeze the pan and all but remove the pan when the dough is frozen.

I found that giving these frozen gifts to be really appreciated. Most people do not make their own breads and such. They either don't know how or just don't have the time. To be able to defrost this when they want and have the instructions to bake it themselves is always appreciated, more than a fully baked item.

When I ran a supermarket bakery, we always purchased the frozen bread dough, roll dough and cake dough. We would pan the dough overnight, cover them and allow to defrost in the cooler. In the AM, the morning baker would slash/shape/brush each item as needed and put the racks of dough in the proofer. The proofer there had moist heat.

Elaine

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I'm gonna try it.  The first time I did this, the dough did rise, but then I guess I expected more out of it and ruined it.  This is the primary purpose for which I bought my convection toaster oven.

Rosalie

ElaineW's picture
ElaineW

Hi Rosalie,

I guess my brain isn't totally working, the moist heat of the proofer is just for getting the dough to rise. It is baked in the oven after that.

I have a convection oven which is great for "some" breads. If you want a crusty exterior and plan on using some form of moisture in the oven than I found that the convection feature does not help. For other breads and cakes the convection feature is teriffic.

Let me know how it works out for you.

Elaine

isobel gildon's picture
isobel gildon

Whenever I make baguettes, I cook two of them half-way - they spring fully and firm up but don't colour - take them out, let them cool completely and then freeze them. When I want fresh baguettes, I just put them into a hot oven - straight from the freezer - and finish the cooking. To me they taste exactly the same as the ones I cook all the way. And you always have bread in the freezer for cheese or for soup.

Isobel

Suffolk, England

jowilchek's picture
jowilchek

When I want to freeze biscuits, and I always make a large batch and freeze, so Sunday brunch is easier.

Just pre-bake the biscuits, to the point they are just starting to brown. Remove from pan and cool on rack. When cooled put back in pan, and freeze. When frozen remove from pan and wrap or bag. They will keep for months. I usually run out before they have gone bad, so don't know exactly how many months they will keep. (sorry)

My Mom use to do this, and I have followed in her footsteps, so we always have "fresh baked biscuits" when we want them.

To finish: no need to defrost. Just place in pan, and finish baking and browning as usual.

alovera56's picture
alovera56

Any suggestions on how to thaw the premade rolls of dough that need stuffing inserted, then allowed to rise again before steaming?

I was thinking of thawing in the fridge until pliable enough to fill.

Anyone have any experience with this? What's the best way to go about this?

Thanks for any suggestions