The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

freezing fruit bread

Janna3921's picture
Janna3921

freezing fruit bread

I've been wanting to try a recipe I found and was able to do so yesterday.  It was called a Norwegian Christmas bread and I don't remember where I even found it.

It has AP flour, yeast, cardamom, egg, butter, salt and sugar along with some candied fruit.  I thought I might have ruined it as I added water to the fruit to plump it up a bit and didn't take that into account so had to add some extra flour as it was too wet.  Then, worried it wouldn't have enough yeast to rise I added half of a 1/8 tsp of yeast to it.

Anyhow, it rose, we followed the recipe and punched it down and divided it into two different loaf pans, did the second rise and baked it.  Came out pretty good, had just a knife to use to slash it, but this time I made sure that I had it tilted and did a small lift up so it looked like what I had seen in photos.  It rose, had a small slash area (like what you would get with banana bread).  

Let them both cool and we ate some of the smaller loaf.  Let the other cool, then put into a bread bag, squeezed out all the air I could then put it into a ziplock bag and put into the freezer.  

It is to be a Christmas gift, along with some other home made items.  Will the bread be okay?  I didn't put any icing on it, no powdered sugar, nothing on top as I wasn't sure how it would freeze.  I also used Splenda for the brown sugar in the bread.

BobBoule's picture
BobBoule

because each recipe is unique but I have had very good luck doing this, freezing bread for very long periods of time, so for Christmas I would guess that this will be just fine.

What I learned over the years to do is to cool the bread and then slice it. Put in it a very heavy dry freezer zip bag. Regular zip bags do work but they are microscopically ports and the zips don't seal perfectly. If its something I'm very worried about them I will put them in two freezer zip bags to slow the intrusion of the super dry freezer air into my loaf.

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

My understanding is that you don't freeze bread or cookies with any sort of decoration (powdered sugar, frosting, or glaze)..You can apply that after the item is thawed, and before eating.  I'll admit to freezing cutout cookies with royal icing and sprinkles (waxed paper between layers in tupperware), and they ate fine.  After all the work of cutout cookies, I'm too lazy to make more icing & decorate a 2nd time a few weeks later.

Unless you use an icing sugar meant to not dissolve into baked goods - I use King Arthur), sprinkling cooled bread with powdered sugar and freezing will likely cause the sugar to absorb somewhat.  If you use a strainer or stencil, the wrapping prior to freezing will destroy any pattern, so wait until after thawing.  Hope this helps.

Please post your recipe.  Being of Swedish & Norweigian descent, always like to try new recipes of that origin.

Janna3921's picture
Janna3921

Here is the recipe:

Norwegian Christmas Bread

1 package yeast

1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (not too soft)

1/2 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of cardamom

3  and 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup diced citron or mixed candied fruit

 

Directions

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar, egg, butter, salt, cardamom and two (2) cups of flour, mix well.  Stir in raisins, citron and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning to cover dough, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately one (1) hour.

Punch dough down; divide in half and shape each portion into a flattened ball.  Place in two greased 9 in round baking pans.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one (1) hour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.

NOTE:  I placed a foil pan on lower rack that had a towel soaked with hot water that I had boiled.  I put that in the oven 10 minutes before I put the bread in and had pre-heated the oven 30 minutes before I put the bread in.  When I put the bread in I left the heat at 350 for 10 minutes, then turned it down to 330 degrees and five minutes later removed the foil pan with water.  Baked for seven (7) more minutes, checked and it was done. 

I have a convection oven so I bake at 20 degrees less and around 10-15 minutes less time.  I used a serrated knife to do the slash.  I had used mixed dried fruit that I had put two (2) tablespoons of water in the cup to help plump them up.  Didn't take that into account when I measured the water so had too much liquid.  Added more flour, so if you decide to plump up your fruit, use it from the water in recipe.  

I also took cherries and cut them in half and made a design with them on top of the bread.  We froze the larger loaf to give away and cut into the other one.  It is good, not real sweet, if dusted with powdered sugar it would be nice, or some icing on it, but I didn't want to try and freeze it with that on it.  Didn't think to butter it after I got it out of the oven, but it wasn't too hard of a crust.  If I were going to keep it and serve it up for a family gathering, I would thaw it out, then place a damp town over top and put it into the oven for a few minutes to help soften up the crust, then lightly spread some melted butter on it, let it be absorbed, then using a sifter dust the top with powdered sugar for a festive touch.  

Since I didn't have citron and I don't like raisins, I used dried fruit of mango, papaya, pineapple, dates, kiwi, cantaloupe and added some maraschino cherries.   

I wish I knew where I found the recipe, but it was something I found five years ago, printed it out, lost it and found it when looking for something else.  Decided to try it out.  

If anyone makes it, please let me know how it turns out.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I bet it is delicious! It will freeze and defrost without problems. Keep it in the bag to defrost but if there is excess ice crystals and moisture when you take it out of the freezer, defrost partway and then repackage it in a dry bag so it is not sitting in a puddle. You can pop it into a 350f oven for about 5-10 minutes to re-crisp but no more as it can dry it out too much.