The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Frozen flour?

Ju-Ju-Beads's picture

Frozen flour?

Hello everyone, and happy baking. 

Ice water has been working quite well for my breads, leading me to question my mother’s advice to never attempt bread with flour still cold from the freezer. She ground red wheat and then measured by the cup rather than by weight, and stored the excess in the freezer. She certainly didn’t use ice water, nor did she soak the flour, nor retard the dough: just a quick mix with warm water, knead, rise, shape, rise, & bake—all in about 3-1/2 hours. But baking has come a long way since then!

Has anyone experimented with using very cold flour as well as ice water? It sounds reasonable that reducing the temperature of all the dough components would enhance the benefits of ice water, but Mom said....  I will make my own attempts, but hoped for some advice from those who’ve tried it.

Many thanks,



not.a.crumb.left's picture

comment and the use of icewater in bread. I have come across this recently and read that

icewater in pizza contributes to very smooth I am intrigued..

I only use colder water to slow my dough down in hotter weather and would be

curious how you use it...  Kat

David R's picture
David R

The "why" is missing from this topic so far. If ice water, cold flour, etc help, there has to be a reason why. (or maybe more than one reason.)

It's easier to make something work when you know why. And knowing why can also let you eliminate unnecessary steps (for example, if there's no reason to thaw the flour, then you save time by not doing it - but if there IS a reason, then it helps to know).

barryvabeach's picture

Ju Ju,  I grind my own whole wheat, and always keep it in the freezer when I have extra.  I have not noticed any difference in flavor between using it straight from the freezer or just out of the mill.  The fresh milled flour is probably 90 F or more, and of course the frozen flour is much cooler, so that impacts how long it needs to stay in bulk ferment.   The dough will feel looser the warmer it is, but I would think you could get the same effect by using warmer water.