The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I think I goofed up

old baker's picture
old baker

I think I goofed up

My wife and a couple of her friends are on the way to West Virginia to pick up some retired rescue Greyhounds.  They've done this several times and have developed a friendship with the helpful kennel owner.  I was asked to make and freeze some lasagna and baguettes to give to him as a thank you.  No problem with the lasagna.  The bread may be another issue, however.

I made three baguettes and after letting them cool, I wrapped them separately in plastic cling wrap.  Then I slipped all three into a vacuum bag and started evacuating the air.  The machine did it's thing and all looked good until I noticed the loaves were starting to collapse.  At that point, I turned the machine off and sealed the bag and put them in the freezer.

Now I wonder what that did to the crumb.  Maybe it collapsed it into a solid mess.  Problem is I'll never know because the guy receiving food won't complain or maybe he'll just think it's bad bread.  Any thoughts?  I guess the only way I'll know how it turned out is to make more bread and repeat the process and see for myself.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You could freeze the bread before vacuum sealing. That way it won’t collapse.

I also find that larger breads like batards freeze better than the skinny baguettes.

old baker's picture
old baker

Good point, Dan.  I'll remember that for the next time.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fresh bread flattens it.  Good for bread pudding where it can soak up milk/egg and expand in oven heat.

I feel your pain.  

Another thing to try would be to bake baguettes slightly cooler after the initial spring and not let them get too brown yet done.  Then instruct to give them a finishing touch up bake at their destination.  For garlic lovers, may I suggest a generous smear with garlic butter inside before freezing them?

old baker's picture
old baker

I followed Dan's suggestion of freezing the baguettes prior to vacuum sealing.  It seemed to work; the loaves didn't collapse.  I'll report the results after I thaw and reheat.  And next time I'll try Mini's suggestion of stopping the bake after oven spring, then freezing and sealing, then thaw and finish baking until brown (done).