Monday, March 11, 2013

Can I Freeze my Bread Dough?

I have lots of people calling with the same questions and came to the conclusion that maybe there are a lot people out there with those same questions but simply haven't call to ask. One of many questions, "Can I freeze my bread dough and bake it later?"

Well, my answer is always yes and no! Big help?! I prefer to freeze the baked bread as it is so fast to bake while the mess is there and then freeze the bread without having to go back to check on the freezing dough. Remember, easy is my game when cooking.

But if you do want to freeze bread are some tips:

Dinner Rolls do best. Once the dough is kneaded, quickly form small 1 1/2" to 2" balls of bread dough and place them on cookie sheet. Put the dough balls in the freezer for 30 minutes to get to a harden state. Remove the partially frozen bread dough balls; put the dough balls in a freezer bag removing as much air as possible. Removing the air will inhibit freezer burn and the dinner rolls drying out. Return the dough balls to the freezer. They will finish freezing completely. Remember, air is the enemy of the bread dough.

To thaw, remove the desired dinner rolls and put them on a covered, greased jelly roll pan. It will take from 3-5 hours to thaw and rise. When doubled in size, bake them as usual (350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.)

Bread loaf. You can freeze a loaf of bread, but the bread dough needs to be shaped and placed in a bread pan AND the bread dough in the bread pan needs to be put in the freezer. Once the bread dough is frozen to a hardened state (about 30 minutes), remove the bread from the loaf pan and place the hardened frozen bread dough loaf into a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag because air is the enemy for your freezing/frozen bread dough.

To thaw, remove the bread loaf and put back into a bread pan. Let rise till nearly doubled in size (about 3-5 hours). Bake 350 degrees 25 minutes or until golden brown.

The problem with 'home freezing': we don't have flash freezers which is how the commercial bakeries freeze their raw bread dough. Flash freezers keep the yeast from rising. Our residential freezers will slowly freeze food items so the yeast does rise some while in the first stages of freezing. This is the reason you would want to freeze the bread dough in a bread pan.

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