Monday, February 7, 2011

Bread Baking - Freezing Bread Doughs

Carolyn asked about freezing cinnamon rolls. I thought my answer would be too long for the comments.

I've tried many different ways of freezing or refrigerating breads. There is a lot of options. Choose the one that works best for you.
  • Refrigerate dough ball. A ball of dough can be placed in the refrigerator overnight and up to three days. Usually I place the dough in the fridge immediately after kneading. Sourdoughs I allow to rise for 1 or 2 hours then place in fridge. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap or a loose lid before refrigerating. After getting the dough out of the fridge, shape as desired (the dough will be easy to handle when cold) and allow to rise about 2 hours before baking. 
  • Refrigerate shaped dough. Dough that has been shaped into loaves or rolls of any sort, can be refrigerated overnight. Again, mist the dough with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating. The dough needs almost no warm up time before placing in the oven and baking. I find this the easiest way to get freshly baked cinnamon rolls on a busy morning. 
  •  Freeze shaped dough. Shaped rolls can be frozen. If you flash freeze on a baking sheet, the rolls can be stacked in a freezer bag. To bake, get out as many rolls as needed and place in the fridge to thaw. Warm to room temperature for about an hour before baking. You could let them thaw on your baking sheet while at church and bake when arrive home. This method is a fun convenience. You can mix and shape enough rolls at one time for many meals. 
  • Brown and serve. Another method is to mix, shape, rise like normal but only bake until just barely baked  and NOT golden brown. Cool and wrap well. Thaw and bake for the final few minutes.
  • Bake and freeze. Probably the method I use the most often is to bake a huge batch of whatever it may be. Cool, wrap and freeze. To serve, thaw and eat. If desired, pop in the microwave or wrap in foil and heat in oven slightly. Not quite as good as fresh - but sure is close! I love knowing that I have bread in the freezer that I can pull out quickly.
Is there any other method of refrigerating or freezing dough that you have tried?

6 comments :

  1. Gina thank you so much for sharing all of this information with us! My husband LOVES cinnamon rolls - I can't wait to try this recipe out for him. Maybe and early V-Day present?? Thanks again!

    Teri

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  2. Thank you! Another helpful article. I have made cinnamon rolls before and put them formed and in muffin tins directly into the freezer. They turn out absolutely delicious. I made the first bread recipe this weekend. It was a simple white boule. The process is so long but I figure it gets easier over time. It isn't difficult but just so many steps before you can pop that dough into the oven.

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  3. I have been making breads for years. I started out with a bread machine, and I was hooked. I still use it, but sometimes use the KitchenAid and have even hand-kneaded a few! My husband and I both liked this dough better than the one I've been using for years. Thanks for even better cinnamon rolls!

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  4. Can pizza dough be frozen? Would I freeze it before or after it rises? Also, I have always par-baked my pizza dough before putting on topings. Can I really skip this step and still have crust that is fully baked and crisp?
    I made Miracle Bread on Sat. and it is WONDERFUL!!!! Thank you for all you teach me.

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  5. Kim -
    Either before or after works. I've done it both ways. Parbaking really does give a crisper crust. I usually don't parbake - but then my crusts are not quite as good. But you try it for yourself and see what you like!

    There is much more I could share so I think I need to write another post on pizza!
    Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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