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Freezing Doughs


yslee
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Hello,

I'm a frequent home baker but new to breadmaking. I've been baking my way through Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice with results that range from fair to excellent. However, I find the yields too large. Since I don't like previously-frozen bread for anything but toast (and I have tons of croutons, bread crumbs, etc), can anyone recommend a reliable way of freezing the dough? After the first rise? Fully proofed? Part-baked, a la supermarket baguettes?

Thanks.

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I beg to differ - freezing will absolutely not kill the yeast. Just look at all the thaw-and-bake products available to both the home baker and professional, anything from croissants to pizza dough. I store my fresh yeast in the freezer for extended periods with no problem.

You can freeze shaped loaves before they rise, defrost as needed overnight in the fridge, proof, then bake.

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I've also cooked frozen bread dough with good results. One caveat00make sure the bread is fully defrosted before you cook it; otherwise you'll wind up with a gummy interior and dried outside. Also, I was taught that if you're making a laminated dough (e.g. croissant or Danish), use 25% more yeast than you would if you were making it fresh.

I love Peter Reinhart's books so much that I feel like they completely changed my life--or at least the way I look at bread! Yesterday, I made some plain white loaves to go with dinner, and because the kitchen was so warm, the rise was shorter than it should have been. Everyone else liked the bread, but I felt it wasn't as good as it should have been because of the rapid rise.

Enjoy the recipes and definitely try the sourdough ones--I've made some awesome rye breads and Pain Poilanes from the book.

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From "The Art of Bread" by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno (an excellent and highly recommended addition to any bread baker's library):

When time is limited, dough can be frozen before rising and shaping. Mix and knead the dough as directed in the recipe. Brush the inside of a plastic reezer bag with oil and place the unrisen dough inside. Expel any air, leaving just enough space for the dough to rise slightly as it freezes. To thaw, place the dough in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, until it has doubled in size. Remove fro the refrigerator and bring the dough to room temperature. Shape, proof, and bake as directed.

When it is more convenient, the dough can be frozen after shaping. Place the shaped dough on a baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Then place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave just until the dough becomes firm. Store the dough in a plastic freezer bag. To thaw, remove the dough from the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, until it has doubled in size. Remove from the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes. Bake as directed.

:smile:

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If you are planning on freezing bread dough it's a good idea to up the amount of yeast, since I use fresh yeast I just eyeball a bit more, so can't give an accurate amount - because the yeast has to work a bit harder after it's frozen. You could bake it and freeze it, double wrapped in saran, then aluminum foil and then bag. Let it thaw overnight, heat your oven to 400 degrees, then wet a teatowel and wring it out, lay it over the loaf of bread and heat for 10 minutes on a baking stone. Remove the towel and let it sit in the oven (I just stick it on my baking stone) for another five minutes, it comes out with a crispy crust and tastes just baked again. :smile:

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yes it is possible to freeze yeast and yeasted products.

it is however beyond the scope of a simple messageboard post to cover all of the details. refer to technical books (the taste of bread by calvel) and technitions such as Roy Chung to answer all questions. Mr. Chung teaches a class at SFBI each August.

www.sfbi.com

www.chipsbooks.com

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  • 5 months later...
Freezer advice:

Freeze dough rather than finished bread -- well, you can freeze finished bread, but it tastes so much better freshly baked.

I was going to post a question about freezing bread dough. But I Googled first and found this tip on the cooking forum.

My question is - at what point is the dough put into the freezer? After kneading is done or after first rise? Which means you punch it down and pack and freeze. Then to use, you thaw and shape and let rise? Is this correct?

The yeast roll recipe I make are quite yummy but they make enough for 2 batches. The last time, I freezed after shaping and second rise (just prior to baking) and it puckered/collapsed upon freezing. And didn't quite take it's shape again after thawing.

TIA.

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I would make your dough with cold water instead of warm water (I am assuming you use warm water to activate the yeast). Then instead of letting it proof, just shape it into the portions you want and then freeze.

I am not saying this WILL work the way you want, I just THINK it will.

"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Thank you both for the suggestions.

Let's see if there are more from others.

I might try all the ideas to see which works out best. And of course, will post my findings.

I have scrutinized the frozen bread products and I do see some that looks like they might have been parbaked but others looks real raw (but in a nice shape & form).

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Actually, I just tried freezing dough for the first time ---and it worked great!

I made the White Bread from the Baking with Julia book --did the first rise and the shaping, then wrapped the shaped loaf in plastic wrap, then a freezer bag and froze it.

Took it out, let it defrost and rise and then baked.

It didn't rise quite as high as the never-frozen loaf, but it was still a very nice loaf of bread and the flavor was good. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then put it in a bread pan and freeze. Then remove from the pan and put in a freezer bag for longer storage. The dough actually rose a little while freezing and when I took it out, it wouldn't fit in the bread pan! ;) You wouldn't have this problem if you were making rolls.

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Dough can be frozen before rising and shaping.

Mix and knead the dough as directed in the recipe. Brush the inside of a plastic freezer bag with oil and plae the unrisen dough inside. Expel any air, leaving just enough space for the dough to rise slightly as it freezes. To thaw, place the dough in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, until it has doubled in size. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Shape, proof, and bake as directed.

Dough can be frozen after shaping.

Place the shaped dough on a aking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. (Saran is the best as it keeps out the most oxygen of any other plastic wrap on the market.) Then place the baking sheet in the freezer and leave just until the dough becomes firm. Store the dough in a plastic freezer bag. To thaw, remove the dough from the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, until it has doubled in size. Remove ferom the fridge and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes. Bake as directed.

The Art of Bread by "Cooking Club of America"

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Thank you all for the replies.

I made pizza dough and freezed it (before rising) and used it aftter 3 days. It was ok but I thought the dough was little yeast-ier and chew-ier too. And yes, the dough did rise just a tad in the freezer.

I think the previous dough I froze was not suitable for freezing as it was too soft - hence it collapsed upon freezing. That dough was very, very soft and moist (which makes really, really soft monkey bread)

I have half of the dough still frozen - this was frozen after rising and I just punched it down and wrap it up.

Now that I can freeze the dough - the next question is : how long does frozen dough last? Any ideas?

TIA.

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  • 1 year later...
Thank you all for the replies.

I made pizza dough and freezed it (before rising) and used it aftter 3 days. It was ok but I thought the dough was little yeast-ier and chew-ier too.  And yes, the dough did rise just a tad in the freezer.

I think the previous dough I froze was not suitable for freezing as it was too soft  - hence it collapsed upon freezing. That dough was very, very soft and moist (which makes really, really soft monkey bread) 

I have half of the dough still frozen - this was frozen after rising and I just punched it down and wrap it up.

Now that I can freeze the dough - the next question is : how long does frozen dough last? Any ideas?

TIA.

We freeze our pizza and bread dough regularly. Properly wrapped for freezing and thawed before baking, they should be good to go if used within three months.

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Part baked; about 2/3rd of the cooking normal time. After the rise, and the structure is set but before its completly brown.

Jack, do you bake at the temperature that would be appropriate if you were finishing the bread and take it out 2/3 of the way through? Just want to be sure I understand.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Part baked; about 2/3rd of the cooking normal time. After the rise, and the structure is set but before its completly brown.

Jack, do you bake at the temperature that would be appropriate if you were finishing the bread and take it out 2/3 of the way through? Just want to be sure I understand.

Yes, that's what I do for home baking.

I read in http://www.chipsbooks.com/pribread.htm that professional dough for freezing has a number of additives, and is more like steamed than baked.

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Part baked; about 2/3rd of the cooking normal time. After the rise, and the structure is set but before its completly brown.

Jack, do you bake at the temperature that would be appropriate if you were finishing the bread and take it out 2/3 of the way through? Just want to be sure I understand.

Yes, that's what I do for home baking.

I read in http://www.chipsbooks.com/pribread.htm that professional dough for freezing has a number of additives, and is more like steamed than baked.

Thanks. I am trying to have a loaf of bread in the freezer that can be quickly on the table in a more or less freshly baked state. The freezer stuff I buy and bake in 10 mins is pretty disgusting - I want something better. Will post when I make the bread and try the 2/3 baking time.

Edited because I can't type tonight!

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 1 year later...
I want to freeze pizza dough but not sure if i should do it after the first resting !!

I will make it tonight and need it for saturday. Help please!!

TIA

I've always done it after the initial rise/fermentation. After dividing into individual pizza sizes, I put the excess dough into small sip top plastic bags and toss them into the freezer. Pizza dough freezes very nicely in my experiences. Doesn't take long to thaw, either.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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