Can You Freeze Bread Dough?
Can you freeze bread dough? Baking bread on your own takes time so making bread dough in batches seems a good idea. Obviously for that to work you need to freeze bread dough. Does it make sense to freeze bread dough and if so, how to do it are the questions this article answers?
While you could freeze the bread after it has been cooked, this will take up more space in the freezer and it will not provide the hot, right-out-of-the-oven taste you desire. Because of that freezing bread dough seems to be a much better idea.
But is freezing the best idea when preserving bread dough? As with most things bread dough can be definitely frozen, but you may be wondering if the yeast will be effected in the freezer. It is true that cold temperatures can affect yeast, but when frozen this effect is so minimum that is will not change the overall taste of the bread.
Bread dough actually freezes quite well and is simple to do. Best of all, it allows you to have homemade bread whenever you want it, without starting from scratch each time. Below is a simple guide on how can you freeze bread dough:
Image used under Creative Commons from pacificbro
Making the Dough
The first step is to make your bread according to your recipe, but only let it rise one time. It is very important that you do not allow your bread dough to rise for a second time before freezing.
Some people like to add extra yeast to their recipe to compensate for any yeast break down that occurs when freezing. It is also recommended to use slow-active yeast, versus fast-active yeast, to also slow down this yeast break down.
After the first rise, knead the dough down and then shape into bread loafs of biscuit shapes, depending on your preference. You can use a loaf pan, but be sure to line the pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Packing the Dough for Freezing
Immediately after shaping the dough, place it in the freezer for at least 10 hours. Once completely frozen, you can transfer your dough shapes to freezer bags and return to freezer. Be sure to label and date the bag.
You can also choose to shape the dough after the bread has thawed, but this will take more time when you are ready to bake. This is a good option if you are not sure how you want to use your bread dough, and it will allow you to make either bread loaves or biscuits. The bread will still need to be kneaded down and divided into desired portions before freezing.
Keep in mind that it will take several hours for your bread dough to thaw before you can place it in the oven. It is recommended that you take your bread dough out of the freezer the night before you want to use it and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Once the bread dough is thawed, move it to a loaf pan or place the biscuits on a baking tray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp, clean cloth and allow the dough rise the second time. The dough should nearly double in size during this process.
Once the bread has risen, you can bake it in the oven according to your original recipe. Some baking experts state that bread dough will last up to three months in the freezer, but the longer you leave it frozen the greater effect it will have on the yeast. This could eventually cause a difference in the texture and taste of your bread.
Do note that bread dough used within four weeks of freezing should have no significant changes to the taste or texture of the bread after it is baked. This will allows you to have fresh, homemade bread whenever you want it, by doing all the hard work just one day a month.
Making bread dough from scratch is a lengthy process so it’s great to know that you can freeze the dough for later. Now that you know can you freeze bread dough, you have the option to make it ahead of time while reducing waste at the same time.