Category: Dough & Batter

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast?

Do you love baking bread at home? If you do, then you are probably using fresh yeast. Fresh yeast – or baker’s yeast – is one of the most important ingredients in baking bread. It is also much better to use than dried yeast. But what if you’d like to store the yeast in freezer? Can you freeze fresh yeast?

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Although fresh yeast is highly perishable, it is safe for freezing. The thing about yeast is that it is a living thing. The product contains living yeast cells so storing the product properly is critical prior to freezing. When it comes to fresh yeast, exposure to air and moisture are the enemy.

When kept in the fridge, fresh yeast should keep for 2 weeks. But when kept in the freezer, fresh yeast will last for 3 months or more. If you are freezing the yeast, do not stick it in the freezer right away. Just place the yeast in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze fresh yeast:

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How to Freeze Fresh Yeast?

Fresh yeast is often sold in large blocks and if 1) the product is unopened and 2) you have enough room in your freezer, there is no need to repack the product prior to freezing. The original packaging of the fresh yeast offers enough protection to ward off frost or freezer burn.

On the other hand, if you’d like to divide the blocks of fresh yeast into smaller portions, just cut the block into thick slices. Then, wrap each slice of yeast in cling wrap then again in aluminum foil. Get a resealable plastic bag and put all the cut blocks of yeast inside then squeeze the air out. Seal, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

You could also proof the fresh yeast before freezing. To do this, add the right amount of warm water into the yeast, mixing the ingredients well. Add sugar into the mix and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and expanding otherwise, the yeast has gone bad.

Once the yeast is ready, wrap the product in cling wrap, making sure to wrap the product well. Then, add another wrapping of aluminum foil. Write the storage date with a marker and stick in the freezer.

The reason why the fresh yeast needs a couple of layers of wrapping is that the product must never dry out. Once the fresh yeast has dried out, you cannot use it anymore.

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How to Defrost Fresh Yeast?

Defrosting frozen yeast is easy, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the yeast to thaw for several hours to overnight. Thawed yeast tends to lose its vigor compared to fresh and unfrozen yeast. That’s because the fungus die gradually due to the freezing temps. This is the reason why the thawing process must be gradual.

Once the yeast has thawed completely, check if dried out. If it’s still moist, it’s ready to use. But if the yeast has dried out, you have to discard it.

Summary

Although fresh yeast is tricky to freeze and even trickier to thaw, you can definitely extend its shelf life by keeping fresh yeast in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze fresh yeast, there’s no need to worry about wasting what’s left of the product after baking!

 

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Batter?

You might think there’s no way you can store batter for later use but yes, you can! You can freeze batter and keep it fresher for longer. When done properly, you can keep extra batches of batter in the freezer and whip up a cake or two whenever.

Of course, there are many different types of batters and not all of them can be frozen. For instance, batters leavened with whipped eggs shouldn’t be frozen because freezing will affect the texture of the finished product.

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Bread batters, Devil’s food cake, pancake, cupcakes, and velvet cake batters, on the other hand, can be frozen. When properly stored in the freezer, frozen batters can keep fresh for up to 3 months.

How to Freeze Batter?

The proper way to freeze batter is to break it down into smaller portions. Once thawed, the batter has to be used right away so to avoid thawing excess batter, it’s best to keep them in single servings especially for cupcakes.

To begin, get several single-serve reusable freezer containers/small plastic bags and an ice cream scoop. Scoop the batter and drop it into each container, leaving about half an inch of space each to allow the batter to expand in the freezer.

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Cover the container with the airtight lid. If you’re using re-sealable plastic bags, squeeze as much air as you could. Finally, store the containers in the freezer and you’re done!

How to Defrost Frozen Batter?

The best way to defrost frozen batter is to transfer the product from the freezer to the fridge and leave it to thaw overnight. Once the batter has softened the next day, get a whisk or a spoon and give the batter a good stir to incorporate all the ingredients together. Use the batter according to the recipe.

Summary

Freezing batter is a straightforward affair, one that requires no fuss at all. However, do note that using thawed batter may alter the texture of the baked goods. For instance, defrosted cake batter will yield denser cakes with tighter crumbs compared to the batter that hasn’t been thawed.

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Cookie Dough?

There’s something truly comforting about a plate of cookies, fresh out of the oven but who has time to bake? For busy folks, baking is a luxury that they simply cannot afford to do thanks to their packed schedules. But if you have kids or you want to keep instant treats to yourself, you can always make cookie dough for freezing. When done right, frozen cookie dough can last up to 6 months or more in the freezer!

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How to Freeze Cookie Dough?

Freezing cookie dough is a straightforward process especially if you made it from scratch. Below is the guide on how to freeze cookie dough the right way:

Prepping the Dough

Start by making cookie according to the recipe. Once the dough is ready for freezing, line a baking sheet with wax paper and grab a small piece of dough and place it on the sheet. Because you’re not baking, you can crowd the cookie dough portions as closely as you like. Then, stick the baking sheet in the freezer for 3 hours or more.

Packing the Cookie Dough for Freezing

Once frozen solid, you can start packing the dough in freezer-safe plastic baggies or a rigid plastic container. Just make sure you take out as much air as you could. Drop cookies are the best type of cookie dough to freeze. Finally, mark each bag with the date, recipe name and baking time before sticking them in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Cookie Dough?

When you’re ready to bake yourself (or the kids!) a delish batch of cookies, transfer a baggie of cookie dough from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the cookie dough to defrost overnight in the fridge or take them out and leave them at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

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Once softened, you can take out each portion and shape it according to the recipe, place them in a waxed baking sheet and stick them in the pre-heated oven to bake.

Summary

Freezing cookie dough is the best way to have a steady supply of baked treats without the hassle. Of course, do note that the freezing temps can affect the texture of the cookies once baked. The colder the cookie dough, the denser the cookie will be! Now that you know how to freeze cookie dough properly, you can make a large batch and save them for later use.

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Pizza Dough?

Pizza dough is one of the most versatile things you can keep in your freezer. Can you freeze pizza dough? If you’re wondering what’s the process of freezing pizza dough then this article is what you’re looking for. Read on!

Pizza is an Italian dish that’s become a real all-American favorite. From toppings to the sauce to crust, almost every restaurant and every family puts their own spin on the pie that’s great for dinner, party, lunch or even breakfast.

To get this favorite food ready relatively quickly and in reasonable quantity to cover a get together at the house, a church function or school fundraiser, it helps to have plenty of dough on hand.  And that’s why we freeze pizza dough. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze pizza dough:

How to Freeze Pizza Dough?

The trick to the successful freezing of pizza dough is really no trick at all, but rather depends on a few common-sense steps:

Making the Dough

Use your usual tried and true recipe for the dough. If this is your first time making it, don’t be intimidated. It’s easy as can be, and there are plenty of recipes out there in cookbooks and online, too.

Decide how many dough balls you would like to freeze. Many cooks use recipes that make two 9 x 13″ cookie sheets worth of pizza. Others use recipes large enough for four 8″ round pizzas. Either way works well because you can use one dough ball for pizza that evening and freeze the other ones. For long-term freezing, try to think how many times a month your family eats pizza and double or triple up on the recipe.

After you have mixed the dough, let it proof or rise for at least 1 to 2 hours. Punch it down, and allow the dough you are using immediately to rise again before doing the final roll out and the addition of sauce and toppings.

Packing the Dough for Freezing

Do not let the dough you are freezing to rise for the second time. Instead, prepare if for the freezer by shaping it into single-pie balls. Dust each ball with flour or cornmeal, and place each into a separate Ziploc bag. (Some people prefer lightly oiling the dough.)

Place the bagged dough in the freezer. Storage time can be as long as 3 months, If stored for longer periods of time, you may find ice crystals on the dough.

Pizza dough

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How to Defrost Frozen Pizza Dough?

When the day comes to use the frozen dough, simply take the right number of dough balls from the freezer, remove from the plastic zipper bags and let them thaw on the kitchen counter at room temperature.

Allow at least 2 hours for this. If you want to pull the dough out in the morning, letting it thaw while you are at work, place the dough in the refrigerator and then take it out for a 30 minute warm up when you get home.

Dust the dough with flour. For a nice thick crust, be sure to punch down the thawed dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Skip this step for a thinner crust. Roll out the crust, and add sauce and toppings.

Summary

Can you freeze pizza dough? Of course, you can! And when you do, you’ll have frozen dough on hand. You can enjoy pizza at home more frequently. Also, the price of at-home versus pizza parlor price makes your prep time well worth it.

Dough & Batter

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:

Baked bread

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How to Freeze Bread Dough?

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.

How to Defrost Frozen Bread Dough?

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.

Summary

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.

Dough & Batter

Can You Freeze Pancake Batter?

Can you freeze pancake batter? Who doesn’t love waking up to piles of fluffy pancakes in the morning? Pancake batter can either be made from scratch or store-bought. Whatever type of pancake batter you are using, we’re happy to report that the batter freezes so well with little loss of quality. Freezing the batter makes sense if you are planning to whip up a large batch of pancakes or if you have a lot of leftover batter in your hands.

While freezing the batter will not affect the flavor of the pancakes, they will lose their fluffiness in the process. Most pancake batter contains baking powder, a leavening agent that activates itself when liquid is added to the batter.

Preparing pancake batter

Unfortunately, the activation of baking soda is single acting. Once it’s been activated and the batter is frozen, the pancakes won’t rise. So don’t be surprised if the pancakes come out thinner or flatter once you’ve frozen and defrosted the batter. Before packing the pancake batter for freezing, check the list of ingredients for baking soda.

Should You Freeze Pancake Batter?

While we do not recommend freezing pancake batter made with baking soda, you can do it if left with no choice. Freezing the batter is the better option than throwing perfectly usable leftover batter in the trash. In addition, freezing the batter is a great idea if you are always busy in the morning with almost zero time to prep for breakfast. Just defrost the pancake batter the night before and you can go ahead and make yummy pancakes first thing in the morning. If you are only making a few pancakes at a time, freezing the batter is a terrific idea.

Below is a step by step guide on how to freeze pancake batter properly.

How to Freeze Pancake Batter?

Freezing pancake batter is so easy. You can either use a shallow container with an airtight lid or a resealable plastic bag to store the batter.

can you freeze pancake batter

If you are using a shallow container with an airtight lid, pour the batter into the container. Do not fill the container all the way to the brim. Leave about two inches of space so the batter has room to expand as it freezes. Cover the container with the airtight lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Pancake batter ready for freezing

If you are using a resealable plastic bag to freeze the batter, simply pour the batter into the bag. Again, do not fill the plastic bag fully. Leave about a few inches of space so the batter has room to expand as it freezes.

Pouring pancake batter in freezer bags

If the leftover batter is not enough to fill the plastic bag fully, fold the plastic bag so it stores flat in the freezer. Squeeze out as much air as you can then seal the plastic bag carefully. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Labeling pancake batter in bag

Shelf Life and Thawing Suggestions

When kept in the freezer, pancake batter will keep up to three months. To thaw the frozen pancake batter, just transfer the product to the fridge and leave it to defrost overnight.

If you are pressed for time, you can leave a pack of frozen batter to thaw on the kitchen counter. This may cause the liquids to separate so give the batter a good stir before using. Also, watch out for leaks!

Snipping the bag

If you used a resealable plastic bag to freeze the pancake batter, snip one of the corners of the bag for easy (and mess-free) pouring.

Prepared pancake

Summary
Can you freeze pancake batter? Although most culinary experts advice against freezing pancake batter, it can be done as a last-ditch effort to avoid waste. Pancakes made with frozen and defrosted pancake batter has a denser texture so don’t be surprised about the different mouthfeel. Just keep all these storage tips in mind before freezing the pancake batter so you’ll do it right the first time.