Tag: baked goods

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Injera?

Can you freeze injera? Injera is a type of Ethiopian sourdough-risen flatbread. This bread is typical in the East African region and is traditionally eaten with stews, soups, and salads.

Injera – which is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea – is an incredibly thin bread yet has a spongy texture and mild flavor. This type of bread is quite rare so if you found some in your local supermarket and you love flatbread, stock up on injera! Of course, you can also make your own injera using teff flour and a skillet.

Injera does turn moldy much more quickly than other flatbreads so it must be stored properly. It is possible to retain the soft, chewy texture of the flatbread as long as you prepped the injera prior to storage.

Image used under Creative Commons from Serene Vannoy

When kept at room temperature, injera could keep fresh for up to 2 to 3 days only. In the fridge, injera is safe to eat for up to 7 days. And when frozen, it will keep fresh for 2 to 3 months. However, we recommend consuming the flatbread as soon as possible even when it’s frozen. The longer the injera is kept in the freezer, the higher the chances of texture and flavor change.

If say, you overestimated the amount of flatbread you bought, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze injera:

How to Freeze Injera?

Depending on the state of the injera, there are different ways to prep the flatbread prior to freezing.

Freezing Unopened Injera

If the flatbread’s packaging is unopened, you can simply stick the injera into the freezer as is. Just make sure to label the product with the storage date.

Freezing Homemade  Injera

For homemade injera, leave the flatbread to cool for an hour or two on a cooling rack prior to freezing. Then, wrap the injera in tin foil.

Wrapping the bread in aluminum foil, there should never be a spot exposed or the bread won’t freeze properly. Water crystals will form into exposed bread and this will affect the shelf life and texture of the injera once it’s been defrosted. Once wrapped, stick the bread in the freezer.

Freezing Leftover Injera

To prep leftover and/or homemade injera, wrap each flatbread in cling wrap or aluminum foil completely but layer a sheet of wax paper on each bread. This will keep the injera from sticking to one another as it freezes.

Image used under Creative Commons from Steve Graby

After wrapping the bread in protective cling wrap or aluminum foil, place the whole thing in a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as possible before sealing. Get a marker, label the product with the storage date, and stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Injera?

Defrosting the Injera

Injera is easy to defrost but do so gradually so the texture and taste won’t change at all. To thaw injera, transfer the frozen flatbread from the freezer and onto the kitchen counter. Do not put the frozen injera in the fridge because once you reheat the flatbread, it becomes dry and tasteless.

Once the injera has been thawed for an hour or so, get several damp paper towels. Place the paper towels on top of the injera and then stick the flatbread in the microwave to reheat. The damp paper towels will protect the injera from heat while also keeping it moist as it is heated.

Image used under Creative Commons from Ernesto Andrade

Reheating the Injera

Once you’re done reheating, you can now serve and enjoy this delicious flatbread. You can also reheat the injera in oven toasters for a minute or two, depending on how you like your flatbread.

Summary

There’s no doubt about it, injera is one of the best types of flatbreads to use for stews and saucy dishes. The flatbread has a mouthwatering smoky flavor that’s totally unique and delicious! Now that you know how can you freeze injera, you can store more of your favorite flatbread for future meals.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Muffins?

We could all use a dose of sweetness in life and nothing satisfies the sweet tooth than a warm batch of muffins. Muffins come in an array of flavors too, some savory others are sweet. Whichever type of muffin flavor you like, did you know that you can always freeze muffins and fresh batter for later use?

Image used under Creative Commons from Susanne Nilsson

That’s right, baked muffin and batter keep well in the freezer. By storing your extra muffins and batter in the freezer, you’ll never run out of delicious snacks to whip up! Frozen baked muffins and batter will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Freeze Muffins?

The best way to freeze muffins is to do so once the baked goods have cooled down to room temperature. To prep the muffins, get a re-sealable plastic bag and start wrapping the muffins one at a time. You want to make sure all muffins are wrapped individually so they don’t get stuck together in the freezer as well as to keep freezer burn at bay!

Once all the muffins are packed in a container, get a marker and label each one with the freezing date. To enjoy optimum flavors and texture, use up your stock within the recommended storage time. Also, make sure the freezer is set at a steady 0°F or lower for best results.

How to Defrost Frozen Muffins?

The best way to defrost muffins is by transferring them from the freezer to a plate and letting the muffins thaw at room temperature. Once the muffins have been thawed completely, stick them in the preheated toaster oven or conventional oven.

Image used under Creative Commons from Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin

Get a small plate, unwrap the muffin and wrap it in tinfoil before putting it on the plate and sticking it in the oven or toaster oven.  Heat for about 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F. If you’re using a microwave, heat it on high for no more than 30 seconds.

Summary

Microwaving muffins may affect the texture of the finished products so always keep an eye on the setting and heating time. Keeping a batch of baked muffins in the freezer means you’ll always have snacks ready for you and your family. Now that you know how to freeze muffins properly, you can store a large batch for future use.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

It’s hard to resist a good bargain and if you live for tacos and carnitas, then having tortilla shells in stock is a must! But if you ended up with more tortilla shells than you can handle, why not freeze them for later use? Yes, you can freeze tortillas, corn or flour-based alike!

Tortillas can be kept at room temperature for several days without going bad. However, extended exposure to oxygen will speed up the breakdown in the oils, causing molds to grow on tortillas.

Image used under Creative Commons from Maria Morri

Freezing tortillas help extend their shelf life and reduce wastage. When frozen and defrosted properly, tortillas’ texture will remain the same as its original state. Of course, there are certain things you have to consider before freezing a bag of tortilla shells, which we will highlight in today’s article.

How to Freeze Tortillas?

To freeze tortillas, you can either keep it in their original packaging or place them in a large, rigid container. We recommend wrapping each tortilla shell with wax paper so they do not stick with each other once frozen.

Also, the wax paper will keep frost at bay, so by the time they are ready to use, the tortillas will retain their original texture. Frost will toughen the ingredients, causing the shells to become chewy when warmed.

Just stick the product in the freezer, no additional prep needed. Make sure that the packaging is tightly sealed for best result. When frozen, tortillas will keep for up to 5 months.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Tortillas?

Thawing and reheating tortillas is so easy and fast! To thaw the tortillas, take as many frozen products as you need from the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator. Leave to thaw overnight or two.

Once thawed, put the still-frozen tortilla shells in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed. Repeat in batches until all tortillas are nice and warm.

Image used under Creative Commons from Stacy Spensley

To reheat the thawed tortillas, you can use the oven. Start by preheating your oven to 350°. Then, stack several tortilla shells in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and stick it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Summary

Freezing tortillas is a perfect method to preserving big batches of the product at a time. And as long as they are frozen properly, the tortilla shells will remain nice and crisp for longer. Now that you know how to freeze tortillas properly, you can start stocking up on more shells for future dishes!

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

Image used under Creative Commons from pacificbro

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.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Banana Bread?

Can you freeze banana bread? Baking banana bread often leaves you with leftovers because you can’t eat the entire loaf fast enough. You can freeze banana bread and preserve those slices so they stay fresh. If that sounds interesting then read on to learn about freezing banana bread.

Whether you buy it from the grocery store or do it yourself, homemade baked goods taste delightful and fresher than pre-packed persevered foods.

One of the most popular baked goods people seem to love most is banana bread, but sometimes when you get it fresh, you end up with tons of slices left over because you are unable to eat the entire loaf up fast enough.

The good news is you can freeze the banana bread and preserve those slices for later. This will allow you to eat the bread later when you are craving it, and prevent those extra slices from spoiling and turning to waste. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze banana bread:

How to Freeze Banana Bread?

The best way to freeze leftover banana bread loaves or slices is by placing them into a freezer storage bag or container. Banana bread will stay fresh this way for up to a few weeks without the flavor or texture of the bread being changed at all.

However, if frozen banana bread is not used up within a few weeks the flavor and texture can change slightly. In fact, banana bread that stays frozen for a long period might also change color and become moister in texture. Banana bread that is frozen should always be eaten up within a month from the freezing date.

Slices of banana bread

Image used under Creative Commons from Karen and Brad Emerson

Can you freeze the batter for later? If you truly want freshly baked banana bread for breakfast, but you never, have time to get up and make it, simply make a banana bread batter when you have time and place it into a freezable loaf pan, cover it up with a lid and place it into your freezer.

Then, when you are ready to bake it some morning when you are crazy it, take the loaf batter out of the freezer and place it into a 350-degree oven for around an hour or two hours, or until you can stick a toothpick in the center of it and have it come out clean. After, you can remove the bread from the oven, allow it to get cool and slice it up and enjoy it for a tasty snack or breakfast treat.

How to Defrost Frozen Banana Bread?

The best way to defrost banana bread loaves or slices is to simply take the bread out of the freezer bags and set them onto a cutting board with a piece of paper towel. Next, allow them to defrost for about 30-minutes to an hour for slices, or an hour to 2-hours for banana bread loaves.

After that, you can serve it up and eat it up at room temperature, or you can microwave or toast the bread to warm it up before eating it. You could even use the bread to make banana bread French toast or a custard pudding if you preferred.

Summary

It is never wise to freeze banana bread slices that have been sitting on the counter for more than two days. It is always best to freeze fresh banana bread within the first day you purchase it or bake it so it retains its freshness and full delicious sweet banana flavor.

The good news is, you can freeze freshly baked banana bread, leftovers, and even banana bread batter! Freezing is such a convenient way of preserving your favorite baked goods. Now that you know how can you freeze banana bread, just save all your excess for later snacking!

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie?

Would you like to know the answer to the question “can you freeze pumpkin pie?”?. If so, this article is for you. Pumpkin pie is one of the pies popular during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. People who would like to know the answer to the main question often would love to bake it in advance, so they can take care of their other duties, or they’ve simply made too much of it and would like to store some of it for a longer period of time, like a couple of weeks. If you’re one of those people, you should know that pumpkin pie can be frozen. Read on to get to know how to do it.

Freezing pumpkin pie – important information

Pumpkin pie is a custard pie, therefore most people think that it doesn’t freeze well. Truth be told, some people freeze pumpkin pie on a regular basis and are pleased with the results they get, while others have tried it once or twice and will never do it again. That’s why I can’t tell you “yeah, you can freeze pumpkin pie and it’ll be great once thawed”. Unfortunately, in this case you need to experiment with freezing pumpkin pie on your own. I just can give you some tips and best practises, but you’re the one who needs to apply them and figure out if you’re satisfied with what you’ll get.

Pumpkin pie
(credit: freshtopia)

How to freeze pumpkin pie

To get the best results, you should follow the rules outlined below. Of course that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be delighted with your frozen and thawed pumpkin pie. When freezing for the first time, I suggest you follow these rules pretty strictly. If the frozen and thawed pumpkin pie will be only “so-so”, consider altering a little some of these guidelines or adding some of your own.

  • Once the pumpkin pie is baked, cool it down thoroughly. This part is very important and often overlooked. The pie needs to be completely cool, or even chilled before freezing, so it won’t have much water to release in form of steam.
  • Cover the pie with two layers of wrapping material. Choosing plastic wrap for the first layer is a good idea. For the second layer you can choose aluminum foil, or simply put the pie into a freezer bag. Two layers should provide enough isolation from cold.
  • Put the pie into the freezer. If you’re concerned that something might damage the pie in the freezer, put it into an airtight container. For best quality, pumpkin pie shouldn’t be frozen for more than 1-2 months.

Thawing pumpkin pie

First thing to do is to remove all the wrappers. It might not be possible right after pulling the pie from the freezer, so you should put the pie into the fridge and remove the wrappers as soon as you can do it pretty easily. The pie should be stored in the fridge for 4-8 hours (e.g. overnight) to thaw thoroughly. Resist the temptation of thawing it in room temperature – the texture of the pie will be negatively affected and you don’t want that to happen. If the pie right from the fridge is too cold, you can warm it up a little using a microwave. Just don’t put it in the microwave for a few minutes all at once. Break it down into few sessions of heating and resting.

Summary
As you probably know, pumpkin pie can be frozen, but not everyone will be satisfied with the results they’ll get. That’s why if you really need to know if you can freeze this pie, give it a try and see what happens. If you’ll follow the guidelines I outlined above, it’s possible you’ll be happy with the results you’ll get.

Dessert

Can you Freeze Cheesecake?

Can you freeze cheesecake? Most people love cheesecake, but unless there’s quite a few people attending your party, there will be leftovers. You can store them in the fridge for a few days, but often one would prefer to store it for a longer period of time.
Or you would like to be able to bake cheesecake in advance, even a couple of weeks before the party or celebration. Fortunately enough, you can freeze cheesecake and many people (and companies like Trader Joe’s) do it successfully. Here’s a few things you should know before freezing this cake.

Before Freezing Cheesecake

If you plan to place any kind of frosting or topping on the cheesecake, do it right before serving it to your guests. Or at least once you thaw the cheesecake. Freezing cheesecake with a topping on it is a bad idea. The process of freezing and defrosting will in most cases change the texture. of the topping. Your topping or frosting won’t be nearly as good as it was before freezing.

Almond Cheesecake with Nut Crust

Image used under Creative Commons from scubadive67

Now that you know you can only freeze the cake without its topping, there are a few other things worth knowing. Before freezing cheesecake, make sure it’s cooled first. If your cheesecake doesn’t freeze well, meaning its texture changes and it isn’t appetizing anymore, take a look at your recipe. It’s said that classic cream cheesecake freezes very well, but if there’s a lot of sour cream in the recipe, it might cause the texture to change after thawing. If it’s not the sour cream, maybe it’s another ingredient that causes that. You should try a different recipe if your cheesecake doesn’t freeze well.

How to Freeze Cheesecake

You shouldn’t freeze cheesecake for too long. It’s suggested it should be pretty good for two or three months, but most people say that freezing it for a month is a maximum. After that time it starts to lose its taste and you might be not satisfied with its taste after thawing. You should try freezing cheesecake made with your favorite recipe for a month or two and check how does it taste. You don’t want to serve a so-so cheesecake to your guests, do you?

Here are some of the possibilities you have when it comes to freezing cheesecake.

Freezing cheesecake baked in a springform pan

This way is good if you want to keep the cake in the springform pan. First, loosen the cheesecake from the pan’s outer rim and remove the outer rim. Leave the cake sitting on the bottom of the pan or transfer it onto a wrapped cardboard cake bottom. Now wrap the whole thing with plastic foil and then make an outer layer with heavy aluminum oil or put it into a freezer bag and squeeze out all the air from the bag. Now it’s ready to go to the freezer.

Freeze sliced cheesecake

If you’d like to be able to thaw only a small amount of the cake, this way is the best for you. Cut the cheesecake into desirable slices, wrap each one with foil and then put them into freezer bags. You can also wrap the slices with aluminum foil (after wrapping them with the regular one) and put them into an airtight container. This way the cake will freeze fine and other products in the freezer won’t be able to crush, press or deform it.

Freeze cheesecake in an airtight container

If you plan to freeze cheesecake only for a few days, I wouldn’t bother in wrapping it tightly with few layers of foil. Just put it into an airtight container and into the freezer. If you plan to keep it in there for more than a few days, wrapping it is pretty much essential. The longer you plan to store it in the freezer, the better you should wrap it. Regular foil plus heavy aluminum foil or freezer bags should do the trick.

Summary
As you can see you can freeze cheesecake. It freezes pretty well (sometimes you can even buy frozen cheesecake) and there are at least a few ways you can do it. If your cheesecake doesn’t freeze well, try altering your recipe a little or wrapping it better, so the cold air won’t damage it that much. Since many people can successfully freeze it, you’ll be able to that as well.

Bread & Baked Goods

Can You Freeze Bread?

Can you freeze bread? Bread is a staple food known and used throughout the world. Commercially baked bread stays fine for just a couple of days. Is there a way to extend its shelf life? Can you preserve it to consume it after a week or two if you won’t be able to consume it within the next few days? Of course – you can freeze bread. It’s quite easy to do and many people do that on a regular basis.

Loaves of bread

Image used under Creative Commons from Jim Champion

Freezing bread

The first thing to remember is that freezing can’t improve the quality of your bread. If it’s already stale, it’ll be stale when you thaw it. Fresh bread is best for freezing. Don’t postpone freezing if you know that you’ll freeze this loaf (or loaves) anyway. If you bake your own bread or buy fresh warm bread in a bakery, let it cool down before freezing.

If you plan to eat the bread within 2 to 3 weeks, you can put it in the freezer as is, in its plastic packaging. If your store-bought bread comes in paper packaging, you should repackage it into a freezer bag. Feel free to cut the loaf into slices, just remember to seal the packaging well.

To freeze bread for a period of time longer than 3 weeks, you need more wrapping. You need to wrap bread tightly and the wrapping shouldn’t let through any moisture and air. The easiest way to achieve that is to wrap it twice. First, wrap the bread tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Now you can put the wrapped bread into a freezer bag. When packaging the bread (both first and second layer) please remember to push out or suck out all air. The less air near the bread, the better it will freeze and preserve good quality for longer.

If you have a vacuum sealer, you can use it when freezing bread. But before sealing the package with it, you should flash-freeze the bread. To do that you need to put it on a tray or a cookie sheet and put it into the freezer for an hour or two. That will suppress flattening of the bread when sealing the package.

How Long Bread Can Be Frozen

In theory, you can keep bread frozen indefinitely. But after some time (like a year) its quality won’t be anywhere near acceptable. If you’ve frozen bread in its original packaging or other loose wrapping, you shouldn’t keep it in the freezer for more than 2, maybe 3 weeks. If you’ve packaged the loaf tightly and removed all air, it should remain of good quality for 3 months. If you’ve used a vacuum sealer, you can keep it in the freezer even for half a year. In reality, given periods of time depend on who is going to eat the bread. Some people don’t like its taste after only a week of freezing.

Thawing Bread

If you decide to thaw the whole loaf, do it in room temperature but don’t unwrap it until its thawed. A one pound (about 450 grams) bread will thaw about 3 hours. Take note that the bigger the loaf is, the longer it takes to thaw it. If you need to thaw individual slices, you can leave them unwrapped at room temperature. You can also use a microwave to defrost bread.

Summary
As you can see, you can freeze bread and it is easy to do that.