Can you freeze bread dough?
Can you freeze bread dough? Baking bread alone takes time, so batch-baking bread dough seems like a good idea. Of course, for this to work, you need to freeze the bread dough. Does it make sense to freeze bread dough, and if so how to do it, are the questions this article will answer.
You could freeze the bread after cooking, but that takes up more freezer space and doesn’t provide the warm, oven-fresh flavor you want. Because of this, freezing bread dough seems like a much better idea.
But is freezing the best idea for preserving bread dough? As with most things, bread dough can definitely be frozen, but you may be wondering if yeast freezes in the freezer. While it’s true that cold temperatures can affect yeast, with freezing this effect is so minimal that it doesn’t alter the overall flavor of the bread.
Bread dough actually freezes quite well and is easy to make. The best part is that you can use it to have homemade bread whenever you want without having to start from scratch every time. Below is a simple guide on how to freeze bread dough:
How do you freeze bread dough?
The first step is to prepare your bread according to your recipe, but only allow it to rise once. It is very important that you do not proof your bread dough a second time before freezing.
Some people like to add extra yeast to their recipe to compensate for any yeast decay that occurs during freezing. It is also recommended to use slow active yeast over fast active yeast to slow down this yeast decay as well.
After the initial rise, knead the dough, then shape into biscuit-shaped loaves of bread as desired. You can use a bread loaf pan, but be sure to line the pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
Immediately after shaping, place the dough in the freezer for at least 10 hours. As soon as the dough is completely frozen, you can transfer the dough molds into freezer bags and put them back in the 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’re ready to bake. This is a good option if you’re unsure how to use your bread dough and allows you to bake either loaves of bread or cookies. Before freezing, the bread has to be kneaded and divided into the desired portions.
How do you thaw frozen bread dough?
Keep in mind that it will take several hours for your bread dough to thaw before you can pop it in the oven. It is recommended to take the bread dough out of the freezer the night before using it and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
When the bread dough is thawed, place it in a loaf pan or place the cookies on a baking sheet. Cover the dough with cling film or a damp, clean towel and allow the dough to rise a second time. The dough should almost double in size during this process.
When the bread has risen, you can bake it in the oven according to your original recipe. Some baking experts say bread dough will keep in the freezer for up to three months, but the longer you leave it frozen, the stronger its effect on yeast. This could eventually lead to a difference in the texture and taste of your bread.
Note that bread dough used within four weeks of freezing should not show any significant changes in the taste or texture of the bread after baking. That way, if you do all the hard work in just one day a month, you can always have fresh, homemade bread.
Making bread dough from scratch is a tedious process, so it’s good to know that you can freeze the dough for later use. Now that you know you can freeze bread dough, you have a chance to make it ahead of time while reducing waste.