Does bread dough freeze well for later baking?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by abefroman, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. abefroman

    abefroman

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    Does bread dough freeze well for later baking?

    TIA
     
  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Hm, I think so, /img/vbsmilies/smilies/laser.gifat least I see lots of frozen bread dough in the supermarket freezer cases
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    No reason why it shouldn't, Abe. I freeze pre-ferments all the time, with no ill effects. The yeast merely goes to sleep.

    What I'd do is take it out of the freezer the night before, and let it defrost in the fridge. Take it from the fridge that morning, and it should take, roughly, two hours to warm up and proof, and be ready to shape.
     
  4. shavy

    shavy

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    Yes.  Tons of people do it (particularly religious jews, where challah needs to be made out of a certain minimum amount of flour).  You can freeze it before the second rise and let it thaw on the counter and rise, or you can shape it and freeze it shaped, then let it thaw in fridge and then out on counter until it reaches room temp, at which point you pop it in the oven.  I've never noticed a difference in flavor between frozen dough and fresh dough.
     
  5. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Shavy, what does the amount of flour have to do with freezing or not?

    The main reason for freezing challah dough is to save time on what, historically, is a very busy Friday for a housewife.
     
  6. kgraf88

    kgraf88

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    Definitely. KY hit it spot on.

    Also, I've found that many recipes will include a side note about advanced prep and freezing the dough. For example, cinnamon buns from scratch. You'd have to get up hours in advance for the rolls to rise and cook in time for breakfast. Many of the recipes I've found suggest putting the dough in the fridge the night before, or prepping days in advance and freezing it.
     
  7. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    There are some limits, though. Rose Levy Beranbaum, in The Bread Bible, suggests that you can only freeze dough -- or better, shaped dough -- for about 2 weeks, and that if you plan to run up near that time you're going to need to increase the yeast by 10-25%. Prolonged cold will kill yeast, but the effect is minimal if you're talking about a few days or so.
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Surely that's a typo, Chris? Every reference I've seen has talked in terms of two months, rather than two weeks. And I've frozen pre-ferments for much longer than that.

    I also don't understand the reference to prolonged cold. Exactly what does she mean by that? I store my yeast in a 0-degree freezer for months at a time, and the yeast wakes back up and does its thing as it warms up.

    It occurs to me, too, that if what she says is true, nobody in New England would be able to make sourdough. Given the length and depth of your winters, all the wild yeast would have died long ago.

    Increasing the yeast by 10-25% is totally unnecessary, IMO. If some of the yeast does, indeed, die, all it means is that the dough or shaped loaf will take longer to rise. But so much depends on the yeast you use. A typical yeast-bread recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of instant yeast, or 2.5 of active dry. That difference, alone, is the high end of the suggested increase. Which would mean  if you use instant yeast (which is 25% more active to begin with) you're covering that base.

    I've never read any of her work. But I'm beginning to understand why she gets such mixed reviews among baking enthusiasts.

    Question: Are you just quoting her? Or have you actually tried freezing dough, for various lengths of time, to see what happens?
     
  9. breadmaker man

    breadmaker man

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    I've had success with it but make sure you let it thaw properly so the dough is actually at room temprature or close enough too all the way through before baking with it.
     
  10. shavy

    shavy

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    Most people don't use six loaves of challah over shabbos (which IME, is what a six lb bag of flour will yield you).  Freezing the dough (as opposed to loaves you've baked) takes up less room in the freezer and allows for freshly-baked challos every shabbos (and yes, saves on time).  As opposed to the average baker, who might only make one or two loaves of their preferred bread at a time and have no real need to freeze dough.
     
  11. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    which IME, is what a six lb bag of flour will yield you

    Close enough. My challah has a little more flour, starting with 18 ounces rather than 16.

    That aside, we're still not on the same track here. You originally said that the amount of flour affects whether or not the dough can be frozen; or, at least, implied it. That's what I was questioning. My point was that the amount of flour in a dough is irrelevent to whether or not it will freeze well.

    who might only make one or two loaves of their preferred bread at a time and have no real need to freeze dough.

    "Real need?" Perhaps not. But when you have to clean the house thoroughly, take care of other chores, plus prepare the Shabbos meal before 4 in the afternoon, anything that saves a big hunk of time is important. Depending on what's on the menu that night, bread making is either the number one or number two most time-consumptive task---even for people who only make one or two loaves of their preferred bread.
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I always keep my yeast cakes in freezer and everything turns out fine. In food service  use frozen rolls all the time..You can freeze most anything.
     
  13. siduri

    siduri

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    I used to only be able to find fresh yeast here, and it was not always easy to find.  I got it a few times from a store that kept it in the freezer.  It worked very badly - only had about half the power of fresh yeast kept in the fridge.  It could be because of how they stored it, i don't know, they would just put the cubes of yeast into the freezer, and maybe it was already old.  I just never trusted frozen yeast after that. 
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If you leave it unfrozen till experation date then freeze it is not as good. I buy it frozen.
     
  15. shavy

    shavy

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    You misread my original quote.  I absolutely did not suggest that the amount of flour in a recipe affects whether it can be frozen.  I stated that when you START with six lbs of flour, you're more likely to want to freeze dough than someone who intends to only make a loaf or two.  There is a certain minimum amount of flour one MUST start with while making bread in order to take challah with a blessing (and a lesser minimum to take challah without a blessing).

    My comment about 'real need' wasn't referring to jews at all, rather to the average home baker who presumably makes fewer loaves of whatever bread at one time.  AFAIK, only religious jews as a demographic regularly make huge batches of dough (I could be totally wrong on that - I'm only familiar with my window to the world).  I really don't know why you might be taking my comments personally, but they weren't intended to be offensive and I can't see how they might be taken that way.
     
  16. casanaa

    casanaa

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    Yes, it does. What is important is to let the dough rest outside the fridge until is room temperatured before baking it. I´ve done it. 
     
  17. sonnyfiliomio

    sonnyfiliomio

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    Yes it does freeze well.  If you notice in some supermarkets you can actually buy frozen bread and frozen pizza dough.  That being said, I much prefer to make the dough fresh and then  make the bread right away.
     
  18. andylewis

    andylewis

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    Yes, Bread dough freeze well for later baking, I tried once or you can buy the ready made bread.
     
  19. remi love

    remi love

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    I have workedfpor huge operations and micro bakeries and all of them freeze dough or get dough in frozen . If you are making dough and your intent to freeze it for under a month i suggest adding 5-10% more sugar and to also add 10 % more yeast so that you balance off what gets killed by the action of freezing . A great bread book is the bread bible it has answered most of my bread questions over time plus give you some awesome bread recipes .
     
  20. mattm

    mattm

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    that's two months, also depends on the ratio temperature / time. Around 8 F and you can keep it for even longer.