Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Freezing Bread Dough

In my journey of bread baking I am always looking for ways to make my baking more efficient. As much as I LOVE baking homemade bread, I don't love how much time it takes. I used to bake two loaves of bread once a week and that required a good 3 hours of mixing, kneading, rising, kneading again, shaping, rising, and baking. Whoo!!

Then, I had the idea of designating one day for a mega-bread-baking day. I baked as much bread as time would allow and I froze it. That worked well but I did miss having freshly baked bread and I also used up an entire day. Don't get me wrong! I LOVED spending an entire day baking. It was very relaxing and therapeutic. I just need to get other things done around here too.

I have discovered something great!! Freezing Bread Dough. I've heard of people doing this and I know you can buy dough at the store but I've never done it myself. I tried it last week and it turned out great!

Here is what I did:

1. I pulled out my favorite bread recipe: Amish White Bread
2. I made the dough as always
3. I kneaded the bread until it was ready for the first rising (per the recipe)
4. However, instead I went ahead and shaped the dough into two loaves
5. I placed the loaves into my two well-greased bread pans
6. Covered the pans and dough with plastic wrap
7. Placed the covered pans into the freezer.
8. I waited until the dough was stiff and wrapped each loaf in plastic wrap.
9. I placed the two loaves into a gallon sized freezer bag and put immediately back into the freezer.
10. The dough is good for 3 months.

Today I made one loaf of the yummy bread. Here's how that went.

1. Around 7 am I pulled one frozen solid loaf of bread dough and placed it into the bread pan it fit into (I have one slightly bigger than the other). The bread pan is well greased.
2. I covered the pan and dough with plastic wrap that I sprayed with pan spray...spray side down.
3. I left the dough to thaw and rise at the same time.
4. Once the dough had risen thoroughly I placed the pan into the oven and baked according to the recipe. (Minus the plastic wrap, of course).

I really like this method because I can make one loaf at a time and it is fresh each time. Frozen dough also takes up less space in the freezer. My new goal is to maintain frozen dough in the freezer so that it is already ready for me to pull it out and bake away. Yum!! Can you smell it?

Freezing Bread Dough is what Works For Me!!

8 Readers Shared Their Love:

Joanna said...

I do this with pizza dough, too. The recipe for pizza dough that I use makes way more crusts than we eat in a reasonable amount of time- and freezing the dough makes pizza a really quick meal!

lifeasamama said...

thanks! i'll have to try this. i love fresh baked bread, but it is a production every time.

I Was Just Thinking.... said...

Thanks - I baked bread about twice a week and this will save me. How long does it take for the frozen loaf to thaw?

Sarah said...

I thawed a loaf on Monday. I took it out around 7 am and it was ready to bake at about 2:30 pm. I was using Quick Rising Yeast. So, it might take longer with other types of yeast. I'm going to be making some dough today. Yeah!

Wendy said...

This is such a timely tip for me! For the last week I've been debating with myself whether this would work with homemade bread dough. Making bread is just enough trouble that I wasn't willing to experiment if it meant I might not get good bread at the end of it! Thanks!!

April said...

Thanks! I just printed out the recipe and added directions to the my it.

Laane said...

Thanks for the tips and recipe.
I think homebaked bread tastes far better. And addint little things to it: sesame seed, little pieces of old cheese, is fun for the children.

Lehman's Greg said...

I just found your blog! The first thing I noticed was your love for my favorite recipe the Amish Bread. This is one of the easiest bread recipes I have ever found, it makes the tastiest breads.

I generally use this recipe as a base for several variations. May I recommend trying a favorite of my family.

Once the bread has risen the first time, roll it out with a rolling pin. sprinkle generous amounts of brown sugar and cinnamon on the dough then roll it back up to fit in the pan (some folding is necessary). Let me tell you this is a favorite with family and friends. Can't make it fast enough.