freezing homemade bread dough?

tami_ohioMarch 21, 2012

I am thinking about making several loaves of dough and freezing it to take in the motor home, so all I have to do is bake it. How long can I keep it frozen? I know I used to buy the frozen dough in the grocery store and thaw it in the the loaf pan before baking. I figured I could do the same with home made. And what temp to bake it at, please? When I do home made, it's all in the bread machine.


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Just guessing, but I would guess it would keep 2 to 3 months.
Thaw the bread and allow to rise. In a 72 degree place it will take 4 to 5 hours to thaw and rise to almost double.
I bake most bread at 375....a French baguette at 425.
Why not bake the bread, wrap in foil and freeze that way? then heat, wrapped in the oven at 300 for 30 minutes? Or thawed, warm unwrapped at 400 for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Thanks Linda. The reason I don't want to bake it then freeze it to take is lack of room. Have you ever seen the freezer in a camper frige?! If all I put in the freezer were loaves of bread I might get 8 in it.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Hints for freezer bread dough:

-Find a recipe that is designed for freezing the dough for the best results. There will be more yeast and sugar and less salt in a recipe destined for the freezer. There is more yeast because the yeast action is slowed once it's in suspension in the dough. The salt regulates the yeast, so less of it will help optimize a quicker rise. If using your own recipe the rule-of-thumb is to double the amount of yeast.

-Use Active Dry Yeast instead of fast-rising or instant yeast. Active Dry Yeast is more tolerant to being frozen.

-Lean dough breads freeze better than enriched.

-Use bread flour instead of all-purpose. The extra gluten will help the loaf rise better.

-Honey is also a better choice than sugar whether you are freezing the dough or freezing the baked loaf because it helps maintain moisture in the loaves.

-Suggested freezer time is 2 months at 0-degrees F. If your freezer isn't that cold or the temperature fluctuates, I certainly wouldn't stretch it out much longer than that.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Thanks Grainlady. I have both kinds of yeast. I usually use AD instead of FR. What do you mean by a lean loaf?
I almost always use bread flour. I also use whole wheat mixed with it. I have a quart of local honey so will use that. I won't stretch it more than the two months as the freezer definitely will fluctuate, and we are usually only on the road for a month at a time. I will also be using a bread machine recipe. I could do it in the KA mixer, but the machine is easier for me.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Tami, a lean loaf has less eggs, oil, etc.

I agree, dough made with gread flour rises better after freezing. I freeze dough for bread, cinnamon rolls, etc., and it's good for 2 months, I've kept it three but it's pushing the envelope. The honey wheat freeze better than Grandma's Farmhouse White, probably because of all those eggs, milk and butter!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:12PM
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Annie gave you the Cliff's Notes version of lean dough. Lean breads are mainly made with flour, water, yeast (or natural leavening - i.e. sourdough starter), salt, and would include Italian bread, French bread, ciabatta, pizza dough, some flat breads, hard rolls.... If there is any fat in these recipes it is generally from the fat coating the bowl you place the dough in for proofing, not added fat - although you will find recipes for Italian, French breads that do include some oil or fat, but that is not a true lean dough. These breads also stale the fastest.

Enriched breads have enriching ingredients such as fat, eggs, dairy, sweetener/s, potatoes (or other pureed vegetables), cooked grains like rice, wheat, etc.... They are also the best keepers after they are baked and include panettone, sandwich bread, Challah, soft rolls, sweet dough (for cinnamon rolls)...


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I think the only thing that's in my white, Italian or wheat recipes is dry milk powder. As it's 10:30, and we just got home, with ice on my knee, I won't go check, but I'm pretty sure that's it. I don't think there is any oil/butter unless maybe a T. I'll check tomorrow. Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Are you injured?

Thanks for asking this question. I had no idea bread dough could be frozen. Yeah, I've learned something new today!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:45AM
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Sally2, thankss for asking. No, I'm not injured. I have arthritis in my knees and have been getting lubricating injections in them. It's a series of 3 and I got the last one in the left knee on Monday. That knee has been unhappy ever since. It does aggravate things. This last injection had the whole leg swollen, and the knee painful, even with ice as directed and my usual anti-inflamatories, but is much better now.

I'm glad I could ask a question that someone besides me could learn from. I knew it could be, as I used to buy it commercially, but have never tried it at home.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:11AM
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Sorry for the pun, but what a pain! I feel for you with the arthritis.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 9:37AM
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LOL! Sally, you are right! But,even though I'm still swollen some today, the pain is much better!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 3:07PM
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