In my quest to get ready for the new baby, I’ve been trying to bake and freeze a few items now so that we have quick things to eat later. One of the items I didn’t want to bake ahead and freeze was my homemade bread for the fact that I didn’t want it stale and crumbly. So I decided to try freezing the dough and see how well it worked. Makes sense, right? I mean they sell frozen bread dough in the stores.
It works quite well, although it does add hours to the rising time. But, I also don’t have to do anything but pull it out of the freezer in the morning! Every time I now make a loaf to eat, I also make a loaf to freeze and am quickly building up a nice supply of ready to go dough.
Here’s what I do:
After the bread is done with it’s first rising time, instead of going into the pan to rise again before baking, I pat it out on a lightly floured surface. Making it 3 times the width of the pan and just as long.
Then I fold it over in thirds,and place it into the greased pan.(btw – this works great anytime you make bread as it gets out the air bubbles)
Then I find the coldest spot in the freezer to place it for a few hours until it firms up nicely. It will also rise less while freezing if you can keep the door closed. If you’re in and out of the freezer, the warmer air will make it rise slightly.After frozen, just place into a one gallon freezer bag, label, and toss back in.To bake, just pull out in the morning, cover with a towel, and let rise until at least double in size. This of course will depend a lot on the weather and actual warmth of the home, but I found it took about 6 hours for me.
- 3 cups whole white wheat flour
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup hot water (mixed with the milk to make warm)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp vinegar (helps a whole wheat loaf rise better! Makes it lighter and airier, but does not effect the taste)
- I place this in my bread machine on the dough cycle, and when it's done it goes into a pan (same as above) and I let it rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan and then place onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
**Edited to add – I now make this with spelt and it does not freeze so well! Wheat works great, spelt -not so much.