Who doesn’t enjoy having freshly baked bread whenever possible? There’s something about being able to have freshly baked bread that makes meals more enjoyable.
You might really love baking bread that the entire family can enjoy. Some people make different types of bread for desserts, but others might just make bread that can be used for sandwiches.
Either way, it’s great to have delicious bread that is made with love at home. However, not everyone has the time to bake it as often as they would like to.
There’s a good chance that you’re a busy professional, and finding the time to bake regularly isn’t always easy. This is why some people like to freeze loaves of baked bread that can be enjoyed later.
Others choose to freeze the dough so that it will be ready the next time they do have time to bake. Both options can be convenient for different reasons, but you might be wondering which is best.
Is it better to freeze the dough or baked bread? There are many factors to consider before you’ll truly be able to answer that question.
Below, you’ll be able to examine the positives and negatives of freezing dough and baked bread. This will give you everything that you need to be able to determine which path you’d like to take.
Freezing Dough Is Usually a Better Idea
If you want to be able to enjoy bread that is as tasty as it can possibly be, then it’d be better to freeze the dough. This is because it’s possible to freeze most types of dough without having to deal with any consequences.
When you freeze bread, it’s going to lose a bit of taste due to being frozen. This doesn’t happen when you’re just freezing the dough.
You can use this to your advantage when you’re someone who is trying to save a bit of time. The dough can be prepared ahead of time and then frozen so that you can use it when you do have the time to bake bread.
It saves you a step and ensures that you will be able to have the freshest and tastiest bread that you can. Overall, freezing dough is going to be a great idea for most people who are looking to make the baking process less time-consuming.
On days when you have more time, you’ll be able to prepare dough and freeze it to be used later. Then you won’t have to prepare the dough the next time you get in the mood to bake some bread.
This has worked out well for many baking enthusiasts. It should be fresher and have better taste when compared to bread that has been thawed after being frozen.
Freezing Baked Bread Might Save You More Time
Of course, the reason why people choose to freeze baked bread has to do with wanting to save as much time as possible. In some ways, it’s more convenient to freeze baked bread than it is to simply freeze dough.
For example, you could take the time to bake many different loaves of bread one day when you have a day off. You won’t be able to eat all of the bread that you baked at once, but you’re baking many loaves so that you can eat them in the future.
It is possible to simply freeze some of the bread loaves so that they can be thawed and eaten at a later date. This allows you to enjoy homemade bread on days when you simply don’t have the time to bake anything.
For many bakers, this is going to be a good thing to do. If you’re a very busy person who is only able to bake sometimes when you have days off, then doing this might be more convenient than simply freezing dough.
Freezing dough can also save you time, but it won’t save you quite as much time as freezing baked bread. You can make it so that all you will need to do is thaw the bread out to be able to enjoy it.
Knowing this, you’d think that freezing baked bread would be the best way to go for everyone. Well, there is a potential downside that you need to consider.
When you freeze baked bread, it’s going to lose some of its freshness and taste over time. This means that thawing the bread out will make it taste a little worse than it would have if you’d have been able to enjoy the bread when it was fresh.
Thawing out frozen dough doesn’t have any such consequences to worry about. Most types of dough can be frozen without having to deal with issues like this.
Advice for Freezing Baked Bread and Dough
Now you know that there are positives and negatives about freezing baked bread. Freezing dough is generally a good idea, but it won’t save you as much time.
No matter what option you choose, it’s going to be important to know how to freeze baked bread and dough properly. If you go about things the right way, then you’ll be able to have an optimal experience.
The information below will help you to understand what you should be doing to get ready to freeze baked bread and dough. You can use this information to ensure that you’re going about things the right way.
Freezing Loaves of Bread
When you’re freezing loaves of baked bread, it’s going to be important to allow the bread to cool completely before you place it into the freezer. If you place hot bread in the freezer, then that’s going to create moisture and it could cause issues with the bread.
The moisture would wind up ruining the bread and it could even cause the bread to grow mold while in the freezer. Even if that doesn’t occur, trying to freeze the bread when it’s too hot will likely lead to it being a bit soggy.
You want the bread to taste the best that it can once it’s thawed out from being frozen. Just be patient and wait for it to cool before you place it into your freezer.
The best way to store the bread involves wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap. Once you’ve finished wrapping it in plastic, you’ll want to wrap it up a second time using aluminum foil.
Some people might think that wrapping the loaf of bread twice is unnecessary, but it does help to ensure freshness. Plus, it’s easier to write information on the aluminum foil.
You should take the time to write the date that you baked the bread on the aluminum foil so that you’ll remember how long the bread has been frozen. If you’re freezing bread on a different date than the date that you baked it, then you should write the date that you decided to freeze the bread.
Generally, it’s going to be wise to use the frozen bread up before six months have passed. After six months, the bread is going to lose a lot of flavor and freshness.
Also, loaves of bread will be more likely to become freezer burned if frozen for longer than six months. Try to thaw the bread out and eat it before that happens so that your bread won’t go to waste.
Tips for Freezing Dough
Freezing dough is going to be better in terms of enjoying the freshest and tastiest bread that you can. You’re still going to want to freeze the dough properly so that you can have the best experience.
To make things easier on yourself, it’s going to be wise to form the dough into the shape that you want it to be in. For instance, if you’re planning to bake a loaf of bread, you’ll be able to form the dough into that shape using a loaf pan.
This will allow the dough to keep that shape as it freezes and it can potentially make things even more convenient for you. You don’t have to do this to freeze the dough, but it’s worth trying if you’d like to.
Now, you’re going to want to wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Take the time to wrap it in aluminum foil as well, just to be safe.
A frozen dough loaf like this is going to be able to stay good in your freezer for up to three months. Write the date that you froze the dough on the aluminum foil somewhere so that you’ll know when you need to take it out and use it.
You can do the same thing if you’re planning on baking bread rolls. Shaping the dough into rolls without allowing the bread to go through its first rise in a bowl is acceptable.
Shape your dough bread rolls and then put them on an oiled baking sheet. Cover this sheet with plastic wrap and place it into the freezer for approximately 10 hours.
Once you remove the baking sheet from the freezer, you’ll be able to place the rolls in a resealable plastic bag so that they can be frozen for a longer period of time. Frozen dough rolls like this should stay good for about three weeks.
Writing the date on the plastic bag is highly recommended. Frozen bread dough rolls won’t last as long as loaves do in the freezer and you don’t want to accidentally wait too long to use the dough.
Baking Thawed Dough
Baking thawed dough should be approached in a certain way as well. Having some advice about how to go about baking your bread from frozen dough might help you out.
When thawing your frozen dough loaf, you should try to place the dough in a loaf pan that has been properly oiled. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter so that it can rise.
It’ll take time for it to thaw out and it’ll need to be in a warm location as well. Depending on how things go, it could take up to six hours for everything to go as planned.
You should start checking on the dough after four hours have passed to see how things are going. Once everything is set, you’ll be able to go ahead and bake your bread as you normally would when following a recipe.
Baking dough rolls will involve a similar process. Take your frozen dough rolls out of the plastic bag or container that you placed them in and then put them on a greased-up cookie sheet or tray.
Cover this cookie sheet or tray with plastic wrap and let the dough thaw and rise as normal. Once again, this process will likely take somewhere between four and six hours.
Keep an eye on the rolls, starting at the four-hour mark, so that you don’t have to deal with overproof issues. Your rolls should be twice as big as they were when you started once everything is ready to be baked.
You’ll be able to put the rolls in the oven at this point and bake them normally. It’ll be pretty convenient to have the dough partially ready like this, but it won’t save as much time as being able to just thaw out baked bread.
You’ve now learned a lot about freezing dough and baked bread. If you’re trying to get the best taste and optimal freshness, then you should probably stick to freezing dough.
However, freezing baked bread is possible and it’s still going to be tasty so long as you use the bread in time. A baked loaf of bread will stay good for up to three months and frozen bread rolls will stay good for around three weeks.
Always remember to write the date on the bread that you’ve decided to freeze. You should write the date on any dough that you decide to freeze as well because that can’t stay good in the freezer forever either.
Depending on your situation, it might be more appealing to be able to just freeze baked bread. You can get good results doing this so long as you make use of the advice above.
If you have friends who bake bread, then let them know that it’s okay to freeze it if they want to make extra. It’s always good to be able to save yourself some time and to be able to enjoy baked bread on a day when you aren’t able to bake.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.