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Sep 18, 2010 11:29 AM

Artisan Bread... freezing doughs?

I've got Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day checked out of the library and have to return it soon. I'm trying to decide whether to buy the book. So far I've only made the challah dough, haven't baked it yet.

My interest is in making whole-wheat sandwich bread regularly, plus the occasional flatbread or pizza dough. I don't particularly want a strong sourdough flavor. I live alone, so there's no way I'm going to bake three or four times in a week or two the way the book recommends. I know the book says to freeze the enriched bread doughs that contain eggs and butter, but I'm wondering how it would work to freeze the plainer, wetter doughs. Has anybody tried?

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  1. csdiego, I remember someone asking this question over @ the King Arthur Flour website. The King Arthur representative said it would be better to freeze the baked bread, not the dough. No explanation was given, it was part of larger discussion I think. I have been happy with thawed no-knead, have never tried to freeze the raw dough.

    3 Replies
    1. re: BangorDin

      I've made no-knead too, and it's easy enough that I wouldn't consider making it in bulk to freeze. My problem is that I don't love the crust (blasphemy, I know). For every day I prefer WW sandwich bread.

      1. re: csdiego

        I am also looking for a family-friendly, every day kind of loaf for sandwiches and toast rather than a crusty boule. Please let us know if you find a good one. The ones I tried from HBin5 didn't keep very well, tending to be a little dense to begin with and getting almost gummy over time.

        1. re: julesrules

          I'm going to be running some tests on an old favorite, the oatmeal bread from Nick Malgieri's How to Bake. It's almost too fluffy for me as written, so I substitute some WW flour for the white. Next I'll try freezing at different stages to see what works best.

    2. I haven't seen the King Arthur Flour advice.

      But I've taken a class from one of the 5 minutes a day authors, and she said she routinely froze the dough. She said the longer you held your dough, the more likely your dough would be for flat meals and the more likely it would taste like a sour dough.

      If you want a regular dough and want a dough that isn't so much a flat dough, you should freeze your dough. Then you can let it thaw and then let rise and bake when you are ready to use it. I've had good luck doing this. (I'm in your situation -- there are one or two of us. We like the baked bread but don't go through it that fast so freezing the dough makes sense for us.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: karykat

        Very helpful, thanks. It makes sense that freezing would stop the sour flavor from developing. Before I read your comment I was leaning against buying, but now I think I'll give it a shot.

      2. I made some french bread the other day from the "bread baker's apprentice" book (it's a great book btw if you're looking to invest in a bread making book)

        Pretty sure the recipe said it can be frozen as many of them did.

        1. I think in their second book, Healthy Bread in 5, they actually say you can freeze the plain doughs for longer than the enriched doughs. I believe I froze the master recipe once and used it for naan bread with good results.
          I own both of their books and I don't regret it (unlike some other cookbook purchases), but I think there is enough info online to get started & see how you like the results without buying the books. I'm not actually that happy with my Healthy Bread results. But I was happy to make the purchases because 1) I can see that a lot of hard work went into thorough testing and research and 2) they are in regular, very helpful contact with their readers on their website.

          1. To freeze dough is fine, but then to get the mass to oven reediness seems to me to be difficult, if not impossible.

            It would be easier to form and then half cook the item and then freeze.

            I buy Rolls (rye) In Lidl in this form. a few minutes in a hot oven brings them to that 'just cooked
            state' that we desire.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Naguere

              Actually, I'm thinking now that the perfect solution for the whole-wheat sandwich loaf might be to freeze the dough in a loaf pan lined with a reusable parchment sheet. Then I could pop the frozen dough-loaf into a greased loaf pan and let it rise that way, covered with a towel. That doesn't seem so tricky to me.