I wanted to test out some storage ideas for my homemade bread. I don’t have enough free time every day to make a fresh loaf, but on the days when I do have extra time, I wanted to make up extra dough and store. Some books I checked out from the library said that you can actually freeze the dough before letting it rise for the first time. I’ve yet to experiment with this method, but I did try the more common approach. I allowed the dough to rise until double in size then divided into two loaves, shaped, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then placed on a small cookie sheet inside the freezer until solid. After the dough was frozen through, I placed both loaves together in a gallon-sized Zip-lock bag and replaced in the freezer.
Here is what the loaves looked like when ready for the freezer.
And here is what the frozen loaf looked like after baking. Next time I will take a little bit more time shaping it before placing in the freezer since this one came out a little lopsided. 🙂
Simply place your frozen dough inside the refrigerator 12-24 hours before you plan on baking. Let rest for 30 minutes inside your prepared loaf pan uncovered prior to baking. Bake at normal temperature and time.
I’ve yet to experiment with the frozen challah which is braided. I’m hoping that it will still fluff like the loaves that are baked fresh.
The third way to freeze your homemade bread is to bake your loaves, let them completely cool, then wrap with plastic wrap/foil and place in freezer storage bags and place inside the freezer. This may be an easier method for many, but I think it has a few cons – freezer burn and lack of a fresh-baked-warm bread taste. Plus fully cooked loaves will take up a lot more precious freezer space.