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SCChris 08-06-2010 05:26 PM

Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
I have a question about freezing hearthbread dough. Since it seems just as easy to mix a batch of dough using a single 5lb bag of flour than some smaller portion and just as easy to stretch and fold the 9 or so lbs of resulting dough than the smaller portion. Does it make sense to divide the 9 lbs and freeze some portion to use later? And if this makes some sense when is the right time to divide and freeze? After the stretch and fold? After the fridge time? After the first shape?



texassourdough 08-07-2010 03:54 PM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
After the baking! Frozen bread dough is, in my experience, consistently inferior. OTOH, once baked, I find the crust on wet artisanal breads softens (which I don't like) and need to be "refreshed" by reheating if one wants good crust. Frozen bread, reheated for 15 min or so at 300 to 325 is not quite as good in flavor as fresh but can have superior crust! So I recommend freezing after baking.

SCChris 08-07-2010 04:41 PM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
Thanks for input Jay. It sounds like if I mix a big batch then it's best to bake the big batch and find homes for anything over our needs. Our friends and neighbors will be happy more often. :o

Jay, what do you think suffers with freezing? Does the gluten degrade, texture, and or the flavor goes south, like fresh tomatoes in the fridge?


PizzaPolice 08-07-2010 07:35 PM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
I would have agreed that frozen dough is inferior until last week. 3 weeks ago, I made 45 pounds of Neapolitan dough. I needed only 35 pounds so I divided up the 10# into 4 balls and packaged each separately. The next week, I set them out on the counter and fired up the MAM BFO. I didn't expect it to be as good. Well... It was perfect. Mind you it was frozen for just 1 week. My guess is that if you can guard against freezer burn, you stand a good chance of keeping a quality dough.
Give it a try. Good luck.

texassourdough 08-08-2010 07:35 AM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
Hi Chris!

I think there is a big difference between freezing dough for pizza and freezing it for bread. Pizza, as I have stated in other threads, is far more forgiving to under/over-proofing.

Freezing is not fatal as PP suggests. One can make decent bread and potentially equivalent out of frozen dough but time is an important factor. Freezing kills yeast and the deaths climb with time - not counting the potential impact of freezer burn. Freezer burn is another factor. In my experience dough has a tendency to hide in a corner and be forgotten and found months later and that is consistently bad in my experience - virtually dead dough but you can still make a pizza out of it. However, when it freezer burns and forms a skin it is hopeless IMO. Just throw it out.

I have tried freezing dough but I can't get the same oven spring and rise soI simply prefer to bake it and hold it. The bread is still subject to freezer burn but I find it stores well for about a month wrapped tightly in good plastic wrap and somewhat longer when double wrapped in in plastic and foil. The loaves are lots harder to overlook in the freezer and they can be ready to eat much faster than raw dough. Good when company arrives or you simply want bread in a hurry. (A sneaky way is to partially defrost it in the microwave and then finish it in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes (at 300 to 350).

Try both and let us know what you think!

brokencookie 08-08-2010 01:31 PM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
I always make extra dough and freeze it after the second rising as a dough ball. That way I can make pizza on short notice without all the prep time. Good dough takes time and planning. The frozen dough is consistently better than my "hurry up" dough when the urge hits. I try not to keep it for more that 3 weeks in the freezer.

Texassourdough is dough is much more forgiving than bread.

Bottom line... even frozen dough is better than no pizza at all :)


texassourdough 08-08-2010 03:36 PM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
Hi Bruce!

I have NO problem with freezing pizza dough. Do it routinely with extra dough balls. But I do find some pathetic ones in the back of my freezer from time to time. My comments were originally specific to bread because that was specifically what Chris was asking about in his first email!

And I definitely agree that frozen dough is better than no dough at all! Good Mantra!

SCChris 08-09-2010 07:29 AM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
Thank you all for the input and info on freezing bread dough and pizza dough. I'll freeze a few balls of pizza dough because it can be done and it helps with the ability to be more spontaneous. Bread dough, on the other hand, will be made as needed.

Thanks again!!


PizzaPolice 08-09-2010 07:52 AM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
SSsssTING! In the future, I will exercise due diligence in reading the queries posed with one singular and specific purpose. I will note the specifications as written and will make every effort in regard to my reply to stay within the specified parameters of the written question.

Let me pick up my teeth and back on out of here.

SCChris 08-09-2010 08:16 AM

Re: Mixing larger batches and then freezing some?
PizzaPolice, time to time we're all guilty of a bit of pushing the boundaries of the original post. I'm glad that the comparison, of the dough’s and their ability to be frozen, came up in the thread. I wouldn’t have separated the two relative to this without the subject being addressed in the same thread.. I think it's interesting that these two are different enough to be handled so differently. I didn't think of the freezer burn aspect and that the agreement here and in other forums bread forums is that the yeast really suffers from being frozen, as do other flavor and textural components of bread. It seems that the baking environments are so very different and freezing small, 200g or so balls of pizza dough as opposed to 500g or loaf sized portions of bread dough, makes a huge difference. It seems that it’s acceptable to use frozen dough for pizza because the final product is so superior to the alternatives of ordering out, but not nearly as good as a properly timed batch. I’ll accept this. :)


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