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Frozen Bread Dough: Best Practices for Home Bakers

Bread always tastes better freshly baked, however, the prospect of mixing and kneading a fresh loaf every time is not ideal. This is where frozen bread dough can really save the day. Whether you use store-bought or make your own, frozen bread dough can be a wonderful addition to any freezer as it allows you to have perfect, warm loaves pre-prepared for whenever needed. 


Not Much Time? Skip To What You’d Like To Learn……..



Best Practices When Freezing



How long does frozen dough last?
Bread dough can last in the freezer for up to 1 year (link).
In order to keep that freshly baked taste, it is suggested to consume the frozen bread within 4 weeks. If your dough is store-bought, make sure to check the package for an expiry date.
Considerations When Storing the Dough
What should I store my dough in?
For maximum freshness, a vacuum-sealed bag is ideal. However, clingwrap also works perfectly. For non-plastic alternatives, you can try a glass container or you could wrap the bread in a tea towel. 
How should I package it?
When storing your dough, it is wise to think about what you want to make with it once thawed. If, for example, you want to make rolls or individual snacks, it would be advisable to roll your dough into individual balls. If, however, you want to make a loaf then freezing it in one large ball would make more sense.

Advice for Store-Bought Frozen Dough



Should I get white or whole-wheat?
For basic bread recipes, white frozen bread dough is the easiest to manipulate and will thaw the best. Brown and whole-wheat bread dough often have a more complicated rising process. This means the bread may not be as tasty from frozen dough, as it would be if freshly baked (link). 
Should I buy sweet or savory?
Most are budget-friendly. The type of dough you select is dependent on personal preference and what you are planning to make. It could be an idea to have both tucked away in the freezer for later use.

Advice for Homemade Frozen Dough



Can I freeze homemade dough?
Yes, you can.
See our step-by-step guide below (link):
1. Prepare the homemade dough as you would normally, however, use active dry yeast, as opposed to fast-acting yeast and double the amount of yeast. 
Using twice the amount of yeast is very important, as the freezing process will inevitably kill some of the live yeast, so by adding double the quantity we are compensating for this lost amount. Using dry yeast, as opposed to fast-acting yeast, is also important as we want the yeast properties to last for a longer period of time.
2. Allow your bread to rise once.
3. Punch down your dough and then thoroughly knead.
For further instructions on how to punch down your dough see here: (link). 
4. Reshape back into either a loaf or rolls.
5. Freeze the dough on a lightly greased baking tray or loaf tin, ensuring your freezer is below -10 degrees Celsius 
6. Once frozen, remove the dough, wrapping it in your choice of protective later. Ensure you date your dough so you know when it needs to be consumed by.




How long does it take to thaw?
Depending on the method and the size of the dough it can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 12 hours.
The simplest way would be to leave overnight in the fridge for 8-12 hours. 

Alternative Methods for Thawing Dough

Oven Thawing Method:
The oven thawing method is simple and relatively fast (link). 
1. Preheat your oven to the lowest setting (no more than 175 degrees F).
2. Place the frozen bread dough inside the oven on a baking tray.
3. During the thawing process, you can take the dough out and turn it a number of times to quicken the process, but avoid doing this too frequently as it can cause uneven thawing.
4. The process should take about 60 minutes, however, ensure you check regularly as different doughs and ovens vary.
Quick Thawing Method:
The fastest way to thaw frozen bread dough is in the microwave (link). 
1. Put the dough in the microwave and heat using auto-defrost (if you don't have auto-defrost then you can use the lowest power setting). 
2. Heat for cycles of 5-8 minutes, leaving 10-15 minutes between cycles.  
3. Check dough regularly to ensure even defrosting 

Can you raise frozen bread dough?

Yes! As it has twice the amount of yeast, it still rises perfectly. You need to let it rise as per normal bread, for around 20 minutes to an hour depending on your desired outcome.




Savoury Recipes:

Pepperoni Frozen Bread Dough

(Recipe inspired by Seduction in the Kitchen link)
  • 1lb sweet frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp sugar 
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 3 oz pepperoni, sliced
  • 1 fresh mozzarella ball, thinly sliced 
1. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out until it is flat.
2. Place the slices of mozzarella over the dough in a thin layer.
3. Place the pepperoni over the mozzarella in a thin layer.
4. Gently roll the bread until it is shaped like a cylinder, then place onto a baking tray.
5. Combine sugar, butter and garlic in a separate bowl.
6. Using a baking brush, lightly brush the mixture over the dough.
7. Let the bread sit for 1 hour and allow it to rise.
8. Once set, place in the oven set to at least 350 degrees F and allow to bake for around an hour, or until golden.
9. Once baked, cut the cooked dough into bite-sized pieces and enjoy warm.

Steamed Pork Buns

(Recipe inspired by Plum Deluxe link)
  • 1lb frozen bread dough, thawed
  • Pork mince
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced Napa cabbage
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and then cook in a frypan over high heat until the pork is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Set aside.
2. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about an inch thick, then cut into 3-4 inch slices.
3. Place a spoonful of the pork mixture into the middle of each cut-out, then pull and twist the edges together to seal.
4. Place the bread in the oven and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the dough is cooked, then enjoy warm.

Olive Tapenade Scrolls 

(Recipe inspired by Plum Deluxe link)
  • 1lb frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 jar black olive tapenade
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated 
1. Knead the thawed dough into a rectangular shape, about 12 x 10 inches.
2. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of the black olive tapenade over the dough.
3. Place the cheddar cheese evenly over the tapenade.
4. Carefully begin to roll the dough into a cylindrical shape.
5. Cut the dough into circles and place the round side down on a lined baking tray.
6. Allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes, then bake in an oven set to 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pigs in a Blanket

(Recipe inspired by Plum Deluxe link)
  • 1lb frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1 packet of hot dogs 
  • Dijon mustard
1. Segment the dough into the number of desired hot dogs.
2. Press each section of dough into a rectangle which is slightly smaller than the hot dog.
3. On top of each piece, spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard.
4. Add the hot dog onto each piece and then roll to encircle the hot dog, pressing on the longer edges to seal.
5. Place on a baking sheet and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
6. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden in an oven set to 375 degrees F.
Other great savoury recipes to try out listed below:
Ground Beef and Pepperoni Stromboli
Veggie Calzones

Sweet Recipes

Caramel Rolls

(Recipe inspired by Oh So Delicioso link)
  • 1lb frozen rolls, thawed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1. On a low heat pan, mix the cream and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
2. Slowly add the vanilla, salt, and spices whilst stirring.
3. Pour the mixture over a greased 9 x 13 inch baking tray.
4. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the mixture and set aside.
5. Slice the rolls into four sections, and then place in the caramel mix ensuring the rolls are covered.
6. Using a greased plastic wrap, cover the pan and place in a cold oven overnight.
7. Remove the plastic the following day, and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.
8. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, or until golden.
9. Once cooked, invert the rolls onto a plate and serve warm.

Monkey Bread

(Recipe inspired by Plum Deluxe link)
  • 1lb frozen white bread dough, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted butter 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Divide dough into 1-2 inch pieces and roll into balls.
3. Mix cinnamon and sugar together and roll each ball into the mixture.
4. Dip each ball into melted butter.
5. Place the coated dough balls into your plan, layering them over any spaces as you go until you have about 3 layers of dough and the pan is about half full.
6. Drizzle any remaining butter or sugar mixture over the bread and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. 
7. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until it has risen to about 1 inch from the top of the pan.
8. In an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, place the uncovered loaf and bake for around 30-35 minutes, until golden.
9. Take the bread out of the oven and place on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Invert the pan onto a platter or cake stand. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving warm.

Cinnamon Rolls

(Recipe inspired by The Spruce Eats link)
  • 1lb loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Mix the sugar, pecans, and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl.
2. Using a rolling pin, roll out the bread dough into an 18 x 6 inch rectangular shape.
3. Using a kitchen brush, evenly coat the dough with the butter mix, then lightly dust with brown sugar and cinnamon mix.
4. Gently roll the dough to form a cylindrical shape, then cut into 20 inch pieces.
5. In a greased cake plan, allow the rolls to set, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
6. Once the rolls have risen, cover them evenly with cream and bake in the over for 25 minutes in an oven set to 350 degrees F.
7. Once cooked, remove to a rack - best served warm.
Other great sweet recipes to try out listed below:
Cranberry Pistachio Sticky Buns
Smores Monkey Muffins



Interested in other baking and bread related articles?
Check these out:
Top 10 Bread Slicers of 2019
Buckwheat Bread
Understanding and Using a Bread Lame
What is Meal Bread?

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