Thawing and baking frozen bread dough

Discussion in 'Bread' started by rubato456, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    i've baked challah bread quite a few times. decided to split the batch in half and bake half right away the other half i wrapped well and stuck in the freezer for one week. now i want to bake it again. how long should it thaw. i was thinking to stick it in the fridge first thing when i get up, go to work and then when i get home 7 hours later to bake it. do i need to let it sit at room temp first for a while? this is my first time to try the frozen dough thing. advice is appreciated! thanks
     
    rubato456, Jul 26, 2018
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  2. rubato456

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome. Yes you should let the dough rise at room temperature before baking. Yeast goes dormant in the freezer and is barely active in the refrigerator; it dies at temperatures about 130°F. So if you go from cold to a hot oven it will go from dormant to dead. It won’t rise.

    Thawed dough won’t rise as much as a freshly made dough. Also an enriched dough like challah won’t rise as much to begin with, so don’t be surprised if it bakes up a bit lower than freshly made dough. But definitely give it a couple of hours of room temperature rise time before baking.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 27, 2018
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  3. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    thank you! i was wondering if i should take it out now and put in fridge over night thru tomorrow afternoon and then a few hours at room temp or would that be too much and over rise it and cause it to fall in the oven or not rise optimally? i had read that it was ok to rise for up to 48 hours in fridge? or is that only for certain kinds of bread not challah?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2018
    rubato456, Jul 27, 2018
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  4. rubato456

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    @rubato456, I don’t think it will hurt to put it in the refrigerator overnight. Given the dough is frozen, the refrigerator is around 38°F to 40°F, it will be hours before it thaws. I’m assuming you froze the dough before it was proofed, so there wouldn’t be much yeast development to begin with.

    Let’s us know how it turns out.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 27, 2018
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  5. rubato456

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I saw your introduction post before this one, so I put my answer there! I agree that thawing it in the fridge should work ok. When you take it out and let it warm up to room temperature keep an eye on it.
     
    Becky, Jul 27, 2018
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  6. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    I think it’s going to be OK I just reshaped and I’m letting it rise another half hour or so at room temperature and then I will stick it in the oven to bake just making a simple round strand now don’t want to mess with it too much so it doesn’t over rise. i'm excited though i just learned the secret to even smooth strands for challah! in a book i was reading you first smooth the dough out into a flat sheet. then roll the sheet up tightly and you get a perfect strand. its an extra step but wow what results! that's it. a more or less perfect strand. my prior strands would be lopsided no matter what i did. so frustrating! this was very easy to do actually.
     

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    rubato456, Jul 27, 2018
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  7. rubato456

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Nice knot.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 27, 2018
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  8. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    it looks pretty good! cooling now. did not over rise it was afraid it was under risen but not bad
     

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    rubato456, Jul 28, 2018
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  9. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    we just had some it was to die for actually very moist very flavorful omg we practically ate the entire loaf. it is a half recipe's worth at least. that's why i had 1/2 in the freezer. will do this again it was delicious! lil bit left will be gone by tomorrow night i'm sure! success! thanks guys for helpful comments!
     
    rubato456, Jul 28, 2018
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  10. rubato456

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that baked up beautifully! You got great color and good rise. Looks delicious
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 28, 2018
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  11. rubato456

    rubato456 Member

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    thanks! i glazed it with one beaten whole egg, a little water and a little bit of honey and salt mixed in just a tad of each. sprinkled the loaves with white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds and caraway seeds. it was very yummy. i think the long rise in the fridge made it even better. thanks to you guys for your helpful comments! <3
     
    rubato456, Jul 28, 2018
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  12. rubato456

    Leofric Member

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    This is a very late response but one thing I learned from the Master level Bread Courses that our technical College hosts every two years (it is a four day course in which they bring Master bakers from around the world - Peter Reinhart, Cyril Hitz and Didier Rosada to name a few) is that depending on where you are in the world freezing bread dough is one of the ways you can control fermentation (proofing). The decision you have to make is whether you are going to freeze after the first fermentation or after shaping and before baking off the dough. I tend to freeze sort of in between a complete first fermentation. So I mix the dough and let sit around for a while and than freeze it, to ensure proper rising I might add a titch more yeast (I also add a sourdough starter to all my recipes.) The trick is to allow the dough plenty of time to thaw before shaping and the final fermentation.

    I have also frozen a bread dough after the first fermentation and shaping for 24 hours and pulled it out the night before baking it at 5:30 in the morning. The bread turned out beautifully.

    Now a few facts which can affect this process 1. Generally, except in the summer, my kitchen is very chilly to begin with so proofing dough requires a lot more time, even if the dough isn't frozen. 2. I tend to make more European breads which are formulated to have longer fermentation times to develop better flavor and often these recipes incorporate refrigeration as a means of improving flavours (which means it is rare that you get bread made the same day from me.)
     
    Leofric, Aug 21, 2018
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