Freezing Yeast Dough

I've just begun to try my hand at yeast breads. I'd like to know when is the best time to freeze yeast doughs, before or after the first rise? —S.D., Blanchardville, Wisconsin

Yeast dough is best frozen after it is kneaded and before the first rise. To freeze dough, divide it into the desired amounts and flatten into disks that are about 1 inch thick. Place flattened dough on baking sheets and freeze for 1 hour. When dough is frozen, remove from the freezer and wrap tightly with either plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then place in resealable plastic bags and return to the freezer. Dough can be kept frozen for up to 4 weeks. For even thawing, place in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, place dough on your kitchen counter; cover it lightly and let it come to room temperature (first rise). Punch the dough down. Proceed as usual with shaping and the second rising.

 
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