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I have a book about baking in general. In the chapter 'Preserving pastry in the freezer' is the following sentence (I translated it for practical reasons):

Pastry should be frozen as fresh as possible, don't let it cool completely and put it in the freezer lukewarm (at 35°C = 95°F).

There is no information why you shouldn't let it cool completely. It's the first time I've heard this (and it's a pretty famous and often used book here; it could be wrong though).

While I was searching on this site whether the question was already asked, I've found this question. The accepted answer claims the opposite.

So, I want to know if the claim in my book is correct and why or why not.

2 Answers 2

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I think it's because freezing tend to dry things out. At lukewarm temperature, it's still 'steaming' a bit, which means evaporating liquid, so losing moist. If you can stop the drying out process at that point, the pastry won't be as dry as when you let it cool completely. Of course, a too high temperature can do harm to already frozen things, or would cause condensation in the package, so that there would be ice formed.

This could be the reason, and therefore, the statement can be true.

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  • This was my thought as well.
    – rfusca
    Jan 26, 2012 at 23:54
  • Just want to note that the link you supplied is to a cake and your book is referring to pastry. It's quite possible these two type of baked goods require its own type of freezing.
    – Jay
    Jan 27, 2012 at 14:13
  • @Jay, good eye, but my book is about pastry in a broad meaning. That's why I used a lot of tags. The statement also includes cake.
    – Mien
    Jan 27, 2012 at 14:36
  • Ahhh my definition of pastry has once again warped into a monster that i do not understand.
    – Jay
    Jan 27, 2012 at 14:52
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It's a 'common' misconception that an item at some temperature will freeze faster than at some lower temperature. Physics does not allow for any doubt: an item at a lower temperature will freeze (arrive at an even lower temperature) faster than an item at a higher temperature (everything else being equal).

In short, unless the book gives a plausible explanation, it's incorrect.

Edit: The only explanation (that occurs to me) for placing the product into the freezer before it's properly cooled would be that it'll cool down faster, therefore remaining fresher. I'm not sure that would be noticeable. However, I'm guessing that doing that would create condensation and icing in the product and normally that would be considered a defect. So, I still think the reasoning in your book is incorrect.

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  • It doesn't say that its because it will freeze faster
    – rfusca
    Jan 26, 2012 at 23:04
  • @rfusca, It doesn't say anything. Jan 26, 2012 at 23:53
  • Where is this a common misconception? I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that a warm item will freeze faster than the same item when it's cold. Even a physics dunce can figure that out. Of course, if you're comparing two different items, then all bets are off; thermal stability plays a far greater role in cooling/heating time than initial temperature.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 27, 2012 at 1:13
  • @Aaronut: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpemba_effect - there's a lot of stuff on the internet about it, none of it terribly clear.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 27, 2012 at 2:13
  • @Aaronut, I placed quotes around the word 'common' because it most probably isn't common, common, but only commonish. At any rate, I read an experiment about this misconception debunking it, however I can't find the reference... Sorry. Jan 27, 2012 at 13:53

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