I've made a batch of Dutch Stollen and I want to pre-bake them in the oven and keep them in the freezer. I was thinking of baking them to 70ºC internal temperature. The yeast should be dead by then, and I was wondering if the gluten would be set by then?
That should work, as 70C/158F is the gluten coagulation point. I'd probably go to 80C/176F because stollen's an enriched dough with many added ingredients (dried fruit, almond paste) and, as Athanasius says below, 75C/167F is where gluten is "completely set".
[I bake stollen to completion and then freeze them, but you probably have a reason why you want to parbake them. They dry out a lot in the freezer, so I'd love to know if parbaking them helps keep them moist. Can you let us know?
(Addendum. Mine dry out. That's probably because I use too much dried fruit (which absorbs water). (Addendum 2. Try dried Calimyrna figs in the stollen. They're not traditional, but they're wonderful in stollen and compliment the traditional orange zest/flavour and rum/brandy).
He's quoting from Jeffery Hamelman, one of the most respected voices in bread.
There is a number of things (happenings) while bread bakes that you need to consider. Since, you will only be keeping these a short time, and your freezing them, some may be more important than others.
Overall, you want a stable product that won't change biologically, structually, or chemically while its being frozen, during thawing, and final baking, except for browning nicely.
That means you want to complete oven-rise, kill the yeast, coagulate the gluten, gelatinize all the available starches and stop all enzymatic activity.
I'm using Hamelman's Bread, page 24, as a reference for the necessary internal temperature needed to achieve all the above. Yeast dies about 140°F (60ºC), gluten coagulates between 158°F (70ºC) and 176°F (80ºC), i.e., oven-spring will cease, the dough will not collapse. Gelatinization and enzyme active is finished at 194°F (90ºC).
To insure a stable par-baked loaf, I'd bake it covered for 15 minutes, as you reasoned, but I'd rely on internal temperature to assure all biological, chemical and structual changes in the dough were complete.Finishing the par-bake covered or uncovered isn't critical. I think reaching 194°F (90ºC) will assure stable par-baked loaves, and relatively low or no crust coloration.
However, you may be able to get away with 9 or 10° less. An online source, states the well-known and well-respected La Brea bakery par-bakes bread to 185°F (85ºC), with satisfactory results.