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Has anyone put bread dough in the freezer overnight (covered), and then tried to bake it straight out of the freezer?

I believe you can put it in the fridge, and then straight into the oven from there without issues.

I am wondering specifically two things:

  • Would the bread's structure/flavor be compromised by freezing?
  • Would the middle not cook enough?
    • The state change from freezing to non freezing takes much more energy than warming the temperature
    • The dough as a whole would be colder than any fridge proofed loaf

I also intend to try this in the next few days, so I will update regardless

  • Hi Seth! i don't know much about bread baking and am trying to learn, but haven't heard of doing this. I'm sure you'll be getting answers from our experts very soon. I'll be looking forward to that update! – Sue Aug 16 '16 at 18:15
  • Joe, thanks for your comment. I was looking for questions like this but my searches didn't seem to bring them up. But, in reference to your links, I want to draw the distinction that my question is about bread that is done proofingbefore it enters the freezer. In this case, the yeast does not have to be alive, as long as the gasses that they created during the proofing still hold flavor and can expand in the oven to give a nice crumb. – Seth Aug 16 '16 at 18:34
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    The third link addresses freezer to oven, but involves a "par-baking" step. While you could experiment with your proposed method, the standard process that I have used, and that is likely the standard because it normally works, is to freeze the dough and then proof after thawing. I suspect there would be issues with the risen dough structure acting as an insulator, leading to baked shell and frozen core, but I could be wrong, too. – Ecnerwal Aug 16 '16 at 19:37
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    Fridge to oven can work but cooking can be quite uneven. I made Chelsea buns that way and the outer ones were a bit dark while the inner ones were a bit pale. It takes more time than you think to reach room temperature. – Chris H Aug 17 '16 at 10:22
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Seth, I make pizza dough all the time. I make about 4-6 rounds each time and then freeze them. It works just fine!

My method: Depending on your dough, you need several stages of proofing. With pizza dough, I generally do the fast, slow, and extra slow method. Meaning it starts at the optimal temp for a fast rise within a warm and moist environment. The second is less warm and still moist. The moisture comes from a damp cloth or covered container/bowl. The third rise comes after. I roll the dough into small balls (or whatever shape you desire for bread) and then placing them in the fridge on a plate with some plastic wrap over the top.

Now, the third step is when I decide which pizza dough balls are the lucky ones. I'll freeze the rest that don't make it in the fridge. !!The important part is that the shape is intact when you freeze it.!!

This nearly stops or completely stops the proofing process of the dough. When I want to make more pizza, I take the dough out the night before and let the final proofing stage begin.

Note: I have found that this method works perfectly within 2-3 weeks of putting the dough in the freezer. I got mixed results after that time period where the dough would sometimes become thin and cracker-like. Still good pizza! But not the best.

Hope this helps! I've been making pizza dough for over 12 years. @Restaurants and @home.

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So I waited about 3 weeks because I was on vacation since I put my loaf in the freezer. Some notes on the dough structure

  1. The dough was fully proofed, but that meant that the structure very much resembled a cracker. It would be stiff until you broke into it, at which point it would break & collapse into itself irreparably enter image description here
  2. The dough was frozen into the container, so I waited about 1.5 hours for it to thaw out. That meant that the core of the dough was frozen while the outside was thawed enter image description here
    • Fortunately, the thawed dough was still just as moist as it had been went into the freezer
  3. I could not score the loaf because the interior was too frozen. The loaf therefore came out without any perforations in the top. This, along with the frozen interior, likely severely limited oven spring. I expected the non-frozen version of this loaf to have double the volume. enter image description here
  4. The flavor is pretty bland, unfortunately. Overall, would not recommend unless in an emergency!
  • Thanks for reporting on the experiment with nice pictures. – Ecnerwal Sep 8 '16 at 2:51

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