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What can I substitute for freeze dried blueberries? Will frozen blueberries work? This is for a bread filling.

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    I'm not sure what you mean by a bread filling—is it something you spread between layers of bread, or a bread mixture that you put into a bird before roasting, or a baked item like muffins? I'd use different substitutions depending on the recipe. – 1006a Jan 10 at 16:42
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No, they aren't a direct substitute. Freeze dried blueberries are very dry and will absorb moisture from the dough in order to re-hydrate, frozen ones are not dried or dehydrated at all so will add water to the dough.

They also have a very different consistency: thawed from frozen blueberries will be squishy and tend to get blended into the dough, dried blueberries are tough little beasties and will hold together much better. You may be able to get around that by keeping the berries frozen and working them in at the last minute - keep in mind most frozen blueberries will have lots of water ice mixed in which you don't want.

If you want to use frozen then you'll need to account for the extra moisture in the blueberries, taking the right amount of water out of the recipe. This site says:

Dehydrating them naturally, we can use up to 7 pounds of blueberries to make 1 pound of dehydrated blueberries.

This means that blueberries lose about 85% of their weight when dried, so if the recipe calls for 100g of dried blueberries you'd need to add 700g of frozen ones and take 600g of water (600ml because 1ml of water = 1g) out of the recipe. If you are using volume measurements then this site says 80g of freeze dried = 2¼ US Cups.

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Additions to GdD: You likely would get a very different look and taste even if accounting for liquid and volume.

The freeze dried berries are going to usually be more concentrated in flavor, giving more a berry pop I would call it when eaten. Fresh or frozen, not so. As you mix and cook there flavor will spread along with the juice and you will loose that burst of flavor and instead get a subtler, more spread out flavor in all likelihood. It could even be lost in the overall bread flavor.

Second, the freeze dried are basically encapsulated, and unless you actively re-hydrate them first should not overly react with the rest of the dough. Along with keeping the flavor concentrated, this should mostly keep the color there too. With fresh berries you with get breakage and leaking and tend to color your dough with smears of blue/purple that many people would find off-putting. Frozen would be worse on this as blueberries I have always found to be one of the fruits especially prone to freezer cell damage. As soon as they start to thaw they start giving off large amounts of juice. This will not only spread the flavor, it will heavily stain the dough during mixing, rise and baking.

I personally would not be off-put by the color, but many would and appearance is often an important part of eating experience. They are some complication in addition to throwing a wrench into the liquid ratios of the recipe though.

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You would likely find dried - regular dried, I mean - to be a better substitute than frozen... and also possibly more easily available than freeze-dried.

There would still be a difference, regular dried tend to have more moisture remaining, s'why they're a bit more flexible and chewy while freeze dried are more brittle, but the difference would be much smaller. Both will be mostly inert in the dough, and sturdy to survive mixing, both will absorb moisture from the dough, both will give the final product a studded appearance (as opposed to blotched). Freeze dried will absorb a bit more moisture, and will be more brittle, more likely to disintegrate when being eaten rather than stay chewy lil nubs.

Now that I'm thinking of it, I wonder if it might be possible to dry the frozen - it would take enough time and effort it likely wouldn't be worth it if there were any alternatives at all, but possible maybe. One could lay them out somewhere warm and airy, and wait for them to first thaw, then dry. I'd guess it'd be on the messy side, too, the juice would drip a bit more, since the cell walls are broken from freezing.

That might make them, once dried, more brittle like the (properly) freeze dried ones are, but I don't know if there are other relevant parts of the freeze-drying process that would effect the final texture - the timing and other things.

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