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Can You Freeze Bread Dough?

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By Ross Young

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There’s something about the smell, taste, and texture of freshly baked bread that makes it hard to beat! But, one of the issues with baking bread is the time it takes to prepare the dough. So, to save time, can you freeze bread dough and cook it later?

Can You Freeze Bread Dough?

Yes, you can freeze bread dough for up to 3 months. Freeze your bread dough initially in a tin after it has completed its first rise. Then, once frozen solid, remove it from the tin and transfer it to foil and a freezer-safe bag.

Does Bread Dough Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Bread Dough? No

How to Freeze Bread Dough

Freezing bread dough instead of freezing baked bread saves space in your freezer and also allows you to cook freshly baked bread when you don’t have a great deal of time for prep.

Here are the steps you need to take to freeze bread dough that will taste delicious once it has been baked:  

  1. Allow Bread to Rise: Before freezing bread dough, you will need to allow it to go through its first rise. You can do this by allowing it to sit in a greased bowl.
  2. Knead Bread: Once it has risen, you should then knead the bread before shaping it into a loaf tin that has been lined with greaseproof paper. 
  3. Place Directly in the Freezer: Put your bread tin straight into the freezer without covering the dough. Leave it to freeze for between 8-10 hours. 
  4. Remove and Wrap: Once frozen solid, remove your dough from the freezer and slide it out of the tin. Wrap it tightly in cling film or foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag. 
  5. Label and Freeze: Finally, write the date that you prepared the dough, as well as the use-by date, and return it to the freezer.

3 Tips for Freezing Bread Dough

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing bread dough to have the best results:

Prepare Several Loaves
If you’re planning ahead and want to save yourself time in the future, consider preparing 3-4 loaves at the same time. Bread dough will be good in the freezer for around one month, so planning ahead will give you weekly freshly made bread for the entire month. 

Don’t Bake Bread From Frozen
You will need to thoroughly defrost your bread dough before you bake it, as it needs to go through its second rise. We explain how to defrost bread dough in one of the sections below. 

Freeze After Baking
If you don’t like the idea of freezing bread dough, or if you’ve already baked more loaves than you can eat at any given time, you can always freeze the loaf once it has been baked and subsequently cooled.

Just make sure it’s well wrapped and protected from freezer burn, and it should be okay for a couple of months in the freezer. 

How Long Can You Freeze Bread Dough?

You can freeze bread dough for around 3 months.

While this isn’t a considerable amount of time, you don’t want to leave your dough in the freezer for too long, as the ice crystals that form can have a detrimental effect on the quality of the loaf.

Providing you bake your frozen dough within 3 months, you shouldn’t notice any significant difference in its quality. 

How Long Does Bread Dough Last in the Fridge?

Ideally, bread dough should only be kept in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. The best time to use it, however, is within 24 hours.

How Do You Defrost Bread Dough?

It’s really important that you provide your bread dough with sufficient time to defrost before you bake it. This is because it needs to go through its second rise, as we’ve briefly mentioned already.

To defrost your bread dough, remove it from the freezer the night before you plan to bake it. You can leave it in its wrapping until it has fully thawed.

As soon as it has thawed, you should then follow your recipe’s instructions for kneading and preparing it for the oven as you would if it was fresh.

Can You Refreeze Bread Dough?

You should only ever freeze bread dough once. The freezing process impacts the moisture content of your dough, and you don’t want to risk your dough going soggy.

However, it’s perfectly fine to bake your dough, allow it to cool, and then freeze the loaf. 

Does Bread Dough Freeze Well?

Providing you wrap it carefully and protect it from freezer burn, bread dough freezes really well for up to one month.

We wouldn’t recommend keeping it for any longer than this, as the moisture content of the dough may be affected by the freezing process.

You can also freeze homemade bread once it has been baked, but freezing the dough takes up less freezer space. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing bread dough or dough in general, then these may help:

Does Freezing Dough Ruin It?

Freezing dough can ruin it if you leave it in the freezer for extended periods of time. Instead, we would advise keeping it frozen for just 1 month. This will ensure there is no time for ice crystals to form.

Can You Freeze Enriched Dough?

Yes, an enriched dough can be frozen for around 2 months. Once it has risen, freeze it in a lined-tined. Once frozen solid, you can pop it out of the tin and store it in a freezer bag.

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