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Can You Freeze Ciabatta Dough?

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By Olivia Sheppard

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ciabatta bread is of Italian origin with a crispy crust outside and a soft and airy inside. The crannies on the inside are a perfect way to absorb oils, sauces, and dips. Ciabatta bread also makes a great sandwich bread. But baking it can be a long process, so could you prep the dough in advance?

Can You Freeze Ciabatta Dough?

Yes, you can freeze ciabatta dough for up to 2 months. You will need to increase your yeast quantities as some of it will die in the freezer. But, once made, simply wrap and freeze in a tin.

Does Ciabatta Dough Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Ciabatta Dough? No

How to Freeze Ciabatta Dough

Freezing dough kills about 30% to 50% of your yeast ( sometimes more ). You will have to compensate for this by adding more yeast to your recipe.

Even if you add the extra yeast there are some drawbacks to freezing bread dough but it is certainly possible:

  1. Prepare Dough
    Start to prepare your dough according to your favourite ciabatta recipe
  2. Place Into a Bread Loaf Tin
    Find a loaf tin or tin of your choice and place the dough into the tin. You may need to oil or grease the sides to prevent stick.  
  3. Wrap
    Wrap the tin in cling film or place inside a plastic bag so that all the sides of the tin are covered.  
  4. Freeze for the First Time
    Place the wrapped tin into the freezer and freeze for 24-48 hours. 
  5. Remove and Wrap
    Once the dough is frozen solid, remove from the freezer and remove from the tin. Wrap in multiple layers of cling film, placing into a freezer bag for additional protection.
  6. Label and Freeze
    As always, label with the date of freezing and then slot into the freezer for up to 60 days. 

3 Tips for Freezing Ciabatta Dough

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

Use the Correct Flour
Use flour with high protein content. The gluten comes to form the protein portion of the kernel. As your freezer weakens gluten in the freezing process you should use flour with higher protein content to help counter it.  

Increase Yeast Ratios
Increase the amount of yeast you use in your dough by 50-75%. This will counter the yeast that dies during the freezing process. Adding this much yeast will make your dough (before freezing ) rise very quickly so make sure you adjust accordingly.

Use Filtered Water
Use filtered water or spring water if you intend to freeze your bread. Regular tap water has (low levels) of chlorine in it and other additives like fluoride.

These additives have a negative effect on yeast so using filtered water or spring water will give your yeast a better chance of surviving and thriving, especially after thawing it out.

How Long Can You Freeze Ciabatta Dough?

You can freeze ciabatta dough for up to 60 days. You may have read many articles stating you can freeze the dough for 6 months to a year. While this is true it is not recommended to do so in a home freezer.

This is due to the temperature fluctuating frequently as the freezer door is opened and closed frequently.

This opening and closing of the freezer door will also introduce moisture to the freezer and can create water crystals forming on your dough. These crystals can eventually lead to freezer burn and will ruin your dough.

You Can Freeze Ciabatta Dough for up to 2 Months

How Do You Defrost Ciabatta Dough?

When you are ready to defrost and bake your ciabatta dough, simply take the bread out of the freezer and unwrap it.

Place your frozen loaf in a proofing basket and place the basket into a plastic bag, being sure to leave some air in the bag. Then slip the bag into the fridge and leave to thaw for about 24 hours.

The next day, take your bread out of the fridge and leave it for the final proof. You can then bake the ciabatta as per the original recipe instructions.

Can You Refreeze Ciabatta Dough?

No, you can’t refreeze ciabatta dough. The whole point of defrosting the dough is to bake it into fresh ciabatta so there would also be no need to refreeze it in dough form.

If you are unsure if you’ll bake the entire loaf, try splitting the dough into smaller portions so you only have to bake small batches at a time. 

Does Ciabatta Dough Freeze Well?

Contrary to popular belief, ciabatta dough and most bread doughs will survive quite well in the freezer despite containing yeast which can be sensitive to temperature changes.

It’s a great way to preserve a dough that took a long time to make and this way you can have freshly baked bread without the long process!

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