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Old 11-27-2004, 12:45 PM   #1
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Freezing Baked Bread or Bread Dough?

I have a great recipe for Ciabatta bread that I'd like to use for stuffing this coming Christmas. Since the recipe makes two loaves, I figured I would freeze one for this purpose, saving me some time on Christmas Day. My question is -- Is it better to freeze the dough before it's baked, then thaw, rise and bake it? OR, would you recommend baking the bread first, then double wrapping and freezing it? Would either make any difference in the texture of the bread? If baked first, will it stay as fresh as the day I baked it? This recipe uses a sponge starter (BIGA), so could that affect the outcome either way if frozen? Thanks in advance :)

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Old 11-27-2004, 03:45 PM   #2
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It's your choice whether you freeze the dough or the baked product - it's more a matter of freezer space than anything else.

It might be easier to bake your 2-loaf recipe and freeze the extra loaf. You're not storing it a long time, so, if well wrapped, it should be fine. I don't think it would dry out much if at all and anyway, since the extra loaf is intended for stuffing, you're probably going to want to dry it out a little anyway so the bread cubes can absorb all the good flavoring from your stuffing recipe.

BTW, did you know you can freeze biga? I do it all the time. I make a big batch and when it's done its thing, I divide it into suitable portions, wrap it well in plastic wrap and pop it in the freezer. The day before you're baking, take it out and let it defrost in the 'frig. Let it come to room temp (takes about an hour) right before you use it.
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:52 AM   #3
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Tnank you, subfuscpersona! I decided I'm going to simply make the two loaves, and double wrap and freeze one of them for the stuffing. I totally agree with your idea that if the bread doesn't maintain it's utmost freshness, all the better for the stuffing, although, I'm sure it will stay fresh. If it does, I will simply have to thaw it two days before, and let it stale for a day or two.

Also, great idea about freezing the biga! I never knew you could do that! Thanks again :)
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