Guidelines to Follow for the Best Results
- This works best with bread recipes that are richer, (have milk, eggs, or butter/oil) rather than a lean bread, one made with simply flour, water, salt, and yeast. The lean breads are more susceptible to freezer damage.
- Increase the amount of yeast by 20% in case some of the yeast dies due to the freezing process.
- Freeze the rolls as quickly as possible.
- Store in the freezer where they will stay at a constant cold temperature.
- Freeze no long than 2-3 weeks it will damage the yeast and your rolls will not be as light.
- The day you want to serve them, take as many rolls as you want out of the freezer; place them in a pan; and let them thaw/rise for 4 to 5 hours. Bake as usual and enjoy!
- Make your dough with cool, not lukewarm, liquid (water or milk). You don't want to activate the yeast.
- Do not bulk proof your dough. Go ahead and shape the rolls as soon as your dough is fully kneaded with a window pain. Do this quickly so the yeast does not start to percolate.
- Place the rolls in a pan lined with waxed paper or parchment. Cover the pan with plastic wrap.
- Place the pan in the freezer. Make sure to place it in the coldest part of your freezer, then leave the freezer door shut until the rolls are frozen solid. The more quickly they freeze solid, the better your final result will be.
- Freeze the rolls completely., they should be rock hard. Once frozen place into a zip-lock bag they should be good for 2-3 weeks.
- The day you want to serve freeze-and-bake rolls, remove them from the freezer. You can hurry the process by putting the pan somewhere warm, like in a corner of your busy kitchen. Or slow it down by putting it somewhere cool, like on the back porch. But standard-size frozen dinner rolls, frozen for just a couple of weeks, will take about 4 to 5 hours to thaw and then rise at cool room temperature (about 65°F to 70°F).
- Time to bake the risen rolls.
A couple of weeks before the big event take about 20 minutes to make the dough and shape the rolls and freeze them. You will look like a pro on Thanksgiving day as the turkey and all the fixings are done along with fresh baked rolls to enjoy.
King Aurthur Baking
Freeze and Bake Rolls, PJ Hamel