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Freezing Bread Dough
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Christmas dinner will be at my house this year and in an unprecedented effort to plan ahead I would like to have some French bread ready to bake so it's warm at suppertime.

Ideally, I'll be using an electric roaster for the turkey so the oven will be free. The bread dough would normally rise for 40 minutes and then bake for another 40. I'd rather not be measuring three flours, frothing eggs, heating milk, etc. I'd rather be eating chocolate and playing with the boys.

The recipe I use has 2 eggs, and 1 3/4 cups heated milk. It makes two loaves. I use a French bread pan. Do you think this will freeze and subesquently bake properly? I suppose I can bake it and then thaw/reheat the previously baked bread, but I thought it might taste fresher if I bake from frozen dough. And...how would I freeze it? Parchment paper on the pan and just straight into the freezer and then wrap it up once it's frozen?

Thanks in advance. :)

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Maybe you could parbake it so it would hold it's shape and just require popping in the oven, but would still have that fresh baked taste?

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I would make the dough without heating the milk, then shape it in the pan - use oil cooking spray or parchment paper on the bottom/sides and cover the top with plastic wrap (spray the plastic wrap with cooking spray where it will touch the bread. Then freeze.

Then I would suggest moving it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before, and then take out of the fridge to rise and then bake. If you normally let it rise 40 minutes, plan for longer because it will be cold to start.

I do this all of the time with rolls in small containers, but I have never tried with a full loaf.

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Thanks. I'll probably try the second method. If it works with rolls it should work with bread, right? I'm just not sure how much to pre-bake for the first suggestion.

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