Ask Leah – Freezing Dough for Later Use

My freezer can be one of my greatest allies in the kitchen. Whether I’ve made too many enchiladas or the amount of chili simmering on my stove top has reached unacceptable proportions, I can always pop my leftovers into a tupperware container and save it for later – assuming there’s room!

By now we know all the countless meals that are freezer-friendly, but what happens when you are in the middle of making bread or a similarly delicious dough and simply don’t have time to finish the baking process? Is freezing dough acceptable in the culinary world?

Whether you don’t have time to wait out all the necessary risings for your dough, or you’re sending a friend a take and bake pizza, popping dough in the freezer can save time and energy. The key to freezing dough is freezing it before the second rising, depending on how many times it rises. For example, if you’re making bread dough, freeze it after you punch it down and shape it. This is the same concept as baking canned doughs – Pillsbury rolls are simply packaged before their second rising, allowing you to cook them whenever you have the time.

This method works well with breakfast items like cinnamon rolls. It’s easy to make the dough and freeze it the night before, then bake them in the morning after sleeping in a bit. You’ll have everyone thinking you slaved away all morning making a delicious homemade breakfast!

If making a dough is too time consuming for you, you can still experience the joys of your freezer with hearty dishes like casseroles, enchiladas, or lasagna. Any dish with a lot of moisture freezes well. Dishes with a lot of mayonnaise, such as chicken or tuna salad, cooked fish, and eggs do not freeze well.

If you find you have the time, try making two batches of your casserole or hearty meal. Leah often enjoys making two dishes, serving one that evening and freezing the other to give to a friend.

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