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Whole Wheat Freezer Bread Dough

Freeze Bread Dough, Ankarsrum Assistent mixer

Have you wondered if you could meal prep bread dough? A fresh loaf of bread each week for a month and only one mess to clean up! Doesn’t that sound appealing? That’s exactly what we are going to do! We are taking the principals of meal prepping and making a big batch of freezer bread dough that we can thaw, shape, and bake into a fresh loaf of bread every week for a month.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons yeast

5 1/4 cups lukewarm water (can use part milk or potato water)

1/4 cup honey or sweetener of choice

1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil + extra for coating the dough

4 teaspoons salt

9 Cups whole wheat flour

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Equipment:

Freezer

2 large cookie sheets

Plastic wrap and/or parchment paper

2 gallon-size Ziploc freezer bags

Kitchen scale, optional

Instructions

1.  Prepare space in your freezer for two cookie sheets. Line cookie sheets with silicone mats or plastic wrap and set aside. Have plastic wrap and/or parchment paper available. Label gallon-size freezer bags ahead of time. This bread dough lasts in the freezer for four weeks, so count 4 weeks ahead on the calendar and put a best by date on the bags. This is the date you will want to bake the bread dough by because that is when the yeast is still active. 

 

2.  Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with honey in Ankarsrum mixing bowl with roller and scraper. Add fat and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed, 1-2:00, and add the white flour. away from the bowl and forms a mass. Make sure the flour is completely incorporated. 

 

3.  Cover the dough and let it rest 5-10 minutes to soften the bran particles in the whole wheat flour. 

 

4.  Set the mixer on low speed again, about 2:00, and let it knead for 12 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and resilient. Bread dough made with whole grain flour will retain a certain amount of stickiness, like the sticky side of a Post It note. This is okay and does not need to be eliminated. 

 

5.  Give the dough a few turns by hand on a lightly greased counter and shape it into a smooth ball. 

 

6.  If you have a scale, weigh the dough. Divide the weight by 4 to make even-sized loaves, or just eyeball it. Use a bench knife or chef’s knife to cut the dough in 4 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, tucking edges under and preserving a smooth skin on top. Rub a little soft butter or oil on the surface. 

 

7.  Place 2 balls of dough on each of 2 prepared cookie sheets and press firmly to flatten into disks about an inch thick. Work quickly! Cover the cookie sheet completely with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours (overnight is fine), then wrap individually and place in labeled freezer bags. Again, work quickly so that the dough doesn’t have a chance to thaw. Get it back in the freezer asap. If you’re using parchment paper instead of plastic wrap, you will want to make sure to get the bread wrapped and placed inside freezer bags within a day, to keep the dough from drying out.

 

Now, just pause and enjoy the feeling of a freezer stocked with dough for a month’s baking! It is such a good feeling! 

 

To Bake: start the night before. 

1.  Take a disk of frozen dough out of the freezer. Unwrap it and reserve the wrappings. Place the dough on a large, greased plate. Cover with the wrappings and thaw in the fridge overnight. 

 

2.  The next day, oil a work surface and grease an 8×4-inch (20×11 cm) loaf pan. Place the thawed dough on the plate, smooth side up, and flatten evenly with the palms of your hands. Fold in thirds like a letter, then use your palms to pat the dough into a 7×9-inch (18×23 cm) rectangle. Roll the dough up like a log from one of the narrow ends and place in prepared loaf pan. 

 

3.  Cover the pan with the wrappings again and let rise about an hour. It will not reach the top of the pan. Meanwhile, set the oven to 350°F (175°C) to preheat. The touch test will help you determine if your bread is ready to bake. Simply touch the dough. It should barely show your fingerprint.

 

4.  Bake 35-40 minutes, until the loaf is well-browned and done. To test for doneness, carefully tip the loaf out of the pan and inspect the bottom. The crust should be evenly browned and sound hollow when thumped with a finger. A food thermometer will read 190-195 F (87-90 C). 

 

5.  Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Notes

Notes: Once you get in the routine of mixing up a batch of freezer bread dough once a month, you will find it is really very simple and you can do it without too much effort or mess. You will notice that the first two loaves rise more than the last two. They all taste good, and I hope you find this recipe to be as big a time-saver as it has been for me. 

Keywords: #freezer #breaddough #mealprep #chocolateboxcottage

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