Storage and Freezing Bread, Cakes and Biscuits

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Bread_cAll types of bread, cakes and biscuits freeze extremely well. They may be frozen unbaked or ready-to-serve; biscuits are better cooked after freezing. Read about such bread, cakes and biscuits: bread and buns, doughnuts, croissants and brioche, danish pastries, muffins and crumpets, fruit and nut breads, scones, pancakes, griddlecakes and dropscones, savarins and babas, sponge-cakes and iced cakes, ice cream cakes, fruit cakes, small cakes, eclairs and cream buns, biscuits, waffles.


Uncooked yeast mixtures

Unbaked yeast mixtures may be trozen for up to 2 weeks, but proving after freezing takes a long time, and the texture may be heavy. Unbaked dough must be proved once before being frozen in bulk, or, better still, shaped ready for baking. Surfaces should be brushed with oil or unsalted melted butter to prevent a tough crust forming. Dough must be thawed in a moist warm place, and greater speed in thawing will give a lighter texture. The bread must be proved before baking.

Uncooked cake mixtures

Cake batter may be frozen uncooked in cartons, or in rustless baking tins, and will keep for 2 months. The resulting cakes will lose volume in cooking, and if they have thawed too long will be heavy. There is little advantage in freezing uncooked cake mixtures.

Ingredients

Fresh ingredients of good quality must be used for baked goods to be frozen as stale flour deteriorates quickly after freezing. Butter is preferable for good flavour, but margarine gives a light texture and can be used in strongly flavoured cakes such as chocolate. Egg yolks and white freeze at different speeds, so eggs should be well-beaten before being incorporated in mixtures.

Flavourings

Highly-spiced foods develop off-flavours during freezing, and spice cakes are not recommended for freezing. Synthetic flavourings also develop off-flavours and should be avoided, e.g. vanilla pod or vanilla sugar should be used instead of synthetic essence.

Icings, fillings and decorations

Cakes should not be filled with cream, jam or fruit before freezing as cream will crumble and the other fillings will make the cakes soggy. Boiled icings and those made with cream or egg whites do not freeze well and crumble on thawing. The best icings are those made with fat and sugar.

Cakes should not be decorated before freezing as moisture may be absorbed by the decorations during thawing and spoil the appearance of the cake. They may be added just before serving time.

Packing and freezing

Bread, buns and un-iced cakes may be frozen in polythene bags in convenient quantities. Small iced cakes are better packed in boxes to avoid crushing. It is best to freeze iced cakes unwrapped, then pack in boxes or bags for storage, with greaseproof paper or cellophane separating layers. Wrappings should be removed before thawing iced cakes to allow moisture to escape and to avoid smudging.

Bread and buns

Preparation and packing Cooked yeast mixtures freeze best when 24 hours old. Pack in polythene bags in required quantities.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature; a 1 1/2 lbs loaf will take 3 hours to thaw. Bread may be thawed in a moderate oven, but will become stale quickly.

Storage time 8-12 months.

Doughnuts

Preparation and packing Pack in polythene bags. Home-made doughnuts must be well-drained when removed from fat and are best frozen without being rolled in sugar.

Thawing and serving Remove from freezer and heat at once at 400°F (Gas Mark 6) for 8 minutes, then roll in caster sugar.

Storage time 1 month.

Special notes Jam in doughnuts may make them a little soggy in thawing, so ring doughnuts are preferable for freezing.

Croissants and brioche

Preparation and packing Pack in polythene bags and store carefully to avoid crushing and flaking. Or pack in boxes in layers with paper between.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 30-45 minutes and heat lightly i n oven or under grill. Brioche may be heated with tops cut off and centres filled with sweet or savoury mixtures.

Storage time 2 months.

Danish pastries

Preparation and packing Pastries may be frozen un-iced or with a light water icing. Pack in foil trays with foil lid, or in boxes to avoid crushing.

Thawing and serving Thaw at room temperature, removing wrappings if iced, for 1 hour. Heat lightly in oven if liked.

Storage time 2 months.

Muffins and crumpets

Preparation and packing Pack in useable quantities in polythene bags.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 30 minutes, then toast.

Storage time 10-12 months.

Fruit and nut breads

Preparation and packing Do not overbake, and cool quickly. Pack in foil or polythene.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 1 hour. Slice while partly frozen to pre vent crumbling, and spread with butter.

Storage time 10-12 months.

Scones

Preparation and packing Prepare according to the Basic Scone Mixture, adding fruit or cheese if liked. Pack in useable quantities in polythene bags.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 1 hour, or heat at 350°F (Gas Mark 4) for 10 minutes with a covering of foil.

Storage time 2 months.

Pancakes, griddlecakes and dropscones

Preparation and packing Cool thoroughly before packing. Pack large thin pancakes with layers of cellophane or greaseproof paper like a cake, and wrap in foil or polythene. Pack griddlecakes and drop scones in boxes, foil or polythene bags.

Thawing and serving Thaw block of pancakes in wrappings at room temperature, or separate before thawing. Heat in low oven or on a plate over steam, covered with a cloth. Pancakes may be filled after thawing and before heating. Thaw griddlecakes and drop scones in wrappings at room temperature for 1 hour.

Storage time 2 months.

Special notes Pancakes may be filled and/or covered with sauce before freezing, but will then only store for 1 month.

Savarins and babas

Preparation and packing En- riched yeast doughs incorporating eggs and sugar store well in the freezer, either with or without syrup poured over. Pack in foil or polythene, or in a box if svrup is used.

Thawing and serving Thaw at room temperature without wrappings, pouring on warm syrup if cake has been frozen without it. Additional sauce may be used even if cake has been frozen ready for eating. Thaw 2-3 hours.

Storage time 3 months.

Sponge-cakes and iced cakes

Preparation and packing The same treatment applies to fatless sponges and those with fat; to iced and un-iced cakes; to plain cake mixtures such as Madeira Cake; and to cakes flavoured with chocolate and coffee. Delicate cakes are best packed in boxes to avoid crushing. Other cakes can be wrapped in foil or polythene. 1 If cakes are to be filled and iced after thawing, pack in layers with greaseproof paper or cellophane between. 2 Cakes may be filled and iced with butter icing, frozen unwrapped, then packed for storage.

Thawing and serving Thaw at room temperature, removing wrappings if cake is iced.

Storage time 10 months for fatless cakes; 4 months for cakes with fat. Unbaked cake batter stores for 2 months.

Ice cream cakes

Preparation and packing Cut sponge-cake in thin layers and put together with ice cream. Pack in box or wrap in foil after quick-freezing unwrapped.

Thawing and serving Unwrap and thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Storage time 4 months.

Fruit cakes

Preparation and packing Wrap in foil or polythene.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature.

Storage time 4 months.

Special notes Rich fruit cakes store for a long time in tins, so it is unnecessary to waste freezer space on them. Dundee cakes, sultana cakes and other light fruit mixtures freeze well.

Small cakes

Preparation and packing Small iced and plain cakes may be frozen. Damage is avoided if they are made in paper or foil cases. Iced cakes are best packed in boxes in layers with paper between, and should be frozen before packing. Other cakes may be packed in polythene bags. Cake to be cut in squares may be frozen in the baking tin or one made of foil, covered with foil or polythene for storage to be cut in squares when thawed.

Thawing and serving Thaw at room temperature, removing wrappings if iced.

Storage time 4 months.

Eclairs and cream buns

Preparation and packing Choux pastry cases should be frozen unfilled and un-iced in bags or boxes to avoid crushing.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings at room temperature for 2 hours before filling and icing.

Storage time 1 month.

Special notes Cases may be filled with ice cream, frozen on trays, then packed in rigid containers. They should be thawed at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

Biscuits

Preparation and packing Make Basic Sugar Biscuits, flavouring as liked. Form dough into cylinder shapes about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in foil or polythene.

Thawing and serving Thaw in wrappings in refrigerator for 45 minutes, cut in slices, and bake at 375°F (Gas Mark 5) for TO minutes. Storage time 2 months.

Special notes Biscuits frozen be-fore baking are crisp and light. Baked biscuits freeze well but need careful packing to avoid crushing, and freezer space need not be wasted as they keep well in tins.

Waffles

Preparation and packing Do not overbrown. Pack in useable quantities in foil or polythene.

Thawing and serving Heat unthawed under grill or in oven

Storage time 2 months.

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