[Sca-cooks] Dough question

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Tue Mar 18 12:26:46 PDT 2008

The essential problem is this recipe calls for sourdough starter rather than 

When you freeze a yeast dough, doubling the yeast in the recipe handles any 
killing by the cold.  The dough needs to be kept in a freezer that doesn't 
self defrost, because the warm and freeze cycles do greater damage to the 
yeast and the flavor of the resulting bread.  Shape the loaf before 
freezing.  When you go to defrost, put it in the pan and let it thaw and 
rise.  The damp cloth will help moisturize the crust.

Sourdough is trickier.  My experience is that a frozen sourdough starter 
tends to be slower rising than one that has be actively feed, thus a frozen 
sourdough dough may not respond the way one would like.

As Dragon suggests, cooling the dough may be a better option, if one has the 
room.  As a practical matter, a shaped loaf of sourdough can take a rise of 
20-24 hours in a refrigerator.  Because of the relationship of aerobic to 
anerobic and yeast to lactobacilli in sourdough, three days is about the 
maximum that chilled sourdough starter or dough can go without being fed or 
worked.  The point to consider is that the request in this case is not so 
much about flavor as it is convenience, and chilling may be more inconvient 
than just making the dough on the day it is needed.

Another possibility that I haven't tested, but I think will work,  is adding 
a 1/4 ounce of dry active yeast to the recipe, which would give a boost to 
the sourdough when it thaws.


> You know, I have never frozen yeast dough. I know it can be done but
> I am not sure if you have to add extra yeast or not to counteract any
> potential die off from the freeze. What I do regularly is cold
> fermentation of dough. I make it a few days in advance and
> refrigerate it. I don't do this so much for convenience as I do for
> flavor development. Slow fermentation of the dough really brings out
> a ton of flavor, the first time I tried this, I was hooked.
> Peter Reinhart has some very interesting thoughts on all of this in
> his book "Crust & Crumb" which is a truly excellent reference to the
> world of yeast breads and the various means of making and using
> starters and sponges.
> Dragon
> I don't know about your recipe, but our local Rainbow Girls sell frozen 
> yeast
> braids as a fundraiser.  I've had the best luck with them when I let them 
> sit
> on the counter over night to thaw/raise with a damp cloth over them.
> --Constanza Marina de Huelva

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