Baking Time and Budget Saving Tips – Freezing for Best Results
One way to make your baking go better is to have a plan for freezing and storing your delicious cakes, brownies, quick bread, cookies, pies, and muffins. All of these need various methods of freezing to ensure that they are still fresh and tasty when it’s time to eat them.
Baking to freeze and store your creations will help you to save time and money.
Baking Time and Budget Saving Tips
The first thing you need is the right supplies.
- Parchment paper,
- Freezer safe containers,
- Plastic zipping bags,
- Butcher paper and,
- Spray oil.
These things will help you save and freeze your baking properly so that they taste freshly baked on the day you enjoy them.
One important tip to remember is not to freeze any of your good baked recipes that are low fat or fat-free. They are best cooked and served the same day as they get dry or conversely gooey when frozen.
Cakes, cheesecakes, and pies need specialty containers to ensure that they don’t get too much frost and that you also thaw them properly for best results. We’ll start with these.
* Cakes & Cup Cakes – If you completely frost and prepare a cake you can still freeze it. Use parchment paper or freezer paper oiled up good with spray that is flavorless like corn oil or Crisco.
Wrap the cake tightly with the freezer paper, wrap with plastic wrap, freeze until solid and then put the entire container into a tin or hard freezer safe box to protect it from other things in your freezer. Unwrap completely before thawing.
* Cheesecakes – These have a very high moisture content, but can be frozen if you are careful. Most cheesecakes are made in a spring form pan.
You can freeze directly in the spring form, or you can make a round of hard cardboard (or buy one at the craft store).
Then wrap with plastic wrap (bottom and all), spraying oil on the top layer too. Wrap with multiple layers, freeze fully, and then place in a harder container to protect. Unwrap completely to thaw in the refrigerator.
When almost completely thawed, put back on spring form bottom or other serving platter for serving. For fruit-covered cheesecake, make that at the time that you are serving for added freshness.
* Pies – Freezing cream pies don’t work very well, so use these instructions for fruit pies and make creamed pies closer to the time of serving.
You can freeze pie crusts in their tins and bake from frozen. To freeze a fully baked fruit pie, place it in the freezer uncovered, freeze, and then pop it in a freezer bag.
To serve, unthaw overnight in the refrigerator or thaw on the counter for three to five hours. Break open the seal so that the moisture from freezing can escape avoiding a mushy crust.
You can freeze unbaked pie crust the same way. Just don’t slit the crust, unwrap, slit the crust and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 Fahrenheit and bake for 45 more minutes.
The other items mentioned above can be frozen very easily just by first bringing to room temperature, then starting in the refrigerator. Finally, wrap with freezer paper or parchment paper, and then pop into a freezer bag. You can freeze these items for six months. To thaw, just take out and put on the counter. Or for anything with eggs in it, start in the refrigerator.
Baking Time and Budget Saving Tips – Different Freezing Techniques
* Cookie dough – The great thing about cookie dough is that it can be frozen and saved for up to six months. You can make a lot of dough, separate it up into “serving” sizes and freeze in a long bar to chop into the right size for baking. You can also save in balls for cookies like peanut butter cookies that are supposed to start as balls. Thaw, and then process as usual. Always unwrap fully before thawing.
* Raw yeast dough – Shape the dough after the first rise into the shape you will bake it in. A ball for a roll, three balls for a clover roll, a log for a bread loaf, and so forth.
Shape the dough, freeze on a pan in the freezer, then pop into freezer bags. You can also wrap the dough in parchment or freezer paper, then pop into a larger freezer bag to keep more in one bag. To prepare, thaw in the prepared baking pan that you want to cook the bread in. It will rise as it thaws. You can start in the fridge the night before, or you can do it within 3 to 5 hours the day of. It’s up to you. Bake as usual according to your instructions.
* Fully cooked cookies – You can also freeze fully cooked cookies. Find a round freezer save the container and put a single layer of fully cooled cookies in the bottom, top with parchment paper, adding layers until the container is full, topping again with parchment, and then sealing the container.
* Quick bread or muffins – Fully cool the bread or muffins after baking, then wrap tightly in freezer paper, parchment paper, or foil. Then wrap with plastic wrap tightly and put in a freezer bag. The extra steps will ensure that your bread is moist and delicious after thawing.
To thaw, unwrap and thaw on the counter for 2 to 3 hours, or in the fridge overnight. Wrapping in foil is especially good with coffee cake. You can thaw in the foil, then toss in the oven to warm.
Freezing your holiday and every-day baked goods and storing them for later is a great idea because you can bake just a little at a time, or have a quick bread baking day, a cookie dough mixing and freezing day and so forth. Most of these items will still taste fresh with proper storage for up to three months, some for six months.
Baking Time and Budget Saving Tips – Freezing for Best Results with Fruits
One of the easiest things to do when you have more fresh produce for baking at a later date is to freeze it. A surprisingly large variety of fruits and veggies can be frozen “as is” or you can wash and chop them into a form that’s easy to pull out and bake with down the road. This won’t take long and will make baking that much easier when it’s time to use these yummy foods. Cutting fruits and vegetables also allow you to pack them in tighter, giving you more space in the freezer.
Let’s run through a couple of things you may choose to freeze.
Berries are one of the easiest fruits to freeze, and they are best-frozen whole. Keep them in the freezer, then pour them out as needed for muffins, cakes, and pies.
Peaches, bananas, and pineapple freeze well, but it’s much easier to peel and chop them first.
Grapes can be frozen, but don’t thaw well. If you have too many grapes, toss them in the freezer and eat them frozen.
Apples and pears don’t freeze well unless you turn them into pie filling first. And, when you are finished, don’t put the pie in the freezer, enjoy a piece for all of your efforts.