Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Yup. I've been making my own bread for ~4 years, mainly due to family. When I know I have a busy week ahead or travelling, I make two loaves that weekend and freeze one. Family gets good sourdough bread, and the toast from frozen is in no way noticeably different.

You might want to try par-baking and freezing, instead of just freezing the cooked loaves. At the peak of my sourdough-ratholing last year, I scaled up my recipe size so that I was making four loaves (batards weighing in at around 650-700 grams), and then par-baking and freezing three of them for use over the next week or two.

My method:

1. Do whatever it is that you do before baking a loaf of bread

2. Bake the loaf for around 2/3rds the target time. In my case, this is about a half hour. I bake these loaves at 200°C, on a baking stone and covered with a huge aluminum salad bowl to sorta emulate a steam oven. At the end of the half hour, the crust is still white due to the bowl, and just starting to go brown on the tips of whatever cuts I added.

3. Take the loaf out and let it cool for a couple hours

4. Seal it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer

5. Proceed with life for a time

6. When in need of more bread, take a par-baked loaf out of the freezer and put it on the counter, and pre-heat the oven to 200°C

7. Once pre-heated (~20 mins later, let's say), put the still-frozen loaf (sans plastic!!) into the oven uncovered, and cook for another 15 mins

8. Take it out to let it cool and enjoy

IMO a par-baked and then frozen loaf is noticeably better than a single-baked loaf, at least when using a home oven. I speculate that this is because a home oven needs a longer total baking time than a (hotter, steam-injected) commercial oven to fully bake + get the right crust, and that extra time turns into a drier crumb. But I further speculate that the par-bake-and-freeze technique preserves the crumb, since the crumb is really pretty much done by the time the 30-min par-bake is over, and the crumb ends up spending a good chunk of the 15-min finishing bake just de-thawing rather than drying out.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact