Freezing Dough and Batters
Whipping these items up at a moments notice is not what I call fun all of the time. Tackling 20 from scratch items at the spur of a moment is no longer my cup of tea. In an emergency I most of the time have all necessary items in the pantry. Not being forced into emergency mode is my first choice.
To avoid these sometimes unavoidable situations here are some of the methods I have adopted over the years. Make it ahead … box, bag, jar or freeze can be a real time saver.
With the Holidays just around the corner. That makes it an exceptionally busy cake, cookie and candy making time. To get a jump on things we love I start making dough and batters then popping them into the freezer.
I have for years baked cakes, cupcakes and muffins and stuck them in the freezer to take out later. Personally I do not find them dried out. Perhaps it is the way I freeze and store them.
As soon as they are cool I set them on a cookie sheet pop them in the freezer and freeze them solid. The next day I package them in food saver bags and vacuum seal them. I shut off the vacuum part before it starts smashing anything. Pop them back in the freezer for a later date.
Of course in my opinion a better method is freezing dough and batter then baking as needed.
I have learned you can not freeze all cake batters. Sponge, angel and chiffon are a no no.
I have great success with cake batters, or quick bread batters that have butter, vegetable shortening or oil. Personally I use butter as my main fat source for baking.
How long will these batters store? Depends on the batter but most AT LEAST 3 months. I have some stored for over a year. If you have a favorite recipe make an extra batch and freeze it yourself. I can safely use several in a year. On occasion one gets lost in the back … I have never had one go bad.
1. For cupcakes, line pans with liners and scoop batter into them and quick freeze. Place in food saver bags single layers and vacuum seal. Turn off vacuum before it sucks your batter flat and allow to seal. Thaw to room temperature before baking.
2. For small single layer cakes (6 inch rounds) freeze in appropriate sized plastic containers. I use squares leaving 1/2 inch head room at top. Quick freeze then pop out of containers and place in food saver bags and vacuum seal.
3. For large cakes or layers (8 inch rounds) I split my batter into 2.5 cups for square containers. That way I can bake one layer at a time or 2 layers if I want a tall layer cake. Quick freeze using the same method as the smaller cakes.
4. To defrost place the cake batter in the fridge the night before you want to bake. Take out of fridge and let it come to room temperature before baking.
5. Stir the batter before placing into prepared cake pans. Bake according to your recipe.
Most cookie dough freezes well.
I have given up dropping by spoons and taken to using cookie scoops. I use them for all cookies that are not rolled or cut from logs.
They are scooped onto parchment covered cookie trays … quick frozen … then placed in food saver bags … single layers and vacuum sealed.
When ready to bake I place them on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Let them thaw and bake according to recipe instructions. Pull single cookies, a few or a whole batch at once.
For slice-and bake cookies, shape dough into a log on a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Roll the wrap up around the dough. Twist both ends of the wrap.
Place the log of dough in the freezer. When frozen solid place in food storage bags and vacuum seal. To bake slice off cookies as needed … cutting cookies is easiest from frozen dough.
Place on parchment covered cookie sheet and bake according to recipe instructions.
I was taught to make scones in a round shape then cut like a pie. Later I bought a great heavy pan in that shape that you simply pressed the dough into and baked. Later I would roll the dough into a rectangle then cut into triangles.
I have used a cookie cutter to cut into squares then cut them in half diagonally. Have cut them in ripple edged rounds.
So how best to freeze them. I use the rectangle cut into triangles method.
Anytime I am freezing my objective is to avoid round whenever possible. So much wasted space. How things will stack is what I keep in mind.
To bake the scones I let them thaw to room temperature. Then sprinkle with sugar and bake.
I have 2 favorite scone recipes. One is orange cranberry the other is lemon with lemon zest.