Freeze and thaw bread
I need tips on thawing frozen bread products. I’ve never been a fan of freezing bread products because I’m unsure how to thaw them, so they are either hard or soggy. Looking for suggestions, as I’ve been given a ton of bread products like hamburger/hot dogs rolls and will need to freeze them to keep from losing them. — Laurie G., Florida
I get this question often. I haven’t had soggy or hardened bread unless I kept bread products frozen for too long. I freeze store-bought loaves of bread and hamburger and hot dog rolls in their original bag. I squeeze some air out if the bread seems to move around in the bag and simply thaw on the counter. My suggestion is to wrap your bread products differently. You want to wrap the bread products tightly (but not too tight or you’ll squish them) and get as much air out of the packaging as possible. Wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then in foil. Or if you prefer to use the original plastic packaging, open it and remove as much air as possible and double wrap it by placing it into a larger freezer storage bag or airtight plastic container. Thaw at room temperature and not in the refrigerator. Don’t freeze longterm.
What can I use in place of English muffin molds? I have found a recipe to make homemade English muffins. I have the griddle (just bought at Wal-Mart) but no English muffin molds. They sell them on Amazon.com, but I really don’t want to buy them online. If I can recycle something or repurpose something first I’d rather. If there is no substitution for the molds, well then, I will have to go buy them. Any suggestions? — Amy, Connecticut
You can use a tuna can, mason jar ring or biscuit cutter. You should be able to mold the dough into patties with your hands, too. And who says they have to be round? Use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into squares. or try an English muffin loaf recipe that you can bake and slice.
English Muffin Loaves
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
5 cups flour, divided
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and dust with cornmeal two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and water until very warm. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the warm milk and water and beat well for about 3 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Do not knead. Spoon into two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle cornmeal on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 375 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and let cool. Toast before serving. Cook’s note: Don’t expect a high loaf like homemade bread. Can spoon into muffin tins, too.
photo by inha leex hale