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#24 How parbaking can give you fresh bread in 20 minutes

Parbaking is an underutilized technique where you bake your bread until it’s just barely cooked and store it in the freezer. When it’s time to eat simply “brown and serve.” This technique makes the bread taste fresher and completely fresh-baked even though it’s coming from the freezer. Read on to find out how to parbake your bread

Homemade bread is the ultimate comfort food, but it’s time consuming to get it on the table.

It’s fine to make on it’s own, but when you have a bunch of other dishes to make it’s challenging to juggle everything and make it happen.

Homemade bread can be easy if you plan ahead, parbaking allows you to store homemade bread in your freezer and serve it in a way that tastes like it was baked fresh that day.

It’s also difficult because many bread recipes take 2-3 hours to bake (some even longer) so if you work it’s basically impossible to get make homemade bread a part of a weeknight meal.

Enter parbaking.

When I worked in school food service we used to purchase the most delicious brown-and-serve crusty rolls that I would have sworn were baked fresh if I hadn’t opened the package myself. they were so good.

It took me awhile, but eventually I started to wonder why I wasn’t using this “brown-and-serve” or parbaking technique at home.

I started experimenting with pulling rolls out a bit early and storing them in the freezer, and I loved the results.

I decided to do a little bit of research on HOW to parbake goods, and found that there really is a lack of information out there about parbaking.

It’s an under-utilized technique which is why I really wanted to share it with you today (cause it’s AWESOME!!)

Parbaking for fresher-tasting bread

Like I said, there really isn’t a ton of information out there about parbaking, but I did find some pretty useful in an old textbook on baking.

There’s not a lot to the process of parbaking, but there are some techniques to keep your bread pale and avoid browning when you are baking the first time, and to help your bread keep it’s shape.

How to parbake your bread before storing it in the freezer

Reduce Your Oven Temperature

This is one of the most important steps when parbaking your bread because it helps you to achieve that pale almost unbaked look you are going for so you can save the browning step for when you are ready to eat your bread. Try reducing the oven temperature to 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve this.

Cook your bread to 180 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure done-ness

You will likely have to adjust your cooking time to make up for the adjusted temperature. Start by baking for the recommended time on your recipe and take the breads internal temp and add time until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Decrease yeast and proof quickly

Too much yeast can cause bread to spring too much in the oven, which will make it more difficult for the rolls to hold their shape in the freezer. Try decreasing the yeast in your recipe just a little (not more than 25%) and proof in a very warm environment (try this method)

Increase flour slightly

When parbaking bread, you want the dough to be just slighthly stiffer so the bread holds it’s shape well (this isn’t the best technique for those soft and fluffy rolls). Try increasing the flour by just 1/4 C. You want the dough to be soft and workable but not overly sticky.

What products can I parbake?

I use this technique on loads of baked goods, but my favorites are cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls (these crusty french bread rolls use this technique).

Still afraid of making yeast breads?

Don’t worry you’re not alone! I get asked about making yeast bread all the time, and while it takes some practice it’s truly so rewarding and fun!

Because I get asked about it so much, yeast breads are likely to pop-up in my twice monthly live cooking demos that I do in my private facebook group. I’ve already done one demo on my homemade naan bread (a great yeast bread for beginners) and I’ve got more planned for the future. Watch the naan live and any future cooking demos by joining my free private facebook group here!


Baking Science and Technology Textbook

FREE facebook group with LIVE cooking demos

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  1. This is so helpful!! I love baking fresh bread, but it takes all day. I can’t afford to do this on holidays like Thanksgiving, so thank you for your instructions! Could you also post directions on how to brown it before serving? Do you bake it from frozen? What temp and how long?

    1. Thanks for the question, I prefer to thaw before baking especially with larger loaves (you could probably get away with baking from frozen with rolls or something smaller). Then bake at 375 just until browned to your liking. Again, it will depend on the product. A larger loaf might take 10 minutes, where rolls will likely be done in 5-7. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you!!! I’ve got my oven preheating right now to do this exact method. I’ve use these additional instructions next week on Thanksgiving. 🙂

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