How to Freeze Bread/Buns/Pastries
I've been asked this question many times, so figured it would be good to have it on the discussion board.
You can freeze most of your dough products like Chicken Bread, Savoury Croissants, Oven Fold overs, Triangle Buns, Meatpies, Chicken pies, Kabab buns etc etc
This is how you do it.
Bake the item, but for about three-quarters of the time specified in the recipe and without applying the egg wash (beaten egg that is brushed on the top of the bread for extra color). Remove and set aside to cool completely. You can keep it covered during this time.
Once the bread/bun/pastry is sufficiently cooled, wrap it very nicely with cling film or aluminum foil. Then put it in some sort of a plastic bag, which you can then seal tightly or tie it up. This gives a bit of extra protection so your dish doesn't get dried up in the freezer. Freeze!
When you next need it, remove the item from the freezer and put it in your refrigerator for a few hours to thaw out, or overnight. Alternatively you can remove and keep it on your kitchen counter for a while to thaw. If you are stretched for time, you can skip the thawing by removing the bread from its wrapping and heating it for 1-2 minutes in the micro, just until it is no longer solid.
Then grease a tray and place your bread/buns/pastries on it. Apply the egg wash, then bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 5-10 minutes, or until it is nice and golden. Use your oven's grill option for a good finish.
Remove, and if it is a bread/buns, brush lightly with some butter for extra flavor and softness, then keep them covered with a cloth until time of serving. If it's pastries like meat or chicken pies, there is no need to add butter or cover, they are supposed to stay crispy.
And there you have it! A lovely result in less than half the time it would take to start over and bake from scratch. Saves up on so much time!
Most of the bread products can be frozen for up to 4 weeks.
Avoid freezing breads/buns prior to baking them, because when you freeze without baking them first, they might release a lot of moisture when they thaw out, making them sticky and messy and they could lose their lovely shapes and make it very difficult to work with them or give untidy results. So always bake them partially before freezing for best results. :)
Another tip: if your freezer is cramped for space and you need to freeze a whole bunch of things, sometimes when you pile everything on top of each other, your breads/buns/pastries/samosas/spring rolls tend to get squashed out of shape.
To avoid this from happening, here is what I do. Once you have baked/fried the items, let them cool, then place them on a flat tray and stick it in the freezer for a few hours. This will get the buns/breads/samosas/rolls etc solid and slightly hard.
Now take the tray out and wrap the stuff up and return to the freezer and freeze as usual. This way, because they were partially frozen, they will not get squashed out of shape if you pile them on top of each other, and you will have perfect results when you need to serve them! xo
For samosas and spring rolls, to conserve time, I normally prefer to half-fry them, then freeze.
What this means is, after I have wrapped the samosas/rolls, I fry them on medium heat for just a few minutes until they are slightly beginning to take colour, then I remove and drain them, let them cool, then place them on a tray and get them partially frozen as explained in my post above. Then I pack them up and freeze until the time I need them next.
Whenever I need them for serving, I heat some oil on medium to low heat, then straight from the freezer I remove the samosas and put them into the oil and continue frying them. They take about 5 minutes or so to get done and turn out very crispy and fresh!
This helps a lot especially if you have faced the problem of your frozen samosas/spring rolls cracking in the oil. What the half-frying does is it makes the wraps of the samosas more solid and less delicate, so there is less chances of it drying up in the freezer and cracking when you fry!