Lower temperatures are great for those with higher standards
When it comes to baking, it is tempting to think only about heat. But before your next batch of cookies or your first time making our incredible Strawberry Cardamom Hand Pies, it pays to spend a minute thinking about how to chill or freeze your dough. It’s helpful for some recipes and absolutely critical for others, so let us take a moment to look at why taking time to chill your dough can make your favorite baked goods even better.
1. Easier to work with
When chilled, dough becomes firmer and is less likely to stick to kitchen tools like cookie scoops, rolling pins or even your hands. This is beneficial for other reasons as well.
- Simple slicing is important for lots of delicate recipes, particularly those that are multi-layered. Cinnamon Rolls are one great example, as are our Pinwheel Cookies. Keeping those alternating spirals of chocolate and vanilla is easy when your dough is firm and chilled.
- Fabulously flaky breads, biscuits and crusts often use quite a bit of butter, an ingredient that melts easily. When you chill the dough used to form them, you keep the butter firm as it should be, allowing you to shape the dough properly without the butter turning liquid. That results in better crusts on recipes like our Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tarts.
2. Added convenience
During busy weeknights, or particularly for large gatherings where a lot of cooking and baking is going on, having chilled or frozen dough on hand can be a real time-saver.
- Make now and bake later when you whip up a batch of your favorite cookie dough beforehand. If you choose to chill the dough, it will keep for days, allowing you to prep on the weekend and then just pop it into the oven for a just-baked treat anytime. When balled up and frozen solid, cookie dough will last for months, making it simple to make our Peanut Butter Blossoms well ahead of time, bake and press in a chocolate “kiss” when they are fresh from the oven.
- Go for variety by making different doughs over time, then keeping them frozen until needed. Take frozen dough pre-portioned to make small loaves of bread from the freezer to the fridge the night before, and you can bake up a bread basket of crusty white bread, rye, sourdough and others that will leave guests thoroughly impressed.
3. Superior consistency
By chilling or freezing your dough to a consistent temperature, you increase your chances of a recipe turning out the same time after time—a trait professionals refer to as “repeatability.” This is ideal once you’ve tweaked a recipe to your liking and both you and your family want to enjoy that ideal taste each time it is baked.
Keep a batch of the dough needed to make our Caramel Apple Galette in the freezer, and you can fold, fill, bake and enjoy it with just a little thawing time needed.
Make the fridge and freezer your friend, and get ready for easier, more delicious baking today or tomorrow.