If you’ve ever made doughnuts from scratch, you know the effort involved. Sometimes, you just don’t want to go through the whole process every time you crave a delicious homemade doughnut. And what about leftover dough? It would be a shame to let it go to waste. So, the question arises: can you freeze doughnut dough? The answer is a resounding yes! Freezing doughnut dough after proofing is not only possible, but it also preserves the dough’s light and airy texture when cooked later. However, there are some crucial steps you need to take to ensure that the dough stays protected during the freezing process, allowing it to maintain its best qualities.
How To Freeze Doughnut Dough
When it comes to freezing doughnut dough, there are two types you need to consider: yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts. Each type requires its own special care to ensure they remain protected in the freezer, so let’s go over the step-by-step instructions for each.
Freezing Yeast (Regular) Doughnut Dough
Yeast doughnuts are made from a rollable and moist dough that uses yeast as a rising agent. This type of dough has a higher protein content, requiring kneading to develop the gluten. The proofing process takes some time, and occasionally, the dough needs to be proofed twice. The result is a lighter and airier dough that you can freeze for later. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare the doughnut dough as usual.
- Cut the dough into rings and let them proof on parchment paper placed on a baking sheet.
- After proofing, place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the doughnut rings freeze solid for at least 3 hours.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer.
- Wrap each doughnut dough ring tightly with plastic wrap, using a double layer.
- Put the double-wrapped doughnut rings in a resealable plastic freezer bag, labeling the date of freezing on the front.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
Yeast doughnut dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. However, it’s important to note the date of freezing on the packaging so you can keep track of when the dough should be used. Although the dough may still be fine to use after this point, its quality might decline.
Tip: If you prefer not to separate the dough into rings before freezing, you can freeze it as a whole or in small balls and thaw it at room temperature. Then, roll the dough into rings before cooking.
Freezing Cake Doughnut Dough
Cake doughnuts, like our baked sour cream donuts, are the original type of doughnuts that require cake flour and baking soda or baking powder as a leavener. The dough creates a thick batter that doesn’t need much kneading or thorough mixing. Here’s how to freeze cake doughnut dough:
- Prepare the batter as usual.
- Using a piping bag, carefully pipe out rings onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re in a single layer and not touching each other.
- Place the baking sheet with the doughnut dough in the freezer, letting the rings freeze solid for a few hours.
- Once frozen solid, remove the doughnut dough rings from the freezer.
- Wrap each doughnut dough ring tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring complete coverage to prevent contact with air or moisture.
- Put the double-wrapped doughnut dough rings in a resealable plastic freezer bag, writing the date of freezing on the top.
- Place the bag in the freezer.
Use the dough within 1 month of freezing for the best quality. While you can leave them in the freezer for longer, the taste and texture may not be as good after 1 month. When you freeze cake doughnut dough, you defer the leavening process. Once the dough thaws and reaches room temperature, the baking powder or baking soda will begin to work as the leavening agent.
How To Use Frozen Doughnut Dough
When it’s time to use the doughnut dough you’ve stored in the freezer, you need to know how to transform it from a rock-hard frozen ring to a light and airy baked or fried doughnut. It’s important not to cook the doughnut dough directly from frozen. Instead, let it thaw and come to room temperature first before cooking. Allow the doughnut dough to sit at room temperature for some time, allowing the leavening agents to work their magic and give the doughnuts a fluffy texture. Once the doughnut dough rings have thawed and risen, you can cook them as usual, either by baking or frying. Freezing doughnut dough and thawing it properly will result in delicious doughnuts, and you may not even notice the difference between previously-frozen dough and freshly-made dough!
Can You Freeze Homemade Cooked Doughnuts?
In addition to freezing homemade doughnut dough, you can also freeze doughnuts that have already been baked or fried. For best results, freeze the doughnuts before glazing or filling them, and only after they have reached room temperature. To freeze homemade baked or fried doughnuts:
- Use a large plastic freezer bag and cut out two pieces of waxed paper slightly smaller than the bag.
- Insert one piece of wax paper into the bottom of the bag, laying it flat.
- Place the doughnuts one by one into the bag in a single layer, on top of the wax paper.
- Once you’ve filled the bag with the doughnuts in a single row, place the other piece of wax paper on top.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent damage to the doughnuts. One trick is to close the bag as much as possible, then insert a straw and suck out as much air as you can before sealing it.
- Lay the bag flat in the freezer and use the doughnuts within 1-2 months.
Although it’s not recommended to freeze doughnuts that have been filled or glazed, you can do so with caution. Take care not to disturb the filling or glaze when preparing the doughnuts for freezing, and make sure to remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag before sealing it.
How Long Will Doughnut Dough Keep in the Fridge?
You can keep doughnut dough in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it’s best to use it within 48 hours for optimal results.
Is It Okay to Leave Doughnuts to Rise Overnight?
Absolutely! You can leave doughnuts to rise overnight, but if you choose to do so, place them in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, leave the doughnuts on the kitchen counter to proof for 1 hour. If you’ve let doughnut dough rise in the fridge overnight, you’ll need to let it reach room temperature for an hour before frying or baking.
Can You Leave Doughnut Dough to Rise for Too Long?
Yes, doughnut dough can be left to rise for too long, resulting in a noticeable difference in taste. The dough ferments as it rises, and if left to rise and ferment for too long, the cooked dough might have a sour or unpleasant taste.
Why Is My Doughnut Dough Hard?
If your doughnut dough is hard, it may not have been proofed long enough, or you might be frying it while it’s still cold. It’s essential to let the dough proof adequately and come to room temperature before frying.
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