For many of you, this post will seem like a total “no-brainer”. You’ve been making your challah ahead and freezing it for years. What’s the big deal?
But for those you, like me, that could never quite figure out how to freeze your challah dough, this post may just be your favorite one ever.
Thanks in large measure to some helpful advice from readers over on the KOAB Facebook wall, I have finally mastered the art of making & freezing challah!
It’s so simple (now that I know how to do it), and it saves a ton of time and money. Make up a big batch of challah dough, freeze the braids, then pull them out whenever you need a fresh challah, but don’t have time to fuss with the dough. (Uh, every Friday night.)
How to Make & Freeze Ahead Challah
Step 1: Make up your regular challah dough recipe – by hand, with a KitchenAid or in the breadmaker. (This is our breadmaker challah recipe, which I have converted to using in our KitchenAid, since our breadmaker went kaput.)
Step 2: Let the dough rise as usual (approximately one hour, until doubled in size).
Step 3: Braid or otherwise turn your lump of dough into a challah (for example – roll out balls and use the pull-apart method).
Step 4: Spray a disposable baking tin with vegetable oil and place the braided challah dough inside. Quickly wrap the dough with plastic wrap, then a second layer of tin foil. The plastic wrap will help to prevent freezer burn. If you plan to bake the challot within a week or two, that should be enough. If you want to freeze for longer, place the foil package inside a freezer bag, squeeze out the air and seal.
Step 5: Place the dough in your freezer and go about your life.
Step 6: Remove foil package(s) from the freezer the day you want to eat your challah (or the day before if this is for Shabbat). Remove tin foil and plastic wrap and loosely cover the dough with a clean dish towel.
Step 7: On your countertop, let the dough fully defrost and have its second rising. This will take up to a few hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. If the timing is such that you need to let this happen in your fridge, it will take most of the day and then you should still let the dough come to room temperature before baking.
Step 8: Once fully risen, the dough is ready for baking. Brush with an egg wash and bake as usual. Enjoy!
Do you freeze your challah dough? Or do you prefer to cook it all the way through and then freeze it?