Bread dough is bread dough. At least to the point of creating the base dough from flour, yeast, and water.
You can find frozen bun and bread dough, sweet dough, and puff pastry in the freezer section of your grocery store, all ready to go once thawed.
So using frozen dough as a starter just makes your life easier and saves time.
Small portions of frozen dough can be thawed on the counter in just 40 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. All you have to do is remove the desired number of portions.
How To Use Frozen Bread or Bun Dough
If you are thawing on the counter, simply put them on a sheet pan while waiting on them. If you prefer the overnight method, place them on an oiled pan or in an oiled storage tub with enough room between them to allow for expansion as they thaw.
The best part is these don’t have to be boring breads. You can customize yours with herbs, cheese, or seaonings. And with the hard part done, you can shape and form them into twists, filled spirals, or snails for best presentation.
For cheesy goodness, try using flavorful melting cheese like cheddar or gouda or even experiment with cheeses infused with herbs like dill havarti.
For herbs, winter breads and rolls do well with flat-leaf parsley (more flavor than curly, and save the stems for stocks and soups), thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic, onion, oregano, or dill. Pick your favorites.
I like to dip my formed breads and buns in melted butter before rolling them in the herbs and placing in the baking pan. The resulting buns and breads are pull-apart delicious.
What Else Can You Make With Bread Dough?
But frozen dough isn’t just for the holidays. During the year, you can make mini pizzas, flatbreads, stromboli, dinner rolls, or calzones. Even pretzels! If you need a bigger piece of dough, just press small dough sections into a larger ball and shape them.
How To Use Sweet Dough For Yummy Treats
But frozen dough isn’t just for regular breads and buns. Sweet dough is available frozen as well. It’s enriched with eggs and butter and makes a fabulous cinnamon roll, sweet bread, or sweet braids. Shape and place in a buttered loaf pan and create pull-apart treats for everyday yummy goodness.
If you want to thaw overnight, spray some plastic wrap with oil and cover the dough to refrigerate and thaw overnight. Bring it to room temperature to bake the next day.
What About Pastry Dough For Desserts?
It works best to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, but if you’re in a hurry, you can use the “faster way.” Leave it out on the counter for about 40 minutes to thaw. Then unwrap and cover with a towel for another 30 minutes. Once it is flexible enough to shape, go to town.
However, puff pastry needs to feel cold the entire time while working it, so if it gets warm, put it back in the fridge to cool it down again. You don’t want to try to work with warmed dough.
If you’re working with a sheet of pastry dough, you can do a bunch of things with it for a versatile treat. Cut into squares, folded over and filled to make turnovers, or shaped into muffin tins and filled with a savory or sweet filled treat.
If you have ever had melted brie wrapped into puff pastry, you’ll be in love at the first bite. It’s one of my favorite treats as a starter for a fancy dinner at home or as an appetizer for a dinner party. Of course, I like to hog it for myself and not share it!
How Do You Prepare Puff Pastry For Filling?
Start by lining a sheet pan with parchment paper and place your full pastry sheet or smaller scored squares on it. Create a border about half an inch from the edge as a border and brush it with lightly beaten egg. Pierce the rectangles in several spots with a fork to allow for expansion.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes to bring the dough to a puffed and golden goodness.
Once cooled on a rack, you can add fillings. My favorites are jam, pastry cream, and chocolate. You can experiment with puddings, too. Then topping with pie fillings or fresh berries. Whatever sounds good to you and your family!
Savory fillings are also a great treat to make tarts. Use shredded cheese or herbs. My favorite is a melty cheddar, havarti, or other soft cheese. Try brie — it’s fabulous. Nuts are a good addition to savory puff pastries. Pecans, chopped walnuts, or whatever nuts suit your fancy.
Once you layer the pastry, you can roll it up like a cinnamon roll and slice into thin pieces to bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Finish it off with a bruff of egg and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. You’ll like it best served warm. I do.