Keeping Your Holiday Baked Goods Fresh (and Ready for Christmas Morning)

Wednesday December 21, 2016

If you’re a baker, there’s this annoying thing where 1) baked goods taste absolutely best, no contest, not even worth the comparison, fresh out of the oven and yet 2) ain’t no one waking up at 3am to ensure deliciously baked treats in time for SantaClauspocalypse. 3) Or even slacker Christmas at 2pm, if we’re being honest.


I’ve spent the better part of a year now testing out various ways of keeping yeast breads and baked goods fresh long after I’ve baked them. I’ve analyzed humidity levels, read up on crystallization. There’s only one thing that’s worked, harking all the way back to my childhood friend, Mickey’s, mom who religiously kept sliced bread in the freezer.

Because our 1980s moms already knew everything.

So, yes, freeze it.

The key to freezing, though, and rather painfully, is that you freeze it as soon as you possible can. It seems wrong to toss entirely delectable, impossibly soft and moist baked treats in a freezer bag, but we are in the realm of delayed gratification here. Be strong.

For yeast breads, I’ll fully bake them, then slice them (the key here really is to pre-slice), then throw them in a bread bag within an hour of coming out of the oven. Take out only a slice at a time, as you need them, and dethaw in a warm oven. You will miss the crusty exterior, but the surviving pillow-like interior will make up for it.

For baked goods like cinnamon rolls, either fully bake them or underbake them slightly (underbake if you know most of the batch is headed for the freezer). Again, throw them right in the freezer as soon as they’re cooled off. Don’t wait. At go time, take them out of the freezer and resume baking them in the oven at the original temperature until they’re properly golden — it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. (You can wait for them to dethaw. I don’t. The more steps, the more complicated. The more complicated, the more likely you are to say screw it and just deal with stale cinnamon rolls.)

Do you have any other tips for keeping baked goods fresh? Please share in the comments!

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