You can freeze gingerbread dough for up to 3 months. Freeze it before it has been rolled out or after it has been rolled out on an oven tray. If you only have a small freezer, keep the gingerbread in ball to make it easier to store.
This article will explore the easy steps to safely freeze gingerbread dough as well as tips to defrost it.
How to freeze gingerbread dough – 6 Easy Steps
Gingerbread dough can be frozen before it has been rolled out. After you melt the butter, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan and add it to the flour to form a dough you can freeze it. You can also freeze it after rolling it out and refrigerating it.
Here are the 6 easy steps to freeze gingerbread dough.
1. Shape the dough into a ball
After making your gingerbread dough it is important to shape it together with your hands. Gingerbread does not need to be kneaded lots like bread dough. Just bring it together until the ingredients are mixed and the dough holds.
If the dough is too dry add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together.
If the dough is too sticky add 1 tablespoon of flout until the dough forms nicely.
The dough might still feel warm particularly if you add melted butter and sugar. The dough can still be placed into the freezer when it is warm.
2. Roll the dough out (optional)
You do have the choice to roll out your dough now. This means you will freeze the dough flat in a baking tray. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is 3-5mm thick.
You can then place it on a floured baking tray or a tray lined with baking paper. If you prefer to freeze the dough in a ball, skip this step.
3. Cover the dough in 2 layers of plastic wrap
Take your dough ball and cover it in 2 layers of plastic wrap. Lay the ball of dough in the center of the wrap and bring the sides up. Roll it over until all of the dough is covered with plastic.
If you are freezing your dough rolled out on a baking tray then wrap the plastic all the way around the tray.
4. Remove all air
It is important to remove all the air from the cling wrap around the gingerbread dough. Roll the dough around in your hands until the air has been worked out.
This will help to prevent freezer burn.
5. Label the dough with the date
It is important to label the dough with the date before you put it in the freezer. Gingerbread dough will last for around 3 months in the freezer before it will lose flavor, can dry out or can develop freezer burn.
If you have lots of food in your freezer, label it with “gingerbread dough” just to be sure you can find it again.
6. Place the gingerbread dough flat in the freezer
The next step is to place the dough in a flat spot in your freezer. If your freezer is packed like mine, then try to find space. If you are freezing your dough on a baking tray you can find a place to slot it near the top.
How to defrost gingerbread dough
The process for defrosting gingerbread dough is important. This will make sure your dough does not become too soft or difficult to work with.
1. Defrost in the fridge
The easiest way to defrost your gingerbread dough is in the fridge. Frozen gingerbread dough can be moved from the freezer to the fridge 24 hours before you want to use it.
The dough will usually take this full 24 hours to defrost through to the middle and be fully a fridge temperature.
It is important to leave your cookie dough to come up slightly from fridge temperature to make it easy to cut. Leave it on the bench for 30 minutes so it becomes slightly softer.
If the dough is still hard after this time then you can heat it up slightly to make it easier to roll out and cut shapes. Take the dough ball out of the fridge and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will help to soften the butter and make it easier to work with.
For tips on how to soften gingerbread dough from the fridge check out this article: How to Soften Gingerbread Dough from the Fridge | 4 Easy Steps.
2. Defrost on the bench
If you are in a hurry you can defrost the dough on the bench. Place the dough ball or tray on the bench for 2-3 hours. In most temperatures this will be enough to defrost the dough but keep it cold enough to cut into shapes.
If the dough is still too cold, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it slightly.
Can gingerbread dough be refrozen?
Gingerbread dough should not be refrozen. This can risk bacterial or fungal growth and could make you sick. It is best to roll out all of the dough at the same time and cook the whole batch.
If you find that the batch makes too many, half the recipe so you can make them all at the same time.
Can You Freeze Gingerbread Dough? | Summary
Gingerbread dough can be frozen for 3 months. After this you can defrost it in the fridge overnight or on the bench in 2-3 hours. It is best to cut the cookies out when the dough is at fridge temperature. This will make it easier to handle and will reduce the chance of the cookie cutter sticking.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.