A type of Italian flatbread typically seasoned with olive oil and herbs, focaccia is a flavoursome side dish which can be used in many ways.
As a pizza base, a sandwich bread or as a flavoursome snack on its own, focaccia is popular all over the world.
Focaccia is usually baked as a loaf sheet, which means you usually make a lot at once. If you don’t eat it all at once, can the leftovers be frozen?
Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Freeze Cooked Focaccia?
Almost every type of bread freezes well, and focaccia is no exception. Although it’s a flatbread it can still be frozen very easily without affecting the quality.
To keep your focaccia fluffy, it’s important to properly prepare and store it while in the freezer.
You should always allow the focaccia to fully cool at room temperature first. You can then choose whether to slice it or freeze it whole.
Whichever option you choose, the focaccia should be securely wrapped in silver foil before placing into a container.
This provides extra protection against freezer burn. If you don’t have a spare container, a freezer bag which closes is another option.
You can now freeze your focaccia but don’t forget to add a label to the container or bag with the date and the contents.
If you’re in a rush it can be tempting to freeze the focaccia before it has fully cooled. This won’t make you ill, but could result in soggy, heavy focaccia which isn’t particularly pleasant to eat.
Focaccia can last in the freezer for up to six months without any impact on the quality of the bread.
Can You Freeze Focaccia Before Baking?
If you are baking your own focaccia, you have the option of freezing the dough before it’s baked. This is a good option if you’ve prepared a batch of focaccia dough but don’t want to cook it all at once.
Allow your focaccia dough to properly set before following the steps above for wrapping and freezing it. You should thoroughly defrost raw focaccia dough before cooking it after freezing.
Another option is to par-bake the focaccia before freezing. This involves placing the dough in the oven but reducing the cooking time by about 50%.
The focaccia should be set but not fully cooked. Remove from the oven, cool, and freeze as outlined above. Some experts believe that par baked focaccia is the best way to freeze it.
Focaccia dough can be frozen for up to around three months without affecting the quality.
How Do You Defrost Focaccia?
Bread defrosts very quickly when removed from the freezer, but you need to be aware of the potential for it to go stale if exposed to the air for too long.
This is one of the reasons why some chefs recommend slicing your focaccia into portions before freezing.
Each individual portion will thaw more quickly and minimise the potential for it to go stale. A high olive oil content will also provide some protection against the bread going stale.
The focaccia should be left for a few hours at room temperature to defrost fully. Depending on the size and thickness of the focaccia this may take up to nine hours.
It is also possible to defrost focaccia by placing it in the toaster; this is the quicker option if you are in a rush.
Don’t be tempted to use the microwave to defrost your focaccia. The end result will be rubbery bread that won’t regain its light, fluffy texture even if you bake it in the oven afterwards.
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