Croissants and bread at a bakery
The Clever Bakery Bread Hack That Guarantees Fresh Loaves In A Flash
By Carly Weaver
When you walk into the bakery section of your local grocery store, its warm and inviting aroma will likely lead you to the loaves marked "baked in-house" or "freshly baked." Although considered freshly baked, your bread was most likely frozen and par-baked, which is a little-known bakery hack.
When it comes to par-baking bread, the dough is mixed, kneaded, proofed, then baked as usual — but it's taken out of the oven minutes before it's fully cooked. This bakes it long enough to expand and develop structure, but cuts it off from the process before it can brown and crisp.
Freezing the bread makes it easier and safer to ship, prevents mold from growing, and extends its overall shelf life. Once it arrives at the grocery store, all the bakery needs to do is pop the bread back into the oven to get it wonderfully brown, crusty, and fully baked — producing a warm, fresh loaf in a matter of minutes.
According to Wildgrain, par-baked bread can last up to a year frozen, and once it's re-baked, it's very close to bread that was baked in the conventional way. Par-baking makes the whole process easier and more efficient for the bakery, without sacrificing much quality for those of us taking the bread home.