Deep thoughts with Stacy… does anyone else ever wonder why it isn’t cinnamon roles and casserolls instead of cinnamon rolls and casseroles? File that under “pointless things Stacy ponders”. LOL. But seriously, today I want to talk about reheating food – specifically about reheating cinnamon rolls and casseroles.
We love having cinnamon rolls as a special treat on weekend mornings. But this Momma does NOT love getting up 4 hours early to make them! So what’s the solution? You guessed it – freeze and reheat!
I love making cinnamon rolls in advance and simply reheating them on a busy weekend morning.
If you’re just waiting a day or two, then you can always just refrigerate them. Then whenever you are ready to eat, just pull them from the fridge and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-8 minutes. BUT if you want to make them more than a few days ahead of time, the freezer is your best bet. People ask me all the time how long they last in the freeze. What kind of question is that?! I promise you will eat these cinnamon rolls long before it comes to that.
Over the years, I have experimented quite a bit with freezing yeast rolls and breads.
What can I freeze? What can’t I freeze? At which stage in the process do different things freeze best? I tried it all – we’re talking everything from cinnamon rolls to sandwich bread to hamburger buns. In all of this instances, freezing the dough before baking was never successful. I mean, it was edible, but I never had success with the second rise.
I found that when I bake something from start to finish and then freeze, I have consistently great results!
There are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned in my years of freezing baked goods that help to achieve the best possible bread, cinnamon rolls, etc. Some people suggest to cook things until they are slightly under done, but in my experience, this is not necessary. I always cook my baked goods, casseroles, bread or rolls completely. Then I allow them cool completely.
For baked goods like cinnamon rolls, baked oatmeal, bread, etc. the best way to avoid those “freezer burn” looking ice crystals is to allow your baked goods cool completely on the counter. If you don’t you will see that freezer burn looking stuff. Then when I want to thaw a bread, muffin, or baked oatmeal, I pull it from the freezer and sit it out on the counter the night before. In the morning, it will be totally thawed and ready to reheat.
Then to reheat from frozen, you just bake for 5-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until they are warmed thru. If your oven runs a little bit cold, you might have to cook a tad bit longer. I always start the timer at 5 minutes and add a few more as needed. And y’all… these cinnamon rolls are nice and gooey. I know you might not believe me, but I am serious these cinnamon rolls will have the same taste and texture as if they were freshly baked. Seriously!
The thawing and reheating process works pretty much the same way for a savory meal or casserole.
Just like baked goods, you will want to cook your casseroles completely – until they are all the way done. Then you will need to let your casseroles or savory meals cool on the counter until it comes to room temperature. I know some people worry about things coming to room temperature and growing bacteria. But I promise y’all – if you just let it come to room temperature you have nothing to worry about! Just let it sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours and then move it to the refrigerator to cool completely overnight.
Allowing your baked goods and casseroles to rest in the fridge overnight before you freeze will majorly cut down on ice crystals.
In the morning or 8 hours or so later, pull your casserole out of the fridge and wrap it thoroughly and place in a jumbo freezer bag. I love the two gallon bags because they hold a large casserole really well. But I always wrap the casserole before it goes into the freezer bag. That way your dish get two layers of protection from the elements of the freezer.
When you want to thaw something like a casserole – it is not safe to thaw it overnight on the counter.
And since you have to thaw it in the refrigerator, it will take more time than baked goods. You cannot expect it to be thawed in just a few hours or even overnight – especially if you’ve got a thick casserole like chicken spaghetti casserole or something. I take my casseroles out a few days in advance of when I want to eat them.
I promise you a big ol’ casserole will not thaw overnight in the fridge.
If we want to eat something Friday night, I would need to pull it out no later than Thursday morning in order to ensure it thaws completely. You can cook things from frozen, but I find that the finished product isn’t as delicious when you do it that way. It dries out weirdly in some spots and doesn’t cook fast enough in others.
I hope somewhere in all those random facts you gained some good tips! Do you have any to share? Drop your thoughts in the comments!