Today is National Frozen Food Day, created in 1984. This is an actual holiday, even Ronald Reagan endorsed it.
The first electric freezer was sold in 1945. It was an american invention. Before this you would use ice and snow to freeze things. However with the electric freezer, you could freeze food quicker. The speed of freezing is important. The faster food is frozen the better quality it will be. Ice crystals get larger the more time it takes to freeze food. This causes cells in the food to burst, which is one of the reasons that freezing berries and then thawing them, allows the liquid to seep out.
Another factor for why food isn’t as good after freezing isn’t because of the freezing process itself. Enzymes are still active even when frozen, they just act at a slower rate. This is particularly noticeable in vegetables. However blanching fresh vegetables well destroy many of the enzymes, allowing them to be frozen with high quality results. This is a great way to store vegetables from your garden. As soon as possible after harvesting, wash and blanch your veggies, then freeze them. Vegetables and fruits lose significant amount of vitamins and nutrients after they are picked. So it is best to freeze them the same day if possible.
However freezing doesn’t kill bacteria, yeast and microbes. They simply become dormant. Parasites can be killed this way. It is recommended to keep food frozen at -4c for 7 days to kill most parasites.
Freezer burn the scourge of frozen food, which is simply food that has dried out. Freezer burned food is safe, just not tasty. According to the USDA freezing at 0 or below keeps food safe indefinitely. However it does deteriorate in flavor and quality, and will eventually not be palitable. Freezer burn can mostly be prevented by wrapping items to be frozen, in airtight packaging. Also make sure the items remain frozen. Thawing and refreezing will also degrade the food.
It is simple to freeze uncooked bread dough, and can save a lot of time. Here’s a recipe for country greek bread.
1/2 cup sourdough starter
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp Salt
1 Cups Warm Water
1/4 cup milk
2 TBS Honey
1 TBS Olive Oil
Place all the ingredients together in a mixer. Using a dough hook knead the dough for 10 minutes. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl add a little flour. rub olive oil on the dough and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let rise 2 hours. Punch down dough. Spray the inside of a large zip-lock bag, with cooking spray. Place the dough in the baggie, and put in freezer. When you want to use the dough. Take it out of the bag in the morning, and cut the bread ball into two halves. Spray a cooking sheet with oil, and dust with cornmeal. Place bread on the cookie sheet. Grease the of the dough with more olive oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Then get a damp cloth to cover the cookie sheet. The plastic wrap prevents the dough from sticking to the towel. This needs to sit in the fridge for about 8 hours. It will double in size in that time. Remove plastic wrap and towels. Slash the top of each loaf several times with a sharp knife. Preheat the oven to 425F. Bake bread for 35 minutes.