Can I freeze sourdough bread dough before it is baked? I typically make sourdough rye bread. If the dough can be frozen prior to baking, would there need to be any changes made to the recipe?
The answer to nearly every question in this forum that starts with “can I…” is almost always “Yes, let us know how it works out.”
In this case, though, I can just say plain old yes and tell you that it will work out fine. I freeze pizza dough all the time and it works great.
The main thing you will have to take into account is timing. You can of course freeze the dough at any point along the way and what happens when you defrost it will be different depending on where it is in its proofing cycle when it goes into the freezer.
You probably want to freeze it after the bulk proof but before any shaping / second proof. And because there is going to be some time of continued proofing as it freezes and some time of continued proofing as it thaws (before you’ll be able to shape it), you probably want to freeze it somewhat shy of fully bulk proofed - I’m thinking maybe half an hour or an hour (depending on how big a chunk of dough you are freezing).
When I do the pizza dough, I freeze it in one pizza increments so it freezes and thaws relatively quickly. All that would happen more slowly with a full bread loaf of dough.