What Does Parbaking Mean?

Ever picked up something you thought was a baked good at the supermarket and it turned out to be less-baked not-so-good? You can buy bread, rolls, pizza and pie crusts and the like somewhere right around "2/3-baked," and do the rest yourself at home. The pros did all the hard work for you: now reap those benefits.

They're usually sold frozen, but some companies bake halfway then sell with the instructions to bake the rest of the way by a certain date (La Brea Bakery being our favorite for fresh, delicious parbaked baguettes and dinner rolls). This eliminates the problem of freezing unwanted water in dough, something that makes it crumbly and unpleasant when baked. Want to try it out yourself? Our homemade burger bun recipe is very popular.

Follow the recipe as you usually would, but yank the buns out after 8-10 minutes. They won't look like they're ready at all — this is the point. You want to pull them before they're golden-brown. Let them cool to room temperature, only seriously let them cool to room temperature. Walk away for a few hours. Split the buns 3/4 of the way through with a sharp serrated knife, then seal in sturdy zip-top freezer bags and freeze for up to a month.

Expert tip: when you're ready to finish the process, continue baking the frozen buns at 375F with a skillet of water underneath to help keep them moist.

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