Can You Freeze Bread?
If you often find yourself with stale bread and don’t regularly freeze it, that needs to change. If you’ve ever wondered if you can freeze bread, the answer is yes, you can. And bread freezes really well, especially for a shorter time period like a few weeks. Plus, freezing it for a short period doesn’t take any time at all. There are no excuses for not doing freezing bread on a regular basis.
One thing you need to remember before freezing bread: freezing won’t make bread better. So if it’s already stale, freezing and defrosting won’t magically make it fresh. That means that the best time to freeze bread is when it’s fresh. If you’re buying bread, take as much as you need for the day and freeze the rest. If you’re baking your own bread, wait until it cools down before packing it for freezing.
Interested in freezing bread? If so, read on.
Image used under Creative Commons from Jim Champion
As already mentioned, freezing bread for a few weeks is really simple and takes little to no time at all. Here are the steps:
- (Recommended) Cut the loaf into slices. If you’re buying sliced bread then that’s done for you. Freezing slices has two major advantages. First is that you can easily get as many slices from the freezer as you need for your next meal. There is no need to defrost the whole loaf. Second, bread slices defrost much quicker than a whole loaf. Plus, if you’re making toasts you can use frozen slices right away.
- Wrap the bread. If it came in a plastic wrapping you can freeze the bread in its original packaging, no need for more wrapping. If it came in a paper bag, transfer the loaf or slices into freezer bags or wrap with aluminum foil. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing the package.
- Label the package with name and date if needed.
- Throw the package into the freezer.
That’s it. As you can see, the process is really simple and takes little time. If you’re buying sliced bread in a plastic wrapping you can literally throw it into the freezer and be done with it.
Freezing bread for a longer period of time, like a month or more, is similar to freezing it for the short term. The only difference is that you need to wrap the product properly to prevent freezer burn. Here’s how to do it:
- (Recommended) Slice the bread. All the reasons for slicing are already mentioned above.
- Wrap the bread. As mentioned above, freezing for the long-term requires proper wrapping. Bread should be wrapped tightly so any air doesn’t go through the wrapping. The easiest way to do that is to wrap the bread twice. For the first layer, you can use the plastic wrap the bread came it or foil. For the second layer, you can use a freezer bag. For both layers remember to remove as much air as you can before sealing the package. Alternatively, if you happen to have a vacuum sealer, you can use it to wrap the bread. Before using it put the wrapped bread into the freezer for a few hours until it’s frozen solid. This will prevent the bread from flattening when using the vacuum sealer.
- Label the package with name and date if required.
- Chuck the bread into the freezer.
Not that difficult, right? The bread frozen this way should be of good quality for at least a few months and even more if it’s vacuum sealed.
At room temperature. If you’ve frozen the whole loaf, leave the bread on the counter wrapped. It will take a few hours (3 hours for a medium size loaf) to thaw depending on the size of the loaf. Unwrap once defrosted. If you’ve frozen slices, take as many as you need and put them individually on a plate. In 15 to 20 minutes the bread should be defrosted and ready to be used.
In a toaster or toaster oven. This only works for frozen bread slices, obviously. If you’re making toasts, feel free to use frozen bread right away. You can also use the toaster or toaster oven to just defrost the slices. Chuck the slices into the toaster, turn the toaster on, and warm the bread for a few minutes.