If you often have stale bread or waste the end of a loaf and don’t freeze it regularly, that needs to change. If you’ve ever wondered if you can freeze bread, the answer is yes, you can. And it freezes really well, especially for a shorter period of time like a few weeks. What makes it even better is that it takes no time at all to set up. There are no excuses for not freezing bread regularly.
One thing to remember before freezing bread is that freezing doesn’t make the bread any better. If it’s already stale, freezing and thawing won’t magically make it fresh (but reheating or toasting might help). This means that the best time to freeze bread is when it’s fresh. When buying bread, take as much as you need for a day or two and freeze the rest. If you bake your own bread, wait for it to cool before packing it for freezing.
Are you interested in freezing bread? Continue reading.
How to freeze bread short term
As previously mentioned, freezing bread for a few weeks is easy and takes little to no time. Here are the steps:
- Slice the loaf. If you buy sliced bread then that’s taken care of for you. Freezing the slices has two major benefits. First, you can get as many slices out of the freezer as you need for your next meal. There is no need to defrost the whole loaf. Second, the bread slices thaw much faster than the whole loaf. And when making toast, you can use frozen slices right away.
- Wrap the bread. If it’s wrapped in plastic wrap, you can freeze the bread in its original wrapper, no additional wrapping is needed. If it comes in a paper bag, place the bread or bread slices in freezer bags or wrap in aluminum foil. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the package.
- If necessary, label the package with name and date.
- Throw it in the freezer.
That’s it. As you can see, the process is straightforward and takes little time. If you buy sliced bread in a plastic wrapper, you can literally throw it in the freezer and be done with it.
Bake your own bread? You can make a large batch of bread dough and freeze it. Then, if necessary, thaw a portion and bake a fresh loaf. Or you can bake several loaves and freeze the extra ones.
Read Also: Can you freeze whipped cream?
How to freeze bread long term
Freezing bread for a long period of time, say a month or more, is like freezing it for a short time. The only difference is that you must package the product appropriately to prevent freezer burn. Here’s how to do that:
- Cut the bread into slices. All reasons for cutting are already mentioned above.
- Wrap the bread properly.As mentioned, long-term freezing requires proper packaging. The bread should be wrapped tightly to prevent air from penetrating the wrapper. The easiest way to do this is to wrap it twice. For the first layer, you can use the plastic wrap the bread was wrapped in or foil. You can use a freezer bag for the second layer. For both layers, remember to remove as much air as possible before sealing the package. Alternatively, if you happen to have a vacuum sealer, you can use that to wrap the bread. Before using, place the wrapped bread in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid. This will prevent it from being flattened when using the vacuum sealer.
- Label the package with your name and date if you wish.
- Throw the bread in the freezer.
Not that difficult, right? Bread frozen this way should be of good quality for at least a few months, even longer if vacuum sealed.
Not sure what to do with the leftover bread. Consider making bread pudding, which you can also freeze.
How to defrost frozen bread
Defrosting frozen bread is easy, and once you’ve sliced it frozen, it doesn’t take long.
- At room temperature. If you’ve frozen the whole loaf, leave the bread wrapped on the counter. Depending on the size of the bread, it will take a few hours (3 hours for a medium sized loaf) to defrost. Unpack after defrosting. If you have frozen slices, take as many as you need and place them one at a time on a plate. In 15 to 20 minutes the bread should be thawed and ready to use. Here’s how to lay them out for the fastest thaw:
- In a toaster or toaster oven. Of course, this only works with frozen bread slices. When making toasts, you can use frozen bread right away. You can also use the toaster or toaster oven to defrost the slices. Throw the slices in the toaster, turn it on and warm the bread for a few minutes. Make sure the bread slices are warm and the crust is just how you like it.