Bread usually keeps fresh for 2 to 3 days before it gets stale or even grows molds. If you are aware that you can’t get through the whole loaf before it goes stale, you might be asking: can you freeze bread for later?
Perhaps, you live in an area where getting fresh loaves of bread is not an easy task. In this case, you might be thinking of buying extra loaves for a month’s supply and freeze for later. But, can you freeze bread successfully?
We’ve all been there. A quick answer, yes you can freeze bread to enjoy for the coming weeks to months.
For more details, keep reading. This article walks you through the tips on freezing loaves of bread and how to keep them fresh. So, read on!
Does Freezing Bread Ruin It?
You can freeze many bread types with little or no loss in quality—from sandwiches loaf, baguette, rolls, or buns. No matter if it is a homemade, artisanal, or store-bought bread.
As we all know, bread goes stale after 2 to 3 days. Freezing doesn’t magically fix this decreasing quality. In other words, stale bread won’t magically become fresh after you freeze and reheat them.
The rule of thumb is to freeze bread at its peak freshness and thaw as needed. This way, the previously frozen bread will have a closely similar quality to fresh-baked ones.
How To Freeze Bread Successfully
As a matter of fact, freezing bread is not a tough nut to crack.
Just remember the basic rules: freeze bread while still fresh and wrap it properly to prevent freezer burn.
These rules apply to a homemade, bakery, or store-bought bread; in an entire loaf or slices. The details vary slightly depending on the type and how long you intend to freeze them.
Here is how to freeze bread while keeping its maximum freshness.
1. Bake the bread as usual and let it cool down completely.
Take an appropriate amount as you need for a day or two, and freeze the rest.
For store-bought, bakery, and leftover bread, make sure that they are still fresh and not stale.
2. Decide on freezing bread slices or an entire loaf.
Slices of bread are handy during thawing and work perfectly for making sandwiches and toasts. Freezing a whole loaf is recommended if you plan to use the loaf in a day or two after thawing.
3. For short-term storage (3 weeks)
Homemade and bakery bread: Wrap in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and pack in a freezer bag.
Store-bought bread: Freeze in its original packaging.
Rolls and buns: Pack in a freezer bag.
4. For long-term storage (longer than three weeks)
Wrap any type of bread in two layers of aluminum foil or plastic wraps and pack in a freezer bag.
5. Suck out as much air as possible from the bag and seal it tightly.
6. Write the freezing date or use-by date.
7. Pop the package into the freezer.
Check your freezer’s temperature regularly, and make sure to set it to 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower.
How To Freeze Bread Dough
If you prefer enjoying freshly-baked bread to a previously frozen one, freezing the dough is your best option.
Yeasted bread dough can be frozen successfully. This way, you can save time for preparation and have the dough ready anytime you need.
Here is how to freeze bread dough for later baking.
1. Make the dough according to the instruction and let it rise once. Add more yeasts to compensate for the yeasts killed during freezing. Once the dough rises, knock it down, and shape it into a loaf or rolls.
2. Prepare a loaf pan, line with plastic wrap, and lightly grease it.
3. Place the loaf (or rolls) in the pan and freeze for several hours until it is fully frozen.
4. Remove the frozen dough, wrap it in plastic wrap, and pack it in a freezer bag.
5. Press as much air as possible and seal the bag tightly.
6. Mark with the freezing date and transfer to the freezer.
How To Defrost Frozen Bread
For making toast, you can directly pop the frozen slices in the toaster. Add extra minutes to compensate for heating from a frozen state.
You can also reheat sliced bread in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds or pop it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 325 °F.
For a frozen loaf, simply place it in the refrigerator and let it soften up slowly overnight.
If the crust takes on the soft side, reheat it in the oven at 350 °F for 10 minutes to bring it back to life.
How To Thaw and Bake Frozen Bread Dough
When it’s time to thaw, simply grab frozen bread dough and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
Keep in mind that refrigerator thawing takes time. It is better to plan it in advance and thaw the frozen dough a day before baking.
Once the dough has completely thawed, remove the plastic wrap. Grease a bread pan, place the dough in it, cover it, and let it rise at room temperature.
Finally, your thawed dough is ready to bake. Bake the dough as usual, following the recipe.
How Long Can You Freeze Bread and Bread Dough?
Freezing bread can slow down the staling process and spoilage. It stretches the shelf life from only a few days to 3 to 6 months.
Frozen bread remains safe to use beyond this time. However, it may develop freezer burn after a while.
If this is your first time freezing bread, you may want to thaw it from time to time and mark the time when the thawed bread still satisfies your taste buds. That is likely how long you can freeze bread.
Frozen bread dough keeps up to 2 to 6 months without losing its quality. Thaw and let it rise before putting it in the oven.
|Homemade and bakery bread (without preservative)||3 to 6 months|
|Store-bought bread (with preservatives)||3 to 6 months|
|Bread dough||2 to 6 months|
There are some general symptoms of spoiled bread that your eyes and nose won’t miss. Stale bread that is hard and dry is not necessarily off, but it is less tasty. But, if you see any visible molds that look like greenish or black specks, don’t use the bread. If it smells sour or yeasty, it should be discarded too.
There is no difference in the nutritional quality of fresh and frozen bread. Freezing stops microbial activities and chemical reactions that happen when the bread is stored at room temperature or in the fridge. This way, freezing bread can extend the shelf life without destroying its nutritional values.
Yes, you can freeze bread in its original packaging as long as the plastic is airtight.
Freezing is a smart trick to prolong shelf life, including loaves of bread. Freezing bread significantly delays the staling and spoilage process, making it stay edible and tasty for up to 3 to 6 months.
With proper defrosting and reheating, you can bring frozen bread back to life as delicious as freshly-baked ones.
Now that you know the benefits of freezing bread, you can freeze loaves of bread to enjoy later, and no more bread needs to go to waste.
See more: how long does bread last?
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