Banana bread is loved pretty much universally, and while it’s such a comforting process to bake it, filling your home with the most delicious of smells, it’s even more satisfying to eat it.
Unfortunately, the results don’t sit around for long.
Banana bread doesn’t last, in both the senses that it will be devoured by appreciative family members and by yourself, and because it doesn’t keep for long before losing its quality.
While freshly homemade is best, you may have bought some on sale, and you’re not sure when you’ll get around to using it. Maybe you tried a new recipe and made more than you bargained for.
Whatever the reason, this article will take you through how to freeze banana bread, if it makes sense in your case, and how to thaw it properly.
In order to know whether you should freeze it, you should first know about its shelf life.
The Shelf Life Of Banana Bread
If we’re talking about store-bought banana bread (which is still better than no banana bread), the loaf lasts up to 4 days on average, and this is at room temperature, in an airtight container.
When kept in an airtight container, homemade banana bread will last for a maximum of 3 days before it starts to go stale. This is very impractical if you love banana bread, but you live on your own or with someone else that doesn’t eat it.
So, if you live in a household that doesn’t eat much banana bread, and you still want it, it’s worth freezing it to prolong its shelf life.
In the freezer, banana bread will still be at its best if you use it within a month. It will noticeably start to lose its quality after being in the freezer for 3 months, so make sure you use it!
Should You Freeze Banana Bread?
Banana bread freezes, but it largely depends on your personal taste when it comes to knowing if it’s a good idea. If the changes below sound heart-breaking to you, you may want to stick to a fresh loaf.
The texture does change, and it won’t have as much of its characteristic moist texture as fresh banana bread does.
If you do choose to freeze it, it does dry out quicker, especially if you freeze it in slices as opposed to the whole loaf at once.
Freezing the whole loaf does have its drawbacks, because you’ll be forced to use the lot within a few days.
If you’re someone who likes to top their banana bread with butter or other things, the change in texture after freezing probably won’t matter all that much. It will be much less noticeable.
For some, it’s worth it in the time you save. If you want homemade banana bread regularly, but you don’t have the time to spend making it every week, some people bake two at a time, and freeze one.
If you’re not convinced that freezing banana bread is a good idea, you can make it as you normally would, and freeze a few slices to see how important the difference is. Chances are, it’s still better than no banana bread.
How To Freeze Banana Bread
Freezing banana bread is a very simple process, and it doesn’t take very long at all.
There are two methods when it comes to freezing banana bread, and both require you to wrap the bread so that no air can get to it.
This helps protect it from freezer burn, and stops the loaf from drying out.
Freezing banana bread in slices does make it easier to only take out what you need at any one time, reducing waste. They also defrost quicker, but the slices do lose moisture quicker than an entire loaf.
If you’ve made banana bread from scratch, you’ll also need to make sure that the bread has fully cooled, otherwise freezing it risks disaster.
How To Freeze Banana Bread Whole
Cover the loaf in either foil or plastic wrap, making sure that it is sealed, and there’s no excess air.
This step is optional, but it stops the bread drying out, and prevents the worst of freezer burn if you’re looking to freeze it for more than a month.
Put the loaf into a freezer bag or suitable airtight container. Seal, and label.
How To Freeze Banana Bread In Slices
The best way of freezing banana bread in slices is to cover each slice with either cling film or foil, making sure it is airtight.
This will prevent the bread from losing too much moisture, and it will also protect the loaf from freezer burn.
Put the slices into a resealable freezer bag, and label with the storage date and the contents. Make sure to get rid of any excess air before you seal it, and freeze the bag.
How To Defrost Banana Bread
There are several ways to defrost banana bread, and it both depends on which method you chose, and how much time you have.
Defrost Banana Bread In The Microwave
For the fastest but probably drier and chewy results, you can microwave slices of banana bread, but only for less than a minute. Make sure to remove all packaging first.
Defrost Banana Bread Overnight In The Fridge
If you’re not in a hurry, you can defrost your banana bread overnight in the fridge. This will result in less dramatic texture changes, but it may become soggy, and you might have to toast it.
Defrost Banana Bread By Using The Oven Or The Toaster
Using The Toaster
If you prefer your banana bread hot as part of a pudding, you can toast it to defrost it, though the texture will just be like softer toast.
Using The Oven
You can also use the oven to defrost banana bread, but it can give unexpected results.
Make sure to choose a low temperature, around the 320°F mark, and put the bread straight in, without waiting for the oven to preheat.
Make sure to keep the banana bread in foil, as this will stop the crust from burning.
The time it will take to defrost in the oven largely depends on what the bread is actually made of, and how big the loaf is.
If you made a doorstop, it could take as long as an hour and a half. A lighter, smaller loaf could take as little as 20 minutes to thaw.
This method requires some experimentation in order to get it right. You may have to use a different recipe, adjust the size of the loaf, or the oven temperature until you get it right.
Defrost Banana Bread By Leaving It On The Counter
Some people do leave their banana bread out at room temperature to defrost.
This method should only be used if you’ve tried the other options and didn’t like the result, as the results will go off quicker.
In which case, it might be better to use a different recipe, or adjust the size of the loaf.
Slices can defrost on a plate if you lean them against each other, and they should thaw within 40 minutes, tops.
If you want to try to defrost an entire loaf on the counter, keep it covered in a single layer of wrap.
This will protect it from drying out, as well as keeping it away from any bacteria. This may take a maximum of six hours, but you’ll still need to use it within the same day.
Whether you’ve bought a surplus of banana bread, or you went a bit overboard making it, and you don’t want to eat it for every meal for the rest of your week, freezing banana bread is a good option.
Freezing banana bread does change its texture somewhat, but this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
It means that you have it there for when you have a craving, and you don’t have to make the whole thing from scratch.
It’s also helpful to make ahead of time if you’re having guests soon, but you don’t want to worry about the results of fresh banana bread when you’ve got a perfectly good example sitting in the freezer.
Freezing banana bread also helps cut down on food waste. Making the bread itself is a great way to use up bananas that have gone past their best, and it often turns out much better if you do use overripe bananas.