How to Freeze and Defrost Bread?

Perhaps you are left with half a loaf that you can’t use before it gets stale. Do you usually just throw it away? If you do, read this article which will tell you how to freeze your bread so that you can use it at a later date. However, it is important to note that if your bread has already gone stale, there is no point freezing it as it will still be stale when you defrost it. The trick is to decide how much you are going to need for the next few days and freeze the rest straight away. 

Bread freezes well and the preparation isn’t long so there’s no excuse not to freeze bread (see also Can You Freeze Bagels?). It’s much more economical than throwing away stale bread (see also Can You Freeze Cornbread?). 

As well as freezing shop-bought bread, you can also freeze bread that you have made yourself (see also Can You Freeze Injera). However, make sure that you let the bread cool down completely (see also Is Freezing Crumpets A Good Idea?). There are two reasons for this. If the bread is still steaming when you put it in the can bring down the temperature and other food in the freezer may start to defrost. Defrosting and refreezing can cause bacteria to form and this can lead to food poisoning. In addition, the steam can cause moisture to form on the bread and it will make the bread soggy when defrosted.

Freezing Bread For the Short Term

If you just want to freeze bread (see also Freezing Naan Bread) for a few weeks, it is really simple and we’ll give you the steps to follow here.

  1. Cut the loaf into slices. If you’ve bought sliced bread, you obviously don’t have to do this. Freezing sliced bread is advantageous (see also Can You Freeze Sandwiches?). For a start, you can just take as many slices out of the freezer as you need. Secondly, slices take no time to defrost, especially comparing them to thawing a loaf or half a loaf. If you’re making a toasted sandwich, you can just put the slices straight into the toaster. What could be simpler?
  2. Wrap the slices. If your bread has come in plastic wrapping, then just use this. However, paper bags and freezers don’t go together. Put the slices into a freezer bag or wrap with aluminum foil. It is important to squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible to prevent freezer burn. This will alter the texture and taste of your bread and, while not causing you any health problems, the bread just won’t taste as it should.
  3. Label the package. It is important to put the date you froze the bread on the package. It is easy to forget, especially if you freeze a lot of items of food.
  4. Put the bread in the freezer.

It’s easy, isn’t it? If you make your own bread, it’s possible to freeze some of the dough (see also Can You Freeze Sourdough Starter?). Then you can defrost it whenever you need a fresh loaf. Alternatively, you can bake a few loaves and freeze the ones you don’t need at present.

Freezing Bread for the Long Term

It isn’t that different from freezing bread for a longer period of time. The main difference is that you need to wrap the bread more securely to stop freezer burn. Here are the instructions.

  1. Slice the bread. This is the same as if you are freezing bread for a shorter period of time.
  2. Wrap the bread. The bread needs to be wrapped securely so that air doesn’t get into it and causes freezer burn. If it does, the bread will be an unsightly color and will be tough. The solution is to wrap it twice. First of all, use the plastic wrap the bread came in or wrap it in foil. Then put the bread in a freezer bag. What’s even better is to use a vacuum sealer. To do this, put the bread in the freezer for a few hours until it is frozen, and then vacuum seal it. By putting it in the freezer first it will stop the bread from getting flat.
  3. Label the package. As we said before, it is a good idea to put the date on the package so that you know when you froze it.
  4. Put the bread in the freezer.

Freezing your bread this way means that it will be good for a few months in the freezer and even longer if you use a vacuum sealer.

You can use either of these methods to freeze hot dog buns (see also How To Freeze Hot Dog Buns) or hamburger buns as well. 

If you want to do something exciting with leftover bread, make bread pudding and freeze it (see also Freezing Bread Pudding) for a tasty dessert in the winter months.

Defrosting Frozen Bread

It’s easy to defrost frozen bread, especially if you have frozen your bread in slices. These are the two methods you can use:

  • Room temperature. If you have frozen a loaf of bread, keep it wrapped and put it on your counter. It will take around three hours for a medium-sized loaf to defrost. If you have frozen slices, take out as many as you need and place them separately on a plate. It only takes about a quarter of an hour for them to defrost. 
  • In a toaster or toaster oven. You can defrost your sliced bread in a toaster or a toaster oven. It only takes a few minutes for the bread to thaw out. You can, however, just put the frozen bread in a toaster and it will both defrost and cook at the same time. In the same way, you can make a toasted sandwich with frozen bread. Just put in the filling and put in the toasting oven. 

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