You’ve got a beautiful loaf of bread at home, but you know you can’t eat the entire thing before it gets stale. Or maybe you would like to bake multiple loaves of bread and save some of them for later. I like making multiple loaves of homemade bread at a time to eat over the next couple of months.
Freezing bread can slow down the process of your bread going stale and help keep it fresh. Freezing bread does dry it out slightly. However, if you freeze and thaw your bread properly, you can bring it back close to as fresh as when it was first baked.
How to Freeze Your Bread
If you want your thawed bread to be fresh, you need to freeze it properly. Slicing your bread before freezing will dry it out slightly. However, if you plan to eat your bread a slice at a time, be sure to slice the bread ahead of time.
- Freeze your bread while it is still fresh. If you wait until your bread is going stale then it will still be slightly stale when thawed.
- Wrap your bread (whether sliced or whole) into parchment or wax paper.
- Wrap your bread again in plastic wrap (or a reusable beeswax wrap)
- Place in an airtight container. This can be a freezer-safe glass or plastic container or a zip-top bag. Use a glass or plastic container if you need to place items on top of the bread in order to keep the bread from getting smashed.
Both yeast bread and quick bread freezes well. High-quality bread will maintain its quality better than lower-quality bread. Bread lasts for 2-3 months in the freezer.
How to Thaw Bread
You can thaw bread in the fridge. This takes 2-3 hours for a slice of bread and overnight for a large piece or loaf of bread.
However, the best way to thaw bread is to heat it. Bread contains starch molecules. Heating the bread helps the starch reabsorb free water in the bread, so it maintains its freshness and texture.
To thaw individual slices, microwave until soft (15-25 seconds) or bake on a baking sheet at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 minutes. You will want to remove them once soft.
To thaw an entire loaf, you will want to bake it in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove once the bread is warm throughout and the outside is slightly crisp.
How to Thaw Rolls, Breadsticks, Biscuits, Buns etc.
For smaller bread items, you have several options. The first is to let them thaw overnight in the fridge. However, as with a loaf of bread, reheating them can help bring back the freshness.
In the microwave, start by wrapping your roll, biscuit, bun, etc., in a paper towel that is just barely damp (wet the paper towel, then wring out as much water as you can). Then microwave for 10-30 seconds until warmed through.
In the oven, start by wrapping your roll, biscuit, bun, etc., in aluminum foil. Then bake in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes until warmed through and slightly crispy.