The delight of a freshly baked loaf, unfortunately, doesn’t last long. Whether it is made at home or bought from the bakery or a food and drinks store, within a couple of days, the bread will get stale. If you have enjoyed an afternoon of baking bread at home or have bought a few loaves from the shop, this advice on how to freeze bread will avoid any wastage and allow you to enjoy bread, just as fresh, for the weeks ahead.
The best way to prepare your bread for freezing
The key to ensuring your bread is kept at its best when frozen is to avoid moisture. If you have baked your bread at home, make sure it is fully cooled before preparing it for the freezer. Any steam from warm bread will leave it soggy.
Each loaf of bread should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then covered also in a layer of foil or freezer paper. This extra layer of protection will help avoid freezer burn and preserve the bread’s freshness for up to six months.1
If you are short on time, bread bought from the shop can be frozen directly in its packaging, as long as it is used within a few weeks. Equally, homemade bread can be wrapped only in a single layer of plastic wrap if you know you will use it within this same time frame.
As with any product that you are freezing, always remember to label and date your bread before storing.
How to freeze bread for individual use
If you only use small amounts of bread at a time, slice it before freezing and prepare smaller portions using the method described above. Even single slices of bread can be wrapped in freezer bags or plastic wrap and put in the freezer.2 This versatility allows you to have fresh bread, as and when you need it.
How to thaw frozen bread
Take your bread out of the freezer the night before and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator. By morning, it will be ready for use.
For that extra, freshly baked taste and texture, pop your bread in a hot oven (around 200 degree Celsius) for 3-5 minutes. It will be soft when you remove it but leave it to stand for a few minutes, and it will become crispy.3
Bread can also be toasted directly from the freezer. Just take out the slices you need and toast. You may just need a higher setting to ensure the bread is fully defrosted and toasted to your liking.4
Freezing bread not only avoids wastage if you have completed a large food and drinks shop, but it also saves you money and allows you to enjoy fresh bread for many days without having to revisit the store.
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Last updated: 16 April 2020