How To Freeze Bread
You can freeze bread, whole, sliced, store-bought, artisan or even homemade. You can even freeze it by the slice if you prefer. How you choose to freeze your bread is down to how you prefer to eat it.
If you have bought it in bulk, then you can freeze the whole loaf and grab it all out when you need it. However, if you prefer to use it a slice or two at a time, freezing the slices individually might work best.
However you freeze your bread, it is pretty simple to do, so let’s dive in and find out how.
How to Freeze Whole Loaves
We all do it from time to time, buy three loaves of bread instead of one – especially when it is on offer! This can be a great strategy if you go through a lot of bread in a week or have a big family.
This is the easiest method for freezing bread:
- Freeze If Wrapped in Plastic If your bread is wrapped in plastic and hasn’t been opened, all you need to do is label it with the date and put it in the freezer. No prep or work involved!
- (If Not) Add Cling Film
If your bread is wrapped in paper or baked freshly, then you will need to do a little more prep work, but not much. Keep the bread in the paper it comes in, and add a layer of cling film around it to make sure it is airtight.
- Label and Freeze
Label it with the date and then pop it into the freezer, and you are done!
If your loaf has been freshly baked at home, the same steps apply. Once it has cooled completely, wrap it in parchment paper and then cling film to get the same effect.
How to Freeze Bread Slices
Freezing slices of bread separately is a handy way of making it easy to only thaw out the amount of bread you need at a time. This method is beneficial if you can’t get through a whole loaf of bread before it goes stale.
There is a little work involved, but it isn’t too difficult.
- Bag Up
You need to pop a slice (or two slices if you prefer) into a freezer bag and seal it, so the bag is airtight. Label the bag with the date.
- Bag Up Again
Once you have put all your slices into separate bags, then layer them together and put them into a larger freezer bag.
Put this in the freezer and let it freeze. When you need a portion of bread, you can grab a bag without any difficulty.
How to Freeze Different Bread Types
With so many bread varieties, it can be difficult to know what bread you can and cannot freeze and which bread types freeze well. We’ve covered a few popular breads below:
How to Freeze Banana Bread
Banana bread makes a lovely tasty treat and is a fantastic and easy food to add to your kids packed lunches – or even your own to take to work! You will be pleased to know that you can freeze banana bread in the same way you would any type of bread.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread makes a lovely alternative to the traditional loaves you pick up at the supermarket, but it has one problem, it can go stale very fast! You can avoid this by freezing it.
Freezing Sourdough bread is no different from freezing any bread. Just follow the instructions above. There is just one thing to be aware of, though.
Sourdough bread doesn’t last quite as long in the freezer as other types of bread, so you can only keep it frozen for up to four weeks.
How to Freeze Soda Bread
You’re probably getting a good idea of where this is heading. Yes, you can freeze soda bread and the technique for soda bread, like all bread types, is the same as the one we have described for you on this page – easy!
How to Freeze Gluten-Free Bread
The texture and content of gluten-free bread are different from standard bread, so you might be thinking the freezing technique is different. But it’s not.
You can use the same approach we have outlined above for freezing gluten-free bread in slices or whole loaves.
How to Freeze Bagels
Bagels can also be frozen. The process is fairly straightforward. Slice them in half (as it’s easier to do before they’re frozen) then place each pair of halves into a freezer bag. Seal the bag up, removing as much of the air as possible and freeze.
How to Freeze Bread Dough
If you love the taste of freshly baked bread but hate the hassle of having to make it from scratch every single time, then you will be thrilled to know that you can freeze bread dough.
- Make Dough
Grab your favourite bread dough recipe and mix the ingredients as you normally would. Just make sure you only use active dry yeast, not fresh or fast-acting yeast. Your bread still needs to rise, so let it rise using whatever method you would usually use to prove the bread.
- Knead and Shape
Knead the bread as normal and then shape it into the bread shape you prefer. You need to use the pans you will be cooking the bread in. Line these pans with greased cling film and pop the dough in.
Once your bread is in the pans, wrap the whole pan in a freezer bag that is large enough to fit without the bag touching the bread dough itself.
Pop the whole thing into the freezer for about ten hours.
- Wrap Again
Once the bread is frozen, take the pans out of the freezer and take the dough out of the pans. Wrap the bread dough in cling film, label and pop it back in the freezer.
- Final Freeze
You can keep the frozen dough in the freezer for up to a month.
5 Tips for Freezing Bread
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 5 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing bread to have the best results:
- Freeze Fresh – You need to freeze your bread while it is still fresh. Stale bread will still be stale even if it has been frozen. So, make sure you freeze the bread as soon as you get your shopping home.
- Consider Portions – Think about the amount of bread you eat in a sitting or a day and then freeze the bread in portions of this size to avoid unwanted waste in future.
- Freeze Shop-Bought in the Packaging – If you have bought bread from the supermarket in airtight plastic packaging, then you can place the whole thing into the freezer.
- Eat it Toasted – Making sandwiches with frozen bread is not going to be pleasant. The texture will have changed drastically. Instead, toast frozen bread.
- Use to Make Breadcrumbs – Frozen bread makes great breadcrumbs. You can grab a slice of frozen bread from the freezer and blitz it instantly to use for bulking up sauces, for making bread sauce or for a crumb coating.
How Long Can You Freeze Bread?
For most store-bought bread, you can freeze it for up to three months which is the perfect amount of time to use up any leftover bread, and most of us will be ready to take any bread out of the freezer long before three months is up.
Sourdough, artisan and homemade bread may not last quite as long as store-bought bread, so you should be looking to have used it up by about four weeks.
You Can Freeze Bread for Around 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Bread?
The best way to eat frozen bread is toasted. This way, you can’t tell any difference between fresh and frozen bread at all. Luckily, if you plan to toast your bread, you don’t even need to worry about thawing it out.
Just pop the slices into the toaster and cook from frozen.
If you do need to thaw out your bread, then pop it into the fridge overnight. This can make your bread a little soggy, so you might then want to toast it lightly or let it dry out for a bit before using it.
If you need your bread in a hurry but don’t want to toast it, then you can defrost it in the microwave for a few seconds on a defrost setting.
Can You Refreeze Bread?
Bread shouldn’t be refrozen once it has been thawed. The structure of the bread couldn’t handle this, and the bread could become difficult to eat with a soggy texture. Nobody wants soggy bread!
Does Bread Freeze Well?
On the whole, bread does freeze very well, and it’s a handy thing to have in the freezer. You can keep it in the freezer for about 3 months, but it might start losing some of its taste after a month, so the faster you use it, the better.
As with most things, how well it freezes and thaws is dependent on how you use them. If you plan to use it for toast, you are unlikely to notice any difference between fresh and frozen bread.
However, for sandwiches, the texture is likely to have changed a little.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing bread or bread in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs can be frozen easily. Portion breadcrumbs into freezer bags and place them into the freezer. After 30 minutes, give the bags a shake and return to the freezer to prevent them from clumping together too much.
Does Freezing Bread Ruin It?
Bread freezes fairly well. There’s no denying that it won’t be as good as a freshly baked loaf, and the texture will change when you freeze bread. But if you’re going to toast it, use it in a grilled sandwich or make breadcrumbs with it there, you won’t notice.