You got ambitious and made a bunch of loaves of bread and decided to freeze them so you could enjoy them at a later date. Now, you want to know the best way to defrost the frozen bread. After all, you spent all that time creating perfect loaves of bread – you don’t want to mess them up now! Knowing the best way to defrost bread will be the difference between a vibrant and a boring loaf.
Defrosting frozen bread does not require a long period of time in your refrigerator as meat does. The best way is, and the quickest way is to put it in the oven on a low temp and “refresh” it in the oven.
Before we go through the steps on the best way to defrost frozen bread, let’s first talk about the best way to freeze it.
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Slice or not to slice? – The best way to freeze bread
When it comes to making a bunch of loaves of bread to be used at a later date, you will want to be sure to freeze it correctly. After all, you want to make sure that all the hard work you put into baking that bread is not lost because you didn’t freeze it properly.
First, consider what the use will be for the bread when you defrost it. We say this because freezing and defrosting slices of bread is quicker and easier than whole loaves. So, if you intend to make sandwiches or have sliced bread for dinner, you may want to slice the bread before freezing.
Or… you have a family meal, you want to serve a whole loaf of warm bread at so you froze an entire loaf of bread to use. It’s best to slightly underbake loaves that are intended for freezing. This way the bread will have more moisture and be moister and fresher-tasting if baked a second time.
How to wrap bread to store in the freezer
First, you will need to wrap the bread to prevent moisture from getting into your loaf. You can use plastic wrap or you can use a silicone food storage bag. Next, another layer of protection will protect it from frostbite. Wrap in aluminium foil or store in a box or tub to protect the bread from the direct cold of the freezer. Double wrap with foil for extra protection!
Defrosting slices of bread at room temperature
If you have sliced your bread you can simply remove the number of slices you wish to defrost from the freezer. Place on a plate and cover with a piece of kitchen roll and wrap with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap prevents the bread from drying out too much. Whilst the sheet of kitchen paper will soak up any excess moisture released as the bread defrosts.
Best way to defrost frozen slices of bread in the microwave oven
The best way to defrost slices of bread is at room temperature, but sometimes we just don’t have the time. Thankfully, the microwave will work too! But, you will only want to use the microwave for defrosting individual slices of bread and not a whole loaf, as it will likely dry out.
Just take out the many slices you need. Place them on a microwave-safe dish or plate. Cover with a sheet of kitchen paper, and heat on a high setting for 15 to 20 seconds. You will end up with soft, ready-to-eat slices of bread.
The best way to defrost bread is by baking in the oven
The best way to defrost a whole frozen loaf is to “refresh” it in the oven. You will want to preheat your oven to 410F (210C). If you use the baking stone, you will want to put it in the oven while it preheats. Place the loaf into the oven for 8-22 minutes, depending on the size of the bread. Water can be added to create steam for a shinier crust if you wish. Small rolls and bagels will only need 5-10 minutes.
If you find there that the bread colours too quickly, reduce the temperature of your oven. Bread that is already “well coloured” will need to be baked at 350F (180C). The core of the bread can be tested with a temperature probe to check that it is fully reheated. Check that the temperature is above 131F (55C) before removing.
What does refreshing the bread do?
When bread is at room temperature the starch particles will be changing their structure to become more like their pre-baked state. Freezing slows this down, but when the bread is thawed the starch retrogrades into a weakened state, expelling water in the process. Freezing also dampens many of the bread-like aromas we associate with freshly-baked bread.
By baking, water is retained in the bread, making the outside crispy and keeping the centre moist. The fresh bready aromas and flavours are brought back to life. The bread tastes, smells and feels almost as good as when it came out of the oven the first time!
Can you thaw frozen bread without baking it?
You can let frozen bread loaves defrost at room temperature, instead of baking them. The crust of the loaf will be less crisp and it won’t taste as fresh as if it were baked, but it will definitely be useable.
Get baking in bigger batches!
Making bread is a timely and precise process. Thankfully you can make bread in big batches and freeze them so you can have that warm, fresh bread taste whenever you want. Perfect for family meals, sandwiches, and more.
Unexpected guests? Not a problem when you have some sliced homemade bread in the freezer for making tasty sandwiches. Homemade bread just makes sandwiches better. Not to mention, making your own bread also allows us to control what ingredients we are using!