Freezing bread is also a great way to save money because you can buy or bake larger quantities and freeze them for later use. It saves you time too because you don’t have to go out to get fresh bread when you need it! You can take the number of slices you need each evening from the freezer to use the following day. But does it matter if your bread is already a bit stale? Well, let’s see, can you freeze old bread?
Freezing is best when the bread is fresh, but you can place older bread in the freezer, it just won’t last long after defrosting. You can freeze old bread either in its original packaging or by wrapping it tightly in a plastic freezer bag before freezing.
The amount of times I’ve run out of bread or breadcrumbs when cooking and wished that I had kept the ageing loaf which I’d thrown out the week before is ridiculous! It’s always worth freezing bread, even if its best days are behind it.
There are many uses for old bread, and once defrosted, you can warm them in the microwave or oven, and they’ll usually soften up perfectly for a sandwich! See my guide on how to freeze bread in slices.
Bread that has gone a little dry makes excellent toast. Grilled sandwiches such as Croque monsieur turn out best with stale bread. If the bread is extra dry it can be used to make breadcrumbs, bread pudding or croutons.
If the bread was already expired when it went into the freezer, only freeze it for a maximum of 3 months. Much of the bread’s staling process is halted by the freezer, but it will lose moisture when defrosting. The longer the bread is frozen, the less enjoyable it will be.
The best way to tell if your bread has gone bad is by its smell and look. Bread can become unfit to eat when mould starts growing on it, or it gets discoloured or has a gone-off odour. If any of these things happen, throw the bread away.
Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baker, bread baking coach and college lecturer. I’m here to help you make better bread and learn about the baking industry.
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