Bread is one of the most consumed foods in the world and, despite how much we love it, it takes a very short time to go bad or go hard. Because of this, many people freeze it to keep it in optimal conditions. In this article, you will learn everything you need to freeze bread and how to defrost it without using plastic. The planet will thank you!
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Why does bread always come in plastic?
It is more than obvious that, although it hurts, plastic is one of the most used and polluting materials in our civilization. Although we are increasingly aware of this, it is difficult to find bread that does not come in a wrapper made of plastic. What is the reason to use it?
- The first reason is that it locks in moisture, preventing the bread from drying out.
- Food-safe plastic does not harm or contaminate food, so it is suitable for human consumption.
- Prevents food waste. By preserving food well, it lasts longer and can be eaten later and less waste is generated.
- In addition to this, a study conducted in New Zealand found that plastic makes food last longer as it prevents the growth of bacteria better than other materials.
Why freeze bread without plastic?
Although plastic is a good material for preserving food, it is a non-renewable material. It also requires a lot of energy to be produced which is again largely produced from pollutants such as gas or coal. This makes plastic quite bad for the environment. There are many alternatives to this material like the ones we will show you in a moment.
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One of the benefits of keeping bread without plastic is that we will have less garbage to throw away to landfills as most plastic alternatives are reusable.
Another point in favour of stopping using plastic is that we will be helping to conserve the planet like more and more people. You can also have your freezer much more organized!
What can I use to freeze bread without plastic?
In this article, we will give you 9 ideas of what we can use to store our bread in the freezer so that it maintains all its flavour. These ideas will make you stop wasting food and have fresh bread at any time.
You must remember that the maximum time we can freeze bread is around 3 months. Otherwise, it will start to get hard and it will not be pleasant to eat.
Reusable beeswax wrap
The most sustainable and best solution to wrap the bread in the freezer is a sheet of beeswax wrap. Any bread that you have leftover can also be wrapped in a wax wrap and frozen. Wax wrappers are an alternative to plastic that will keep our bread as fresh as the first day.
Despite their high cost, wax wraps are reusable as many times as you want. To make them last you cannot expose them to heat or clean them with hot water, always use cold water.
This is another of the most accessible options. You will simply have to wrap your slice or loaf of bread and freeze it. You can also reuse the aluminium foil for as long as it will allow refreezing another piece of bread in the future.
Stainless steel containers
The stainless steel containers are perfect for storing slices of bread in the freezer and will keep them in perfect condition. Normally, these containers usually have a lid that seals them hermetically.
A glass container
One of the best options is to use sealed containers since they are easy to store because of their shape and will keep their lid sealed, making the bread freeze without drying out.
In addition, you do not need a very large one since if you have a small one you can cut the bread into slices to make it fit better.
You can get these containers in plastic or glass. Glass ones as they are more durable and better for the planet, although they will cause a mess if dropped. The issue is it’s hard to find a glass container without a plastic lid.
This is one of the most accessible materials to freeze bread since the vast majority of people always have it at home. You can wrap the whole loaf of bread or cut it into slices. Parchment paper does not create the best barrier between the cold of the freezer and the bread. This means it’s not the best way to protect frozen bread from freezer burn, but it’s better than freezing the bread “naked”.
This option is perfect for when we have nothing at hand and we take the first thing we find to get out of trouble. Despite this, the dishcloths will do a good job and will keep our bread well preserved in the freezer.
A paper bag
This is one of the most convenient ways since you can simply put the bread in a paper bag and freeze it. In addition to this, you are giving a second life to paper bags, making them more sustainable.
Like parchment paper, a paper bag offers little protection from freezer burn so you wouldn’t want to keep your bread in the freezer for more than a couple of weeks.
A cotton bread bag
A quick and direct method of freezing plastic-free bread is to use a cotton bag or even fabric from a cut T-shirt to wrap the loaf of bread. Cotton bags are very durable and you can use them as many times as you want. You’ll just have to wash them from time to time.
Yes, as you hear, we can use a fabric pillowcase if we want to store several loaves of bread at the same time. At the end of the day, a pillowcase is like a cotton bag, but bigger.
How to defrost bread?
When it comes to defrosting it we have several options.
Defrosting slices of bread
If we want to defrost slices of bread, we can securely wrap the bread so that the air does not dry it and leave it at room temperature. For us, this is the best way.
Another option is to defrost the bread slices in the microwave but this is best done when we don’t have too much time. It will only take 15 to 20 seconds for each slice but after an hour or two, the bread will dry out and become hard.
Defrosting a loaf of bread
If you want to defrost a whole loaf of bread, you can leave it to defrost at room temperature overnight, or you can refresh it in the oven. Baking in the oven reignites the freshly-baked aromas and crispens the crust.
To refresh a loaf, put it in a preheated oven at 210C (410 degrees Fahrenheit) and leave it for between 8 and 22 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf. If you see that it is toasting too much you can lower the temperature to 180C (360F). Check the core temperature reaches 55C (131F) with a temperature probe for accuracy.
If you decide to defrost a whole loaf of bread in the oven, you can moisten it a little with a spray to make it much more tender.
Freezing bread without plastic summary
In conclusion, freezing bread without using plastic is an easy and beneficial task in many respects. With all these alternatives that we have mentioned, you have a great variety in which to choose the one that best suits you.
Perhaps the hardest part is defrosting it correctly as many people do it wrong. If you follow the advice we have given you, we will assure you that you will not have to buy bread every day to eat it.
It is important to remember that we should not freeze bread that has already been frozen before. See this article on can I refreeze bread to learn more. For this reason, we must inform ourselves when we buy it if it has been previously frozen.
We hope that this article has been of great help to you and that you have learned the best technique to freeze bread without plastic.
Freezing bread without plastic frequently asked questions
What is the best way to freeze store bought bread?
The best way to freeze any type of bread is to wrap it securely and put it in the freezer. A large, hard-crusted loaf may be frozen longer than small, soft fleas. Still, any piece of bread should never be frozen for more than three months.
Should I slice bread before I freeze it?
What really must be taken into account when storing the read is what we are going to use it for when we defrost it. If we only eat a few slices, the best option is to freeze it pre-sliced. If on the contrary, we will serve it in a family meal, the best option will be to keep it whole.