Bread is a staple of any well-stocked kitchen, but it does not keep for long. Fortunately, bread can be preserved for months in the freezer when properly stored. Read on for more on how to freeze sliced bread and be sure to always have some on hand. Fortunately, you can preserve bread in your freezer for months, so you can be sure to have a loaf on hand the next time this happens!
Bread is prone to going stale when exposed to air for even a short period of time. When left out at room temperature (for example, in a bread box or on the counter) bacterial growth will cause the bread to mould within a matter of weeks and sometimes sooner. The good news is that bread can be preserved in the freezer for up to 6 months if properly stored. Freezing bread stops bacterial growth and preserves it without loss of flavour or texture.
Freezing a loaf of bread is relatively straightforward. The first step is to consider how long you plan for the bread to stay frozen. If you simply want to keep it fresh for several weeks, a store-bought loaf of bread that is pre-sliced can be placed directly into the freezer in the plastic packaging that it came in.
If you are preserving a homemade loaf, be sure to wrap it in plastic or place it in a freezer bag before freezing. If you don’t want to use plastic, try my plastic alternatives for freezing bread. If you plan to store the bread for more than several weeks, especially if you only need a few slices of bread rather than an entire loaf, the bread should be sliced before you freeze it.
This helps to ensure uniform freezing and makes defrosting easier when you are ready to use it. Then, flash freeze the individual slices of bread to prevent them from sticking together later when you need to defrost by the slice.
To flash freeze the bread, simply place the individual slices of bread on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and place them in the freezer for at least two hours. Once the individual slices are frozen, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic and place it into a freezer bag. Then, label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer. That’s it!
One of the benefits of slicing the bread before freezing the loaf is that you can defrost only as many slices as you need and keep the rest of the loaf in the freezer for later. To thaw, simply place whatever number of slices you need in the refrigerator overnight. It’s incredibly simple to freeze sliced bread, and the investment of time now can be a lifesaver later. So go ahead, bake that second loaf today!
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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