How To Freeze And Defrost Bread So It Doesn’t Taste Like Cardboard
Whether you make it yourself or pick it up from your favourite local bakery, there’s nothing quite like fresh-baked bread. From the crispy crust, to the chewy, doughy inside, to that delicate yeasty smell, I’m a happy camper.
Trouble is, all of that heavenliness lasts just a day or two before your bread transforms into something resembling a loofa — tough, scratchy, and not-so-appetising.
Of course, the easy way to avoid sad, stale bread is to freeze it at peak freshness and defrost it as needed. In theory, it’s super simple: Just throw your bread in the freezer, then grab it, defrost it, and let it come back to life when you’re ready to enjoy it. You probably haven’t thought too much about how to defrost your bread, though, right?
Thing is, anyone who’s ever defrosted bread knows it’s not actually that simple. Half the time, you bite into your toast or sandwich and taste nothing but freezer burn.
Yes, freezing extra bread is still a great idea — and the perfect way to have bakery-quality loaves available at all times. (Who doesn’t want that? Especially during lockdown when you can’t just nip out to the shops) You just have to do it right — because, yep, there is a proper way to defrost bread.
What’s the right way to freeze bread?
Key info here, guys: Getting your bread to defrost nicely starts with freezing it the right way. So, no, you can’t just throw a loaf of bread into the freezer and hope for the best.
- Wrap the bread (sliced or whole) in a layer of parchment paper or wax paper.
- Cover that with a layer of plastic wrap or reusable beeswax wraps.
- Place your twice-wrapped bread into an airtight, sealed, reusable container. (This should be either a hard-sided glass or plastic container or a reusable silicone baggie.)
Whether you freeze your bread sliced or whole is completely up to you (and the size of your freezer. If you do opt to freeze slices, though, you should wrap each slice in two layers and pop them all in an airtight container together.
Freezing slices individually is also a good idea if you think you’ll only be eating a slice or two at a time, says Nguyen. Otherwise, you’ll defrost a whole loaf but won’t be able to finish it, leaving you in the same place you started.
While Nguyen likes using silicone baggies for slices (so you can squeeze excess air our easily), she prefers rigid containers for loaves, so they don’t get squashed.
And, just in case you’re wondering, the whole three-step process is worth it. “It might seem like overkill, but it helps keep the moisture in the bread, and prevents it from getting freezer burn and smelling and tasting like the rest of the freezer,” Nguyen says.
You’ll need to freeze different types of bread at different times, though.
Ever wonder if different types of bread freeze better than others? Good news: “I’ve had success with freezing all types of bread, provided I follow the three-step wrapping process,” Nguyen says.
The key is to freeze the bread well before it starts to go stale.
For fresh-baked bread, this means freezing within a day or two of baking or buying it.
Supermarket breads (think packaged, sliced loaves and buns) typically contain preservatives, though, so they stay fresh for about a week at room temperature. Any bread products you buy in the center aisles should be frozen within that week.
Here’s exactly how to defrost your bread.
To defrost a whole loaf (or at least a large piece) of bread, pop it in the refrigerator overnight, says Nguyen. Then, warm it in a 160-degree oven until warm throughout and slightly crispy on the outside (usually about 20 minutes). This works for yeasted breads (baguettes, sandwich bread, buns) and quick breads (like insta-famous banana bread).
To defrost individual slices of bread, you can skip the refrigerator step and simply place frozen slices directly in the toaster oven on the “defrost” setting. You can also pop them in a 160-degree oven until heated through and slightly crispy on the outside (about five minutes).
From there, enjoy your newly rejuvenated bread however your carb-lovin’ heart desires.
The bottom line: Wrapping and sealing your bread well before freezing will help you defrost it so it tastes as good as new. From there, defrost in the fridge and bake it back to life.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com