If finishing a loaf of bread takes you a long time, it probably goes stale or even moldy quite often. Fortunately, you can freeze bread to prevent that from happening.
All it takes is a few minutes of work and something to wrap the bread, like a freezer bag, plastic wrap, or freezer paper.
Interested in freezing your leftover bread? If so, read on.
The instructions below work for both store-bought and homemade bread. No matter if you’re an aspiring home cook or buy yours in a bakery or supermarket, we’ve got you covered.
Can You Freeze Bread? Pros & Cons
Before we get to the freezing method, let’s briefly touch upon the pros and cons.
There are tons of pros, such as:
- your bread doesn’t go stale (here’s how long bread lasts in the fridge) and you don’t have to worry that you’ll find it moldy the next morning
- you can buy a couple of loaves at a time, and leave one on the counter and freeze the rest (I do that all the time because I only visit my favorite bakery once a week)
- having some extra bread in the freezer means you don’t have to worry you’ll run out of bread or have to rush to the bakery first thing in the morning
When it comes to cons, some people complain about its freshness, but everyone who freezes bread regularly (that I know of) never complains about its quality.
If you’re concerned that your frozen and thawed bread won’t taste as good as a fresh one, do a test run. Freeze a couple of slices and see how it goes. Chances are you’ll be happy about the results.
If you feel like freezing bread is something worth giving a try, the next section is just what you’re looking for.
- Let the loaf cool completely if it's still warm.
- Slice the bread if it's not sliced already.
- Place the slices in a freezer bag. Don't worry about them sticking together - you'll be able to separate them when frozen easily.
- Put the freezer bag in the freezer.
If you buy your bread sliced and packaged, you can simply put it in the freezer, and you're done.
The method above works best for short-term storage, like less than a month. If you expect the bread might stay in the freezer for longer, wrap the slices in plastic wrap or freezer paper, and then put them in a freezer bag.
The additional layer should slow down freezer burn so that the slices retain quality for longer.
Last but not least, if your freezer is crowded and you tend to lose track of what's there and for how long, consider labeling the bag with name and date. I tend to finish my bread within two weeks of freezing, so I don't bother with that.
How Long Does Bread Last In The Freezer?
Single-wrapped bread retains quality in the freezer for up to a month. For a longer storage period, like a couple of months, you need to double wrap it.
Bread easily keeps for 3 months in the freezer, possibly much more if it’s a quality loaf that you wrapped well. The same is true for similar baked goods, such as hamburger buns (here’s how to freeze hamburger buns).
Please remember that bread will never spoil in the freezer, but after like half a year, its quality might be noticeable worse than when you first froze it.
How To Thaw and Reheat Bread
When it comes to thawing, here are the options that I recommend:
- Thaw and reheat the slices using a toaster. It’s simple and takes only a couple of minutes, plus you don’t have to do anything ahead of time. The bread will need a bit longer to defrost and warm up, and you might need to set your toaster on a higher setting, but that’s about it.
- Thaw the slices on the counter. This requires taking the slices out of the freezer about 20 to 30 minutes before you need them. Thaw them spread out and leaning against each other, like you were building a house of cards. This way, the area exposed to warm air is highest, and slices defrost the fastest.
Truth be told, if you’re into bread toasts, the first option is all you need. I always go with this method and am super happy about how the bread turns out. You can also use a toaster to reheat frozen baguette slices or zucchini bread sliced (if you like them warm).
If you’ve frozen the entire loaf, thaw it overnight on the counter.