Quite a few people freeze bread on a regular basis. If you would want to become on of them and don’t know where to start, this article is perfect for you. After reading it you will know how to freeze bread and in which cases it makes sense to do that. If that’s what you’re looking for, read along.

How to freeze bread

Before you freeze

Here are the things you should know if you plan to freeze bread. A pretty common misconception is that freezing might improve the quality of bread. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. If the loaf was stale before freezing, it will be stale once thawed. That’s why freezing stale bread doesn’t make much sense. Freezing fresh bread gives the best result, so the best thing to do is to freeze bread as soon as you can (when you know that that certain loaf is going to be frozen). Don’t postpone it until the next day. Of course putting warm bread into the freezer is a big no-no, so if you buy fresh, still warm bread in the bakery or you bake your own bread, wait until it cools down.

Image used under Creative Commons from allispossible.org.uk

Packaging and freezing bread

If you plan to use bread you’re going to freeze within next three weeks, you can leave it in its plastic bag (if it comes in one) and put directly into the freezer. If it’s not in a plastic bag, but it’s packaged in any other way (e.g. in paper bag), you should wrap it tightly with freezer wrapper or put into a freezer bag, seal it and put into the freezer. Make sure you leave as little air in the package as possible, to avoid freezer burn.

If you would like to freeze bread for a longer period of time, you should remember that each loaf should be well wrapped. A simple plastic bag won’t be enough and the cold will significantly alter the quality of bread. Many people recommend wrapping each loaf twice, so they are sure no air or moisture can get to it. Freezer wrapper as the first layer and a freezer bag as the second layer will do just fine. As mentioned earlier, please remember to remove all air before sealing the bag.

Instead of wrapping and sealing bread on your own, you can also choose to vacuum seal it using a vacuum sealer. This device will take care of the proper packaging, but there’s one thing you need to do before using this it. You should put the bread (e.g. on a baking sheet) into the freezer for a couple of hours to pre-freeze it. That makes sure the vacuum sealer won’t flatten the loaf when sealing the package.

Keeping bread in the freezer and thawing it

As mentioned earlier, if bread it only lightly packaged, it shouldn’t be kept in the freezer for longer than 3 weeks. If you’ve wrapped it tightly on your own, it should be of good quality for up to 3 months. Vacuum sealing makes the shelf life (or rather the freezer-life) even longer, up to six months. One thing worth noting – if you’re freezing bread for the first time, try not to keep it in the freezer for to long. Some people simply don’t like frozen and thawed bread, so keeping it in the freezer for 2 months just to find out that you won’t eat it at all doesn’t make much sense.

When it comes to thawing, you can put the loaf (still wrapped) in the kitchen on the counter and leave it to sit in room temperature for a couple of hours. Of course, the bigger the loaf, the longer it will take to thaw entirely.

Summary
As you should know by now, freezing bread is neither difficult nor time-consuming. If you’re doing it for the first time, freeze it for a couple of days and check out if you’re satisfied with the outcome. If not, you might try packaging it tighter. It that won’t help, freezing bread for a longer period of time definitely isn’t for you.