Freezing bread is a great way to make it last for months longer than it’s meant to, but it’s not best for every situation. Plenty of people thaw too much bread, which ends up being wasted. Bread can go stale quite quickly once it’s been taken out of the freezer, so you can either eat it before it goes bad, turn it into breadcrumbs, or freeze it.
Bread can be refrozen after being thawed, but it will taste staler since it loses moisture quickly. After thawing again, it’s best to toast the bread before eating to help eliminate the stale taste. Bread should be refrozen within 2 days to prevent staling.
Make sure that you refreeze it ASAP after it’s thawed and used. It will continue to dry out and lose quality the longer it’s left out, so freezing it quickly is recommended. Try and refreeze it within a day if possible, but within two days at the latest.
The flavor of bread that’s been frozen is far from what it was like originally. It loses a lot of the bready flavors and is replaced by a dry and stale taste.
To help improve this flavor, you can toast the bread slightly and top it with butter, sauce, fillings, etc. If you’re not really bothered about a slightly stale taste, you can eat it just how it is.
How To Freeze/Refreeze Bread Correctly
Freezing bread isn’t particularly hard, but there are some simple mistakes that can make the bread prone to freezer burn. Although freezer burn won’t make the bread inedible, it will ruin the flavor and it won’t be great to eat.
To help you freeze your bread properly, here’s a simple guide:
- Make Sure That The Bread Is Sliced And Cooled
Bread that’s already sliced freezes and thaws faster and maintains a better flavor and texture. Putting a full, unsliced loaf of bread in the freezer won’t yield great results.
You also need to make sure the bread is completely cooled before you even think about freezing it. If it’s not fully cooled, any warmth will cause moisture to condensate on the bread, which can lead to freezer burn.
- Wrap The Bread In A Layer Of Plastic Wrap And Foil
Once everything is ready for freezing, you should pack the bread slices together and tightly wrap them in freezer-safe plastic wrap. You want to wrap it tight enough to keep out as much air as possible, but be careful not to squash the bread too much.
Once tightly wrapped, give it another wrapping of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
The plastic wrap does a good job at keeping air out and the foil aids in preventing freezer burn on the bread.
- Freeze It
When the bread is all wrapped up tightly, you need to write the date on it, freeze it, and forget about it until you need it.
Bread can supposedly be frozen for up to 6 months, but it’s better to take it out and use it within 3 months so there’s less risk of freezer burn.
When you need some bread, instead of taking it all out, just take the amount you need out, wrap it back up, and put the rest in the freezer. This way you don’t have to worry about thawing and refreezing it again
How To Thaw Frozen Bread Efficiently
There are three main ways in which you can thaw your frozen bread. Each of these has its pros and cons, but they all work well.
It’s a good idea to thaw the bread in a way that’s appropriate to what the bread will be used for.
Thawing Bread At Room Temperature
This method is as simple as taking the bread out of the freezer and leaving it covered at room temperature until it’s thawed.
Depending on the thickness of the bread and the temperature of the room, this can take anywhere from 10 – 40 minutes to completely thaw.
This is good if you have plenty of time on your hands and just need bread at some point during the day.
Thawing Bread In The Toaster
A speedy way to thaw bread is to simply put it in the toaster. This takes a matter of minutes to thaw completely and you’ll be left with toasty warm bread.
Of course, this is only useful if you need toasted bread for anything, so it does a great job for a quick breakfast.
The great thing about toasting the bread is that it removes a lot of the stale taste that you’re likely to get from it after it’s refrozen and thawed.
Thawing Bread In The Microwave
The fastest method of the three is to simply put some slices of bread into the microwave for 15-60 seconds.
By the time the microwave is done, the bread should be fully thawed, warm, and moist.
The issue with this is that the bread can come out steaming, wet, and limp, but at least it’s not dry. If this doesn’t bother you, the bread will work perfectly fine.
When You Shouldn’t Refreeze Bread
Although most bread will do perfectly fine after being frozen, there are some situations where you’ll want to avoid freezing the bread any more. Bread can quickly deteriorate in quality after being frozen more than once, so it’s smart to avoid it sometimes.
Here’s when to avoid refreezing your bread:
Don’t Refreeze It Twice
You can get away with refreezing your bread once, but you’re ruining your bread if you do it more than once.
Whilst it’s still safe to eat after being frozen three times (2x refreezes), the texture and flavor of the bread will have fallen dramatically. By the time you come to eat the bread, it will most likely have a very stale taste and won’t be a good experience at all.
It’s smart to save the effort of refreezing your bread again and just buy fresh bread when you’re next out or make your own.
Avoiding Freezing Sourdough
Due to the texture of sourdough (soft, chewy crumb with a beautifully crispy/crunchy crust), freezing or refreezing it won’t give you good results.
When freezing and thawing the bread, the crust becomes soft rather than crispy/crunchy as the moisture gets to it.
If you’re wanting to maintain a good sourdough crust, it’s not smart to freeze it. However, if you don’t mind the crust softening, you can safely freeze it like any other bread.
Don’t Refreeze Raw Bread Dough
Although it’s not baked bread, it’s important to let any home bakers know that bread dough that has been frozen, thawed, and refrozen will have a low-quality texture and flavor.
This is because the dough can become drier and less elastic, which can affect the rise and ruins the overall texture of the bread.
Refrozen dough doesn’t work well and it should be avoided.
To sum everything up, bread can be frozen up to two times, but there can be a noticeable effect on the flavor and possibly the texture of the bread.
All bread is different, so different types of bread will be affected in different ways. A lean French baguette will have worse results than something like an enriched Challah does. The French baguette will go stale much faster and you’ll be able to taste it, whilst a Challah loaf can retain moisture better and will therefore last longer before going stale.
Either way, you can refreeze bread, but only if you make sure that you’re doing it correctly. Keep it wrapped up properly and ensure that it’s completely cool before freezing. Remember, you’re wanting to avoid freezer burn when freezing your bread or it won’t taste very good.