How Long Does Bread Last in the Freezer?
Do you like freshly-baked bread but find yourself with more than you can eat before it goes stale? If so, then freezing is just the solution for you!
With proper storage, freezing your homemade loaf or store-bought findings can extend their life much longer than if they were left simply out on the counter.
How long does bread last in the freezer? When stored properly, store-bought bread can last up to 6 months in the freezer, while homemade bread and sourdough bread can last up to 3 months in the freezer. We recommend slicing the loaf before freezing it so that you don’t have to thaw the entire loaf all at once.
In this post, we’ll discuss all of that and more to ensure that your frozen loaves stay fresh until their next use.
Keep reading to learn how properly storing and defrosting your frozen bread can help keep it tasting delicious for months.
Can You Freeze Bread?
A lot of people don’t know this, but yes, you can freeze bread.
In fact, freezing bread is one of the best and easiest ways to ensure your loaf of bread stays fresh for months.
If you have an excess of fresh-baked or store-bought loaves or have found a good deal on your favorite variety, freezing it can be a great way to make sure you don’t waste any of that deliciousness.
Freezing bread also allows you to buy larger quantities at once, as any extra can easily be frozen for future use. By using this method, you could potentially save money by buying in bulk.
Additionally, frozen loaves are convenient if you want something pre-sliced for sandwiches or toast and don’t want to run to the store for a freshly baked loaf every few days.
Many people pass up the opportunity to keep bread in their freezer for as long as it may last because of fears that freezing will affect its taste and texture.
But fear not! As long as the bread is stored correctly in an airtight bag, it won’t lose any flavor or freshness while in the freezer.
All in all, freezing bread is a wonderful way to make sure nothing goes to waste and the whole family gets their fill of delicious nutrients.
In the next section, let’s take a look at how to freeze different types of bread correctly so that they will stay fresh for months.
How Long Does Bread Last In The Freezer?
The lifespan of your frozen loaf will depend on the type of bread being stored.
Store-bought bread contains some preservatives, so it can usually last about 6 months in the freezer, while homemade bread and sourdough will only last about 3 months before losing their freshness.
Regardless of the type of bread, if you are looking for the best possible results in terms of taste and texture, it’s recommended that you consume any frozen bread within six months from when it was originally baked.
Be sure to store your loaf in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent it from drying out and losing its flavor and texture. In the next section, let’s take a look at how to freeze different types of bread properly so they will last longer.
How To Freeze Store-bought Bread
Since store-bought sliced bread already comes in a pre-packaged airtight container, you don’t have to do much preparation. Simply place the entire loaf in the freezer, and they should be good as-is!
When storing frozen bread, be sure to label and date each loaf so that you know when they were frozen; this will help ensure that they don’t go bad while waiting in the freezer!
Ideally, frozen loaves of bread should be used within 6 months of being stored; any longer than that, and they may start to lose their flavor or develop freezer burn.
How to Freeze Homemade Bread
Freezing freshly baked loaves of homemade bread can be a great way to enjoy fresh-tasting slices days after baking them! However, if done incorrectly, freezing can cause your loaves to become dry or soggy when thawed out.
The first step in freezing your bread correctly is preparing it properly before freezing it. This means that you need to make sure that your bread is completely cool before freezing.
To do this, you can leave your bread out on the counter, covered with a tea towel, or in a bread bag to ensure that all the moisture has time to fully evaporate and the bread won’t become soggy when thawed.
Once your bread has cooled completely, use a serrated knife to slice the bread into individual slices.
Not only will this make it much easier for you to separate and thaw individual slices later on, but it will also ensure that the bread can freeze evenly and completely.
If you want to make each slice easier to separate, you can also insert parchment paper in between each slice.
The parchment paper will prevent the slices from sticking to one another after freezing, so you can easily remove one or two slices to enjoy each time.
Then, place the wrapped loaf in a sealed plastic bag. Make sure to remove all the air bubbles inside the bag to prevent freezer burn, and seal the bag tightly.
Finally, use a permanent marker to label the date of freezing on the plastic bag. Homemade bread doesn’t contain any preservatives, so it will only last for up to 3 months before losing its flavors and becoming tasteless.
Then, store the loaf in your freezer until you are ready to use them.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
Read my full guide on freezing sourdough bread here.
As any sourdough enthusiast knows, the best way to enjoy your loaf of sourdough is when it’s fresh out of the oven.
But sometimes, life happens, and you don’t have time to bake a fresh loaf every time you want a piece.
That’s where freezing comes in! Freezing sourdough bread will keep its flavor and texture for up to three months. Let’s take a look at the steps to freeze sourdough.
Step 1: Preparation
Before you start freezing your sourdough, make sure it has cooled completely after baking.
The residual heat will continue to “cook” the bread even after you have removed the loaf from the oven, so this step is crucial to help the flavors develop.
You can leave the bread on your counter, covered with a tea towel to keep dust and insects at bay, while still letting the bread cool and the moisture evaporate completely.
Step 2: Slice
Once the loaf is cool, use a serrated knife to slice the bread into individual slices.
Slicing before freezing allows you to thaw only what you need at one time and prevents the wastage of the rest of the loaf.
Step 3: Flash freeze
Spread the individual slices on a baking tray, and cover it with a light layer of plastic wrap. Then, pop the entire tray in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
This step is called “flash freezing,” and it allows each individual slice to freeze.
This step will preserve the integrity of the crust, and it will also ensure that the slices won’t stick to one another, which will make it easier to separate them later on.
Step 4: Put It In A Freezer Bag
After 20 minutes, remove the slices from the tray and transfer them into a freezer bag or airtight container with a tight-fitting lid.
Make sure there is as little air inside the container as possible; otherwise, your bread may dry out in the freezer or even suffer from freezer burns. Squeeze out any excess air and seal tightly before putting it in the freezer.
Step 5: Label & Date The Bag
Label your freezer bag with the type of bread and date frozen so that you know exactly what is inside and when it was frozen.
This step will ensure that whatever goes into the freezer is used within an appropriate timeframe so that nothing goes off or becomes stale before being enjoyed!
Sourdough bread is a delicious and unique treat, and many would agree that it is worth freezing as needed. Not only can frozen sourdough remain fresh and tasty, but the freezing actually works in your favor when it comes to flavor.
Because of the bacteria present in a sourdough starter, while in the freezer, sourdough will slowly “sour,” and its flavor gradually increase.
Because of its ability to continue developing while frozen, this means you can store your favorite loaf of sourdough for weeks or even months without having to worry about a decrease in flavor when you thaw it for consumption later on.
However, this also means sourdough bread can only be frozen once. If you try to refreeze sourdough, you will find that the bread can slowly lose its flavor, and the crust will lose its signature texture.
How To Thaw and Reheat Frozen Bread
When you are ready to enjoy them, you can easily thaw and reheat frozen bread so that it tastes as if it were freshly baked. Let’s take a look at a few simple methods to thaw and reheat your frozen bread below.
Method 1: Set Out the Bread to Thaw at Room Temperature
The simplest method to thaw frozen bread is to remove the entire loaf from your freezer and leave it on your counter for a few hours.
The loaf will slowly return to room temperature, and you can enjoy the bread once it has completely defrosted.
If you have frozen your bread correctly, there shouldn’t be any moisture condensation on the package, and the bread should taste fresh once you’re ready to enjoy them.
Method 2: Toast
If you want to enjoy just one or two slices of toast, you don’t even have to thaw out the bread.
You can simply stick a slice of frozen bread into the toaster and let it heat up the bread, and toast it to perfection.
Toasting frozen bread is one of the simplest, most convenient ways to satisfy a craving for crunchy, flavorful toast.
After a two-minute spell in the toaster, you can easily butter it up and slather your favorite jam on top.
This is why frozen bread is super convenient. As long as your frozen bread is pre-sliced, you can enjoy fresh toast anytime you want.
With just a few moments in front of the trusty kitchen appliances, there’s nothing stopping you from having delicious toast like a pro!
Method 3: Bake
If you want your frozen loaf to be restored back into a freshly baked loaf, you can also bake the entire loaf again to restore its freshness.
Whether it’s a store-bought loaf or homemade, frozen bread can often be brought back to life with heat treatment.
This method would also work well with banana bread, pita bread, and flatbread. However, make sure to adjust the baking time depending on how big the loaf is so that you don’t burn the bread by accident.
First, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Remove the loaf from the freezer and remove any plastic wrapping so that it is ready for baking.
Place the entire loaf (still frozen) into the hot oven and let bake for about 40 minutes until it is thawed out and beginning to crisp and brown along the edges.
Check on the loaf throughout the process to make sure that it doesn’t burn or overcook.
If you are baking sourdough bread, then this process will take only 15 – 20 minutes. Since sourdough will continue to “cook” while it’s cooling down, removing the bread after 20 minutes of baking will allow the bread to have the perfect texture rather than becoming overdone.
Can I freeze an entire loaf of bread?
Freezing bread is a convenient and effective way to preserve it for months, but whether you should freeze a whole loaf or break it up into smaller portions depends on how quickly you plan to use the bread.
Whole loaves can be frozen. However, slices thaw faster than a full loaf, so if you need part of the bread quickly, freezing the loaf and slicing off what you need might not be the best option.
The ideal approach is probably to slice the bread before freezing, so whether you want to enjoy the whole loaf or just a few slices, you will always have options.
Can I freeze every type of bread?
Yes, this method works with every type of bread, including banana bread, pita bread, flatbread, and even tortillas.
The general rule to remember is store-bought bread will last much longer than homemade bread.
Regardless of the type of bread, store-bought bread can last up to 6 months in the freezer, while homemade bread will only last for up to 3 months.
How to tell if frozen bread has gone stale?
Checking to see if frozen bread has gone stale can be tricky, but there are a few reliable signs that you can use to help you determine its quality.
First, inspect the slice of frozen bread – if there are white spots that indicate freezer burns or if there are signs of mold, there’s a good chance it’s gone stale.
Likewise, if the loaf appears lumpy and dry when thawed, this is another sign the bread has passed its prime.
Furthermore, you can also check the smell of your frozen bread – if there is an off odor or it smells sour when defrosted, then this is an indication that you should discard it.
Ultimately, observing these telltale signs should provide clarity on whether your frozen bread is still edible or not.
If you’re wanting to see some of what you learned in this article in action, here is a great video: