Most types of bread can be stored in the freezer if you want to make your loaves last a little longer.
Store-bought bread keeps well in the freezer for between 4 to 6 months, while homemade bread doesn’t last quite as long because it doesn’t contain the preservatives present in store-bought bread. You can expect homemade bread to last between 2 and 3 months in the freezer, but remember that bread loses its flavor the longer it is left in the freezer.
Here we look at the best ways to store bread in the freezer and how long it will last, along with other tips for storing various types of bread.
Can Bread be Frozen?
Yes, bread surprisingly freezes really well, and it can make your loaves last so much longer. Store bought bread will usually last up to a week before it starts to go bad in the bread basket, while homemade bread is really only good when eaten on the day it is baked. Many of us simply can’t get through a whole loaf in such a short amount of time, so if you don’t freeze the bread then it’s going to end up going bad and getting thrown away.
Freezing bread helps to prevent waste, and it’ll save you money from having to keep buying fresh loaves. Having a loaf in the freezer also means you’ll always have something in the house you can toast for a quick snack or small meal.
Best Ways to Freeze Bread
The best way to freeze bread depends on the type of bread you are freezing, but there are a few rules that apply to all types of bread when freezing them. The most important thing is to ensure that the bread is contained inside an airtight wrapper. This could mean covering the bread in aluminum foil and then adding an extra layer of plastic wrap.
It could also mean storing the bread in an airtight, freezer-safe tupperware container. If the bread is not sealed inside an airtight container or wrapping, then it is likely to suffer freezer burn, and it won’t be any good for eating. Bread should also be labeled with the date so that you know how long it has been in the freezer.
It will taste best when it has only been in the freezer for a short time, however, store bought bread can be kept in the freezer for as long as 6 months and it will still retain most of its flavor and texture.
Homemade bread doesn’t contain the preservatives that you’ll find in store-bought bread, so it won’t last for anywhere near as long when kept at room temperature. Most often, homemade bread will need to be eaten on the day it has been baked, or it can be eaten the following day if you warm it up in the toaster.
After this, the bread will be stale or may even have developed mold. If you have baked homemade bread but can’t eat the whole loaf in one day, you can put any leftovers in the freezer and save them for another time. To prepare your homemade bread for freezing, first cut it into slices and put a piece of parchment paper between each slice.
This will allow you to remove the bread from the freezer one or two slices at a time whenever you want a sandwich or a piece of toast, rather than having to defrost the whole loaf or half a loaf of uncut bread. Slices of bread have a tendency to stick together in the freezer, which makes them tricky to pulley apart.
The parchment paper prevents this and makes it much easier to take one slice at a time. Once sliced, wrap your homemade bread in an airtight covering and label it, before putting it in the freezer. Homemade bread can last in the freezer for between 2 and 3 months.
Store-bought bread freezes really well and can be put into the freezer in the packaging it came in, but if you plan to freeze the bread for more than a week it will be best to double-wrap it. Although store-bought bread contains preservatives to make it last longer, it still rarely stays fresh tasting for more than a handful of days.
Keep it in the freezer to make it stay fresh for longer, and defrost a few slices on the kitchen countertop whenever you need them. You can also put slices of frozen bread straight into the toaster, just put them on a slightly higher setting as they’ll take longer to toast compared with fresh bread.
Bagels, flatbreads, and English muffins
Bagels, flatbreads, English muffins, and other types of bread can all be frozen. Follow the rule of keeping them airtight, and slice them if necessary to make them easier to prepare when they come out of the freezer. If these types of bread are store bought, they will contain the same kinds of preservatives as sliced store-bought loaves.
They will keep well in the freezer for between 4 and 6 months, though the longer they are kept in the freezer, the more chance they will have of losing their flavor and texture. Like sliced bread, sliced muffins, and bagels can be put straight into the toaster from the freezer, without the need to be defrosted.
Can Bread Be Kept in the Refrigerator?
It might be tempting to put your bread in the refrigerator to keep the growth of mold at bay, but when bread is stored in the refrigerator, it will actually go stale more quickly.
This is because the starch molecules crystallize faster when exposed to lower temperatures, causing the bread to go hard and lose its fresh texture. If you want to preserve your bread and make it last for longer, the freezer is the best place for it. Keeping bread in a bread box or bread bin can help to extend the life of room-temperature bread by a day or two.