The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Freezing bread

Eclarner's picture
Eclarner

Freezing bread

I have a fairly large freezer and I put some leftover quick breads into the freezer, unwrapped, since I just ran out of plastic wrap.  Is it bad to leave them exposed in the freezer? Why/why not?   How long would they last?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

food will dry out and take on odours.   The food can also "freezer burn."  Not a pretty sight.  Just look at "Ötzi."  

They should be good until frozen but get them into bags today or tomorrow.  Or put them into plastic boxes or tins.  Aluminium foil is also an option.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Hmmmm, I've seen Ötzi; not a pretty site! Actually, I'm related to him. My maternal DNA is the same haplogroup as his. :)

drogon's picture
drogon

It will depend on the freezer - if it's one of the frost free ones, then it has a dehumidifier and your bread will end up freeze dried and freezer "burn" will happen very quickly. with older freezers you can get away with it for a day or 2, however my advice to my customers is to always wrap and freeze - and, if possible, slice then wrap individually and freeze - that way you can take a slice or 2 out, pop in the toaster and off you go.

-Gordon

AlanG's picture
AlanG

and then put in a Ziplock freezer bag for additional protection.  This seems to work fine and I've kept bread for as long as a month this way (it always gets eaten by then so I don't have ny long term data.  these are for yeasted breads that are baked in tins.  Sourdough batards have good shelf life on the counter so I don't need to freeze them.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I just noticed that you said these were 'quick breads'. Does that mean non-yeasted bread, made with baking soda / powder? That might be a different case. I make Banana Oat Bran muffins regularly and keep them loose in a ziplock bag in the fridge freezer, and they keep fine for quite some time. Yeasted bread loaves I wrap in plastic wrap then put in the ziplock bags. I just took out a loaf that, if the label was correct, had been in there since last July, and it was just fine!

AnotherLoaf's picture
AnotherLoaf

I have been using your suggested method of freezing yeast breads for quite some time now. What I didn't realize is that it seems to work best to thaw them while still wrapped, as opposed to unwrapping to thaw. I probably read that part long ago also, but I guess it didn't stick! Now, using the two steps together, I have no more problems with ice crystals, or wet bread, once it is thawed. In addition, as you mentioned, the bread keeps well in the freezer for a really long time. Thanks Lazy Loafer, marybeth

fupjack's picture
fupjack

Keeping it from drying out is the real concern, but a good wrap in plastic will fix that.  Like AnotherLoaf said, letting it defrost within the wrapper works best.  The bread will reabsorb any liquid that condensed onto the inside of the bag as it warms up.  So pull it out, leave it on the shelf untouched, and when it looks ready it probably is.

I've noticed breads with higher fat content also generally survives better - probably as a defense against staling more than anything else.  So... freeze croissants and danishes without worry.