The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Freezing & Thawing Frozen Artisanal Loaves....

goldbread's picture

Freezing & Thawing Frozen Artisanal Loaves....

Hi fellow bakers and bread lovers.

I make/bake 2 artisanal loaves at  time, but since I am a single person living alone, I freeze one loaf as I eat the first one. My question is on the best way to thaw and/or re heat.

I wrap the the loaf tightly in cellophane wrap and then put in a plastic bag before freezing. For thawing, previously I would thaw overnight (or 24 hours) by leaving on the counter in its wrap and bag. The loaf is edible but lacks the firm, crunchy crust and it take a long time to thaw. I've heard people talk about putting the frozen loaf in the oven to thaw/reheat. I've seen various times and temps recommended for that. I'm trying now at 350, but not sure yet on time - perhaps 20 mins.

What do people think is the best way to revive a frozen artisanal (mostly wholegrain sourdough bread)? Do people reheat the loaves? If so, what time and temps?



HansB's picture

I vacuum bag the loaves after they are fully cooled, then freeze. To thaw, I remove from freezer and put into the refrigerator for about 12 hours to thaw. Then I remove from vacuum bag and store in a burlap bag. The crust retains the crunch very similar to when it comes out of the oven.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to let the loaf moisture equalise, then slice and freeze in 4 slice portions or slip some plastic or paper between a cut up loaf to make separating a slice or part of the loaf easier.  Small loaves and rolls get frozen whole.  Thaw at room temp inside the bag and remove from cover when warm to dry the crust a bit.  Freshen up in the toaster if desired.  

Most often frozen slices get popped into the toaster directly to thaw.  I have several types of bread frozen so that gives me choices. If you leave the plastic separators in the frozen bag, they can be reused along with the bag for the next loaf.  Thawing out the bag means washing or throwing the bag away after only one use and I try my best to prevent waste.

I often use sandwich size bags and stack into a larger zipper bag for easy removal and resealing.  

IceDemeter's picture

approach.  I wait for at least one full day for a wheat loaf (3-5 full days for a 100% rye), and then slice.  I wrap each slice individually in cling-wrap, then put them all in a zipper bag and freeze.

The individual wrapping is because the vast majority of our bread usage is for sandwiches that we pack to take with us.  I also have various meat slices frozen (roast pork, beef, chicken, ham, turkey, etc), and I assemble the sandwiches still frozen in the morning, and wrap each sandwich half in the cling-wrap from the bread slices.  This allows the whole thing to thaw together (in a cooler bag with cold-packs), and we end up with lovely moist sandwiches that taste like fresh.

I've never yet frozen an unsliced loaf, but did bookmark this great post about it:

leslieruf's picture

then freeze in 4 slice lots in small ziplock bags. sometimes slice half and leave other half in a piece. To defrost I remove it from the bag  and sit it in a sunny spot in the kitchen and the crust crisps up beautifully (my pseudo oven :) ).

mandarina's picture

I have been trying to freeze artisan bread as well. I used to bake the bread completely and then freeze it, let it thaw over night (didn't like it), let it thaw and bake for a few minutes in the oven (good if you're going to eat it right away) but lately I prefer to just bake the bread for a few minutes, just until the bread has a shape and you see the crust developing but it's not brown yet. Then I take it out and let it cool completely before freezing it. When I want to use it I just let it thaw over night in the fridge if my house is too hot or outside if the house it's not too hot and then you can finish baking the bread. I haven't tried with sourdough, but for baguettes and other type of loaves works well for me.