Sliced bread is a kitchen staple. An oven-fresh slice of bread slathered in butter or jam, or used to sandwich some healthy vegetables is a mouthful of goodness. Bread is made primarily with flour and water and is known to be a prominent food in every part of the world.
Bread gets stale very quickly if left out and exposed to air, it would get hard and stale in a matter of hours. Most people put their bread in the refrigerator in a bid to make it last longer for a while, but the refrigerator dries your bread out faster. So how do you keep your bread fresh for a long while?
Can you freeze sliced bread? Yes, you can. Sliced bread can be frozen for three to six months before it gets freezer burnt or goes bad in the freezer. Freezing keeps your bread from going bad by stopping the bacteria and dangerous compounds from growing.
Don’t try freezing bread that is on the verge of going stale or bread that is already stale. Freezing will not take away the stale feel or make it any better. When you defrost the bread, it would be exactly as it was before you froze it.
How to Freeze Sliced Bread
Freezing sliced bread does not harm the texture, flavor, or taste. When your bread goes stale, it loses its softness and becomes hard. Freezing helps you prevent all of that. You can freeze your bread, it doesn’t matter if it were homemade or store-bought and you don’t need any special preparation to carry it out.
Step 1: Slice the Bread
If your bread is homemade, then you must have baked it into one large loaf. Before you freeze it, you need to cool it down and cut it into slices to make them freeze better.
Also, you would be using the bread as toast or sandwiches so why not just cut it now. This would save you the stress of having to cut bread after freezing.
Step 2: Flash Freezing
Get a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or wax paper. This will help you keep the slices of bread from sticking to the sheet. Flash freezing helps your sliced bread freeze into individual pieces. Meaning that you don’t have to thaw the whole pack just to get a few slices.
Place the slices of bread individually on the sheet and place them into the freezer to freeze for at least 2 hours. You can use your discretion and leave it in there till it gets frozen solid.
Step 3: Storage
After the pieces of bread have frozen solid, pack them into a Ziploc freezer bag or a heavy-duty freezer bag if you can get your hands on one. Try not to stuff all the slices of bread into one bag, so that you will not crush the bread. Use multiple bags if you have to.
Press the bags flat to expel excess air before you seal them. It is very important to keep your slices of bread away from the air so that they do not lose moisture and dry out. Too much air can also cause the formation of mold as the bread spends time in the freezer.
Step 4: Freezing
Bread isn’t something you can put into the freezer and forget that it’s there. But that shouldn’t deter you from labeling the bags with the date of the freeze and the type of bread you have frozen.
For extra protection, you should double-bag the bags in which you have frozen the bread. For the best quality, you should eat your bread within two or three months of storage.
How to Thaw Frozen Sliced Bread
The best thing about freezing sliced bread is that you don’t have to thaw it before you use it. When you crave that snack, be it daytime or midnight. Just get the frozen slice from the freezer and take it straight to the toaster after dressing and adding any additives you love.
You can thaw bread overnight in the refrigerator if you want it to return to room temperature before you use it. Bread can be left wrapped on the counter till it thaws. Just don’t leave it out for too long so it doesn’t get stale.
Frozen sliced bread can also be thawed in the microwave. Place the slices in a microwave-safe dish uncovered and microwave them at high power for 15 to 20 seconds. This method will give you the feel of freshly baked bread if you have had them frozen well.
Can You Freeze White Bread?
Yes, you can. White bread that is frozen at 0°F will keep indefinitely. But, since you cannot ascertain if your freezer kept your temperature constant, it is not safe to assume that it would last that long in the freezer.
Before you freeze, wrap the bread in aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep it safe from the cold harsh air in the freezer.
How to Recognize Spoiled Sliced Bread
Bread that has gone bad will have an unpleasant odor. But the first thing you would notice will be the mold.
Mold is a fungus that absorbs the nutrients in bread and grows spores that can be white, green, or black. It is not advisable to smell bread that has mold on it as the mold spores can be harmful to one’s health.
If your bread doesn’t have mold or an unpleasant smell, a hard texture or weird taste can indicate that it has gone bad.