Sourdough bread is a slow-fermented bread. It is made from the fermentation of bread doughs using naturally occurring microorganisms like yeast and lactobacilli. The acids present in sourdough bread and its fermentation process make it digestible and easy for the human body to absorb. Sourdough bread has a crackly crust, sweet flavor, and crunchy texture.
The crisp textured sourdough bread is so unique in its production and taste that you would not want to allow a single slice of it to waste. You might find yourself purchasing or baking more sourdough bread than you can consume at a go. The question would be how you can store it to keep its quality intact.
Can you freeze sourdough bread? Yes, you can. If properly stored, sourdough bread will stay preserved and fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Sourdough bread has the advantage of being versatile in usage. You can use sourdough bread to prepare the stuffing, use it in bread pudding and roast it with chicken.
What Kind of Sourdough Bread Freezes Best?
Before you go ahead to freeze your sourdough bread, you should take into consideration how its characteristics, ingredients, microorganisms for the fermentation process, and duration in cold storage will affect how well it does under freezing temperatures.
All types of sourdough bread will freeze well whether it was homemade, bought from the retail store, or an artisanal bakery. Yeast and lactobacillus present in sourdough bread are feral and will remain active even during freezing. This will make your sourdough bread retain its flavor without the bread getting spoilt or moldy.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
The best storage option for sourdough bread is freezing. Freezing your sourdough bread will help preserve and extend its shelf life. You should take appropriate procedures while storing your bread to help preserve its quality and improve its sweetness.
There are two ways you can go about freezing sourdough bread. You can freeze the whole bread or slice it into smaller portions before freezing.
To freeze sourdough bread, you need plastic wraps, aluminum foil paper, a knife, a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, and a marker.
Step 1: Allow the Sourdough Bread to Cool Off
After baking, place your sourdough bread on a plate and allow it to cool off completely. You would be getting the best freezing experience, and also prevent the hot temperature from your sourdough bread from affecting other food items in the freezer.
Step 2: Portion the Sourdough Bread
You can freeze a whole sourdough bread or portion it into smaller slices. The best option is to freeze your sourdough bread when it is portioned into individual serving sizes. You would not need to thaw the entire loaf when you want to make a sandwich or eat your sourdough bread with different delicacies.
With your knife, cut the bread loaf into different slices before you place it in an airtight Ziploc bag for freezing.
Step 3: Storage
If you would freeze the whole loaf, wrap it in aluminum foil paper before putting it in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for the absolute best protection. Press the bag well to remove air from it.
The procedure for storing sliced sourdough bread for freezing is quite different. Place 1 or 2 sourdough bread slices into a sandwich-sized Ziploc bag and press the bag well to expel air. The sandwich-sized Ziploc bag is not freezer safe. To double the protection, place the smaller bags into a bigger one.
You can store sliced sourdough bread before freezing by spreading it out in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If you have more than a single layer, cover the bottom of the baking sheet with plastic wrap, then add another layer to it. Allow it to pre-freeze before putting it in a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
Step 4: Freezing
Make sure that no moisture content or air gets into the freezer bag before placing them in the freezer. Place your bags in the freezer compartment where they will not be crushed until they’re frozen solid and allow them to freeze constantly at temperature 0°F to keep them safe indefinitely.
You can identify the date of freeze, its content, and several slices available in each by labeling It with your marker. This will enable you to know how long it has been in the freezer.
How to Defrost Frozen Sourdough Bread
Thawing frozen food keeps it prepared and fresh for usage. The procedure for defrosting frozen sourdough bread is very simple.
Allow your frozen bread to heat up in an oven. Remove the plastic wraps from your sourdough bread and place them in an oven-safe dish. Allow it to thaw at a low temperature of about 200°F. The duration of defrosting in an oven depends on how large the loaf is.
You can allow your frozen sourdough bread to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Do not remove the plastic wrap from sourdough bread to prevent moisture from the refrigerator from getting into it.
Toasting can also be used to defrost sourdough bread. Place the frozen sourdough bread straight into the toast oven. It will stay thawed and freshly baked when you toast it.
Does Toasting Sourdough Bread Kill Probiotics?
Sourdough bread does not contain probiotics like other fermented food. The live bacteria that are present in sourdough dough and culture, which aided in the fermentation process are killed when the bread is baked around 60-70°C.
How to Recognize Spoiled Sourdough Bread
The best way to know if your sourdough bread has gone bad is by smelling and looking at it. It will give off an irritating smell, change color and develop mold. Discard any sourdough bread that has become unfit for consumption.