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Freezing Slices of Homemade Bread


jlwquilter
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I make 2 loaves of rye bread at a time. We seem to rarely be able to finish the 2nd loaf before it starts to go moldy. I am now officially tired of throwing the half loaf away.

I'd like to slice and freeze individual slices for future use, but have never done this before. Are there any tips or tricks I should know in order to have the thawed bread at it's best?? Am I pretty much limited to having to toast the thawed slices, which is fine if that's the way it is, but if there's a way to "re-fresh" the bread so as to be almost a good as fresh baked, I'd love to know that too. Oh, should I thaw the slices and then toast or is toasting them still frozen just as good?

Thanks!

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Personally, I would freeze the 2nd loaf whole. I also bake two loaves at a time and usually freeze the second loaf, making sure that the loaves are completely cool when going into the freezer. (I bake at night and set out to cool until morning.) I've also done half-loaves a few times without issue, but I think that a full loaf is the way to go.

I've noticed very little loss in quality this way, especially if the loaf is taken out of the freezer within a few days. If there is moisture in the ziplocs, I will take care to remove the loaf from the ziplocs to defrost. I defrost overnight on the counter.

It's also nice to always have a back-up supply of sourdough/rye/sandwich/challah bread in the freezer. (Not quite there yet, but currently have sourdough and pain complet in the freezer.)

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I'd slice it first, so I could take out a few slices at a time as I needed them. I've been able to successfully toast slices of bread from frozen, and they taste pretty good to me. You can take them as far as you want: anything from thawed and warmed a bit to completely-crunchy-toasty.

MelissaH

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With only two of us most of the time I often freeze bread. I slice it, wrap 2 slices very securely in saran wrap, repeat for as many slices as needed, freeze until firm and then vacuum seal in a bag using the Reynolds sealer. I let the needed slices defrost at room temp still in the saran wrap and find the bread is perfectly fine to eat without toasting.

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I'd slice it first, so I could take out a few slices at a time as I needed them. I've been able to successfully toast slices of bread from frozen, and they taste pretty good to me. You can take them as far as you want: anything from thawed and warmed a bit to completely-crunchy-toasty.

MelissaH

I do this exact method also. I just put the slices in a bag and the bag in the freezer. No need to over think it. Actually, with no-knead bread, slicing first has worked better (texture-wise) for me than freezing the whole loaf.

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I always buy good bread and freeze it in slices. I'll take out a slice at a time in the morning, put it in a ziploc and have it with my lunch. Never had a quality issue.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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I make two loaves at a time, too. When freezing it to keep it tasting fresh I wrap one in paper towels, then foil and finally bag it. The paper towels seem to keep the bread fresher for some reason and when it thaws the crust isn't soggy from the condensation.

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I bake at least 10 loaves at a time, and put them, two each, in the big ziplocks. and then to the freezer.Then take em out one at a time. they take a couple hours to thaw and then go into a paper bag in the drawer till they are used up.If you dont keep them in paper bags , and use plastic they will mold

Bud

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Thanks for all the input! Everyone seems pretty consistant in what they do, which makes it easy for me :biggrin:

I am going to try the slices as that works best for my small family. I love making and freezing things ahead of use so I'll probably start making 4 loaves on my bread baking days. Yahoo!

I have been keeping the bread in a plastic bag on my count. I will try a paper bag instead and see it that increases shelf life, especially if I end up leaving the 2nd loaf out for some reason and not freezing it. It's sometimes hard to predict how fast that 2nd loaf will be eaten.

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I freeze bread all the time, it freezes better than anything, I think.

I would also slice it and wrap and bag it.

I like heating it up in the oven, wrapped in foil. The pieces come out very slightly moistly warm, which very closely approximates the state it's in when fresh out of the oven.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I freeze whole loaves of artisan type breads, French bread, baguettes, etc.

I take them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temp for two to three hours, depending on the size.

Half an hour before I plan to serve the bread, I preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., hold the loaf over the sink and run water over the entire surface, place in the oven directly on the rack and bake it for about 18 - 22 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf - use less time for thinner baguettes.

Denser type breads, ryes, etc. will take about 5 minutes longer.

The crust will be crisp, crunchy and the inside about the same as when it is freshly baked.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Bread freezes beautifully, whether it's a great artisanal loaf or some cheapo Bay's English Muffins you know you won't get to this week. I've never thought about freezing it sliced and bagged into daily quantities, but I'm sure it would work.

To push it further, I often freeze a stale baguette rather than toss it, because I can pull it out when necessary to make bread crumbs.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

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I freeze whole loaves of artisan type breads, French bread, baguettes, etc.

I take them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temp for two to three hours, depending on the size.

Half an hour before I plan to serve the bread,  I preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., hold the loaf over the sink and run water over the entire surface, place in the oven directly on the rack and bake it for about 18 - 22 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf - use less time for thinner baguettes. 

Denser type breads, ryes, etc. will take about 5 minutes longer. 

The crust will be crisp, crunchy and the inside about the same as when it is freshly baked.

I am definitely going to give this a try with an "extra" loaf of bread. Being able to pull off a sorta fake out for guests would be awesome. I have trouble sometimes coordnating a hot loaf with all the other elements of a guest meal/entertaining vs. being locked in the kitchen and this trick would be great! Thanks!

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I freeze whole loaves of artisan type breads, French bread, baguettes, etc.

I take them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temp for two to three hours, depending on the size.

Half an hour before I plan to serve the bread,  I preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., hold the loaf over the sink and run water over the entire surface, place in the oven directly on the rack and bake it for about 18 - 22 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf - use less time for thinner baguettes. 

Denser type breads, ryes, etc. will take about 5 minutes longer. 

The crust will be crisp, crunchy and the inside about the same as when it is freshly baked.

I am definitely going to give this a try with an "extra" loaf of bread. Being able to pull off a sorta fake out for guests would be awesome. I have trouble sometimes coordnating a hot loaf with all the other elements of a guest meal/entertaining vs. being locked in the kitchen and this trick would be great! Thanks!

This also works great for non-frozen loaves that have been stored in plastic bags so that the crust has become soft.

I learned this "trick" years ago from a very cagey baker who had a little café attached to his bakery and he didn't want to spend Saturday night baking for his Sunday brunch crowd.

I helped him a few times when his wife/assistant was late in pregnancy.

No one could tell the loaves were not baked fresh that morning.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to report back that I have tried freezing individual slice of my rye bread... to great success! I've only toasted the frozen slices as toasted bread is my personal favorite.

Now all I have to do is remember to slice and freeze the loaves sooner... I went to do a partial loaf today and it was already moldy :angry: Damn this humid south Florida weather. At least the cows will be happy!

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