How long can you freeze bread?

And answers to other bread storage-related questions too

If you’re thinking of making bread, either by hand or in your bread machine, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about the best way to keep it fresh and store it as well as how to make it. After all, nobody wants to lovingly prepare food, just to go to waste because it’s gone a bit stale. Here’s how to keep it as fresh (almost) and tasty as the day you make it – even if that day was months ago.

How long does home-made bread stay fresh?

Home-made bread generally doesn’t contain any preservatives, so it tends to go stale more quickly than shop-bought. It’s best eaten fresh on the day you make it or the day after – and even by then it can start to lose its freshness, and is best to turn into toast (not that we ever mind eating toast!).

A bread bag will help keep freshly made bread fresher for longer, but if you’ve made a large loaf, you’ll still probably want to freeze some of it. You’re best off doing this as quickly as possible, and if you find it tempting to keep your bread in the fridge, don’t: this will help prevent mould forming, but will also make it go stale more quickly.

How should you freeze home-made bread?

Once you’ve eaten all the freshly made, still-warm slices you’ve got room for, let the rest of your loaf cool completely. Then if you’re going to use it for toast or sandwiches, cut it into slices so you only have to take out what you need.

Slices of bread, like many things stored in the freezer, have a nasty habit of sticking together, but if you slip a piece of silicone-coated baking parchment in between each slice, there’ll be no struggling to prise them apart. Then simply wrap your bread in a freezer-safe bag, seal it tightly, label it with its name and date so you eat the oldest stuff first, and stash it in your freezer.

And… how long does bread last in the freezer?

Most shop-bought bread lasts well in the freezer for up to 4-6 months. The main exception to this is very crusty bread like a French baguette, which can come apart after it’s been frozen and thawed, so is best just eaten on the day it’s bought, fresh from the boulangerie (or supermarket).

Home-made bread doesn’t last as long in the freezer because it doesn’t contain preservatives the way shop-bought bread does, but it’ll still last for about 2-3 months – though there will be some loss of flavour the longer it’s frozen.

Published by