How Long Bread Can Actually Last In The Freezer

Utilizing the freezer is an awesome way to make sure you always have fresh bread at your fingertips. This is especially great if you routinely make your own bread, or enjoy buying it fresh from a bakery — typically, these loaves will not have added preservatives, and will therefore go stale more quickly. However, freezing bread is also great for stashing standard supermarket loaves. The impact on quality is negligible!

But how long will bread last in the freezer? While your frozen bread will technically keep for up to three months, food that stays continuously frozen at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit is still safe to consume for much longer than that, according to Safefood. However, the consistency and flavor will more than likely start to deteriorate. For the best results, freeze your bread when it is as fresh as possible rather than waiting until it is on the way out.

How to freeze bread

It's crucial to limit exposure to air as much as possible. If not stored properly, your bread can take on off-odors from the freezer or develop freezer burn. This happens when the moisture in the food you're storing is lost and then refreezes on the surface. The best way to keep bread fresh in the freezer is by using multiple layers of protection. Using two layers of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, instead of one, is less likely to be accidentally punctured when arranging items in your freezer. After wrapping, place the whole loaf in a zip-top bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible.

For convenience, it may be best to pre-slice the bread so you can use it gradually. Form the slices back into the shape of the full loaf before wrapping tightly to minimize air exposure. However, you may need to use something like a butter knife to separate the pieces if they stick together. Alternatively, you can wrap slices in sandwich-ready pairs or segment a whole loaf into a few chunks using Ina Garten's bread freezing hack. For smaller items like rolls, buns, and bagels, it's best to pack each one individually before storing in an airtight bag. Without wrapping, they will only stay fresh for a few weeks. No matter what, do not forget to label and date everything!

How to thaw frozen bread

You can thaw bread on the counter at room temperature within a couple of hours, or in the fridge at a slower rate. Keep the bread in its wrapping, though, as the loaf will reabsorb some of the moisture that seeped out while frozen — this is key for a soft texture. Frozen bread can also go straight from the freezer to the oven, toaster, or microwave. Just heat it up for a little longer than you would for a room temperature item.

Since freezing bread nearly completely preserves its freshness, you can use it anywhere you would use unfrozen bread. This means you can go on a sourdough farm loaf baking spree, or stock up on your favorite brands when they go on sale, without worrying about staleness. The same concept and methods apply to full loaves, sliced bread, cornbread, quick bread, buns, rolls, pitas, naan, tortillas, and bagels.