How to Unfreeze Breads: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Unfreeze Breads: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Unfreeze Breads: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

Freezing fresh bread can help preserve it for a while. Because of this, many people buy large quantities and freeze the slices, either to save money or to always have fresh bread available. Sliced ​​bread is easily thawed, while whole breads need some special care. Learning how to store, freeze and thaw breads can keep them fresh, crunchy and delicious.


Part 1 of 3: Thawing Sliced ​​Bread

Defrost Bread Step 8

Step 1. Thaw the required amount of slices

Your best option is to defrost only what you are going to use. When you take all the bread out of the freezer, you'll either need to consume it all or freeze what's left over again.

  • Thawing and refreezing the bread can dry it out, making it hard or tasteless.
  • Separate as many slices as you need and store the rest in the freezer.
  • If the slices are stuck, separate them with a fork or knife.
Defrost Bread Step 5

Step 2. Arrange the slices in a microwave safe dish

Most kitchen utensils are microwaveable, but when in doubt, check the bottom of the plate and see if there are any warnings.

  • Do not cover the bread, just place it on the plate, with a little space between the slices.
  • Some bakers recommend wrapping the bread in a paper towel before putting it in the microwave.
  • Check that the dish can be microwaved without problems.
  • Do not use disposable dishes or plastic pots.
Make a Hot Dog in the Microwave Step 4

Step 3. Use the microwave to heat the frozen slices

While whole breads do not defrost well in the microwave, slices are ideal for the process, as the starch molecules form crystals that extract moisture from the bread. The use of the microwave allows the crystals to break, making all the slices soft and warm.

  • Use high microwave power.
  • Heat the bread for ten seconds at a time. Check the state of the slices before turning on the device for another ten seconds.
  • Thawing should take no more than 25 seconds. Depending on the power of the device, there may be slight variation.
  • Do not heat the bread for more than a minute, or it will likely overheat. It is important not to eat the bread too hot, or you will get burned.
  • Microwave-warmed bread will likely have a rubbery or hard texture as the water in the dough is turned to steam when heated.
Defrost Bread Step 10

Step 4. Heat the frozen slices in an electric oven

If you don't have a microwave or don't want to use one, defrost the bread slices in an oven. This method may not work so well for whole breads, but it's great for slices.

  • Adjust settings to "thaw" in the oven.
  • Remember to be careful not to overheat the bread.

Part 2 of 3: Thawing Whole Breads

Defrost Bread Step 9

Step 1. Thaw at room temperature

If you do not have access to an oven or are not going to consume the bread right away, let it defrost naturally. The time required will vary depending on the size and thickness of the bread; cut a slice of it or lightly squeeze the bread to see if it has finished defrosting.

  • Remove frozen bread from freezer.
  • Leave it in the freezer bag on the kitchen counter.
  • A whole loaf of bread can take three to four hours to thaw at room temperature.
  • When defrosting, the bread will not be very hot and the rind may not be as crispy. If the dough was already more moist, it can become soft.
  • The oven defrosting method is considered the best option by professionals.
Defrost Bread Step 12

Step 2. Thaw the bread in the oven

This technique is much faster and more efficient, in addition to leaving the bread warm and as if it had just been baked.

  • Preheat oven to 175 °C.
  • Take the bread out of the freezer and remove the plastic bag in which it was stored.
  • Place the bread on the center shelf of the oven.
  • Set an alarm for 40 minutes. This time is more than enough to defrost the bread and heat it from the middle to the crust.
  • Take the bread out of the oven and leave it on the kitchen counter for a few minutes to bring it back to room temperature.
Defrost Bread Step 6

Step 3. Soften a crusty, hard bread

It doesn't matter whether you thawed the bread at room temperature or in the oven, the result is likely to be a hard or dull dough. Don't worry too much, it's possible to save bread!

  • Lightly moisten the bread with ice water. Rinse it under running water or dampen a paper towel and spread it over the bread.
  • Wrap the damp bread in aluminum foil, sealing tightly to trap moisture.
  • Place the wrapped bread on the middle shelf of the oven. Do not preheat the oven, as the idea is to heat the bread gradually.
  • Set the temperature to 150 °C.
  • Smaller loaves should heat up within 15 minutes, while thick loaves may take up to half an hour.
  • Remove the bread from the oven, unwrap it and place it back in the oven for another five minutes to brown the crust.
  • This method will only keep the bread soft for a few hours. If you let too much time pass, you will eat a tasteless bread.
Defrost Bread Step 7

Step 4. Cool the crust of a defrosted bread

It doesn't matter if a wet day has ruined your bread or if the thawing process has left the rind unsightly, you can restore it with a few minutes in the oven. Keep an eye on the bread so you don't let it burn, obviously.

  • Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  • Unwrap the thawed bread and place it in the oven. Use a mold if you prefer, but be aware that the results will be better if you place the bread directly on the oven shelves.
  • Leave the bread in the oven for five minutes.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for five to ten minutes before cutting it. Cutting hot bread can spoil the dough.

Part 3 of 3: Storing bread correctly

Store Bread Step 2

Step 1. Know the average shelf life of breads

Industrialized or baked breads can usually be frozen for similar periods. Still, freezing bread after the shelf life can significantly affect its quality. If you store the dough in the refrigerator, it may not be in good condition to be frozen by the expiration date.

  • Bakery bread is usually good for two or three days after its expiration date, as long as it is stored correctly. If it is refrigerated and has passed its expiration date, do not freeze it.
  • Sliced ​​industrialized bread is good for up to seven days after the expiration date, if stored correctly. If you're going to refrigerate it, consume it until the expiration date and don't freeze it.
  • Properly stored and frozen bread can be kept in the freezer for up to six months.
Store Bread Step 4

Step 2. Use quality freezer bags

Freezer bags are usually thicker to avoid frostbite. By using a quality bag, you will keep the bread as fresh as possible.

  • Store the bread in a plastic bag, removing the air and rolling the bag well before sealing it.
  • Store the bread wrapped and sealed in a second bag to ensure the dough will not lose quality.
Defrost Bread Step 4

Step 3. Freeze the bread correctly to maintain its quality

The best way to make your bread stay fresh when frozen is to use a proven method. With good temperature and storage conditions, the bread will be thawed and keep the same taste as always.

  • Freeze the bread as soon as possible so that it does not become dry, moldy or squishy.
  • Set the freezer to -18 °C to keep the bread very cold and not spoiling.
  • Write the date of freezing on the bag to find out how long the bread has been in the freezer. When freezing multiple loaves, store the freshest ones in the bottom to use the old ones first.
  • Store bread in the freezer until ready to use. Avoid exposure to temperature fluctuations.
  • If possible, do not freeze the bread on a wet day, as the moisture trapped in the plastic bag can make the dough too wet.
Defrost Bread Step 1

Step 4. Store bread correctly before and after freezing

It doesn't matter if you haven't frozen the bread yet or if you just thawed it, the correct storage is important to prolong the shelf life of the food and leave it in good condition when it's time to use it.

  • It is best not to store bread in the fridge. While low temperatures prevent mold from forming, they can also dry out the bread too soon.
  • Crispy breads are best stored in paper bags and consumed on the day of preparation. They may not withstand the freezing process.
  • Whole breads should be stored at room temperature.
  • Store bread in plastic bags with adequate ventilation.
Defrost Bread Step 3

Step 5. Don't leave the bread frozen for too long

It will stay in relatively good condition in the freezer, but not indefinitely. Even frozen bread has a shelf life and should be consumed within a few weeks.

  • Some bakers recommend eating frozen bread within three months; others recommend consumption within a month at most.
  • The most determining factor when it comes to knowing how long to freeze bread is the type of dough, storage conditions prior to freezing, and the maintenance of freezer temperatures.
  • Leaving bread frozen for too long or subjecting it to drastic temperature changes in the freezer can negatively affect the quality of the bread.


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