How to Freeze Bread for Maximum Freshness

Here's How You Can Save Loaves to Enjoy Later

Freeze bread

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Artisan, bakery and homemade bread don't typically have long shelf lives. The bread tastes great when it's fresh, but after a day or two it can get stale, and mold might start to appear. And you might have most of the loaf left. Freezing bread preserves it for a long time. 

illustration with tops on freezing bread

The Spruce / Nusha Ashjaee

Short-Term Bread Storage

To freeze homemade bread for less than three weeks, wrap it in a bit of plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper after it has cooled completely and frozen. Place store-bought bread directly in the freezer. The plastic bag that it came in will keep it protected for a few weeks. To freeze rolls and buns, place them inside a freezer bag and seal tightly.

Long-Term Bread Storage

If you plan to keep the bread frozen for more than three weeks, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then wrap it again in foil or freezer paper. Write the date on your bread before sticking it in the freezer and try to use it within six months. If you keep it frozen this way any longer, your bread will have an unpleasant freezer burn flavor.

Long term bread storage
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

To Thaw Bread

Simply place a loaf in the refrigerator overnight. Individual slices can go straight into the toaster. By the time they're toasted, they'll be thawed, too.

Bread Freezing Tips

If it takes you a long time to eat a loaf of bread, slice your loaves before you put them in the freezer. This will allow you to pull out just what you need

Save time by baking several loaves of bread at a time and freezing the extras.

Get ahead on your holiday meal preparation by making all of your bread and rolls a few weeks before your guests arrive and then popping them into the freezer. Then thaw them in the fridge overnight and warm them up right before you eat.

Freeze bread dough instead of finished loaves. It'll take up less space and allow you to enjoy fresh-baked bread whenever you want. You can even toss it in the oven frozen. Just keep an eye on your bread toward the end of its bake time and add extra minutes as needed. You might find that it takes as much as an extra 15 minutes to bake.

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Other Ways to Use Extra Bread 

If you don't want to take up a lot of space in the freezer, you can also use your extra bread to make breadcrumbs or croutons. As long as you dry them properly, they'll be just as shelf-stable as the store-bought version, and they'll be much tastier since you can customize them to your preferences.

Bread pudding is another great way to use up extra bread. It can be made in the oven or the crockpot and takes just minutes to put together. Bonus: It's an easy way to use up soon-to-expire eggs, as well.

Fill your freezer with day-old bread from a bakery outlet store. You'll pay about 75 percent less than you would at the grocery store.