Freezing Bread

I used to be very wary of freezing bread. I was afraid that it would get dry and fall apart. But homemade bread always tastes better on the first or second day, and I don't have time to make bread every other day, so I finally decided to try it out, and now I will probably never go back. It's pretty basic, but I'll tell you how I do it.

I use the Whole Wheat Bread recipe and follow the proportions for six loaves. After the loaves are baked, I let them cool completely, usually overnight. This is because they are much easier to slice once they are cool, and that's important to me because usually we use bread for sandwiches.

I think the trouble that a lot of people have with homemade bread is that it's hard to get thin slices for sandwiches. It has taken some practice, but I have gotten to the point where I can get a good thickness for the slices. The things that help are: 1) Make sure the sides and bottom are cooked enough. If they are too soft then your bread will squish and fall apart as you slice. If they look too light when you take them out of the oven, put the loaves directly on the rack in the oven for a minute or two. 2) As I mentioned before, make sure the loaves are completely cool. 3) Don't use too much force with your knife. Start with a gentle sawing motion until you get through the top crust, and then slowly continue to slice downwards. Let the blade do the cutting, not the force of your arm. (This takes some practice.)

I know that was a bit of a tangent, but the reason I am explaining how to slice bread is because it is so convenient to slice your bread before freezing it. So after my loaves have cooled completely, I slice them and then put them in large ziploc bags. (A bonus is that the bread fits into the bags better if it's sliced.) Then I freeze the bread. If we're running low on bread, I pull a bag out of the freezer and I don't have to do a thing because it's already sliced. If I pull the bread out around breakfast time, it has thawed by lunchtime so we can make sandwiches. And if I forget, we can still have toast for lunch without the awful pain of sawing through a brick of frozen bread.

And I discovered that when I pull a loaf out of the freezer and thaw it, it's still as soft and tastes as fresh as when I put it in.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the note about freezing bread. Years ago we bought an electric knife and it came with a bread cutting guide. I've never seen one since, but it has been very useful for making nice, even slices.

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