It’s no secret that sourdough bread is deemed simply irresistible, by most bread lovers. Many of us get a tad carried away, with our multiple loaves of sourdough bread, that can’t possibly be eaten in one day! Freezing sourdough bread is a common way to preserve the freshness of the loaf, as well as its taste and texture. However, there are some steps required before attempting to reheat your frozen sourdough bread, to achieve that immaculate, fresh from the oven gloriousness. Read on for the secret elements that may potentially save your beautiful sourdough bread from ending up in the bin!
Can Sourdough Bread be Frozen?
Sourdough bread is unique, in the sense where it can be frozen for months without any risk of spoilage. In fact, many bakers find that the flavor improves significantly during the time spent in the freezer.
This allows you to make multiple loaves at once and have them ready to eat whenever you want.
The best way to freeze sourdough bread is by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Then store it in an airtight container or freezer bag with as much air removed as possible. Seal it tightly, with a double twist tie or closable lid.
Alternatively, you may choose to not wrap your loaf at all. If that happens to be the case, bear in mind that this will keep more moisture inside the loaf while preventing too much exposure from forming on its surface. The extra moisture will prevent the appearance or growth of mold.
The Correct Way to Freeze Sourdough Bread
The correct way to freeze your sourdough bread will depend on a few factors.
These include, how long you plan to freeze your bread for, and whether it is a whole loaf, sliced loaf, or partially cut loaf.
When freezing sourdough bread, be sure that the container you use won’t crush or damage the loaf too much as it freezes and thaws. If you’re planning to store the bread in the freezer for an extended period of time (3 to 6 months) take extra precautions by placing it in an airtight container with all openings covered tightly, with foil or plastic wrap before putting into the freezer.
Additionally, when planning to freeze a freshly baked loaf, you should also make sure that your sourdough bread has completely cooled to room temperature, before wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil packets.
This will give the moisture from inside the bread the accessibility it requires to evaporate before freezing. So when you thaw it out later on, there will not be any soggy spots inside when eaten.
Freezing Slices of Sourdough Bread
If you only consume a small amount of bread at a time, occasionally having a slice here and there, or simply have a small household, one fabulous way to store bread is to slice it before freezing.
To do this, slice your bread evenly with a serrated bread knife and transfer it to a large Ziploc bag.
If your crumb is extremely moist, try placing a small piece of parchment paper between each slice. This ensures that the slices don’t merge together.
This method allows you to take one slice out at a time, toast it – without defrosting – in your toaster and have a delicious breakfast or snack whenever you want!
How to Defrost and Reheat Sourdough Bread
There are a few ways to defrost or thaw your frozen sourdough bread.
You can leave it in the fridge overnight, which works perfectly fine as well, especially for those patient enough to devour this delicious specimen after a good nights sleep!
Make sure you unwrap and remove any plastic wrap before placing it in your fridge overnight. Allow it to warm up for up to 24 hours, depending on how large your loaf size is, until completely thawed out and ready to eat!
Another option is to bake it straight from frozen without thawing first. This method takes longer but will give you great results nonetheless! Preheat your oven to 375 °F. Place your frozen sourdough bread directly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Place the baking sheet into the oven that has been preheated with a dish inside for about 10 minutes. Then check the progress by inserting a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If the toothpick emerges clean, this means that all the moisture has evaporate. This will make room for a crusty exterior texture once the loaf has baked through completely.
The total time required would rely on the size of the loaf. Normally 20-30 minutes should suffice.
Can You Refreeze Sourdough Bread?
Here are some reasons why we don’t recommend refreezing sourdough or any other type of bread:
- The quality, texture, and flavour will become compromised, even more noticeably than if it had been cooked fresh from the oven.
- There is a greater chance that your loaf will spoil.
- If you had frozen the sourdough bread dough, and then baked your loaf, the newly baked loaf can be frozen. However, if you freeze a fully baked loaf of bread, once it has been thawed it should not be re-frozen again. This is why freezing in individual portions sizes is a good idea. Especially if you don’t think that you’ll use the entire loaf all at once. This way you can minimize the waste, and defrost what you need, with some left over for next time!
Can You Store Sourdough Bread in the Fridge?
Wondering how to extend the shelf life of your sourdough bread?
One of the most common questions we get is whether or not it’s safe to store sourdough bread in the refrigerator. The answer is yes and no.
Yes, it can be stored in the fridge – but that won’t extend its shelf life at all!
You see, refrigerators are very cold environments which cause moisture from your bread to evaporate quickly. Also, foods stored beside other foods can potentially absorb the flavors, especially if those items have been sitting there for a long time.
So even though storing your loaf of sourdough bread in a cool place is encouraged, as this helps prevent mold from growing on top (which happens when things get warm), it won’t help with keeping your bread fresh for longer than usual. The environment inside will dry out that crusty exterior pretty quickly anyway.
The best way to store any kind of bread is wrapped loosely in foil or wax paper until you’re ready to eat it. Then unwrap it moments before heating. This prevents an excessive amount of moisture to escape during the reheating process.
Reheating Sourdough Bread
Reheating sourdough bread from frozen, is fairly straightforward.
Simply wait for it to thaw, or run it under some water, before placing it in a pre-heated oven.
The result, will be identical to that of a freshly baked loaf!
Once you’ve removed your sourdough loaf from the freezer, allow it to defrost inside the foil wrap. Once it’s thawed, unwrap the sourdough and spray a little water over it.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 °F, then take your frozen loaf out of the freezer, remove the plastic and place the frozen bread into the oven. Let it bake for about 40 minutes to revive it, remove it from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, then dig in!
Take your frozen load and run it under some water, place the wet loaf on the middle rack of the oven, and let it bake at 350 °F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat your oven to 300 °F, run your loaf under cold water so that the outside is a little damp. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and heat until it is dry and crusty.