So, can you freeze bread to make it last longer? The short answer is yes! Below you find instructions on how to freeze bread to keep it fresh, and give it a longer shelf life.

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Bread

Sliced loaves, pittas, naans, part-baked rolls and loaves, etc. all freeze perfectly. French sticks and other crusty loaves are only worth freezing to keep them fresh for a few days. If frozen for more than a week or two, the crust tends to flake off.

To freeze

All types of bread can be frozen, unopened, in their original wrapping. If already opened, place the bread in a polythene bag. Remove the air, seal, label and freeze.

STORAGE TIME: 6 months

To thaw and serve

Whole loaves and rolls: Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature for 2–6 hours. If liked, crisp the crust in a hot oven at 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6 (fan oven 180ºC) for about 5 minutes.

Sliced bread: Thaw, still wrapped, at room temperature for 3–4 hours. It may also be toasted from frozen.

Pittas and naans: Thaw individually at room temperature for about 1 hour. Alternatively, warm from frozen in a toaster, under the grill (broiler) or briefly in the microwave.

Part-baked rolls and loaves: May be cooked from frozen but add on extra time to allow for thawing, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Rolls and French bread: May be reheated from frozen. Wrap in foil and bake in a hot oven at 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7 (fan oven 200ºC) for 10–15 minutes until hot through. You can also thaw bread and rolls, still in the polythene bag, in the microwave on Medium–low. Allow a few seconds per roll and up to 8 minutes for a whole loaf. To defrost and serve rolls hot after thawing, heat on Full Power for a few seconds per roll. Don’t overheat or they will become leathery or hard when cooled.

Bread rolls, home-made

You can make rolls in your usual way and partially cook them, then freeze, to be cooked fresh when required.

To prepare

Make up the dough, prove, shape and prove again. Bake in a preheated oven at 230ºC/450ºF/gas mark 8 (fan oven 210ºC) for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 160ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3 (fan oven 145ºC) for a further 5–7 minutes, until firm but still pale. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To freeze

Pack and freeze as before.

STORAGE TIME: 6 months

To thaw and serve

Cook from frozen in a preheated oven at 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7 (fan oven 200ºC) for about 15 minutes or until crisp and golden on the outside and soft in the middle.

Breadcrumbs

To prepare

Use only stale bread it should not be too moist. Drop a piece at a time into a blender or food processor until as fine as required. Alternatively, grate on a coarse grater.

To freeze

Pack in a polythene bag, remove the air, seal, label and freeze.

STORAGE TIME: 3 months

To thaw and serve

It should be possible to spoon out the quantity you need without thawing the whole pack. Use from frozen for stuffings, sauces, etc. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes if using as a coating.