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Yes, you can freeze homemade, store-bought sourdough bread as the whole loaf or and slices or uncooked dough. It can be kept frozen for 3 to 6 months while maintaining a high quality.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is a yummy, slightly tangy bread that is made by fermenting the dough with the yeast and lactobacillaceae. It is considered a leavened bread and is made with a starter.
Sourdough bread is delicious eaten by the slice for the little butter, with jam, as sandwiches or many other different ways. Unfortunately, it starts to get stale after just a few days.
So, whether you've purchased some from the store or want to whip up a couple patches on your own, you may be looking to figure out how to extend it shelf life.
You're in luck because sourdough is so easy to freeze and doesn't lose any texture or taste during the process. You can get a whole loaf frozen in 5 minutes or less. This process is very similar to freezing cornbread, freezing scones and freezing cornbread.
There are four methods below detailing how to best freeze your sourdough bread. Decide how you'll ultimately be using it when thawed to determine which method is best for your situation.
Store-bought in the package
If you've purchased some sourdough at the store, and you know you'll want to use the entire loaf when it's defrosted you can simply freeze it all together in the store-bought package.
- Freeze it. To use this method, you can very simply just toss the entire loaf of bread wrapped in the original packaging into your freezer.
- Note: If you'll be keeping it frozen for more than a few weeks, it's really best practice to give it a little more protection than the store-bought packaging. To do this, you can simply toss the packaged bread into a freezer bag, squeeze the air out, zip it shut and freeze it that way.
Homemade whole loaf
If you've baked your own loaf of sourdough at home, you can freeze the whole thing together as long as you know that you'll use it pretty quickly upon thawing.
- Cool it. Make sure that you have allowed it to cool for a few hours after baking. This allows it to fully cool and finish cooking. If it's still warm when you begin the process, condensation will build up and lead to mushy bread.
- Wrap it. This step is optional. I recommend it if you are going to be keeping the bread frozen for a long-term. To do this, you simply wrap the entire loaf securely and completely in a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Pack it. Take your loaf of bread and place it into a freezer bag. Alternatively, you can use an airtight container if you choose. However, freezer bags tend to hold the size of a loaf of bread better.
- Seal it and label it. Press all of the air out of your freezer bag and zip it shut. Then, write the date on the outside of the bag.
- Freeze it. Toss your bag into the freezer. Make sure it's in a place where your bread won't get smashed.
If you've already started to eat your loaf or if you know you only be using a few slices at a time, it's best to freeze it as slices and not an entire loaf.
- Cool completely. Ensure that your bread has cooled completely for a few hours after baking.
- Slice it. Use a bread knife and cut your bread into slices. If you do this while it's warm, the bread can become gummy and the texture can be ruined.
- Flash freeze. Lay your slices of bread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it into the freezer. Let them freeze for an hour or so they'll be stiff but not totally frozen.
- Pack them. Toss your slices of bread into an airtight container or a freezer bag. If you'd like to give extra protection, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Additionally, you can place parchment paper between each slice, but flash freezing should take care of them sticking together.
- Seal and label. Press any air out of your freezer bag and then zip it shut. If you're using an airtight container, simply place the lid on top. Then, write the date on the bag or container.
- Freeze it. Toss your container or bag into your freezer.
If you don't want to bake your bread before freezing, you can freeze your uncooked dough.
- Prepare it. Whip up your favorite batch of sour bread dough.
- portion it. Separate the dough into balls the size of loaves that you want to bake.
- Flash freeze. Place your dough balls on a cookie sheet in a single layer and pop them into the freezer for an hour or so so that they become solid.
- Wrap it. This step is optional and recommended if you'll be freezing the dough for an extended amount of time. Use a sheet of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to securely and completely wrap the ball of dough.
- Package it. Remove the dough from the freezer and toss it into an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Seal it and label it. Make sure that you have pressed any extra air out of the bag and then zip it shut. If you're using an airtight container, simply place a lid on top. Then, make sure to write the date on your container.
- Freeze it. Pop your container or bag into the freezer.
Top freezing tips
Regardless of which freezing method above you use, make sure you apply all of these top freezing tips to maintain the best quality for your sourdough.
- Make it cool. It's super important to ensure that you're sourdough is fully cooled before beginning the freezing process. If you start freezing it while it's warm it will create condensation and result in mushy bread when you defrost it.
- Do it fresh. Sourdough only lasts for a few days, so it's imperative to freeze it as soon as possible so that you can lock in maximum freshness.
- Don't smush it. Make sure that you place the bread especially if you're using a freezer bag and place in the freezer or it won't get compacted or smushed.
- Know the time frame. Having a general idea of how long you might keep the bread frozen is important so that you can decide if you need to do extra measures such as wrapping it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Know your use. Deciding if you'll need just a few slices at a time or an entire loaf will allow you to decide the best method to freeze the bread so that you can use it in the right portions when you thaw it
How to Defrost Sourdough Bread
There are several easy methods to defrost your sourdough bread. It will depend on how you froze it and how much time you have to defrost it.
On the counter
Defrosting your sourdough bread on the counter will take the longest amount of time especially if you frozen it as a whole loaf. It can take up to a day. So, it's best to take it out of the freezer at night and place it on the counter to start to defrost overnight.
This method allows the bread to warm up slowly which will help it maintain a good texture. If you wrapped your bread to freeze it, you can leave it wrapped as long as it wasn't frozen for very long and therefore doesn't have too much moisture built up in it.
In the oven
If you like to eat red warm, or if you need to defrost it a little faster you can do so in the oven.
To use this method, remove your bread from the freezer and unwrap it if you wrapped it. Preheat your oven to 350° and place your bread on a cookie sheet in the oven. Depending on your oven and the size of the loaf it should take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to warm.
Of note, sometimes bread can begin to dry out of it after it's been frozen. There is a way to refresh the bread if this happens. Simply spritz your bread with a little bit of water all around it while you're heating it. This will help it to reabsorb a little moisture.
In the toaster
If you froze your bread and slices, defrosting them in the toaster works particularly well. This takes only a few minutes and leaves you with warm bread.
To use this method, simply remove a few slices from the freezer and unwrap them if they were wrapped. Then, pop them in the toaster and let them heat up.
In the refrigerator
You should only defrost your sourdough in the refrigerator if you froze it as uncooked dough. This typically will take up to 12 to 24 hours depending on how large your ball of dough is.
To use this method, remove your dough from the freezer and place it into your refrigerator overnight. Again, if it's a large ball of dough you may need longer than 8 to 12 hours overnight.
Once your dough has thawed, you can proceed to bake it in the same way that you normally would.
Freezing Sourdough Bread FAQ
Does freezing affect sourdough bread?
No, as long as a sourdough bread is in an airtight container freezing does not poorly affect it.
How long does sourdough bread last in the refrigerator?
Sourdough bread should not be kept in the refrigerator, when it is fresh and kept it room temperature it can last for a couple of days.
How long does sourdough bread stay good frozen?
Sourdough bread can stay good frozen for 3 to 6 months without experiencing much degradation in quality. It is able to be kept frozen indefinitely and still be safe to eat, but as time goes on the quality will start to decrease.
Can you freeze a whole loaf of sourdough bread?
Yes, you can easily freeze a whole loaf of sourdough bread simply by wrapping it and plastic wrap and sticking it in a freezer bag.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
- airtight container
- marker or pen
- freezer bags
- plastic wrap
- aluminum foil
- cookie sheet
- Sourdough Bread Store-bought, homemade or uncooked dough
Store-bought in package
- Not the best method, but will save a lot of time and works well if just freezing for a short time.
- Toss the whole package straight into the freezer.note: if you want a little more protection put the package inside a freezer bag first.
Whole Homemade Loaf
- Allow it to thoroughly cool before starting.
- Toss the whole loaf into a freezer bag.
- Press all the air from the bag and zip it closed.
- Toss the bag into the freezer.
- note: if you want to give it a little more protection, wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before putting it in the bag.also, only use this method if you are planning to use the whole loaf at once.
Sliced or uncooked dough
- Slice your bread, or portion out your dough.
- Flash freeze by laying your slices or dough balls in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Pop that into the freezer for an hour or until they are stiff.
- optional: for additional protection (which is good if planning to freeze for an extended time), wrap your portions in plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil.You don't need to flash freeze and wrap, you can do one or the other.
- Toss your portions into a freezer bag and zip it shut after pressing any air from the bag.orToss your portions into an airtight container and put the lid on top of it.
- Write the date onto your bag or container and toss it in the freezer.