Freezing bread for crumbs or croutons ( or fancy toast !)

I don’t eat much bread, but this is the season when it’s a bit of a challenge for me, because tomatoes! I found this cool article, but it’s behind a pay wall.

It starts “Washington Post › How to use frozen bread for croutons, bread crumbs, fancy toast and more - The Washington Post”.

On Google I can see “Or wrap the still-frozen bread in foil and heat for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on size and whether you want to just quickly thaw or also warm it. Make fancy toast. Take your thick artisan slices out of the freezer to thaw while you prep your toppings. Any residual defrosting can happen while you’re heating the bread.”

And

" Cube it for croutons .

So much better than store-bought. Let the bread thaw on the counter. Toss or drizzle chunks or cubes of it in olive oil (a flavored one is great if you have it) and crisp on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown"

Found the story on Pinterest !

Sometimes I can read it. My take away;

" The best way to freeze bread (figure on a freezer life of about three months) depends a little bit on what you’re dealing with and what you want to do with it. You always want to start with at least a double layer of protection against freezer burn. Two layers of plastic wrap is usually sufficient; you can also combine plastic wrap with a layer of aluminum foil. I often throw plastic-wrapped slices or chunks that are small enough into a plastic zip-top bag for extra insurance and easier organization.

[How to make the most of your fresh herbs]

Pre-sliced store-bought breads can be grouped into packets of a few slices each. Separate slices with pieces of parchment or wax paper if you think you’re more likely to use one slice at a time. Larger artisan-style loaves can be saved in several ways. Double-wrap a whole loaf if you want to use it in one fell swoop down the line. Or first cut into more manageable chunks for gradual consumption. Thick-cut slices can be wrapped individually and placed in a bag."

Anybody have other suggestions?

Last week I pondered too long and it got moldy. I think I’m going to go with 3/4 inch slices. A bit more work than tossing in the whole loaf, butican retrieve a slice at a time, for a sandwich ( :dizzy_face:) , or croutons.

We are big bread eaters here and everyone freezes all their breads. Thaw and use as you do fresh bread. I sometimes toast, or cook it in a cast iron griddle/pan from frozen.

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We freeze bread we plan to eat as bread. Whole wheat, homemade white, sourdough, raisin.

Bread crumbs and croutons are so easy to make that when bread starts to go stale (which is good for crumbs and croutons) we make it right then. Otherwise what will you do? Freeze bread, thaw it, make crumbs or croutons, and freeze it again? We think it’s better to just make a little at a time.

Generally we make them sharing the oven with something else.

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Most of the year I don’t buy bread. I’ve bought sliced bread about three times in the last three months, as husband is eating sandwiches instead of going out for lunch. It still takes awhile to go through a loaf.

I have a vacuum sealed bread box that helps make it last, but not if you combine things with different levels of moisture. The different level seems to have come from a “rustic loaf” I bought for croutons and crumbs.

One article suggested slicing before freezing, then thawing as needed for slices, croutons, or crumbs. I agree it makes no sense to thaw, slice or tear, and freeze again.

We just split the loaf in half or thirds and leave part out and freeze the rest.

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We prefer rye or multigrain bread and find that storing in the fridge gives us 2 week or so of bread
to toast for breakfast or tomato sandwiches. But toasting is key. Otherwise not good, too old.
And we do freeze the ends of baguettes or panes for bread crumbs and croutons. Typically wrapped in
cheese paper in a ziploc freezer bag. But not for more than a month or so, it just gets so dry.
Our favorite croutons, especially for gazpacho, is cubed bread tossed with olive oil and everything
but the bagel seasoning toasted for 8-10 minutes in the 400 degree toaster oven. Good on anything!

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Good idea! Thanks!

I bought wax paper sandwich bags for a lunch I was planning, and they seem to do great for cheese.

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I always slice and freeze the sandwich bread that I make. Perfect for toast and if I want soft bread not toasted I wrap 2 slices in plastic wrap and set it in the sun for 20 min.

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Big time crouton/bread crumb maker here. So easy, and no bread waste. It’s hard for me to believe that the purchased kind are so popular. I pick out bad ones at restos. Back in the old days when people went out…

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We usually freeze baguettes. Since they are long, I just toss the whole bread in the freezer, the crust protects the bread. I use microwave to defrost. I’ve tried to freeze certain bread in ziplock bag and find no difference. I don’t recommend slicing before freezing unless you use it in less than 3 weeks or vaccum seal. Even ziplock bag cannot prevent freezer burn on the cut side for longer period.

For croutons or crumbs, I prefer to use a normally defrost bread and proceed than preparing them this way beforehand.

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That was really helpful; thanks!

Everyone has been helpful, and thanks to all of you.

Late to the party, but I freeze bread often, so I’ll chime in.

I don’t multi-wrap - find it too wasteful. Into a freezer bag. Usually sliced.

BUT. Before using, I give the bread a quick rinse. Yes, you read right - under the faucet.

Then in to the oven either to toast (sliced bread, bagels - always sliced before freezing) or to bake (eg, baguette - whole or chunks or rolls of any type).

Read this a couple of decades ago for how to refresh a baguette (not frozen) and extended it to anything that might have gotten dehydrated either on the counter or in the freezer. And it works! (I do this with frozen flatbreads too - naan, chapati, paratha, and so on. )

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold