In the Kitchen: Using Frozen Bread
Whether you buy already frozen bread, or freeze your own to preserve it, there are a few things I have learned about thawing and reheating frozen bread.
In order to prevent adding lots of chemical preservatives, many gluten-free and vegan breads come already frozen in loaves or rolls. When I first became gluten-free, I avoided frozen bread and freezing bread because I thought that ultimately killed the flavor and the texture of the product. Fortunately, I have learned that freezing bread is not nearly as bad as I thought it was. You can reheat it and retain its texture and flavor!
I order my bread from California-based Bread Srsly and it comes in multi-loaf packages. I’m only one person and cannot (even to the best of my abilities) eat three loaves in one week. If I did not freeze the bread before its “use by” date, I would be wasting a lot of money and good bread.
The key is knowing how to care and warm up those frozen slices and rolls.
My first tip: Slice bread into slices before freezing. Otherwise you have to thaw the entire loaf at once and its freshness timeline starts ticking down again. It also takes a long time for an entire loaf to thaw. The time to reheat individual pieces is much shorter and there is a better chance it will thaw uniformly.
Second tip: Experiment with the best thawing method. I have found each type of bread reacts differently to different thawing and reheating strategies. I find rolls taste best either toasted right out of the freezer in the oven or nuked in the microwave. Trying to microwave then bake in the oven often dries out the inside of the rolls’ texture. On the other hand, slices tend to be better microwaved for just a few seconds, then either toasted in a pan, toaster oven, or conventional oven. It’s not a good idea to throw frozen bread into a pan… it does not end well trust me.
Third tip: Don’t add spreads to the bread before they are completely thawed. Once the spreads are added, the bread underneath will become soggy and the bread will never toast properly. However, I do very much enjoy adding hummus or Heido Ho cheez spread to my bread slices that are already thawed before I toast them into the oven.
Final tip: Don’t use a toaster where gluten has been used. This goes for non-frozen bread, too, but if you have celiac disease, or another severe gluten allergy or intolerance, using a common toaster with those who eat gluten will cross-contaminate your gluten-free bread. Crumbs are everywhere in a toaster and one will most likely come in contact with your bread slice.