How to freeze sourdough bread successfully!
Here's your go to guide for how to freeze sourdough bread + instructions for refreshing frozen sourdough once it's thawed.
If you enjoy sourdough bread, but don't always have time to bake it, freezing sourdough bread may be the perfect solution.
You can freeze sourdough bread with little to no deterioration in quality or texture. If you refresh it correctly, your frozen sourdough bread will taste just like fresh baked sourdough.
Did you know that you can also freeze sourdough starter for up to 12 months?
If you're also curious on what else you could do with your sourdough starter and sourdough bread, you might find this article on how to mail sourdough bread or this one on how to dehydrate your starter helpful too.
Why Freeze Sourdough Bread?
A stash of frozen sourdough bread can be a convenient way to ensure you always have sourdough available when you want or need it.
Due to it's long fermentation time, sourdough bread is not a quick process to navigate. Working full time, raising kids or just having a lot of social commitments can sometimes mean that baking sourdough bread daily can get a little tricky (although it's not impossible).
Freezing freshly baked sourdough bread means that you can enjoy delicious sourdough anytime - and it will be just like fresh baked (unless it's been in the freezer for a very long time).
Having some frozen sliced sourdough bread in the freezer will also ensure you can have a bit of variety in your week.
A few slices of fruit bread on a Monday, Jalapeño Cheese on Tuesday ... you get the idea, right?
How To Freeze Sourdough Bread
The process of freezing sourdough bread is a fairly simple. The secret to your success is how you package the sourdough before freezing it.
You want to ensure that you reduce any deterioration to crust and texture as much as possible.
Here are some tips for ensuring your sourdough bread freezes well (these instructions are for a whole, uncut sourdough loaf):
- Make sure the sourdough bread has cooled fully before you wrap it for freezing.
- Wrap the sourdough in aluminium foil, ensuring that it's fully covered.
- Place the wrapped sourdough bread into a large zip loc bag. Seal it tightly, removing as much air as possible.
- If you have a vacuum sealer, use the "seal only" function. Sucking all the air out of the bag will squash your sourdough bread. It might not recover when you open the bag.
How Long Can You Freeze Sourdough Bread For?
Sourdough bread can be frozen for up to 2 months without losing superior texture and taste.
It will last in the freezer for longer than this. But it will deteriorate in texture and taste after this 2 month period.
If you are going to toast it, you will not notice the change in taste or texture. In this case, leaving it for up to 6 months will be fine.
If you are planning on eating your bread untoasted, I would recommend using it within the 2 month time period.
How To Thaw & Refresh Sourdough Bread
Sourdough that has been frozen can be refreshed. If done correctly, the revitalised sourdough will taste fresh baked!
How to refresh frozen sourdough bread (these instructions are for a whole, unsliced sourdough loaf):
- Once you've removed your loaf of sourdough from the freezer, allow your bread to defrost inside the foil wrap. Leaving it on the counter while it defrosts is fine.
- When it's thawed, unwrap the sourdough and spritz it all over with water mist. Don't worry about using too much water, it will not go soggy.
- Place your damp sourdough bread into a hot oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove sourdough from oven and use as normal.
Refreshing frozen sourdough means you do not have to wait for it to cool down before you slice it.
You can slice into it warm because the bread has only been reheated and the cooking process has already finished.
These small batch sourdough loaves are the perfect size for the freezer!
HOT TIP - If you are baking sourdough with the intent purpose of freezing it, try not to over bake it. Leaving the crust a little blonde means you'll be able to "finish it" when you refresh it in the oven.
How To Freeze Sliced Sourdough Bread
If you only use a slice or two when making breakfast, slicing your sourdough bread prior to freezing is a good idea.
That way you can take what you need from the freezer, without wasting the whole loaf.
To freeze sliced sourdough bread, follow these instructions:
- Once your bread has cooled completely, slice the whole loaf.
- Lay your slices onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Place into the freezer for around 15 to 30 minutes (you just want the outside to freeze at this point).
- Place the cut slices into a plastic bread bag or zip loc bag.
Snap freezing the slices means that they will not stick together. You can take out one piece at a time.
If this is not an option, place a piece of parchment paper between each slice. Or freeze one or two slices in smaller zip loc bags for convenience.
Frozen slices of sourdough are best toasted. You can toast the sourdough directly from the freezer.
Freezing Other Sourdough Based Baked Goods
You can freeze most types of sourdough based baked goods in the same manner as you freeze a sourdough loaf.
Some sourdough goods will be better frozen before baking, but most sourdough items can be baked first. They can then be frozen to be thawed and used at a later date.
Some examples of sourdough baked goods that can be frozen after baking are:
- Pre baked pizza bases (I recommend only part baking these before freezing).
- Sourdough Garlic Bread Bites
- Sourdough Dinner Rolls and Soft Sourdough Hawaiian Rolls
- Sourdough Discard Sandwich Bread
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily tell if your sourdough bread has gone bad. It will be hard and difficult to cut. Spoiled sourdough can go moldy (it does take longer than regular bread), but it will eventually go moldy if not stored correctly.
As long as the sourdough bread was cooled and then wrapped sufficiently, the taste and texture should remain the same. There will be some deterioration in texture after 2 months. Some people believe the taste of sourdough bread actually improves after being frozen and then defrosted, however there is no actual evidence to suggest this is true.
You can wrap sourdough bread in beeswax wraps or use re-usable zip loc bags - however the best technique for freezing sourdough bread is to wrap it in aluminium foil. Reusing the zip loc bags you freeze bread in or using a recyclable bag is also a good option.
It's better to wrap the cooled sourdough loaf in aluminium foil rather than parchment paper for freezing. Aluminium foil reduces the risk of the loaf getting freezer burn or drying out in the freezer. Parchment paper does not create enough of a seal around the bread.
How To Freeze Sourdough Bread
- Aluminum Foil
- Large Ziploc Bag
- 1 Loaf Sourdough Bread
How To Freeze a Whole Loaf of Sourdough Bread
- Make sure the sourdough bread has cooled fully before you wrap it for freezing. Ideally it should be allowed to cool for at least 6 hours before you wrap it for the freezer.
- Wrap the cooled sourdough loaf in aluminium foil, ensuring that it's fully covered.
- Place your wrapped loaf of sourdough bread into the freezer. You can leave it in the freezer for up to 2 months with no loss of texture or taste. The sourdough bread will last longer than this in the freezer, however you may find that the taste and or texture is changed after being frozen for longer periods.
How To Freeze Sliced Sourdough Bread
- Make sure the sourdough bread has cooled fully before you slice it for freezing. Ideally it should be allowed to cool for at least 6 hours before you slice it for the freezer.
- Once your bread has cooled completely, slice the whole loaf. You can find instructions on how to slice sourdough bread perfectly here.
- Lay your slices onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray into the freezer for around 15 to 30 minutes (you just want the outside of the bread to freeze at this point).
- Once the slices are "snap frozen" remove from the freezer and place into a ziploc bag or airtight plastic container. Place back into the freezer. Doing it this way, the slices will not stick together. Alternatively, you can place a piece of parchment paper between each slice.
- You can leave the sliced sourdough in the freezer for up to 2 months with no loss of texture or taste. The sourdough bread will last longer than this in the freezer, however you may find that the taste and or texture is changed after being frozen for longer periods.
- Frozen slices of sourdough are best suited to toasting. You can toast them from frozen.