Italian bread rarely lasts more than a day or two in my house. But what do you do if you have leftovers? Maybe you are going on a trip and won’t be back for a week or longer, or perhaps you want to buy or make several loaves at once. Can you freeze Italian bread for longer storage?
You can conveniently freeze Italian bread by storing it in a sealed freezer bag or wrapping it in aluminum foil. Your bread will stay fresh for weeks, and it will be ready to enjoy when you are eager to eat it!
It’s easy to extend the life of your Italian bread by keeping it in the freezer. In this article, I’ll explain the best method for freezing Italian bread, how long it’ll last in the freezer, and how to thaw and reheat it when you’re ready to eat it again.
How To Freeze Italian Bread
The best way to store and save your whole loaf, or leftover, Italian bread is to securely wrap it in aluminum foil or place it in a sealable plastic freezer bag. Completely covering the bread is vital when using aluminum or plastic freezer wrap to avoid freezer burn and reduce any unpleasant tastes that it may absorb from the other foods in the freezer.
The best way to successfully freeze Italian bread is to double wrap it. First, place it in a plastic freezer bag (or wrap it in freezer wrap) and then wrap it again in aluminum foil. This will give the loaf of bread an added layer of protection and make sure that the Italian bread is tasty later on.
While some food-savers claim to slice their bread before freezing, I don’t recommend doing that as it will subject your bread to dehydration. Bread that has become dehydrated will be dry, stiff, and hard to slice once you reheat it.
How Long Will Italian Bread Last? (Room Temp & Freezer)
Italian bread will last at room temperature for as long as two to three days when stored correctly in a cool, dry area. The bread may last a day or so longer, but it’ll become hard and stale as it dries out. After a week, mold will appear on the bread.
At this point, the bread is no longer edible, and you should throw it out immediately. Don’t attempt to break off the moldy pieces and eat the “clean” slices, as the mold spores could have spread to other areas of the bread.
Due to the ingredients used in baking Italian bread, such as milk or oil, Italian bread will have a longer shelf life than other bread. If you use preservatives or have purchased an Italian loaf that uses preservatives, the shelf life of your bread will last longer than organic or non-preservative bread.
Freezing is the best option if you plan to eat your Italian bread past the recommended room-air temperature shelf life.
In the freezer and adequately stored, Italian bread will still be good for up to three months. After this period, you can still consume the bread, but it won’t taste as fresh once reheated. Furthermore, bread stored in the freezer for longer than three months can become subject to freezer burn or mold over the long term.
While freezing slows most mold fungi from growing, certain types of mold spores can still develop in the freezer. For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure your freezer is clean and free of rotten food to slow the spread of these types of fungi.
Experts warn against refrigerating your Italian bread. It may seem like a suitable short-term option between leaving it on the counter and freezing, but refrigeration will enhance dehydration and cause your bread to become stale and dry much faster.
Tip: You can revive stale Italian bread by wrapping it in a damp paper towel and reheating it in the microwave for ten seconds or in the oven at 200°F (93.33°C) for no more than five to ten minutes. Just make sure to freeze any leftovers.
How To Reheat Frozen Italian Bread
Typically, Italian bread is baked at 400°F (204.4°C). When reheating frozen Italian bread, a slightly lower temperature from the initial baking temperature helps to avoid burning the crust.
Here’s how to reheat frozen Italian bread:
- Thaw the bread without the aluminum or freezer bag in the refrigerator overnight before revitalizing the bread.
- Preheat the oven to 380°F (193.33°C).
- Pop the Italian bread on the rack and heat for no more than five minutes. You can add it back into the oven for a few more minutes if you feel the bread has not been thoroughly reheated, frequently checking, so it doesn’t burn.
You can also defrost the bread in the microwave and reheat it in the oven at 350°F (176.66°C) for a few minutes if you’re in a rush. While microwaving the bread may escalate the dehydration process, it does save time.
Whether you’re saving a loaf for yourself or are making batches of Italian bread for later, it’s always important to keep food safety in mind. Knowing the lifespan of how long your food will remain edible is essential.
It’s good to know that you can, in fact, store Italian bread in the freezer for long-term storage for up to three months.
Keeping your Italian bread stored correctly and in a clean space will ensure tasty bread for yourself, your friends, and your family!