Recipes engineered for perfection—what exactly does that mean? We take you inside Cook’s Illustrated’s science experiments.
Freezing bread is a great way to store loaves for later. But is it better to freeze a loaf of bread sliced or whole? We wondered if slicing it before freezing would translate to more freezer damage, so we did an experiment to find out.
We baked and cooled two loaves of white bread. We sliced one and then put both in zipper-lock bags and froze them for a week.
After thawing them at room temperature for several hours, we tasted the loaves side by side, as-is and toasted, and found them equally acceptable. We got the same results with storebought white bread. To see if the same held true for crustier breads, we repeated the test with baguettes and found that slicing before freezing worked equally well for crusty breads.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Slice loaves of bread before freezing them in heavy-duty zipper-lock bags if you don’t plan to use the whole loaf at once. Take out slices as needed, and be sure to press the air out of the bag and reseal it tightly.
MAKE IT NOW: Our recipe for Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread is free through August 28, 2013.