Can You Refreeze Bread: The Ultimate Guide to Freezing and Refreezing Bread

Can You Refreeze Bread: The Ultimate Guide

Most of us know the trick of putting a loaf of bread in the freezer for easy long-term storage and convenient use when we want to make toast or whip up a sandwich. But what happens when you thaw out your frozen bread and wonder if it’s safe to refreeze it? In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of refreezing bread and give you tips on how to do it effectively.

Types of bread

Before we get into the specifics of refreezing bread, let’s first understand the different types of bread that can be frozen. The texture and quality of bread after refreezing can vary depending on its ingredients. The most important ingredients to consider are eggs, gluten, leavening agents, and yeast. These ingredients can affect the texture and flavor of bread after it is thawed and refrozen.

Refreezing Bread

When it comes to refreezing bread, there are two universal rules that apply regardless of the type of bread you’re working with. First, it is critical to refreeze bread within 48 hours of thawing. Leaving bread out longer than 48 hours can result in staleness. Second, bread should only be refrozen once. Refreezing bread multiple times can compromise its integrity and flavor, resulting in a stale and unappetizing product. These rules apply not only to bread, but to any type of food.
To ensure the best quality when refreezing bread, it’s important to consider a few factors. First, make sure the bread is at room temperature before freezing. Also, keep track of the original freezing date and check for visible mold on the bread before refreezing.

Refreezing Bread with Eggs

Egg bread refers to bread that contains eggs as an ingredient. The presence of eggs in bread recipes helps with the rising process and also contributes to a tender texture and reduced crumbliness. When it comes to freezing, bread with eggs may actually freeze better than bread without eggs. The eggs help the bread retain moisture after thawing, resulting in a less stale taste. Examples of breads traditionally made with eggs include brioche and challah.

Refreezing Gluten-Free Bread

Gluten-free bread is a type of bread made without gluten-containing flours. Because of its composition, gluten-free bread tends to be denser than bread made with regular flour. However, gluten-free bread is very freezer-friendly, and you can refreeze it without any special considerations. If you have defrosted more gluten-free bread than you need, simply put the slices back in their original packaging and return them to the freezer. It’s important to consume gluten-free bread within 1-3 months of its original freezing date for the best taste and quality.

Refreezing Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is a classic type of bread that contains yeast, specifically a special type of yeast that continues to grow as it is used. However, refreezing sourdough bread is not recommended. The crust-to-bread ratio in sourdough bread makes it difficult to maintain the desired texture and crunch after refreezing. Therefore, it’s best to enjoy sourdough bread fresh or as soon as possible after thawing.

Refreezing Quick Bread

Quick bread refers to bread that is leavened without yeast or eggs and does not require time to rise. Examples of quick bread are cornbread and soda bread. Most quick breads freeze well, and refreezing is a simple process. After thawing, allow the quick bread to cool, then place in an airtight container or freezer bag to refreeze.

Refreezing White and Whole Grain Bread

White bread and whole wheat bread, the classic sandwich breads, can be refrozen with no significant difference in texture or quality. White bread has been stripped of most of its nutrients and contains less fiber than whole grain bread. However, this difference does not affect the refreezing process. In contrast, rye bread, which is denser and has a stronger flavor, may experience more significant changes in texture and flavor after refreezing. For best refreezing results, wrap rye bread in aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Refreezing Store-Bought and Homemade Bread

Store-bought bread is usually packaged for immediate freezing. It often includes a “use by” date, which can help you determine when the bread should be consumed. Store-bought bread can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months after the expiration date. However, for optimal flavor and freshness, it is recommended to consume it within 1 month of the original freezing date.
When it comes to homemade bread, it’s important to transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag before refreezing. Label the container with the date the bread was originally frozen to keep track of its freshness. Homemade bread can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months for the best quality.

Tips for Refreezing Bread

To ensure the best results when refreezing bread, here are some additional tips:

  1. Slice bread before freezing: Slicing bread before freezing allows for easier thawing and portion control. You can separate the slices with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent them from sticking together.
  2. Use quality freezer bags or airtight containers: Proper packaging is critical to preventing freezer burn and keeping bread fresh. Double-sealed freezer bags or airtight containers provide an ideal environment for refreezing bread.
  3. Allow bread to cool before refreezing: Placing warm bread directly in the freezer can cause ice crystals to form, which can affect texture and flavor. Allow bread to cool completely before wrapping and freezing.
  4. Thaw only what you need: To minimize the need for refreezing, thaw only the amount of bread you intend to use. This reduces the risk of unnecessary refreezing and helps maintain the quality of the bread.
  5. Consider pre-slicing and portioning: If you often use small portions of bread, consider pre-slicing and portioning the bread before freezing. This allows for easy access to individual portions without having to defrost the entire loaf.


In conclusion, refreezing bread can be a convenient way to extend its shelf life and reduce waste. While refrozen bread may experience some changes in texture and flavor, following proper guidelines and considering the type of bread can help maintain its quality. Remember to refreeze bread within 48 hours of thawing and limit refreezing to one time. By using appropriate packaging and following best practices, you can enjoy the convenience of frozen bread without compromising its deliciousness.


Can I defrost bread and then re-freeze it?

Yes, you can refreeze bread after defrosting. However, it is recommended that you refreeze the bread within 48 hours of thawing to maintain its freshness and minimise the risk of it going stale.

Does refreezing affect the taste and texture of bread?

Refreezing bread may slightly affect its taste and texture. Bread may become slightly stale after each defrosting and refreezing cycle. In order to preserve the best taste and texture, it is advisable to consume bread that has been refrozen within a reasonable period of time.

What types of bread can be refrozen?

Most types of bread can be refrozen, including store-bought bread, homemade bread, gluten-free bread and bread with eggs. However, it’s important to consider the specific characteristics of the bread and its ingredients, as some types may be more susceptible to changes in texture and flavour after being refrozen.

Can I freeze sliced bread?

Yes, you can refreeze sliced bread. In fact, slicing the bread before freezing can make it easier to defrost and use individual portions as needed. Make sure the slices are well separated and well wrapped to prevent them from sticking together.

How long can I keep frozen bread in the freezer?

The length of time you can keep frozen bread in the freezer depends on factors such as the type of bread and its packaging. In general, it is recommended to consume frozen bread within 1 to 3 months for the best quality and taste. It’s a good idea to label the packaging with the date the bread was originally frozen to keep track of its freshness.

Can I freeze bread more than once?

It is not advisable to refreeze bread several times. Each cycle of thawing and refreezing can affect the quality and flavour of the bread. To maintain the best taste and texture, it’s best to refreeze bread only once after thawing and consume it within a reasonable time frame.