HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Why can't you buy a half loaf of bread??!!

So here it is, another garbage night, and another half loaf of bread in the garbage..
Why isn't there half loaves of bread available to buy??
As a 'singleton', I just don't finish a whole loaf and always end up trashing most of it..i know I could freeze it, but it's just not the same..
Anyone ever seen a half loaf option?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. not in the USA but in the UK you can buy small loaves.

    1. Well, I've seen some half-sized/half-loafs in the bakery area of the grocery store, but most of those have no preservatives and go bad in a couple days, and they cost more than a full loaf in some cases. Maybe you could go "halfsies" with a neighbor? Get a bread machine (probably cheaper per loaf and better tasting) and bake your own?

      1. Farmer's Markets in NYC offered half loaves to people who wanted them -- I'm not sure if they still do. About ten years ago or so, vendors were asking as much as five dollars for a loaf of bread, and some customers found that to be exorbitant, so I guess vendors decided to offer half loaves. I've never seen anyone else make a practice of this though except there in NYC. The practice proved worthless to me because I would purchase a half loaf of bread and devour most of it there while I shopped for other produce. It was jalapeno cheddar bread. Tempting and delicious.

        1. I freeze whole loaves. Turn out fine.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mpalmer6c

            I freeze half loaves all the time, after using half of a regular loaf fresh. I sometimes buy halves, but only if they don't charge more than 3/4 the price of the regular loaf. If not, I just buy the whole. I find frozen bread can suffer in texture is you're dealing with a chewy/crusty italian or french bread, but it still makes great toast, bruschetta, crostini, french toast, bread pudding, panzanella (anywhere stale bread is used). depending on the bread, it can hold up very well in the freezer. My wife and kids love "American" bread. It seems to last forever in the freezer (kept well sealed, of course) with no discernable loss of taste or texture. It's an ongoing debate in my house as to whether or not it's actually bread, though :-)

          2. Maybe freeze part for breadcrumbs, bread pudding, french toast, etc?

            2 Replies
            1. re: xanadude

              exactly, there no need to waste food by throwing out a half loaf of pefectly good bread that could be used for something else.

              1. re: swsidejim

                Besides other thoughts on how to use the extra bread, there's always the option of making sandwiches for the homeless.

            2. the bakery I patronize has some of the larger loaves in half sizes.
              Bread freezes really well. I slice it and freeze. It defrosts in just a few minutes at room temp. Good as new.
              Don't put it into the oven.
              If I don't use it within a few weeks, I make bread crumbs with it. Fresh, soft bread crumbs which I use more than dry brad crumbs.
              Or you can use for strata or bread pudding. Croutons, bruschetta, melba toast, anything!!! Don't throw away!!! Wasteful!!! Learn to use it in creative ways.

              1. Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta offers half loaves of many varieties. One of the many reasons I'll detour several hours out of my way to go there!


                I really think this is a huge potential for bakeries or grocers. I have a small household and don't eat a lot of bread. But, when I do, I like good quality and variety...there is only so much room in my freezer! One grocer in my area sells fairly decent sandwich rolls by the piece. I appreciate that, I normally can't go through a whole package of kaiser rolls before they go bad! I recently discovered that my Vietnamese grocer sells the bahn mi rolls by the piece, so that has been a plus.

                1. What do you mean by "half loaf"?

                  I've seen bread packaged at 32 oz., to 24 oz., to a mere 12 oz.

                  So depending on your point of reference, a 12 oz. loaf could be considered a "half loaf".

                  1. I've seen them at Trader Joe's, but I don't remember seeing them for quite some time.

                    There's all kinds of things you can do with stale bread... French toast is obvious, bread salad is tasty, and crostini last ages.

                    If I may recommend, there's a book out now called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. Basically, you make enough bread dough to last two weeks and stick it in the fridge, baking a loaf of any size you want whenever you wish.

                    1. I have seen half loafs in supermarkets that have in-house bakeries, in both Canada and here in Australia. Stores that have an larger "senior" or "elderly" customer base will tend to cater to those of us that like small portions. I agree about frozen bread. It's just an added step on the way to the garbage in our house.

                      1. I used to think that freezing bread is "just not the same", too, until I went and took a wonderful 8-hour baking class and came home with something that's equivalent to about 6 loaves of bread. They were all different types, some were brioch, and some soft and fluffy pain au lait. My teachers said in the freezer they should be good for 2 weeks. I cut them into half loaves, or 1/3 loaves, (but not sliced), wrapped them first in wax paper, then a layer of aluminum, then into a plastic bag. When I wanted some bread a few days later, I took a small portion out, let it thaw still all wrapped up. They were still wonderfully soft and fresh tasting when i opened them up a few hours later.

                        I think if you put them into the freezer as soon as you got them, they will stay fresh tasting.

                        1. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Orowheat sells a smaller loaf.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Alan408

                            burlgurl, at the prices charged for bread these days, have you tried double bagging and immediately freezing what you can't eat?

                            I never have fresh toast, all the bread I use for my toast comes from the freezer, thawed out the day before. Since it's toast, I find it fine.

                            Then again, at the prices charged for bread these days, I wouldn't allow myself to find it otherwise.

                            1. re: Alan408

                              Funny coming across this thread...just discovered, to my delight, the Orowheat "mini loaf" 7 grain bread two days ago at Bianchini's in Portola Valley.

                            2. Our grocery store bakery has a limited number of half loafs they'll sell. They also have half pies, some types of half cakes, and will give you exactly the number of buns or rolls you need if you work with them.

                              1. Your profile show you are from Canada, so don't know if Orowheat sells its half loaves there. A local market chain in California is now selling smaller loaves. Many bakeries sell smaller loaves and some sell sliced bread by the pound.

                                Maybe ask on your local board if there are any markets/bakeries selling smaller loaves.

                                Another option is to buy rolls rather than bread. While freezing bread isn't the same, there are multiple uses for unsued bread ... croutons, French toast, bread pudding, etc, etc, etc. It seems a shame to trash it. At least feed the pigeons rather than tossing it.

                                1. We don't eat that much loaf bread either, (it's just myself and hubby), but we follow some advice my grandmother gave me a long time ago. She said not to throw leftover food or bread in the trash, to throw it outside in the yard, where something could eat it. I realize this would not be practical if you live in a condo or apt., but we have always lived where there was a back yard. and that is what we always do. Birds love stale bread, and although our outdoor cats are given dry cat food every day, they also love meat and other food scraps. I'm not sure who all eats what, but when we throw out scraps, they are always gone by the next day.

                                  1. If you have a Whole Foods Market near you, they will sell you half a loaf of any of their own "bakery" breads (not the pre-packaged brands that they carry, such as Vermont Bread). Just ask one of the bakery associates to cut a loaf in half for you and state whether you want it sliced or not.

                                    1. Some bakeries have small loaves, you could even consider buying individual sub rolls or round rolls instead.

                                      1. By your posts I'm assuming you're in TO. I'd ask at your fave bakery if they'll sell half loaves (worst they can say is no) or post this on the Ontario board. I was curious and found this link (from a year ago mind you: http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_bes... ) If you can't find a bakery that'll sell 1/2 loaves maybe consider making your own(something I want to learn in the next few months)...more effort maybe but less waste :)

                                        1. Le Pain Quotidien stores ( in most major cities) will sell half and even quarter loaves of their delicious bread. I see a lot of people requesting half loaves.

                                          1. One of the markets near me actually will sell a half of a loaf of sliced bread from a local bakery.

                                            1. Instead of throwing it in the trash, throw it outside for the birds/squirrels. They'd appreciate it!!

                                              1. I have the exactly same problem :( Most of my foods are "seperate" from others in the household and therefore I hate buying things in large portions.
                                                Flat breads last me a while and they can be frozen, I never have to throw it out, but even buying a regular baguette is just too much, so either I buy a mini baguette or resort to bagels and other "small" bread options.

                                                1. This brand called "Oroweat" makes half-loaves of bread. Wish I'd thought of it first!

                                                  1. I don't like freezing it either, but I find just keeping half the loaf in the refrigerator for a week keeps it fresh, and it has a better texture than thawed frozen bread.

                                                    Since I'm from Toronto too, I'm going to suggest the deli section; usually there is an array of German type ryes (Rudolph's is the most popular in Richmond Hill, try the Tiefenfurter, Sunflower, or just plain rye). These breads are quite heavy and dense, so a 1 lb loaf only give you 12-14 slices. They also seem to take longer to spoil. I actually prefer the flavour of these breads if I'm making anything with meat or cheese in it, or just plain toast with butter in the morning. However, for good ol' PB&J or a club sandwich, sometimes I have to have regular whole wheat. I will confess to trying the new "Smart" breads, as I'm trying to increase my fibre intake; they're OK, and actually mimic Wonder bread quite well. Still have to keep half the loaf in the fridge, though.

                                                    1. I live alone and don't eat a ton of bread, so whenever I buy a loaf I put it in a plastic bag, knotted tight, and keep it in the fridge. I used to always find mold on a loaf before I'd finished it, but now they almost always keep (mold-free and not stale) as long as ittakes me to finish them (2 weeks sometimes). I'm buying Whole Foods fresh-baked bread, so it's not packed with preservatives either.