Can crusty artisan bread be restored after freezing?
We can never finish those delicious loaves of bread so I end up freezing them. They can be defrosted quickly and easily in the microwave; but what do I have to do to restore the crustiness that makes it taste so good in the first place? Can it be done or are these loaves always to be relegated to a bread pudding or croutons?
Given that you can make loaves of any size, why not make smaller loaves? Although the book usually calls for 1-pound loaves, I usually make mine half that size, or perhaps slightly smaller, since it's just two of us. Start checking on the bread a few minutes earlier in the bake time than you would for the larger loaves.
i think microwaving to thaw is part of the problem here. imo, microwaving bread is never kind to the bread. a warm-to-hot oven is the way to go. you can defrost and crisp at the same time in the oven, and the result will be much better for the bread. or, if time is on your side, defrost at room temp, and then crisp in the oven. good luck!