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Can crusty artisan bread be restored after freezing?

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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?

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  1. Toaster oven?

    That is what I usually do to make them crusty and crunchy again. I only microwave it for only five seconds, and then put it in the toaster oven.

    1. 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!

      3 Replies
      1. re: chez cherie

        I agree... You could probably cover the cut-side with foil after defrosting it, and pop it in a preheated oven at 400 for about 5-10 minutes - don't know how big or what shape the loaf is so you'd have to judge the duration.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          All of the above, plus spritz the crust with some water and you'll get a crispier crust when you reheat it.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            That's the answer the OP needs to see: '... spritz the crust with some water and you'll get a crispier crust when you reheat it'. A spray bottle works best for that so you don't drown the crust.

      2. 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.