How to defrost bread — quickly and without it getting soggy!

Here's how to defrost bread for the best 'fresh bread out of the oven' flavor and texture

Pattern of various bakery products handmade on beige background. Creative layout with bread, buns, croissant, bread loaves and pretzels.
(Image credit: Getty Images / Tanja Ivanova)

Knowing how to defrost bread correctly makes the all-important difference between bread that's edible and bread that isn't, so you'll want to make sure you're doing it the right way.

Good news is that the fastest way to defrost bread is also the best. Unlike meat, bread doesn't require slow defrosting in the fridge. Defrosting bread at room temperature is also not a good idea and is likely to result in a stale-tasting loaf. For best results, use one of the three methods we've outlined.

How to defrost bread

Defrosting bread in the oven

This is by far the best method for defrosting whole loaves, but also works for individual slices. Preheat the oven to 320°F/300ºF fan oven. Wrap the loaf in a piece of aluminum foil (i.e: Reynold's wrap on Amazon), put it on a baking tray (like these Wilton sheet pans on Amazon), and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If defrosting individual slices, line them out and bake for five to 10 minutes. 

Defrosting bread in the air fryer

The best air fryers are slowly replacing ovens in kitchens all around the world. These small kitchen appliances use less energy and are therefore a cost-effective alternative to conventional ovens. There is no need to pre-heat them, and with a small air fryer, you can keep an eye on your bread's progress without getting a face full of hot air or upping the temperature in your apartment. In fact, cooking frozen food is our number one recommendation in our air fryer dos and don'ts article

To defrost bread in a countertop convection oven, place up to four slices of frozen bread into the basket and cook for one minute at 320ºF. 

Defrosting bread in the microwave

Yes! Microwave defrosting bread is safe and effective, especially if you're defrosting sliced bread. Take out the individual slices you want to defrost from their packaging and defrost them individually on a microwave-safe plate for 15 to 20 seconds each, using a high setting. We don't recommend defrosting a whole loaf in the best microwave as it's likely to go dry.  

How to freeze bread correctly before defrosting

Ultimately, the success of your bread defrosting operation is largely dependent on how the bread was frozen in the first place. Freezing and defrosting slices of bread is undoubtedly easier than defrosting whole loaves — simply take out the number of slices you need and defrost in the microwave or your toaster if it has a defrosting function. 

But say you prefer serving a whole warm loaf with a family meal – then what? Well, the most important thing is making sure your loaf is stored in some kind of protective casing that will prevent moisture from getting into it. Cling film (e.g: plastic wrap from Reynolds at Amazon) and plastic bags (like these Glad zipper food storage sacks from Amazon) are often used, but they're not environmentally friendly. Instead, we recommend using a Stasher silicone food storage bag for both storing and defrosting your loaf — they're safe for both freezers and ovens. 


Can frozen bread go bad?

According to the USDA, bread products retain their quality when stored in the freezer for three months.

Christina Chrysostomou
Former acting head ecommerce editor

Hi, I'm the former acting head ecommerce editor at Real Homes. Prior to working for the Future plc family, I've worked on a number of consumer events including the Ideal Home Show, Grand Designs Live, and Good Homes Magazine. With a first class degree from Keele University, and a plethora of experience in digital marketing, editorial, and social media, I have an eye for what should be in your shopping basket and have gone through the internal customer advisor accreditation process.