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, always use the heat method outlined below.
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How to defrost 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 160°C/150ºC fan oven/gas mark 3. Wrap the loaf in a piece of baking foil, put on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If defrosting individual slices, line them out and bake for five to 10 minutes.
How to defrost 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 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 in 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 getting into it. Cling film and plastic bags are often used, but they're not environmentally friendly, and you'll have to unwrap the bread before popping it in the oven. Instead, we recommend using a silicone food storage bag (opens in new tab) for both storing and defrosting your loaf – they're safe for both freezers and ovens.