Knowing how to defrost bread correctly makes all the difference between bread that tastes fresh, like it's just been baked, and bread that's gone soggy/stale/otherwise inedible.
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 microwave as it's likely to go dry.