Can you defrost and refreeze bread?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you defrost and refreeze bread?” We will also discuss how to defrost and refreeze bread and what are the important parameters to keep in mind while doing so.

Can you defrost and refreeze bread?

Yes, it is possible to defrost and refreeze bread. The bread can be put in the freezer after use and this way it can be refrozen. Defrosting bread is also fairly simple when compared to meat and other types of proteins.

The problem with refreezing bread over and over again will cause the bread to go stale, which might be difficult to consume. The crust of the bread might also get softer due to the condensation on the surface of the bread.

The bread becomes stale as it loses most of its moisture content when subjected to constant defrosting and refreezing.

What happens when bread is defrosted and then refrozen?

When the bread is defrosted after being frozen, the starch molecules present in the flour of the bread give the structure to the bread. In the process of defrosting, the starch molecules in the bread start to crystallize.

The crystallization of the starch molecules is called the retrogradation process which also leads to the water deposition on the outer layer of the bread or on the crust and this makes the crust of the bread very soft.

The best way to defrost bread is to put the bread on the kitchen counter well covered and depending on the thickness and the amount of bread the time required for defrosting varies. However, to avoid the crust becoming softer, it is best to pop the frozen bread in the oven.

It takes about 6-8 minutes for the bread to defrost, however, the bread will be toasted and this also depends on how the consumer wants the bread to be. The best way is to use the oven, however, the drawback is that the moisture content is lost and it has to be consumed quickly if not it goes stale.

The refreezing process of the bread works differently. When the bread is baked, the starch molecules soften and the bread gets fluffy. However, when the bread is refrozen, the starch molecules become hard and become resistant to starch.

Hence, the process of breaking starch into sugar becomes difficult. The resistant starch that is formed cannot yield as many calories as the resistant starch is consumed by the gut bacteria than the digestive system which decreases our calorie intake.

Can bread be refrozen more than once?

In theory, it is absolutely safe to refreeze bread as many times as possible. However, it is not recommended. The more the number of times you freeze, the bread gets stale and statler thus making it difficult to consume it.

The best option is not to refreeze bread more than once and portion the bread into quantities that can be used and let the rest of the bread in the freezer. The bread once frozen can be kept in the freezer for 6-7 months if the necessary freezing conditions are followed.

What conditions are important during refreezing bread?

It is very important to follow these instructions while refreezing/freezing your bread:

  • The bread has to be cooled completely before placing it in the freezer. This is very important because, if the bread is still warm, when it gets into the freezer because of the cold, condensation occurs and this might allow mold to grow on the bread. It can also lead to freezer burn.
  • Sliced bread or toast bread cannot be put in the oven after being refrozen, this is very important.
  • The best way to pack bread is to wrap the bread in aluminum foil or cling wrap without squishing the bread too hard. The bread can then be placed in a ziplock or freezer safe bag and stored in the freezer. It is also recommended to wrap the bread at least twice.

What are the best options to defrost bread?

The best options to defrost bread are the following methods:

  • The best way to defrost bread is to defrost it at room temperature for a couple of hours, depending on the size/thickness of the bread. It is also advisable to use the refrigerator for defrosting bread.
  • A toaster can be used for the bread to be defrosted as well. This works only for sliced pieces of bread like toast bread or pieces of bread that are sliced before freezing.
  • The microwave method can also be used. In this, the bread can be popped into the microwave and let defrost for 20-60 seconds depending on the thickness and size. However, the bread will be moist and steaming and will not be firm.
  •  When dealing with the whole loaf of bread, it is best to pop the loaf of bread in the oven heated at 410F for 8-10 minutes, this is the most sought-after way of defrosting bread. 


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can you defrost and refreeze bread?” We have also discussed how to defrost and refreeze bread and what are the important parameters to keep in mind while doing so.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.