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We love bread. Baguettes, pull-apart bread, country loaves, sourdough boules, you name it. But there is one problem we encounter on a tragically regular basis: bread goes bad quickly, sometimes before we can eat it. If you have a small household or just don’t eat bread that often, it can be hard to finish a whole loaf before it gets moldy or stale. But Ina Garten, culinary superstar and author of Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, has a solution, and we can’t believe we’ve never thought of it before.
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In the past, when we’ve frozen bread to help it last a little longer, we’ve just stuffed the whole loaf into plastic bag, shoved it in the freezer, and hoped for the best. A few days or weeks (or, yes, months) later, we pull out the loaf, let it defrost, and then the cycle of “can we finish this bread before it goes bad” begins again.
Garten’s hack? She told Food & Wine that she cuts the loaf into thick wedges before freezing it. Use a bread knife to get even slices, then freeze. That way, when you’ve got a hankering for bread, you can just take a chunk out of the freezer as needed, letting it thaw in the fridge overnight. You can also just pop a chunk into the oven at a low temp, where it will thaw and cook up with a crispy exterior at the same time.
Wrap your bread in a zip-top freezer bag, a silicone freezer bag, or a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil to keep off freezer burn, and try to enjoy it within a month or two for best results.
By cutting your bread into big chunks or wedges ahead of time and then freezing those, you spare yourself the repeat agony of being faced with an entire loaf of bread that you know will end up going bad when you pull it from the freezer. Instead, you have just enough for dinner, or to enjoy as toast over the next few days, or to eat with a bit of cheese for lunch while you pretend to be a hobbit.
Before you go, check out Garten’s best dinner recipes below:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet
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