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Sourdough bread is wonderfully crunchy on the outside and soft and tangy on the inside. The popular bread is a firm favourite with many people. But is it possible to freeze it?
Sourdough bread lasts just four to five days when stored.
To keep bread fresh for that time, it should be kept at room temperature and avoid refrigerating it as it will cause bread to become stale quicker.
But amid the coronavirus outbreak, finding supplies including sourdough bread at the supermarket is harder than ever.
So if you manage to find some and choose to buy more than you can eat, freezing it seems like the best option to keep.
Can you freeze sourdough bread?
Yes, it is possible to freeze artisan, bakery and homemade bread.
Bread tastes great when fresh, but it can quickly turn stale so freezing it is an easy way to prevent that.
Freezing bread preserves it for a long time.
How to freeze sourdough bread
If you wish to freeze your sourdough bread for a period of less than three weeks, it is best to wrap it in plastic wrap, foil or freezer paper when the bread is cool.
Afterwards you should place it directly in the freezer.
The plastic bag will keep the bread protected for a few weeks.
To freeze buns and rolls, you should place them inside a freezer bag and then seal tightly.
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If you intend to freeze your bread for longer than this, you should wrap it very tightly in plastic wrap.
Next you should wrap it again in foil or freezer paper.
You should write the date on your break before placing it in the freezer.
Although the bread could last several months or perhaps longer, you should try to eat it within six months.
If bread is kept longer than this, your bread could have an unpleasant freezer burn flavour.
How to thaw sourdough bread
To thaw sourdough bread, you simply need to place a loaf of frozen bread in your fridge overnight.
Individual slices can go straight into your toaster, but a whole life will need to thaw.
As a tip, it is best practice to slice your loaf of bread before you freeze it as it will allow you to take how much you want each time.
How to make sourdough bread
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
- 300g/10½oz sourdough starter
- 250ml/9fl oz water
- 10g/¼oz brown sugar
- 10g/¼oz salt
- Flavourless oil, for greasing
To make sourdough break you should mix together the flour, sourdough starter and water in a bowl.
Next you need to add the sugar and salt and then turn it out onto a clean kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the ‘windowpane effect’ is achieved (where the dough can be stretched until it is so thin that it becomes transparent).
Afterwards you should place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, covering it with a damp tea towel and letting it prove for two and a half to three hours.
The next step is to turn out the proven dough onto a clean kitchen surface and knock back.
You should then portion the dough into two and shape into two ball-shaped loaves and flour generously, placing each loaf seam side up in a bowl, lined with a couche cloth or a heavily floured tea towel.
Then leave to prove for a further two and a half hours.
You should preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8 and place a few ice cubes or cold water into a baking tin and place in the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Afterwards turn the loaves out onto a baking tray or hot baking stone and using a thin sharp knife score two or three times on the top of the loaf and place in the oven.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base.
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