Learn everything you need to know on how to reheat sourdough bread properly so that you can enjoy that fresh from oven experience even after the bread cools.
I don’t know if there is anything more satisfying or delicious than fresh bread still warm from the oven. That first day of baking seems to be the primo time to enjoy a sourdough loaf. However, there is a way to enjoy warm sourdough bread pulled from the freezer or baked the day before! No really, there is! I am going to share with you a few ways that I have been able to do this and they might surprise you just how easy they are!
Storing Sourdough Bread
Baking sourdough bread is a rewarding experience that results in some of the most delicious bread I have ever had. It just so happens to be some of the healthiest bread too, which for most of us is a definite plus to baking it. There is an almost therapeutic quality to baking this bread. From the moment you stick your hands into the dough to that, dare I say, magical sight of pulling it steamy hot out of the oven.
But once the bread is cooled off, what do we do to regain that warm fresh from oven experience? Well, this might not seem so important right at this moment. But did you know that storing your sourdough bread properly will greatly improve not just it’s shelf life but also its reheating success.
Loaves of sourdough bread stored in airtight containers or in bread bags kept in bread boxes have a better chance of retaining their moisture. These are just a few of the best methods for storage as there are several other methods to consider.
Freezing Sourdough Bread
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t recommend freezing bread. However, sourdough bread freezes exceptionally well when compared to other types of bread. Freezing is an easy way for me to store it longer and allows me to have fresh sourdough bread even when I don’t have the time to bake. It is also great for avoiding the staling process that seems to happen so quickly with homemade bread.
Pre-slice The Loaf: My favorite method for freezing sourdough is by pre-slicing the entire loaf. Yes, you read that right. Pre-slicing is the way to go in my book. To do this you will want to allow the entire loaf to cool and pre-slice the whole loaf. Then cut several slice-sized pieces of parchment paper between each slice.
Place the pre-sliced loaf into a ziplock gallon-sized freezer bag. Make sure to squeeze out any air excess air before sealing. It is a good idea to label your bag with a marker. Sourdough bread will last up to 6 months in the fridge when stored properly.
Freezing a Whole Loaf: To freeze the whole loaf, you will do the same by making sure the bread cools completely. Then place the loaf in a gallon-sized ziplock plastic bag. If you are worried about freezer burn, you can wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then place it in the freezer bag push out the excess air from the bag, and then label it with a marker. Place the loaf inside the freezer.
To Thaw: Take the loaf or slices out and let them come to room temperature. You don’t have to wait if you are making toast from the pre-sliced frozen bread. You can just pop those into the toaster oven.
How To Reheat Sourdough Bread in the Oven
This is my favorite way to reheat a loaf and one I believe gives the best results. First off, it is very important to allow the loaf to defrost beforehand. This might take anywhere from 3-5 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly with any meals you want to serve your bread with.
Avoid the temptation to toss the cold loaf straight into the oven. Even after it sits out for an hour, this might be tempting. However, doing this will result in a hot crust and a cold inside. Not ideal. Check the bread to see if the middle is defrosted first.
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Don’t go higher as this can burn the loaf before the loaf is even warmed through.
- Brush the loaf with water or you can spray it as well. Although not necessary, it does help to create the steam required for a crisp crust.
- Wrap the loaf with aluminum foil. This will help keep moisture in so the loaf doesn’t dry out and also prevent the crust from turning hard. If you are reheating slices, line them up to reform the loaf then wrap.
- Heat for 10-15 minutes. The heating time will vary with the size of the loaf and whether you are reheating slices vs a full loaf. If reheating slices, it is also a good idea to check the bread after about 6-8 minutes to see if they are warm.
A toaster oven is the best way to reheat sourdough bread if using it for toast. You can go straight from the freezer to the toaster oven for this. It also works well for reheating in general. To reheat the bread and not toast it, you will want to first slice the bread if they are not already sliced.
- Spritz or brush the pieces lightly with water.
- Wrap them in aluminum foil.
- Set the toaster oven to 325℉ and place the packet of bread inside for 5 minutes.
- Check to see if the bread is warm. If it needs more time, turn off the toast oven, and close the door leaving the bread packet inside to finish warming. You don’t want to keep the toaster oven on too long as this can start to harden the crust.
If you are looking to avoid turning the oven on this stovetop method is helpful. To try it, wrap the loaf or bread slices in aluminum foil. Place a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet on low. Allow it to heat then place the wrap slices or loaf in. If using a Dutch oven, place the lid on. If using a cast iron skillet and don’t have a lid you can either use another skillet to make a makeshift lid or use a piece of aluminum foil to cover the pan.
Allow it to warm for a few minutes and check it to see if it’s warmed through. For a loaf, you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature. Make sure the stove is on low heat as you don’t want to burn the bottom of the bread.
- Do not use a microwave to reheat sourdough bread or any bread for that matter. According to the Daily Meal, the microwave will cause the bread to lose moisture, and cause the starch to harden up resulting in chewy hard bread.
- Rewarm leftover bread in a preheated oven
- Store the bread with the cut side facing each other to help avoid drying out
- Avoid high temperatures when reheating
- Whether reheating whole loaves or slices of bread, the ideal way to do this is to cover the bread with aluminum foil to lock in moisture as it warms
- Always allow frozen bread to come to room temperature before reheating
- A great way to add some moisture if you feel your bread is on the drier side is to add just a bit of water. to do this sprinkle water lightly over the crust of the loaf before wrapping. Not too much or it will make the bread soggy.
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