How to defrost bread without turning it soggy 

Freezing your bread is a smart way to avoid waste — but icicle sandwiches are no fun

How To Defrost Bread

Ever lovingly rustled up a sandwich for your partner only to present to them two congealed, soggy but only half-defrosted slices of “bread”? Well, you tried, but now it might be time to learn the best way to defrost bread. We've got three different ways to defrost bread for you so that you can say goodbye to any sad sandwiches and hello to breaded bliss. 

Things you need to know before you defrost bread 

Before we talk about the simplest and quickest way to defrost bread, it's important to know how to freeze it properly. This will be quicker than kneading dough! So, to keep your loaf in great shape, here’s how to freeze bread properly: 

  • Allow warm bread to cool to room temperature before freezing. This is essential, otherwise, when you come to defrosting frozen bread, you run the risk of it crumbling through your fingers as you mourn the loss of your would-be show stopping sarnie. 
  • Double-wrap your bread. First, wrap your bread in parchment paper. Next, add a layer of cling film or reusable wax wraps. 
  • Divide your portions into separate wrappings. If you know that you’ll only want a few slices at a time this is a great way to ensure you avoid waste. 
  • Keep the bread in an airtight container. This container helps to prevent bacteria from forming and will mean that you don't end up with bread that's too dry.  
  • Label the container with a date. This will ensure you know when you put it in the freezer to use it by the appropriate date. 
  • Know how long you can freeze your bread. A shop-bought loaf will usually last between 4-6 months in the freezer, whilst a homemade loaf will be past its best after 2-3 months. Some breads such as baguettes are not suitable for freezing, so try to eat them the day you buy them. If that means a foot-long mega sarnie, that's just fine. Enlist some helpers to help gobble down your artfully crafted masterpiece. 


You can refreeze bread after defrosting but ensure you do so within 48 hours for the best results. Make sure to add both the original freezing date and the refreeze date to the container, and never refreeze more than once as you’ll end up with flavourless slices.

 If you’re looking for how to defrost bread quickly, or you have pesky purring pets that love an afternoon snack on whatever’s left out on the counter (it’s just a huge plate, right?!), skip to the next method. Got all the time in the world? Taking it easy today? Good for you. Here's our simple, hassle-free method to defrost frozen bread:

  • Take it out of the freezer. 
  • Leave it to come to room temperature on its own.  
  • If you’re defrosting a whole loaf, leave the bread in its bag and it’ll defrost in three to four hours.   


If you want to defrost frozen bread by the loaf instead of by the slice, leave it in the fridge overnight. Heat it in the oven at 180°C in the morning to achieve a good-as-new, carb-lovers slice or two.

How to defrost bread quickly using a microwave 

Your little one’s football practice is in half an hour and you’re in charge of the half-time fruit and sarnies. Well, if you want them on that footballer salary to pay off your mortgage one day, you’d better rustle up something good – and fast! But the bread’s all frozen, and you only have 30 minutes. 

The quickest way to defrost bread is to do it in the microwave, and it’s really easy too. If you’re in a hurry to get your bread defrosted, here’s how to defrost bread in the microwave: 

  1. Remove the bread from the freezer and wrap it completely in kitchen towel. 
  2. Place your bread on the microwave plate, making sure the slices don't overlap. 
  3. Set the dial to 10 or 15 seconds and off you go. 
  4. Less is always more, so start with short blasts in the microwave – you can always pop it in for a few more seconds. 


It’s best to defrost bread in microwave ovens by covering it in large kitchen towels, like Plenty The Extra Big One, to absorb any moisture. This will prevent the bread from going soggy. This will help to stop your bread from going all soggy – no one likes wet bread.

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How to defrost bread in the oven

Using an oven is the best way to defrost bread if you want to make your home smell like a bakery. You may even tempt some of your family members into the kitchen, where you can kindly and gently redirect them to the washing up (don’t worry, they’ll be rewarded with a delicious sandwich). Plus, your bread will come out warm and with a crust – delicious! Here’s how to use your oven to defrost frozen bread: 

  1. Set your oven to 200°C. 
  2. Place your bread in the centre of your oven. 
  3. Let it warm for five minutes before removing. 
  4. Give it five to ten minutes to cool; and enjoy! 

How to defrost bread in an air fryer 

Air fryers are an increasingly favoured appliance in the kitchen for delicious food without the fat associated with frying. From culinary delights like late-night nuggets to experimental roast lamb on a Sunday, air fryers are seeing it all – say goodbye to fat-splattered hobs (Albeit hello, to ketchup-covered air fryers.) Read our top tips for cleaning your air fryer next. 

Here's how simple it is to defrost bread in an air fryer: 

  1. Place your bread into the air fryer ensuring the slices do not overlap. 
  2. Heat the bread in the air fryer at 170°C for five minutes. 
  3. Flip the bread and continue heating for a further five minutes. 


Be sure to check the bread out before removing it from the air fryer, as different air fryer models will perform differently. In less than 10 minutes you should have defrosted bread slices ready for those chip butties!

Recipes to use after you defrost bread  

Now you know how to defrost frozen bread, it's time to use it. A bacon sarnie in the morning or packed lunch BLTs are classic choices, but what if you want to use the bread for something more exciting? Here are a couple of recipe ideas: 

  • Bread and butter pudding. Need a fix for your sweet tooth? Use your defrosted bread to whip up a delectable bread and butter pudding. Using milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and currants, this is a delicious way to use up leftover slices of defrosted bread and gather your family and friends around for a natter over a sweet treat. 
  • Calzone “pizzas”. Prefer something savoury? Use up leftover defrosted bread slices to create a calzone. Tomato sauce, cheese and your choice of toppings make these folded pizza pockets a great choice for an alternative to the traditional sandwich at lunchtime. The combinations are endless! 

There you go, four easy methods to try; no more peeling soggy sandwiches off your fingers or watching your frozen sandwich sliding off your plate, sending tuna mayonnaise all over the carpet. Depending on how much time you’ve got up your sleeve, each of these methods will help you keep your bread tasting great even after spending time in the freezer. Give it a go and enjoy your bread for longer! Bon Appétit!

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