Did you know that freezing bread and even bread dough is easy? Here are the tips & tricks for freezing bread & dough (plus other baked goods) that have worked for me over the years. These simple and easy steps can save you loads of time and money!
I love fresh bread… but I don’t always have the time it takes to prepare it! I had no idea that I could have been freezing bread the whole time!
I did some research, a little bit of experimenting, and created the Ultimate Guide to Freezing Bread, Dough, and Other Baked Goods. You’ll want to save this post for reference later for sure because we’re leaving no stone unturned to stock our freezers full of delicious home-baked goodies!!
Freezing bread or dough is a great way to save time in the kitchen, which is always a goal in the Crumb’s house. If you’re already making bread, why not make a few extra batches to freeze? That way, when you’re super busy you can just thaw, bake, and enjoy!
Freezing Bread, Dough, and Other Baked Goods
Here is a step-by-step guide to freezing all your baked and unbaked goods to make sure your dishes come out tasting like they never made a stop in the freezer!
Freezing Bread (Unbaked)
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed through the first rise and shape into loaves.
Step 2. Line the baking pan with plastic wrap, place shaped loaves into the pan, and freeze overnight.
Step 3. Remove from the baking pan, wrap with the plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe container, and freeze.
Step 4. To bake, place the frozen loaf of bread into the same baking pan, greasing the pan first. Cover with the same plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm place to thaw and rise until doubled in size, approximately 4-6 hours. Watch the dough, as the time for this will vary depending on the environment.
Step 5. As soon as the dough has completed its second rise, bake.
Note: If your bread falls during the baking process, it rose too much during the second rise. Because of this, don’t thaw the dough in the fridge.
Recipes to Try
- Soaked Whole Wheat Bread
- Little Bother Oat Bread
- No-Knead Overnight Artisan Bread
- Whole Wheat Einkorn Sourdough Bread
- No-Knead Einkorn Sourdough Bread
Note: If preparing rolls or buns, follow the same instructions as above except shape into rolls and freeze on a baking sheet. Remove frozen rolls to a freezer-safe bag for storage. This is my favorite recipe for hamburger buns!
Traditional Bread (Fresh Baked)
Step 1. Allow bread to cool completely; slice as desired.
Step 2. Wrap the entire loaf tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe plastic bag for storage.
Step 3. To eat untoasted, remove the desired number of frozen slices and allow them to thaw up to 5 minutes. There is no need to thaw if you want to eat the bread toasted.
Note: Alternatively, you can freeze whole loaves of bread without slicing first, although I find the bread to be more crumbly if I slice after freezing.
Try These Bread Recipes
- Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
- Beer Bread
- 90 Minute Man Bread
- The Best White Sandwich Bread
- Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
Freezing Quick Breads & Muffins (Unbaked)
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed and line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (or line a muffin pan with silicone muffin liners). Note: If you don’t have silicone baking cups, they are worth every penny and you’ll never lose an ounce of muffin to your liner again!
Step 2. Pour batter into the pan and freeze overnight.
Step 3. Remove batter from the pan, wrap with plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe bag (try these amazing reusable bags), and freeze.
Step 4. To bake, remove frozen batter from the plastic wrap and place it in the same loaf pan originally used, greased first. Place in the oven and bake as directed, adding 5-10 minutes to the baking time as needed.
Note: Whether it’s a loaf or muffins, you CAN thaw the batter overnight in the fridge.
Favorite Muffin Recipes
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Carrot Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Freezing Quick Breads & Muffins (Baked)
Step 1. Allow bread to cool completely; slice the bread into pieces as desired.
Step 2. Wrap the entire loaf in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe bag for storage.
Step 3. To serve, remove the desired number of pieces (or muffins) and allow them to thaw up to 5 minutes.
More Awesome Muffin Recipes
- Zucchini Bread with Carrots and Apples
- Banana Nut Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Banana Bread Muffins
- Corn Dog Muffins
Freezing Biscuits & Scones
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed through the shaping step.
Step 2. Place on a non-stick baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze overnight.
Step 3. Remove to a bag/container for long-term storage.
Step 4. To bake, remove the desired number of biscuits and add 2-3 minutes to the baking time.
Note: Every biscuit recipe is different, so if your biscuit does not rise well when you go from freezer to oven, try letting the biscuit thaw for 30-60 minutes before baking.
My Favorite Biscuit Recipes
- Cranberry Orange Scones
- Jalapeno Cheddar Biscuits
- Mini Chocolate Chip Scones (Gluten-Free!)
- Homemade Bisquick
Freezing Pie Crusts
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed, but do not roll out.
Step 2. Gather the crust into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap.
Step 3. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze.
Step 4. To bake, allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Roll out as usual.
Note: You can also prepare the recipe as directed AND roll out into a pie plate. Freeze both plate and dough in a freezer bag, remove excess air, and freeze. To bake, place frozen pie crust into the oven and add 2-3 minutes to the baking time. No need to thaw first.
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed.
Step 2. Allow tortillas to cool completely.
Step 3. Freeze for 1-2 hours in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Step 4. Place items in a freezer-safe container and return them to the freezer.
Homemade Tortilla Recipes
Freezing Pita Bread
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed through the first rise.
Step 2. Divide the dough into desired portions and wrap loosely in plastic wrap.
Step 3. Place into a freezer-safe container and freeze.
Step 4. To bake, allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. When the dough is thawed, roll out into rounds and proceed with the remainder of the recipe.
Try THIS Homemade Pita Bread
Freezing Pizza Dough
Here is a link to our post on freezing pizza dough with step by step instructions on freezing and thawing your dough!
My Favorite Pizza Dough Recipes
Freezing Pancakes & Waffles (Unbaked)
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed and pour it into a freezer-safe bag.
Step 2. Remove excess air and freeze.
Step 3. To use, thaw batter overnight in the fridge.
Step 4. Snip off the end of the bag and pipe pancakes on a preheated griddle, skillet or waffle iron.
Homemade Pancake Recipes
Freezing Pancakes & Waffles (Baked)
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed and allow food to cool completely.
Step 2. Place items on a baking sheet, in a single layer.
Step 3. Freeze for 1-2 hours.
Step 4. Place items in a freezer-safe container and return them to the freezer.
Note: Don’t spend all your time in the kitchen. You can make a double batch of muffins and freeze half the dough for later and have some delicious fresh muffins!
More Pancake & Waffle Recipes
Freezing Cookies (Unbaked)
Step 1. Prepare the recipe as directed.
Step 2. Scoop cookies onto a cookie sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours.
Step 3. Place items in a freezer-safe container and return them to the freezer.
Step 4. To bake, remove the desired number of cookies and bake according to the recipe directions, adding 2-5 minutes as needed.
- For slice-and-bake cookies, prepare the recipe and shape the dough into a log as directed. Freeze the log in a freezer-safe bag. To bake, allow the dough to warm to room temperature so you can slice without cracking the dough. Slice and bake as directed.
- For cut-out cookies, prepare the recipe and shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag. To bake, allow the dough to thaw overnight in the fridge in the bag. Then allow it to come to room temperature until warm enough to roll out and cut.
Amazing Cookie Recipes
- Vanishing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Molasses Breakfast Cookies
Freezing Cookies, Brownies & Cakes (Baked)
- Cookies: Prepare recipe as directed and freeze in freezer-safe bags. To serve, thaw at room temperature, still in the wrapping.
- Brownies: Prepare recipe as directed but do not cut into servings. Double wrap and freeze. To serve, thaw at room temperature, still in the wrapping. Once thawed, cut into serving sizes and serve.
- Cakes: Prepare the recipe as directed and place in an air-tight container. To serve, thaw the cake overnight in the fridge. Then allow the cake to come to room temperature for a few hours before serving.
Note: If possible, freeze cupcakes or cakes unfrosted. You can frost them once they have thawed in the fridge.
More Amazing Cookie Recipes
- Healthier Candy Cane Cookies
- Healthier Sugar Cookies
- Homemade Yellow Cake
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Homemade Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Brownie Cake
Is it okay to freeze bread?
Yes! It’s perfectly okay to freeze bread. You can store it in the freezer for up to three months!
How do you defrost bread without destroying it?
You can defrost your bread by letting the loaf sit on the counter (covered) for a few hours until it’s soft. Once it’s soft, put the bread in the oven at 350F for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Can I toast frozen bread?
You most certainly can! You can toast it straight from being frozen. Just add a minute or two to your usual toasting time.
ADDITIONAL FREEZING GUIDELINES
- Whenever possible, freeze foods unbaked so that they can be baked fresh for optimal flavor.
- Wrap foods twice if they will be frozen for longer than two weeks, in order to prevent freezer burn. Use a combination of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, freezer-safe bags, and containers. Remember that your second layer can be reused over and over again.
- Remove as much excess air as possible whenever freezing. This maintains freshness in the taste of your foods.
- Always label your food with the label visual on the outside. A piece of paper between aluminum foil and plastic wrap, sharpie on a freezer-safe bag, or masking tape on a container all work well.
- Freeze on a non-stick surface when possible. Lining your pan with parchment paper will help to prevent the food from sticking to the pan as well.
- In general, dough with yeast turns out better after it has gone through one rise before freezing. Adding an extra teaspoon of yeast will help make the yeasted dough rise better on the second rise.
Hi! I tried to freeze cinnamon buns – they had been in the freezer for months before I cooked them and they didn’t turn out well at all once baked. Is there a limit to the amount of time yeasted dough can be frozen? I had done the first rise when I made them months ago before freezing and the recipe did not require a second rise.
Hi Erica! Because cinnamon buns require yeast to rise, you’ll want to make and freeze right away, without letting the dough officially rise. Then when you pull to thaw, the buns will get that rise at the same time. Then bake.
I’m a newbie in baking. I just want to know if I can freeze unbaked bread dough after the 2nd rise? I’d really appreciate it if you can give me a reply. Thanks!
Freezing unbaked dough after the second rise can lead to the dough “over rising” when it thaws. I recommend either freezing after the first rise, or freeze after baking.
Do you have any experience with freezing quick breads (i.e., banana, pumpkin, zucchini) in disposal foil pans and then baking them right in the pan? Specifically, I am wondering if you would suggest greasing the pan before freezing. Additionally, do you think it would be better to cook the batter straight from the freezer (adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time) or letting the batter defrost in the refrigerator over night before cooking. Thanks for any further information you may be able to provide.
I love this website!! But I don’t see any recipes or guidelines for donuts. I would like to try to freeze donuts to fry later. Should I make the dough and let rise, then roll and cut, then freeze? Then take out and let thaw and rise, then fry? Should I make any changes to the recipe? I want to make donuts for when we are camping and would like to prep as much in advance as possible, yet still have fresh donuts to share. Any ideas?
Hi Barbara! I have two donut recipes:
Donuts are essentially quick breads, so I’d recommend baking and then freezing. 🙂
Tiffany, Thank you for all the extras! I am planning on making multiple batches of our family recipe for Swedish Coffee Bread which has 3 rises. I wondered when I should freeze the dough so I jumped online and searched. I am grateful that your page was the first to pop up! I have so many options for freezing all the extras it is wonderful. Being the youngest of nine I have always cooked and baked mega batches (even with only raising 2 kids) the freezer has been a friend to me. Bread dough I have been a bit intimidated by, especially our beloved Swedish Coffee Bread. I now feel confident that I can braid my dough and freeze it before the third rise. I am still confused on the next step…thaw, rise, bake or bake frozen? Again, I’m grateful for all your knowledge and information.
So I just tried freezing bread dough in the greased plastic wrap but when I tried to take it out it stuck in my pan. I’ll try parchment under plastic next time. What kind of loaf pans do you use? I’ve been making my bread in my glass loaf pans. I guess it doesn’t work to freeze in a glass one.
I use these pans – https://amzn.to/2UUhCBD – in the 1 pound and 1.5 pound size.
Hello. I made a batch of butterhorn rolls, baked one that had gone through the whole process, including the 2-hour rise, and it was excellent. I flash froze the rest of the batch after a full rise and put them in several zip-lock bags. Tested some yesterday: let them thaw, then baked as normal (350 degrees for 10 minutes). They had lost some of the rise and were okay, but not nearly as good as the one that I baked right after the rise.
Next I am going to go through the whole process, including the bake, and then freeze. I am hoping that will work. Any suggestions? Thank you.
Hi Sue! I think you’ll find that yeast breads usually come out better when they’re baked first and then frozen. I ran into the same issue as you, so now I just bake it all and then freeze!
I use your trick with the banana bread for soup and stews too. I put the soup or stew into a ziplock bag, place the bag in an old ice-cream tub or bread tin and pop into the freezer. Once it’s frozen I recover the dish and my soups and stews in the new brick-shape stack beautifully in the freezer.
I hadn’t thought of this for keeping the freezer organized – thank you for sharing Charmaine!
Could I freeze a zucchini brownie batch using the method for quick breads?
I think so!
Hi! I’ve recently begun making bread; no kneed sourdough, yeast breasts and English muffins. Years ago I used to buy frozen bread dough but it is a yeast bread. I would like to know if it is posssible to freeze soughdough. I have good sourdough starter but would like to make multiple loaves at one time, bake one and freeze the rest.
Thank you, I look forward to expanding my new found baking skills.
Hi Karen! I’m not entirely sure. I’ve seen refrigerating sourdough, but not freezing. Could you bake it all and freeze the loaves after their baked?
That was most enlightening! My grandmother used to freeze unbaked bread but I never thought to ask her how she did it. Thanks for your help.
Hello! I found this post just today so am coming to the party fashionably late! Ha ha! Not sure if you’re still open for questions but thought I’d give it a go. I am making a pretzel recipe I found on allrecipes.com (https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/24272/buttery-soft-pretzels/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results&clickId=cardslot%203). Hope that’s ok to link here as it’s a lovely recipe. I would like to make the dough, let it rise, shape into pretzels, and then freeze. My question is regarding the baking soda bath….should I just skip that step altogether and if I do, will it affect the nice browning of the pretzel? And after removing from the freezer, what are the best steps to take to ensure a fresh baked flavor? I would sure appreciate any advice. I’m so glad I found this post and the other recipes – going to start in on some of these next!
Thanks for your post. Very helpful information for my dough recipes. I have a question concerning freezing drop cookie dough. I’ve read a bunch online about doing this and every post states you can bake the cookie dough straight from the freezer and get the same results as if baked when the cookie dough is made then baked. But I find the cookies from the freezer do not spread as well and sometime I end up with a rounder cookie instead of a nice disk that has spread in the oven. If I add more time to the baking it just browns the cookie more. The cookies bake normally at 350 for 15 minutes. The preference is to bake straight from the freezer so I don’t have to add thawing time. Any suggestions?
Unfortunately Shirley, there’s no way around it because of the science of baking. If you want spread cookies, you’ll have to include thawing time… if you do drop cookies. You can do a roll of dough though, and cut off slices that are fairly large in the first place if you want a flatter cookie!
Hi..I prepared in advance my Irish scones with baking soda so I could bake them in the morning. I shaped them, placed them.in a pan, wrapped in plastic and in the fridge overnight. For my surprise they have turned grey. I thought that this discoloration will go away during baking but it did not. The scones look horrible. The taste is.very good tnough. Could you give me a practical advise how to handle doughs containing baking soda. Is there a problem refrigerating overnight a batter with baking powder. Thank you
Hi Elena! I haven’t run into that issue myself. Hopefully someone else can chime in?
I suspect your pan was aluminum? If so, the baking soda reacts with aluminum turning the dough grey/blue. Try putting them on parchment paper or use a non-reactive pan.
As a busy college student this article is going to be a huge time saver! I work in a bakery but we get all of our dough frozen, which gave me the idea that I could do it too, I just didn’t know how. I’m going to start with the pitas and then tackle the other breads. Thanks for all the tips!
You’re very welcome Samamtha!
Love this information all in one place! Thank you!
You’re very welcome!
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I will just have to make freezer room.
Following my Swiss mothers tradition, I bake16 doll shaped, sweet dough yeast bread, from one large dough ball (We call them gratiman). What would happen if i were to freeze the dough after the first rise, but before shaping the individual men? Im just not sure i can make room in my freezer till the little guys can chill enough to pack in a sealed bag, for future use. Any help is appreciated. Happy Santa Clause Day tomorrow!
In theory your dough would thaw and start the second rise at the same time. If your recipe calls for shaping and then baking, I’d shape before freezing!
I’m sorry if I missed it. I’m looking for how to bake the frozen banana bread batter. Do I need to freeze it the size I am going to bake it and then replace the frozen pucks back into the same container to bake?
If I bake the fresh batter 350 for an hour what changes would I make to bake the frozen batter?
I appreciate your help…and love your stuff!
Hi Heidi! Yes, freeze in the size you plan on baking later. Then place the frozen bread back into the same container to bake. Nothing changes in the baking, other than adding 5-10 minutes in your time. Watch it though for browning, since all ovens are different!
Sounds great. Thank you for your help.
So I don’t have to defrost the Banana Bread batter over night in the fridge?
Is it the same if I make muffin cups or cupcake batter and freeze it?
Just add a few extra minutes when baking from frozen?
No, you don’t HAVE to thaw quick breads before baking. You can just add more time while in the oven.
I might be overthinking this, but can the method for freezing unbaked quick bread and muffin batter also be used for cake/cupcake batter? I see a mention of freezing baked cakes, but nothing about unbaked, and I agree with your final remark about it working best to freeze unbaked and get that nice fresh-baked taste!
Hmmm… in theory, it would Rhyan, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recipe suggested cake/cupcake batter be frozen – only baked items. My best guess, is that it has to do with the leavening and lightness of cake batter, where muffin batter tends to be heavier anyway and likely to withstand the effects of freezing.