The short answer to the question of can you freeze sourdough bread is a resounding yes! We’ll explain how along with the details of our once-a-month batch cooking sourdough routine that (spoiler alert) involves lots of freezing sourdough.
How to Freeze Sourdough Bread
Our favorite method of freezing sourdough bread is to first cut it into slices and then place it in a freezer safe Ziplock bag. When the bread is pre-sliced, it is relatively easy to pull out and then use a butter knife to separate how many slices you need. This pre-sliced method allows you to enjoy the bread by removing just a couple slices at a time. Sourdough bread freezes and thaws extremely well, still tasting moist, fresh, and delicious.
Alternatively, if you want to take the whole loaf out to eat together for a special meal or bring with to a gathering, you can freeze the loaf whole and slice after it is thawed.
Can you freeze sourdough bread dough?
Yes! Sourdough bread dough also freezes very well.
Simply take your ball of bread dough and place it in a Ziplock bag. We like to coat the dough with a light coat of olive oil to help keep it moist. When you are ready to bake it, simply thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two and then set out on a counter to rise several hours before you plan to bake the bread. While we don’t regularly do this with bread, freezing the dough is our go-to method when making our sourdough deep dish pizza crusts and it works beautifully.
Is it better to freeze sourdough before or after baking?
In our opinion both options work very well. It more depends on what you are planning to do with the sourdough that would determine if you should bake the bread before or after freezing.
If you would like the ability to pull out a few slices at a time for an occasional sandwich without needing to eat the whole loaf, then freezing the sourdough after it has been baked and sliced makes the most sense. On the other hand, if you want fresh baked sourdough and plan to eat most of the loaf at one sitting, I would recommend freezing the dough and baking just prior to eating. Ultimately, it depends on your schedule and what you plan on doing with the sourdough you make.
Our Once-A-Month Batch Sourdough Cooking Routine
When we began making sourdough about six years ago, I definitely felt overwhelmed by the process. The idea of having this living thing on the counter that constantly needed to be fed and tended to was more of a commitment than I wanted.
But, after continuing to learn about sourdough, I realized that once you have a nice strong starter, it can actually survive just fine in the fridge for several weeks (or even months). This was a gamechanger!
We could now enjoy sourdough without needing to think about it constantly. This system works really well in our life and allows us to enjoy the benefits of sourdough, while keeping it as more of an occasional treat. The sweet spot for us is making sourdough about one time per month.
Once a month we always make:
– 2 loaves of sandwich bread
– 4 deep-dish cast-iron pizza crusts
– A few other rotating items that change each month (i.e. tortillas, pancakes, cinnamon rolls, scones, cookie dough)
What Does Our Batch Sourdough Method Look Like?
Once a month we have a big sourdough extravaganza.
I take our sourdough starter out of the refrigerator and feed it at least 3 times to get a nice big bowl of fresh sourdough starter. Then we create all of the things that we want to enjoy over the next month. This always includes two loaves of sourdough sandwich bread and four deep dish pizza crusts. With the bread, we will bake it, slice it, and place the sliced loaves into a gallon size zip lock bag in the freezer. Then over the following month, we use it to have occasional sandwiches or toast.
A big part of our weekly routine and something everyone in our family looks forward to is our weekly pizza and ice cream night. We make 4 deep dish pizza crusts and will freeze them into quart size zip lock bags. That way, a day or two before our pizza night, I take a crust out and move it to the fridge. On the day we are going to eat it, I place it on the counter covered with a cloth in a bowl to let rise.
With the remaining starter, I will make whatever I’m feeling or experiment with trying something new. Tortillas and pancakes are pretty common for this. I cook these and freeze them individually on a cookie sheet and then store in a gallon size zip lock bag. Other things we really enjoy for the occasional treat are sourdough cinnamon rolls, scones, and chocolate chip cookies.
The Benefits of Freezing Sourdough
Sourdough is so fun and delicious but it can be time intensive. With a young family and homestead, we aren’t able to give that much time daily or weekly to the sourdough making process. However, we really do enjoy making it and certainly enjoy eating it so freezing sourdough has been the perfect middle ground for us. We can make a bunch of things all at once, freeze them and enjoy the benefits over the course of the month without it taking a ton of time on a daily or weekly basis.
We have also found by doing this batch cooking and freezing method, sourdough day becomes a sort of event that everyone looks forward to and can play a part in. Our kids have their own mini bread loaves that they get very excited about kneading and forming themselves. It also makes the occasional times when sourdough shows up on the table, or our weekly pizza nights, feel that much more special and anticipated by everyone!
I also appreciate the ability to freeze sourdough because while I believe sourdough is a nutritious food, I want to make sure we are eating it in balance with other foods that have even more bioavailable nutrients like meats, fruits and veggies. For us, if sourdough was always available, it would be easy for that to become the main part of our diet. Instead, we wanted to make sure that it was more served as an occasional treat and the focus being on nutrient dense real, whole foods. You can learn more about our healing journey through eat real foods here.
Take Away to the Question Can You Freeze Sourdough Bread?
Absolutely! Go ahead and make that sourdough. Freeze the whole loaf, slices, or the dough as you like and enjoy all that this delicious and traditional food has to offer!
What’s your method for using sourdough and what do you enjoy making? We’d love to hear in the comments below!