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Can You Freeze Sourdough Bread – Best Storing Methods

Many sourdough bread enthusiasts enjoy baking multiple loaves at once and freezing some for later enjoyment. From my own experience preserving homemade bread, I’ve found that slicing the loaf before freezing makes for easier snacking down the line.


Can You Freeze Sourdough Bread?

Cut the bread into 1/2-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Once sliced, leave the bread uncovered in the freezer overnight, when it will be firm enough to tightly wrap individually wrapped slices in foil, plastic, or a heavy-duty freezer bag. This prevents slices from sticking together into one frozen mass. Properly sealed and labeled, sliced sourdough bread will maintain quality in the freezer for 4–6 months. For anyone short on freezer space, the whole unsliced loaf can also be wrapped tightly in foil or plastic and frozen for up to 3 months. Either way, there’s no need to freeze out enjoying homemade sourdough just because you can’t bake and eat the entire bread immediately. Planning ahead allows you to stock up on this artisanal staple.

Why Freeze Sourdough Bread?

Avoiding Food Waste

One of the benefits of freezing homemade sourdough loaf is reducing food waste. All too often, the remaining end of the loaf can grow stale before it gets a chance to be finished. By freezing the leftovers, you have more time to consume it without compromising on freshness or throwing out half a loaf.

Saving for Later

Freezing sourdough bread is useful for those who lead busy lives. It allows them to bake multiple loaves at a time and save some for their freezing for future homemade bread enjoyment even during seasons where time is limited. Planning ahead in this way allows one to enjoy fresh bread on their schedule.

Longer Shelf Life

Freezing sourdough bread slices allows them to stay fresh for longer without needing to immediately slice a new loaf for occasions. It offers a convenient way to have homemade bread on hand for holiday parties or special family dinners.

Getting Ahead for Holidays

Freezing bread in advance can take some stress out of the holidays. Worrying about making dinner rolls at the last second is a thing of the past. With frozen dough or bread, all you need is time to thaw before pulling fresh-baked goodness from the freezer to grace the dinner table.

Freezing a Whole Sourdough Loaf

The Basic Method

To freeze an entire unsliced loaf of sourdough bread, simply place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Squeeze out as much excess air as possible before sealing the packaging. Freezing the loaf whole helps maintain its original texture and taste, with results that taste as fresh as the day it was baked. This basic method works great for preserving one or two loaves on hand at a time.

Maintaining Quality Over Time

For freezing multiple loaves over an extended period, an extra method may produce slightly better results. Place each loaf separately inside a gallon-size freezer bag, press out the air, seal, and freeze. This extra layer of packaging helps the bread maintain its original taste and texture over longer freezer storage times. Either way, freezing a whole loaf of sourdough is an easy way to keep this hand -crafted bread tasting as great as the day it was baked.

4 Points Regarding this

  1. I suggest allowing the loaf to cool completely before freezing. Many sourdough bakers suggest letting it cool overnight to ensure the inside is thoroughly cooled.
  2. Freeze bread in heavy-duty plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn and skip the extra bag if space is limited.
  3. Clearly label and date each loaf before freezing to keep track of how long it has been in storage.
  4. For optimal freshness, let frozen loaves thaw at room temperature before eating. You can also skip this step and place the still-frozen loaf in the oven or toaster to smash out individual slices to enjoy.

Extend Freshness

The amount of time a whole sourdough loaf will stay fresh when frozen depends on proper wrapping and packaging. In my experience, freezing sourdough bread whole and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing in an airtight freezer bag has allowed the loaves to retain good quality for 6 months or longer. Following these simple steps helps prevent unwanted changes like drying out or freezer burn. With proper precautions during freezing and storage, a whole homemade sourdough loaf can provide fresh-baked enjoyment for months after its initial baking day.

How To Freeze Sliced Sourdough Bread

Slicing the sourdough bread prior to freezing is a good idea. This allows for easily slicing what you need from the freezer without wasting half a whole loaf that does not get eaten in time. Making the effort to slice the bread ahead of time means you can enjoy homemade slices of bread without concern for leftovers going stale.

  1. Allow the sliced bread to cool completely before freezing for maximum freshness retention.
  2. Use a tray lined with parchment paper and in a single layer, lay out each slice without touching.
  3. Once slices are laid out, place in freezer for 30 minutes until outside is firm. Then, cut slices and transfer to a plastic bag or Ziploc bag for long-term storage.


  • Aluminum Foil
  • Large Ziploc Bag

Freezing Other Sourdough Based Baked Goods

In addition to freezing the loaf itself, many other items made with sourdough can be frozen and used later after thawing too. Baking a variety of goods allows you to enjoy homemade sourdough creations even when you aren’t mixing and proving dough fresh. Here are some types of sourdough based baked goods that freeze in a similar manner as the loaf:

  • Sourdough rolls or buns – Package softened rolls tightly before freezing. To serve, thaw at room temperature or reheat in the oven.
  • Sourdough pizza dough – Form dough, top if desired, and freeze unbaked on a tray. Bake directly from the freezer when ready.
  • Sourdough crackers or flatbreads – Layer between sheets of wax or parchment paper and freeze before crisping.
  • Sourdough muffins or scones – Freeze cooled items in an airtight container separated by sheets of parchment.

Freezing grants more time to enjoy fresh sourdough in many types of baked specialties for better use of your homemade dough.

Tips for Freezing Sourdough Bread

Proper Cooling Process

Allow bread to cool completely before storing or wrapping as it is still warm, which leads to excess steam building up inside the bag or ice crystals forming in the freezer.

Slicing for Portion Control

I recommend freezing food in individual portions/slices to reduce waste from partial slices left over after heating up what you want to eat without the rest sitting around.

Quick Freezing

If you won’t eat the whole loaf within a couple days, quickly freeze it while still at its peak freshness for the best quality after thawing.

Double Wrapping Technique

Freezer air is the enemy of frozen food, so double wrapping sourdough bread limits how much is exposed and helps prevent freezer burn.

Labeling and Dating

It’s important to clearly label and date anything you freeze – this helps you remember how long food has been stored and ensures it all gets finished eating properly. Staying organized helps you manage the inventory and freshness.

RELATED: Can You Freeze Banana Bread

RELATED: Can You Freeze Scones

How to Thaw Your Frozen Sourdough Bread

There are a few good methods for safely thawing your frozen sourdough bread with minimal quality loss:

  • Thawing a whole or half loaf: For a whole or large half loaf, it’s best to sit it on the counter and let it thaw at room temperature overnight or for several hours. Then you can move it to the fridge to finish thawing if needed.
  • Thawing slices: If only slicing off what you require, keep slices in the freezer until ready to use. Slices thaw quickly at room temperature and work best for toasting.
  • Refreshing a whole loaf: To gently refresh a frozen whole loaf, preheat the oven to 250 °F (120 °C) and loosely unwrap the loaf. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15–30 minutes, checking after 15. This is also a good way to reheat sourdough bread in the oven if you want freshly baked bread without toasting.

Care must be taken to prevent wetness. If surface moisture forms as it thaws, wipe dry with a clean towel or unwrap and let the bread dry for a little longer to prevent spoilage. Exact thaw time will depend on the type, size, and how long stored. Some trial and error helps determine what works best.

Can You Refreeze Sourdough Bread?

While it is possible to refreeze sourdough bread after thawing, the overall quality will begin to degrade each time it is frozen and thawed. The ice crystals that form during the freezing process can damage the bread’s structure and texture. After one thaw cycle, the bread may still taste fresh, but repeated freezing and thawing is not recommended.

Suggestion: It’s generally best to only freeze bread that will realistically be consumed in one frozen period. Thawing and refreezing introduces more moisture and causes the bread to stale faster. If a whole frozen loaf is thawed, but you don’t end up eating the full amount, it’s best to slice what remains and refreeze those portions rather than refreezing the entire loaf again. Sliced pieces are more effective to recoup than a half-thawed whole loaf. In the end, plan to freeze only what you know can be eaten while still frozen for optimal sourdough quality.

How to Tell If Sourdough Bread Has Gone Bad

  1. Mold – Any visible signs of mold growth means the bread should be discarded without question.
  2. Smell – An unpleasant musty or sour odor rather than a mild, pleasant sour/sweet smell indicates spoilage.
  3. Texture – If squeezing yields a hard, stale or dry texture rather than a soft interior, it’s best not to consume.
  4. Taste – Bread that tastes overly sour or rancid/off has surpassed its prime and should be discarded or repurposed.
  5. Freezer burn – Bread that was improperly stored in the freezer and ends up covered in ice crystals is technically safe to eat but likely won’t taste very good and should be thrown out. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and throw away questionable bread for limited shelf life.

The signs listed help determine if your sourdough has gone bad or can still be safely enjoyed. Proper storage is key to maximizing freshness.

My Final Thoughts

Using appropriate techniques, sourdough bread can be successfully preserved in the freezer for future use. With the right wrapping, storage and thawing steps outlined, a supply of fresh sourdough can be maintained over long periods. Freezing allows amateur and experienced bakers alike to stock up on homemade loaves made with their starter. By learning effective freezing methods, one can prolong the pleasure of enjoying artisanal sourdough well into the future.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tell if sourdough bread is bad or spoiled?

It is easily to tell if sourdough bread has gone bad or spoiled. Look for signs of mold or if it no longer feels or smells fresh. Properly stored, bread remains edible for at least a week.

Can you freeze sourdough pizza dough? 

Yes, sourdough pizza dough can be formed, topped if desired, and frozen unbaked on a tray. It can then be baked directly from the freezer when ready to make pizza.

Does frozen sourdough bread taste different after defrosting?

Properly wrapped and cooled bread should remain the same after being frozen and defrosted. Some deterioration may occur after several months, but there is little evidence of a significant taste or texture change if frozen quickly.

Is there an eco-friendly way to freeze sourdough bread?

Wrapping with beeswax wraps or using reusable ziplock bags are more environmentally-friendly techniques. Foil is recyclable and an okay option for occasional freezing and reusing.

Can you freeze sourdough bread wrapped in parchment paper?

Yes, wrapping the cooled bread in aluminum foil then parchment paper for freezing reduces the risk of freezer burn by creating a seal while preventing excess drying.

How long does sourdough bread last in the fridge?

Ideally no more than 3–4 days as refrigeration stales it faster than room temperature storage.

How long does a loaf of sourdough bread last in the freezer?

When properly stored, sourdough maintains the best quality for around 3 months in the freezer at 0 °F (ca. -18 °C). It remains safe indefinitely, though quality declines over time.

Does freezing sourdough kill probiotics? 

Freezing does not necessarily kill the probiotics in sourdough. Some studies show probiotic cultures can remain viable after freezing depending on storage temperatures and times.

How to tell if sourdough bread is bad or spoiled?

Check for signs like an off smell or if mold appears anywhere on the entire loaf. Discard spoiled loaves promptly.

Does Sourdough Bread Stay Fresh for Longer than other Breads?

Yes, its naturally sourdough contains mold resistant properties as well as less moisture so it can stay fresher for longer than many commercially produced breads.

Can I put my Sourdough Bread in the Fridge to make it last longer?

No, storing it in the refrigerator has the opposite effect of quickly making it stale due to the cold, dry air.

Can You Toast Frozen Sourdough Bread?

Yes but toasting slices straight from the freezer often needs a bit longer than room temperature bread. Consider defrosting first for best results.

What is the shelf life of Sourdough Bread?

When stored properly at room temperature, the average shelf life is around 4-5 days before it becomes stale.

What is the best way to store sourdough bread to keep it fresh?

The peak of freshness only lasts around 24 hours. For longer, freezing is the best method to keep it fresh over many weeks or months.

Can I store sourdough bread in a Ziplock bag?

Yes, bread can be stored for up to 4 days in the Ziplock bag or transferred after complete cooling to a plastic storage bag for 3 months in the freezer. The freezing bag is meant for cold storage.

How long does sourdough bread last in the fridge?

Sourdough bread should never be stored in the refrigerator. The cold, dry air causes it to quickly become stale, unlike fresher loaves at room temperature.

Can I freeze other sourdough recipes?

Yes, other items like sandwich bread, rolls, wheat crackers, naan bread and Irish soda bread freeze well when stored properly in the freezer with success.

Can you freeze sourdough dough?

 While sourdough bread dough can be frozen prior to shaping and proofing, the best results come from baking freshly made dough. Some research suggests freezing may impact texture.

Can you freeze sourdough starter?

Yes, a sourdough starter can be frozen for up to 12 months as a backup or to ensure you always have some on hand just in case something happens to your primary starter.

How do you defrost sourdough bread quickly?

The quickest methods are 30-second bursts in the microwave or oven at 325 °F/165 °C, wrapped in foil. Check every 10 seconds and bake for 20 minutes or until warm throughout.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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