Monday, July 22

How to Freeze and Re-heat a Baguette

Baguettes are at their best the day they’re baked, which can make stockpiling them a little challenging. But cheese plates feel incomplete without crusty bread, so I like to keep them around, just in case I need to do any impromptu entertaining (or satisfy a personal craving). Luckily, simple breads like baguettes freeze incredibly well.

By “simple,” I mean breads that are made with flour, water, yeast, and salt, or sourdough. Breads that have been enriched with dairy or eggs don’t do quite as well in the icebox. You can freeze baguettes whole or sliced, but I like to cut them in half, so I can defrost what I need, without committing to crostini.

Start by cutting the baguette into a size that will fit in your freezer. Mini baguettes can be left whole, but most full-sized baguettes will have to be cut in half (or even quarters, depending on the size of your freezer).

Wrap each portion in two layers of plastic wrap, then place them in a large freezer bag, and remove as much air as you can. (The water displacement method can help with this.) If you have a vacuum sealer, use that.

If you’re freezing slices, lay them out on a sheet tray in a single layer and pop them in the freezer for an hour, then transfer them to a vacuum bag and seal, or place in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before placing in the fridge.

Frozen baguettes should keep in the freezer for a couple of months, but watch out for freezer burn, which can alter the flavor and texture. If you see any large ice crystals, chuck it out.

To thaw a whole or halved baguette, heat your oven to 400℉, place the bread directly on the oven rack and heat until it is warmed through, six to eight minutes. For crostini, heat them in an oven, toaster oven or air fryer at 400℉ until warmed and toasty. Enjoy immediately.

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