Jewish cuisine is incomplete without the challah bread, the heart of almost all Jewish celebrations. Challah bread is a soft bread, a Kosher loaf, made with flour, water, eggs, salt, and yeast. While it is best consumed hot from the bakery oven, you might feel the need to store it and have your fill later on. So, how do you keep challah bread without losing its texture and flavor?
Can You Freeze Challah Bread?
Let us explore all these options in this article.
Can You Store Challah Bread?
You can store challah bread or substitutes for challah bread in various ways, depending on how soon you plan to consume it.
Within Seven Days
Refrigeration is not necessary under such circumstances as you can store challah bread for seven days at room temperature. However, you should ensure zero exposure to air. Otherwise, the bread loses its fluffiness. Therefore, a ziplock bag is the best option. Place the bread loaves inside the ziplock bag and remove all air to help retain the moisture. The bread remains fresh for up to seven days.
More Than A Week To Three Months
The ideal way is to freeze challah bread in the freezer. We shall discuss the procedure in the following paragraphs. Freezing challah bread saves you the trouble of preparing it frequently.
How Do You Freeze Challah Bread?
The following procedure helps freeze challah bread.
Step 1 – Cool It To Room Temperature
The best aspect of challah bread is that you can eat it directly from the oven because of its irresistible taste. However, you cannot freeze it hot as the bread’s soft underbelly can become soggy. Therefore, cooling the challah bread to room temperature is crucial.
Step 2 – Keep It Airtight
The exposure to air can spoil the challah bread and make it hard. So, the solution is to wrap the challah tightly in foil to prevent air exposure. We recommend a double wrap to cover all its corners and make it airtight.
Step 3 – Place It In A Freezer Bag
Take a large freezer bag and place the wrapped challah bread inside it. Force out the excess air from the bag and seal it tightly.
Step 4 – Label And Freeze
Note down the freezing date on the freezer bag for your convenience. It is also better to write down the ‘use by’ date also to enable you to consume the bread before its expiry date. Generally, challah bread lasts for three months in the freezer. So, the ‘use by’ date can be two and a half months to three months from the freezing date. Place the bag inside the freezer and allow the challah bread to freeze well.
How Long Can You Freeze Challah Bread?
Our experience says that you can freeze challah bread in the freezer for three months without losing its taste and flavor. The frozen challah bread remains soft and fluffy if you follow the freezing procedure carefully.
How To Defrost Challah Bread
Challah bread takes time to defrost. So, you have to give it sufficient time to thaw. Ideally, you should remove frozen challah bread from the freezer five hours before serving it to the guests. The bread will take its time to come to attain room temperature.
You can serve challah bread hot to the guests by warming them in the oven. You can heat the oven for twenty minutes and switch it off. Then, wrap the challah bread in aluminum foil and keep them inside the range until it is ready for serving. It prevents the bread from overbaking.
Is It Advisable to Refreeze Challah Bread?
Refreezing challah bread after defrosting is not advisable because the bread can become soggy or dry when frozen and defrosted again. Therefore, the best solution is to cut the bread into portions you can consume before the initial freezing process. It saves you the trouble of defrosting the entire loaf and seeing much of your efforts go waste.
Here are some tips to ensure a high-quality freezing performance.
- Use wire racks– It can be tempting to leave the challah bread in its original baking tins after baking them. Generally, you could feel that the challah bread remains hot and fresh. However, it is not so because the bread can collect moisture from the heat, making its bottom portion soft and mushy. A better option is to use wire racks that allow free air movement and, thus, prevent moisture retention.
- Protect from freezer burn– Freezer burn can occur when the cold air in the freezer enters the freezer bags and comes in contact with the challah bread. While you have wrapped the bread and removed excess air, it is better to provide more protection by taping the freezer bags. It prevents the bread from losing its texture.
- Avoid freezing challah dough– We recommend not to freeze challah dough because it can spoil when unbaked. Thus, you do not get the required consistency. Instead, it is better to bake the challah dough and freeze the loaf rather than freeze it.
Is There Any Way To Defrost Challah Bread Quickly?
We do not recommend quickening the defrosting process because it can break the texture and spoil the bread. So, it is not advisable to defrost the bread in the oven. Instead, thawing it at room temperature is the perfect solution.
Why Preheat The Oven When You Can Bake The Challah Bread After Defrosting?
It is not advisable to bake the challah bread after defrosting because it is already baked before freezing. Baking it again can cause the bread to become dry and hard. Therefore, we recommend preheating the oven for twenty minutes and placing the challah bread wrapped in aluminum foil. The residual heat can make the bread warm.
Can You Refrigerate Challah Bread?
We never advise refrigerating challah bread because it promotes its staling. The bread can remain at room temperature for seven days without spoiling. If you need it for an extended period, freezing challah bread is the ideal option.
Can You Slice The Challah Bread Before Freezing?
It is an excellent option because you can remove the slices you need when defrosting instead of thawing the entire loaf.
Challah bread is too delicious to waste. So, storing it is a good option, especially if you wish to consume it within a week. Otherwise, you can always freeze it and enjoy it subsequently. So, can you freeze challah bread? The answer is YES.