Why Does Gluten Free Bread Have to be Frozen

  • Unadulterated, raw honey produced in the hive is gluten-free.
  • Apart from being an incredible source of amino acids and vitamins, raw honey is gluten free and has anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties.
  • If placed near lands where grains containing gluten are grown, dust can get into the hives and contaminate honey.
  • In order to maintain all its properties, raw honey should not be micro-filtered, heated, or pasteurized.

Why does gluten free bread have to be frozen? Anyone who ever bought gluten free bread knows you must keep it in the freezer or it goes bad. However, not many people really know the reason for this.

In this article we will outline the reasons gluten free bread needs to be frozen, and how long can you eat it.

Bread is a staple on most of our plates. That’s why, when people who are used to having bread get diagnosed with gluten allergy or celiac disease, life can become difficult.

Their only respite is gluten-free bread, which does not use any gluten grain. But have you ever wondered why does gluten bread have to be frozen? 

Gluten free bread is different from our everyday bread in more than one way. One of these ways is storage.

You can leave regular bread out in the open for three days. But because of the ingredients used in making gluten free bread, it needs to be frozen if you want the expensive bread to last long.

Why does gluten free bread have to be frozen?

Why Does Gluten Free Bread Have to be Frozen
Why gluten free bread must be frozen

Gluten free bread was once rare, with only a few companies making this alternative for regular bread.

But now, the options are many. You can even make it at home. Earlier, gluten free bread used to be dry and heavy. It used to be starchy and had no fibers. You had to eat it only after tasting it. 

Packaged gluten free bread may have improved quite a lot, but it’s still a little different from regular bread in taste and texture.

Because the list of ingredients used in making gluten free bread does not usually include preservatives, this type of bread tends to go bad easily, unlike regular bread.

Pre-packaged gluten free bread in the market usually comes in a vacuum pack.

To make gluten-free bread last long, you have to freeze it. It does not contain the additives or preservatives that can allow it to survive on its own at room temperature. In the freezer, however, it can last for up to 6 months. 

So, is it mandatory to store gluten free bread?

Gluten free bread doesn’t last for too long. So, unless you’re planning to eat the whole loaf within a day or two after opening the package, you will need to freeze it.

Some gluten bread varieties are kept frozen in the store. Once you bring it home, you have to freeze the package till the time you eat it. 

If store-bought gluten free bread that’s frozen in the shop defrosts, it will become unsuitable for refreezing. Some varieties of gluten free bread come vacuum-packed.

You don’t need to freeze these as long as the package is intact. Once you open the package, you will need to freeze the leftover bread.  

An important thing to note here is that gluten free bread should not be refrigerated.

You can keep it in the freezer to make it last for several months; but storing it in the fridge will make it dry and hard much faster, and you will not be able to eat it at all. So do not think about stashing it in the fridge.

Can gluten free bread sit at room temperature like regular wheat bread?

Gluten free bread is not good at handling room temperature. It cannot sit on the counter for too long and develops mold quickly.

Some break makers do assure you that their gluten free bread will last longer than usual. Even then, gluten free bread is not meant to last too long if left out in the open.

You’ll find some varieties of vacuum-packed gluten free bread that sits on the counter at room temperature.

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You don’t need to freeze such a product immediately after buying, as long as you do not open the package. Once you do, cut a few slices and store the rest of the loaf in the freezer. 

If you make gluten free bread at home, you have to be even more careful about leaving it out in the open. Honestly, homemade gluten free bread should not be left out for more than 3-4 hours after being baked.

It’s best to make a small batch and eat it fresh, and if you have leftovers, just freeze it.

Shelf-Life of Gluten Free Bread

Why Does Gluten Free Bread Have to be Frozen
Shelf life of gluten free bread

Most gluten free bread brands mention that the shelf life of their products is 4-6 months.

Don’t get confused. This is the shelf life of gluten free bread when you freeze it.

This is true in the case of store-bought bread that’s frozen at the time of sale, as well as home-baked gluten free bread.

While your gluten free bread will be safe to eat for 4-6 months if you can refrigerate it properly, the texture and flavor will gradually deteriorate.

If you want the feel of enjoying fresh bread, it’s ideal not to keep your no-gluten bread in the freezer for 3-4 weeks. It stays in its best condition for a month. 

Some brands promise that their gluten free bread will last for 6 months at room temperature if you don’t open the package.

Such bread varieties come vacuum-packed, and in the original packaging, they will still stay “fresh” at room temperature. Once opened, it will stay good for a couple of days. 

When it comes to bread baked at home, make sure to cut a few slices of bread and wrap the remaining loaf before storing.

PRO TIP:

It’s a good idea to divide the bread into small servings before storage so that you can pull out one portion from the freezer when you need it while the rest remains frozen.

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect gluten free bread to last for a week in the fridge, but refrigeration is not recommended at all. It can make the loaf taste stale.

Even if a brand mentions that the product is shelf-stable, contact the brand or check their website for complete information. 

How to Store Gluten Free Bread in the Freezer

For people with gluten intolerance, gluten free bread is the only way to have bread.

While the availability of gluten free bread has increased in recent times, it’s still not as easy to acquire as regular wheat bread.

So most people prefer to buy gluten free bread in bulk and store it. 

Gluten free bread is also on the expensive side, and when you buy a large batch of it, you will usually get some kind of a discount.

Even though most people on a gluten free diet do not consume a large amount of gluten free bread, they still prefer to buy it in a large batch or make it in a big batch.

As mentioned earlier, you can leave vacuum-packed gluten free bread at room temperature in the original packaging.

As for gluten free bread that’s frozen in the shop, or homemade non-gluten bread, they need to be packaged properly and kept inside the freezer so that they can last for months. 

Bread made with non-gluten ingredients tends to dry out quickly. This is true for all cooked gluten free products.

So to keep your bread fresh, it’s best to wrap it properly before putting it in an air-tight container.

While some people do keep this container in the fridge, freezing is the best option. 

If you want to be extra careful, wrap the bread in cling film before covering it in foil.

This will ensure that no moisture can enter the bread. Then, put the bread in an air-tight box to ensure there’s complete safety.

This is especially effective in the case of home-baked gluten free bread.

After pulling it out of the oven, let the homemade non-gluten bread sit outside for a couple of hours and cool down completely before freezing.

Be it homemade loaf or otherwise, divide it into small portions first. That way, you can use only the portions needed for a meal without disturbing the rest.

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One of the various issues that you may face when you invite gluten free bread into your life is how the slices stick together upon freezing them.

A loaf of gluten free bread becomes so tough that you will have to wage war against it in the morning when you try to separate the slices from each other.

Most of the time, you might end up ripping your bread into pieces. To prevent that from happening, you can take small pieces of wax or parchment paper and slide one piece between each of the slices to keep them separate.

This will keep the slices of the loaf from sticking – and maintain your sanity.

If you find that your gluten free bread is crumbling, it’s probably because you need to change the combination of gluten free flours you are using.

But if you feel that making gluten free bread at home is too much of a hassle, it’s ideal to buy it and store it in the freezer to make it last for a long time.

How to Defrost Gluten Free Bread

Defrosting gluten free bread
Defrosting gluten free bread

You can defrost gluten free bread at room temperature. All you have to do is to keep it wrapped while it gets defrosted. Once it defrosts completely, remove the wrapper.

If the defrosting is not completed, you will have problems while separating the slices of cutting them from the loaf.  

To defrost gluten free bread, you need to let individual slices sit out for about 30 minutes.

If it is an entire loaf of bread, it can take up to 5 hours for it to thaw and defrost completely.

After defrosting a loaf, sprinkle some water and put it in a freezer bag to refresh it in the microwave for 30 seconds. 

Usually, we let frozen food sit in the fridge first to defrost it. When you’re eating gluten-free bread, you don’t have to do that.

Take the slices that you need for your meal out of the freezer and wrap each in a fresh tea towel, preferably dampened. Then, microwave two at a time for 20-30 seconds.

You have to do this at High power. The time for which you should microwave the slices depends on the maximum power of your device.

You can also directly toast the slices in the toaster or warm them at 200 C in the oven to thaw them. Eat bread thawed in the microwave or toaster immediately. 

You should always use a fresh tea towel at the time of microwaving the bread. The process of heating creates the perfect condition for the growth of microorganisms.

This is particularly true if you use a moist tea towel. So, it’s essential that you do not store this towel and use it again for another batch.  

Once you have defrosted gluten free bread, make sure not to refreeze it. Otherwise, the bread will be too dry, and the texture will make it inedible.

If there’s too much bread left, or if you’ve accidentally left some out of the freezer, you can put it in bread pudding or some other dessert. 

At the time of separating the slices from the loaf of gluten free bread, you may find that they are stuck together.

This can be quite frustrating. But if you leave the loaf on the counter for a while, the slices will likely come apart. You can also throw the loaf in the microwave for some time.

Ingredients in Gluten Free Bread 

Giving up on regular bread made of wheat flour is difficult. But even though gluten free bread hardly comes close to regular bread in taste and can hardly quench the desire for gluten, it’s pretty the only option.

Regular bread contains wheat, which is a gluten grain and harmful for those who are allergic.

On the other hand, gluten free bread is made of flour from grains and nuts that do not contain gluten.

This means that besides wheat, any flour that contains barley or rye, or a combination of these, cannot be included in the list of ingredients used for making healthy gluten free bread. 

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In place of wheat, other flours or meals that can be used in non-gluten bread are as follows – 

a) Almond Flour

Almond flour is loved not only by people who avoid gluten but also those on a low-carb diet.

Replace a cup of wheat flour with the same amount of almond meal and can add an egg to baking recipes.  

b) Brown Rice Flour

When brown rice is ground, we get whole-grain flour that’s free of gluten and can be used as a light replacement for wheat flour to make bread and other baked goods when mixed with other flours. 

c) Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour comes from a starchy liquid from cassava roots. It is full of nutrients and can be used in various recipes.

It can also be mixed with other gluten free flours and be used to make bread.

d) Cassava Flour

Cassava flour is made from the whole of the root after it is grated and dried. It is a great replacement for regular flour, and you can easily use it in recipes that need self-raising flour, including bread. 

e) Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour comes from an ancient cereal grain. This flour is a little heavy and is therefore mixed with other gluten free flour varieties if you want to bake bread and still maintain some lightness. 

f) Amaranth Flour

The seeds of amaranth have been used as cereal grains for a long time. They can be ground to make flour to replace 25% of the amount of wheat flour in bread-making, along with other flour types. 

g) Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat may have wheat in its name but has nothing to do with the gluten grain.

It’s a grain-like seed, and its flour can be mixed with other gluten free flour varieties for baking non-gluten bread. 

h) Oat Flour

Oat flour comes from whole-grain oats and is a favorite among bakers. It gives flavorsome and moist bread. But the texture is crumbly and chewy, which can be avoided by adjusting other ingredients.   

i) Arrowroot Flour

Another effective gluten free alternative to regular flour, arrowroot flour, is not a common choice. But it is quite versatile and can be mixed with other flour varieties for baking bread and desserts.

j) Teff Flour

Teff flour comes from the world’s smallest grain and is traditionally used in Injera, a bread in Ethiopia.

It can be combined with oat flour in gluten free bread. You can also make banana bread with it. 

k) Corn Flour

Cornmeal comes from whole corn kernels and is finely ground to make corn flour, a gluten free alternative to wheat flour. It can be used in making different types of bread, including a pizza base. 

l) Coconut Flour

Dried kernel of coconut is ground and turned into coconut flour, which can be used to bake gluten free bread.

The light texture of coconut flour creates a texture similar to that of regular flour.  

m) Garbanzo Flour

Garbanzo flour is made by grinding dried chickpeas, which is a legume. It is also known as gram flour or besan.

It is nutty and grainy and can be used for making baked bread, as well as a flatbread.   

n) Tigernut Flour

Contrary to what its name suggests, tigernut is actually a nut-free option that comes from a root vegetable.

This flour adds a sweet nuttiness to baked items. But this flour is difficult to find. 

Buying Gluten Free Flour

At the time of buying any of these flour varieties, it is best to choose one that is labeled gluten free.

Otherwise, cross-contamination is possible if the flour is handled in the same facilities and gluten grains.

You can also find a flour variety with a balance of multiple non-gluten flour types.  

Conclusion:

When you choose gluten free bread, remember that it won’t taste or feel the same as regular bread.

It’s also pricier and won’t last long enough until you store it properly. Its storage is challenging, as you must freeze it after wrapping it properly. For the best taste, don’t freeze it for over a month. 

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.