Pumpkin bread is one of my very favorite seasonal bakes. If it is one of yours as well, maybe you are wondering just how to freeze pumpkin bread. Let me just say, it is easier than you might think and will allow you to cook multiple pumpkin bread loaves and freeze them for later. It is such a time saver during this busy time of year!
Not only will I be sharing just how to freeze pumpkin bread, but some of my favorite recipes as well. I have also written a post all about freezing banana bread as well. The processes are really similar, but be sure and check both of them out.
Why freeze a loaf of pumpkin bread?
If you are like me, you probably like to batch-bake. Baking is generally messy and if I can get a lot of it done at once, I will!
Sometimes you need last-minute food for a friend, a get-together, or someone in need. These frozen loaves are the way to go. I mean, who doesn't appreciate a homemade loaf of pumpkin bread?
It reduces food waste. Sometimes you can't eat all the bread you make. If that is the case, freezing is a great way to keep it from going bad.
Recipes I love
Let me share some of my favorite quick-bread recipes. These are all so good and worth checking out!
- Healthy Pumpkin Bread- I know you love classic pumpkin bread, but a healthy version is always a welcome site during the holidays too. Don't worry, this is still a moist pumpkin bread recipe, just made with simple ingredients that have a healthier twist. It is also a really easy pumpkin bread recipe.
- Pumpkin bread with chocolate chips- This is a recipe from Sally's Baking blog and it is a good one. The pumpkin chocolate combo is not one to be missed!
- Pumpkin Bread with Apples- I love the idea of this combo from Barabra at Butter and Baggage.
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread- If you have gluten allergies or are baking for someone who does, consider this recipe.
- Pumpkin Streusel Bread- This recipe is from a friend of mine, Lori, over at Josie and Nina. It is an awesome recipe and a great variation of the classic.
- Pumpkin Bread from cake mix- this is a simple recipe from Gina at Intentional Hospitality.
How to freeze a loaf of pumpkin bread
There are a few tricks to properly freezing pumpkin bread, let me share a few.
- The bread needs to be completely cooled before freezing. If not, you will moisture on the plastic wrap and it will form into ice and ice crystals on the outside. So before you consider freezing, cool the baked pumpkin bread all the way first. I like to cool on a wire rack so the whole loaf cools.
- Once it is cooled, wrap it in 2 layers of plastic wrap to ensure a tight seal. I find the double layers help with longer storage. Or you can do one layer of plastic wrap and one layer of aluminum foil.
- You can also wrap in one layer of plastic wrap and a plastic bag. I like to use gallon-size freezer bags.
- Place it in the freezer for freezing.
How to freeze pumpkin muffins
This can be done with a full batch or half-batch of your favorite pumpkin muffins.
- Start by cooling the muffins completely. I cool them the same way as I do the loaf, on a cooling rack.
- Next, freeze the muffins like they are, right on the cooling rack.
- When they are totally frozen, store them in a gallon-size freezer ziplock bag. This will keep the muffins from getting mashed when you place them in the bag.
- They can also be stored in an airtight container if you have one big enough.
How to freeze individual slices of pumpkin bread
I love to freeze individual slices of pumpkin bread for taking in lunches or grabbing them to go.
- Make sure the bread is cool all the way.
- Slice the bread, I generally do thicker slices of about 1- 1 ½-inch pieces.
- If you are creating bags or small packs of bread, you can wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap. Or you can place each piece in a ziplock sandwich bag. Place on a level surface in the freezer and freeze.
- If you are freezing more than one piece together, I like to add a small piece of parchment paper between each slice. This will keep them from sticking together when they thaw. Then place them in small zip-top freezer bags. To extend the freezer life of your slices, you can also wrap them in plastic wrap and then in the bag. When you are ready, grab and go!
Tips for making the best banana bread
There are several tips and tricks for getting the best pumpkin bread, let me share a few I love to use.
- Mix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients separately. When you combine the 2, DO NOT overmix. It will make your bread tough and you do not want that!
- The type of loaf pan you use for baking matters. Cheap, thin pans will give you a loaf that is burnt on the outside. This Calphalon pan is one I love to use for quick bread. There are plenty of other bread pans to choose from as well, but that is my favorite.
- If you are going to make muffins instead of bread, make sure and decrease the time. I generally start checking my muffins after about 18-20 minutes. You can insert a cake tester in them or gently press the top. You want it to spring back.
- The best way to remove bread from the pan and muffins from the muffin tins is to let them sit for a little bit in the pan to cool. As they cool, the bread and muffins will naturally pull in a bit. This will also give them a chance for the insides to solidify a bit.
- Many people like to cool bread on a paper towel. I do not like this method as it will sweat on the towel and it will take longer to cool.
- Remember that pumpkin pie filling IS NOT pumpkin puree. If you use it, it will not bake into the bread you are wanting.
- You can always make your own homemade pumpkin puree with pie pumpkins. Bake them and scoop them out. Here is an article all about making your own pumpkin puree.
- All-purpose flour is the best choice. I have tried with cake flour and bread flour and the results are not the same. The cake is a lower protein flour and makes the bread just a little too tender. The bread flour is higher in protein and it makes the bread a little "sturdier" for a lack of a better word.
- I like to use a blend of butter and canola oil or vegetable oil (any neutral oil will work well) in my recipes. It results in the best texture with the best flavor.
- Be sure to spray or line your baking pan before adding the pumpkin bread batter. It is so hard to get out without that little bit of help!