The Eternal quick bread
November 3, 2011 1:03 AM   Subscribe

I have an important banana bread loaf that I need to keep fresh and accessible indefinately. What should I do?

If you are suggesting freezing, please be specific about techniques please.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You need one of these gadgets that suck the air out of freezer bags and seal them (I have no experience with this particular one, got another slightly different one, but you get the idea.)

Set the freezer on the 'shock freeze' setting (or on 'real cold' or whatever else your machine wants you to do) a few hours in advance.

Cut the bread it into chunks (what you think is reasonable to thaw at a time - you won't be able to re-freeze the leftovers, obviously), put these one by one into sturdy freezer bags, de-air them and seal them tightly, shock-freeze.

(And no. Not even this will keep indefinitely. Frozen food has its life-span as well.)

[Also, your choice of words makes me curious. How is it "important"? Have you baked your savings into it?]
posted by Namlit at 2:07 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is impossible without going into the realm of commercial preservatives.

Consider making a new banana loaf every time you "need" one (this takes, what, 40 minutes bowl-to-table?). Otherwise, freezing in tightly closed freezer bag, from which all air has been expunged, will get you semi-accessible, semi-fresh banana bread.
posted by beerbajay at 2:10 AM on November 3, 2011

Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap then put them all in a box or ziplock bag in the freezer.
posted by slightlybewildered at 2:57 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Indefinitely? As in "archaeologists uncover still-edible loaf from ancient 21st century" indefinitely?

We make banana bread every week, so our churn is probably quicker than you want, but we always just tightly wrap the loaves in heavy foil and pop 'em in the freezer. We've have loaves get lost in the freezer for two or three weeks and come out none the worse for wear.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:19 AM on November 3, 2011

I am not your freezer technician, but -- I actually had my own special loaf of banana bread when I was in college. I sliced it first, then wrapped it in tinfoil, then put it in the freezer. The pieces thawed very nicely in the microwave and I believe we had it at least a year.
posted by Buffaload at 4:59 AM on November 3, 2011

I have a friend who does a lot of holiday baking in advance. She freezes her stuff by first waiting until it's entirely cool, then wrapping tightly and carefully in saran wrap, then wrapping a tight and careful layer of tin foil on top. Her things thaw beautifully.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:17 AM on November 3, 2011

Nitrogen plus partial vacuum plus freezing.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:38 AM on November 3, 2011

Important as in fun? Because that's the only reason I can come up with that would require long term storage of baked goods.

In that case, individually saran wrapped portions stored in a zip lock bag in the freezer. Microwave before snacking for best results.
posted by lydhre at 6:45 AM on November 3, 2011

I line some ziploc containers with wax paper, and then put rubber bands around the container. This works well for baked goods and is less annoying than tons of saran layers. Sidenote: if you wash these things in a dishwasher, the tops get distorted and they don't seal properly, which makes freezing prone to errors.
posted by shownomercy at 7:14 AM on November 3, 2011

I can't help with freezing instructions (I just wrap in cling film and hope for the best), but I will say, banana bread is best preserved in thick slices and the reheated in the toaster. Then it should be eaten with rhubarb compote and creme fraiche.

I take my banana bread very seriously.
posted by tavegyl at 7:45 AM on November 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

Baking does not particularly like to be frozen and thawed again, although banana bread is probably more resilient than many things would be. My preferred way to have "on demand" baking is to mix the ingredients and freeze them, then thaw whenever it is you're ready to do the baking. There's not much gained by freezing the final product.

Anything you do here is going to be a compromise, you just have to decide which element you're willing to give on: time or quality.

Honestly the request is kind of confusing. You could probably mix up the ingredients for a fresh loaf in the time it takes you to read all of these responses.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2011

I have nothing to add in terms of suggestions, but I'm going to nth the plea that you explain the "importance" of this loaf. My mind is awhirl with possibilities.
posted by yoink at 10:04 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just froze a loaf of my famous pumpkin bread (no, not indefinitely but for about 4 weeks) because I made two loafs and wanted to save the second one for a dinner party a month later. My pumpkin bread is unusually moist, almost custard-y because I make it with 3 cups of REAL fresh pumpkin (not canned) and do not add extra flour to compensate. I was worried this unusual texture might be ruined by the freezing. I did NOT slice it (too much surface area exposed does not seem to take us in the right direction here), I wrapped it tight in Saran wrap as someone else suggested and then stuck it gallon size freezer ziplock and sucked out all the air before zipping up. I can't remember if I thawed it in the refrigerator (probably) or on the counter, but after thawing, it was exactly the same as the first day I baked it, really could not tell the difference. By the way, When bananas start to go "bad" (black spots, mushy) I throw 'em in the freezer to use at whatever time later i need them for baking (as in banana bread or other baked goods where I want to substitute banana when a recipe calls for oil, butter, or shortening). The bananas work fine frozen, so I would think freezing the banana bread should work just as well. Oh, and if anyone wants my pumpkin bread recipe, I'd be glad to share. just send me a p.m. with your email and I can send it right from my PAPRIKA app (which if you cook a lot, you will LOVE!)
posted by Lylo at 1:04 AM on November 5, 2011

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