Bread pudding is a hearty and cheap dessert, made to salvage scraps that would otherwise be disposed of. As if it couldn’t get any better, bread pudding can be frozen too!
Bread pudding is a great dessert for those conscious of their food waste. It gives stale and otherwise unusable bread a new lease of life and extends the lifespan dramatically.
It is made of cubes of stale bread, soaked in a custard mixture and baked until crispy on top. It can easily be adapted with the addition of dried fruits, spices, or anything else that tickles your tastebuds.
If stored correctly, bread pudding can be kept in the freezer for 2 to 4 months.
For best results, consume within 2. Once thawed, we advise consuming the bread pudding within 24 hours.
How to freeze bread pudding
If you are baking your own bread pudding, allow it to cool completely before you begin to prepare it for freezing. If you plan to serve it with a sauce, we recommend keeping the two elements separately.
Leave the bread pudding on the countertop for no more than 2 hours to cool completely. Once cooled, cut into individual portion sizes. Wrap each portion of bread pudding tightly with plastic wrap. Cover in a second layer of aluminum foil.
Place the double wrapped bread pudding inside a freezer-safe airtight container. We recommend using a rigid container such as a Tupperware. This will prevent the bread pudding from being squashed in the freezer during storage.
If you opt to use a ziplock freezer bag, you must ensure that as much air as possible is pressed out before you seal the bag.
If you have purchased a storebought bread pudding this can be frozen, provided it is not covered in sauce. For this, follow the steps above. If it has been doused in sauce, we do not advise freezing the pudding.
You can keep the bread pudding in the refrigerator for a few days, or send some home with dinner guests.
You can also freeze the sauce that accompanies your bread pudding when served. Transfer to an airtight container and leave an inch or two of space at the top of the container.
Seal, label, and transfer to the freezer for storage. If you are storing in a ziplock freezer bag, press as much of the air out of the bag as you can before sealing.
How to defrost bread pudding
As with most frozen foods, the best way to thaw it is gently and over a long period of time. The ideal way to defrost frozen bread pudding is to remove from the freezer the night before you wish to eat it. We suggest doing the same with any sauce that you also froze.
Transfer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw completely overnight. You can then warm it up on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes. Drizzle some sauce over the top before warming to keep the pudding moist and sumptuous.
Another way to warm the pudding is in the microwave. Warm in 10-second bursts and drizzle with some sauce if it looks like it is becoming dry.
Do not be tempted to blast the bread pudding in the microwave as this can cause it to become hard and unappealing. There is no way to fix this once it has happened, so slow and gentle is the way to go.
You can also thaw and warm the bread pudding from frozen in the oven. Remove the wrappings and the layer of plastic wrap. Re-cover in aluminum foil and place in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes.
Factors to consider before freezing bread pudding
We recommend freezing the bread pudding and the sauce separately. This is because the added moisture in the sauce can cause the pudding to drastically alter in texture. It is likely to cause the bread pudding to become very soggy and mushy.
It is important to not leave the bread pudding on the countertop at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. This is because the temperature provides a good environment for bacterial growth.
As bread pudding contains dairy and eggs, high-risk foods for food poisoning, it is vital to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination. If the pudding is left out for longer than 2 hours, we advise throwing it out.
We suggest freezing bread pudding in individual portion sizes so that you can only thaw what you are going to eat. This means that you will reduce your food waste and has the added bonus of reducing the thawing time.
It is important to double wrap the bread pudding prior to freezing. Air and moisture are the two components vital to the growth of freezer burn. Double wrapping prevents these from getting into the bread pudding and causing the quality to deteriorate.
In conclusion, bread pudding holds up remarkably well to freezing and thawing. This is the perfect dish to use up leftovers and is ideal for anyone conscious of their food waste.
When freezing bread pudding, we suggest freezing without the sauce on top. This can make the pudding soggy and cause it to disintegrate upon thawing. You do not have to dispose of the sauce and can freeze this as well, provided it is in a separate container.
Both homemade and storebought bread puddings can be frozen for up to 4 months. It is important to double wrap the bread pudding to prevent freezer burn forming. We recommend placing in a rigid container after this to prevent the structure from getting damaged in the freezer.
When thawing, we advise doing this in the refrigerator overnight for the best results. Do not forget to drizzle with sauce when reheating, as this will help to keep the bread pudding moist and prevent it from becoming hard.
We hope you now feel confident with freezing leftover bread pudding.