1. Do whatever it is that you do before baking a loaf of bread
2. Bake the loaf for around 2/3rds the target time. In my case, this is about a half hour. I bake these loaves at 200°C, on a baking stone and covered with a huge aluminum salad bowl to sorta emulate a steam oven. At the end of the half hour, the crust is still white due to the bowl, and just starting to go brown on the tips of whatever cuts I added.
3. Take the loaf out and let it cool for a couple hours
4. Seal it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer
5. Proceed with life for a time
6. When in need of more bread, take a par-baked loaf out of the freezer and put it on the counter, and pre-heat the oven to 200°C
7. Once pre-heated (~20 mins later, let's say), put the still-frozen loaf (sans plastic!!) into the oven uncovered, and cook for another 15 mins
8. Take it out to let it cool and enjoy
IMO a par-baked and then frozen loaf is noticeably better than a single-baked loaf, at least when using a home oven. I speculate that this is because a home oven needs a longer total baking time than a (hotter, steam-injected) commercial oven to fully bake + get the right crust, and that extra time turns into a drier crumb. But I further speculate that the par-bake-and-freeze technique preserves the crumb, since the crumb is really pretty much done by the time the 30-min par-bake is over, and the crumb ends up spending a good chunk of the 15-min finishing bake just de-thawing rather than drying out.
Now I pull the loaf out a few hours before it's needed and let it thaw at room temperature in the pantry. Definitely leave it sealed.
I laugh now thinking about how as kids we put the bread in the microwave on defrost. That makes some damn nasty bread :-D
some people recommend sprinkle a bit water and put defrosted bread into oven for short time, but haven't tried it, I prefer fresh bread
My mom freezes everything to save money, and there is an element of emancipation for me to be able to not do that, but generally speaking I just find it a destructive practice from a flavour perspective.
And stale or moldy bread, my alternative, is very easy to notice.
The only complaint I have is that when there isn't space, she forces it in anyway and then you end up with mangled, frozen slices that don't fit in the toaster.
On a side note, with energy prices (which are typically high in the UK compared to some other places) I'd be loath to use an "old" freezer. We once rented a place, and I found their circa 80s freezer user more electricity than we did for the rest of the flat.
I've always been one to prefer newer, more energy efficient devices even at a higher initial cost (it's somewhat of a hobby of mine to see how energy efficient I can make things in my home), it's times like these where I feel it's actually paying off.
While nothing is like a chunk or slice of bread still warm from the oven, this is more than good enough and often not distinguishable from the bread as received. One note is that this is pretty high-density bread, so it might not work as well with 'fluffier' breads. In any case, the double bagging does work for me to eliminate that ucky freezer burn taste, or at least put it off so that it takes 2+months in the freezer for it to appear.
I've also found for cakes and pastries that wrapping in cling wrap, then aluminum foil tightly sealed by rolling the edges together, then a freezer bag works well for many months.
(I like both, they aren't the same thing)
The method I was taught was to wrap the slice of bread in a paper towel and microwave for 5-10 seconds.
Rolls are especially poor in the freezer as they have to first be half defrosted then cut then toasted and even then the top has a slightly odd taste, probably due to the thickness. Of course, I'll still stick them in there rather than wasting them, I'll just be miffed about it.
Dunns Bakery in Crouch End is decent if youre close.
My wife disdains bread heels too.
She grew up upper middle-class, while I grew up in a working poor family.
My theory is that one's estimation of heels is in inverse proportion to how well-to-do your family was growing up.
Except frozen bread tastes bloody awful.