When it comes to storing bread, you have a whole lot of choices. Some are better than others, depending on what kind of bread you are looking to store. Whether you have just baked a loaf or recently bought fresh bread from the store, this article is here to help. Read on for how to store your bread to keep it tasting fresh!
Wrap bread in cling film or tin foil
This method works for fresh, store-bought bread and homemade bread. It will trap the bread’s natural moisture to keep it from drying out. If your bread came in a paper wrapping, toss it out and wrap it in cling film or tin foil for longer lasting storage.
- If you have sliced, processed bread, you can seal it up in its original plastic packaging. Manufacturers of this style of bread recommend leaving it in this packaging to retain the bread’s moisture.
- Some swear by leaving unsliced artisanal bread in the paper wrapper, or even leaving it unwrapped on the counter with the cut side face-down. This retains the bread’s crispiness, but it may cause the bread to go stale faster.
Keep homemade bread at room temp for no more than two days
Room temperature should be around 68 °F (20°C). On the day that you bake your bread, leave it uncovered on your counter. This lets the bread breathe.
- If you have high humidity in your house, your bread may mold quickly at room temperature. If this is the case, you might want to skip straight to freezing it after you have eaten as much as you want while it is fresh.
- If your baked bread goes stale, it does not have to go to waste. Use the bread to make breadcrumbs or croutons.
Use a breadbox or foil to store bread overnight
Both options keep the bread from going stale. Wrap homemade or fresh, store-bought bread in tin foil and leave it on the counter overnight. Alternatively, stick it in a breadbox for the night. A breadbox provides the perfect amount of ventilation so that your bread maintains its moisture as well as its crispy crust. Just make sure you do not overstuff the breadbox: overfilling it raises the humidity level, which may cause your bread to get soggy.
- Do not store your bread in a breadbox if you wrap it in a paper bag. This can lead to excess moisture, which damages the crust. Wrap it in tin foil instead.
Avoid putting bread in the refrigerator
Scientific studies show that this draws out the moisture, which can cause the bread to become stale 3 times faster than it would at room temperature. This happens through a process known as “retrogradation”, which simply means that the starch molecules crystallize and the bread gets tough.
Freeze the bread to extend its life expectancy
This method works for homemade and store-bought bread. Freezing your bread stops the starch in the bread from recrystallizing and getting stale. This stops the starch in the bread from recrystallizing and getting stale. If you have more bread than you can consume within 2-3 days, the best way to store it is by freezing.
- Be sure to store it in plastic freezer bags or heavy-duty foil, as lightweight household foil isn’t suitable for freezing.
- Label and date it to prevent it from becoming a mystery cube.
- Consider slicing your bread before freezing. That way you will not have to slice it while it is frozen, and it is often difficult to slice once it’s thawed.
Thaw frozen bread
If you have frozen your bread, allow it to thaw at room temperature. Remove the freezer wrapping and let it stand. If you like, crisp in the oven or toaster for a few minutes (no more than 5) to restore crustiness. Be aware that bread is only good for reheating once to return crustiness; after that, you are simply reheating stale bread.
Store slices in individual plastic bags
Take the slices in pairs and keep them in their own bags. Seal each bag shut and make sure there is no air left inside. Store all of the bags in another plastic bag (preferably the one the bread was originally packaged in). The individual, airtight bags help your bread stay fresh while also protecting it from extra moisture and bacteria.
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