Crispy crust, soft interior, holes that beg for butter: this is the definition of perfect bread, and therefore happiness. Glory to the ancients who discovered the results from a combination of flour and bacteria. In ancient Greece, about 50 recipes for various types of bread were known. Regardless, the methods you use to store it is very important. So, find out how to store bread to keep it fresh and tasty for longer.
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Where should you store bread?
Storing fresh bread is an important matter if you don’t want it to get dry or moldy.
But why is this?
Humidity causes mildew. This means putting it in plastic wrap is a bad idea. Conversely, a hot place will evaporate the moisture in the bread and make it go stale quicker.
Therefore, the best place to store bread is a cool dry place. Bread bins are excellent for providing such an atmosphere.
Can bread be stored on the counter?
If you don’t have a bread box, remove the bread from the plastic bag and wrap it with a linen or ordinary dishcloth. This should keep the bread fresh for up to 2 days.
Can I store bread in a bread bin?
Absolutely! This is actually the optimal place for it.
However, there are some extra steps you can take to make the bread bin an even better place to store it.
Linen pouches are a great extra step for storing bread in the bread bin. Nowadays, because the Zero Waste Movement has become more popular, such bags are now easier to get hold of. They’re also great for taking shopping with you to reduce your plastic use.
These linen pouches allow air to escape, meaning you don’t trap moisture around the bread and ‘boil’ it, making it go moldy. Once inside the pouch, put the bread in the bread box. Both bread box and extra breathable protective linen layer will keep your bread extra fresh. It won’t start drying out and going moldy too quickly.
If you don’t have a linen pouch you can use dishcloth instead.
This method is even better for sourdough bread. When stored this way, sourdough bread will stay fresh for a full week after baking.
Can bread be stored in the fridge?
Storing bread in the fridge is not the best way. If the room is hot and humid, you can put the bread in the fridge, which will prevent mold but will accelerate the aging process, making it hard and dry. Bread goes stale fastest at temperatures from 0-10⁰c/32-50⁰f.
How to Store Bread in the Freezer
If you know you will not eat a whole loaf in a relatively short time, it’s best to freeze bread. This applies to fresh or medium fresh bread. However, freezing stale bread will yield no benefits.
You can put the entire loaf in the freezer. However, it may be better to cut it into slices before freezing. When sliced, you can then take only as much as you need straight out of the freezer to use, and leave the rest for another day. Another reason to freeze it after slicing is that it’s faster to defrost 1 slice of bread than a whole loaf.
To defrost, simply leave it at room temperature for some time, or put into the toaster and use the “defrost” or the lowest setting.
How Long Does Bread Last?
|On the countertop
|In the bread bin
|In the refrigerator
|In the freezer
|Fresh bread will expire in…
|2-3 days (1 week for sourdough)
How to Tell When Bread Goes Bad
Look. When you notice a white coating on bread, which at first can be mistaken for flour, it means that the bread is beginning to go moldy. You should throw out any moldy bread immediately. This is because the roots of mold go surprisingly deep into food. So, cutting off the bit with mold on will not keep you safe from eating it.
Touch. Stale bread becomes hard, especially the skin. However, if there is no mold, you can still use it in some recipes.
Smell. If you find that a bread smells like mold or moisture, then it has gone bad.
Other Useful Tips
Do bread boxes really work?
Yes, on condition that you wash them well from time to time.
This prevents the accumulation of bacteria that accelerates mold growth. The material from which the bread box is made is also important. Natural materials such as wood, wicker or ceramics ones are the best as they allow for better, more natural, ventilation.
How to store bread after baking
Storing homemade bread is the same as bread from the store. However, you should know some rules about how to best handle it immediately after baking.
Take out the bread from the loaf tin and cool it in a wire basket or on a cooling rack. This will allow all the excess moisture to evaporate quickly, preventing your loaf from going soggy
Next, wrap the bread in a dishcloth and leave it for 2-4 hours. When cooling you can spray it with water to help it cool.
But won’t this make the bread wet?
Well, the dishcloth will prevent the water from getting soaked up by the bread. The result is that the crust will be soft but crispy once cooled.
What if you forgot to freeze the bread and it begins to go stale?
Thankfully, there are some tasty ways to use stale bread.
You can search for many fantastic recipes online. But, 1 of the most delicious and popular ways to use stale bread is to make French toast. All you need is an egg, milk, butter, and cinnamon (optional).
To make it, first, mix the egg and milk together. Then, dip the slices of stale bread into the mixture. Next, fry them in a pan with a bit of butter. Serve with your favorite fruit, jam, or honey.
What is your favorite way to store bread? Do you have any favorite recipes for stale bread? Do you prefer to freeze whole or sliced bread? Let us know in the comments.