The aroma of baked bread fills your kitchen as you pull that wholesome loaf of whole wheat bread out of the oven to cool on your countertop. Suppose you are a bread baker; you know the feeling of pride when you bake that perfect loaf. Have you wondered what the best options for storing your loaves that will preserve them the longest are? We've found the best methods and have productive bread storage advice to share with you.
Always store loaves of bread in a cool, dark place in your kitchen or pantry. Protecting the loaves from heat and light will extend the shelf life and help prevent mold growth. There are six best methods for storing bread:
- Bread box
- Single loaf storage
- Linen bread bag
- Beeswax bread wrap
- Aluminum foil
- Ziploc bags
Are you a baker that enjoys learning new tips and tricks of the trade? Or are you considering more earth-conscious choices for storing your bread? Are you curious if investing in a wooden bread box is worth it? Please continue reading to learn more about bread storage options!
Where should you store bread?
Loaves of bread should be stored in a cool and dark area like a kitchen cabinet, pantry, or bread box. Avoid light and moisture exposure. Those factors will cause the bread to soften and become a breeding ground for mold much quicker. Also, an airy place in your kitchen, such as a bread basket near a window, will cause the bread to dry out nearly overnight.
Another factor that destroys the shelf life of bread is humidity. It will quickly turn a beautiful loaf into bread pudding. If you reside in a humid climate, wrap the bread and if you are not going to consume all of it in one to two days, put it in the freezer.
Keeping bread fresh at room temperatures between 60°F and 80°F is ideal for storing loaves of bread. Higher temperatures will cause mold to grow, and lower temperatures will cause the bread to get stale much quicker. Implementing the storage methods listed below should keep the loaves fresh for three to five days using the following methods correctly.
Bread Storage Methods
1. The bread box storage method
Many options are available for bread storage that complement both homemade and store-bought loaves. The traditional bread box is an aesthetically pleasing option that has assisted bakers for generations.
To use a bread box, remove the packaging from the store-bought loaf and place inside. Homemade loaves should not be placed in the bread box until they have fully cooled on a metal rack. Homemade loaves should keep for three to five days and store-bought five to six days. If the air is humid, the bread box should keep the loaves protected. However, do keep an eye on the loaves to ensure food safety.
2. Single loaf storage method
The expandable bread box is another option that allows the baker to control the airflow with a vent. Also, the size of the plastic bread box is adjustable to accommodate any size loaf. After the bread has fully cooled, set it inside the box and adjust the length to fit the loaf. The air vent is adjustable for staleness control or protection from humidity.
3. Linen bread bag storage method
Storing homemade loaves in a natural linen bread bag is an economical and eco-friendly option. The linen bags are great for small kitchens with limited counter space. The linen helps prevent the growth of mold that often occurs within plastic bags. This breathable option is washable and could be used to store dry herbs as well. The linen bread bag is the easiest method of all. Set the cool loaf inside and pull the drawstring. The loaves of bread should last up to five days.
4. Beeswax bread wrap method
Wrapping homemade bread in beeswax wraps designed to accommodate a loaf of bread is a reusable option that will keep the bread sealed in the cabinet or pantry. Also, wrapping the load of bread is similar to wrapping a present. Lay the beeswax flat on a clean surface. Set the loaf in the middle and overlap the long sides at the middle of the loaf. Then fold the short sides over, and the loaf is protected. This method will help the bread remain softer.
5. Aluminum foil storage method
Aluminum foil works well for wrapping bread for pantry storage or freezing. Wrap the bread tightly in aluminum foil and place it in the pantry or dark cabinet.
6. Ziploc storage method
Storing homemade bread in a Ziploc bag works well, and the bags can be reused several times if washed and dried after each use. To use for bread, place the fully cooled loaf inside, lock the bag, and fold the excess plastic under the loaf.
How do you prolong bread life?
Never store bread in the refrigerator. Although it seems like a logical place to store bread, it will cause the bread to dry out quicker and grow mold. Storing bread on top of the refrigerator should be avoided as well. With the continual heat from the motor, the top of the fridge will be warm and cause the inside of a plastic bread bag to become steamy, which is the breeding ground for dangerous molds to grow. Also, store-bought bread in a paper bag will dry out much quicker from the continual heat exposure.
How to store bread in the freezer
According to Better Homes and Gardens, store-bought bread is the easiest to freeze. If the bread was purchased in a plastic bag, leave it in the bag and place it in the freezer. If the bread is in a paper bag, place it in a plastic freezer bread bag. Or wrap in saran wrap twice and wrap the plastic layers with aluminum foil. The bread should last up to three months in the freezer. When you are ready to serve the bread, remove the wrappings and thaw at room temperature.
Homemade bread should only be frozen once it is fully cooled and set. Wrap the bread tightly in aluminum foil and place inside a freezer Ziploc bag. Date the bread with an expiration date of three months. To serve, remove wrappings and thaw at room temperature. Or, if the bread was frozen sliced, place the slices into your toaster.
Additional homemade bread storage tips
Cut the homemade bread loaf from the center rather than the ends. Continue to cut the slices from the center and store the remaining sides of the loaf pushed together in a bread bag or box. Doing so will help the bread remain fresh and prevent it from prematurely drying out.
Crusty loaves of bread like french bread or hearty ryes don't need to be stored in a bag or plastic wrap. Instead, only cut slices from one end and store the bread standing up with the cut side down on a cutting board or plate. Also, this will help stale the bread and maintain its crusty texture. Storing crusty bread in plastic will cause the bread to become soft quickly.
Another method to preserve the texture of the bread long-term is freezing individual slices wrapped in plastic or foil. Remove from the freezer only as needed—thaw the slices in the toaster for a quick breakfast or snack.
Why does store-bought bread last so long?
Store-bought bread lasts a long time because preservatives were added to the dough to extend the shelf life. Generally, the preservatives used are calcium propionate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid. Lactic acid bacterias are added to the dough mix to prevent the growth of molds. Gluten-free bread does not always contain preservatives and is susceptible to molding quicker than wheat flour-based bread.
To summarize, always allow homemade loaves of bread to completely cool before wrapping the loaves for the freezer or storage. Preventing the growth of mold is paramount for bread storage. We sincerely hope you have found the information presented in this post helpful. Please visit Kitchenseer.com soon for more informative content!