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How To Store Bread To Make It Last Longer

Updated on August 16, 2014

Storing bread is a problem for both people who buy it, and people who make bread at home. As someone who had consumed a lot of bread, and who had to buy bread in large quantities, and learn how to store it, I know all about storing bread, from experience. You might have heard, or read, different opinions and pseudo-scientific explanation attempts, anyway trust me, my methods work, they are tested by many people in my ex-communist country were we had to buy bread in bulk and store it for weeks sometimes.

This how to will show the cheapest, yet the most effective methods to store bread, if you want to make it last longer. If you don’t have to, don’t store bread, because it is best consumed fresh on the same day. But if you need to store it, because you can’t shop for bread every day, or because your bread machine recipe makes a big loaf, then this is the definite guide on how to store bread.

How To Store Bread

Make sure the bread is fully cooled down. If you make your own bread, you need to allow the bread to fully cool down, before storing. For a hard crust bread, allow it to cool down on a wire rack. For a soft crust, wrap it in white cloth towels, this will allow full breathing, while maintaining some moist in the crust.

"Warm room alert"

If you store your bread in a warm room, or even worse warm and humid, it will degrade 2 to 3 times faster than in the pantry. In as less as two days, bread without any preservatives will get moldy.

For long term storage, do not use the fridge, it's not good for your bread. For short term storage though, the fridge can be used if you don't have a pantry.

Ziploc Double Zipper Quart Freezer Bags, 216 Count
Ziploc Double Zipper Quart Freezer Bags, 216 Count

Quart freezer bags, double zipper. Very convenient, tight seal, heavy duty, and inexpensive.


Bread - Long Term Storage

For long term storage, the best place to store bread is in the freezer. You can store bread in your freezer for weeks, and there will be very little quality loss.
For the freezer method you can use an extra paper bag. I personally recommend placing the bread in a paper bag, and then in a plastic bag, but it is not critical.

When you need more bread, take it out from the freezer and move it in the fridge overnight. Do not let it sit in the fridge more than 12 hours or so. It will go stale.

When you take it out of the fridge, sprinkle it with some water, and put it in the oven for a few minutes. You can also put it in the oven straight from the freezer, but for best results, let it thaw in the fridge.

Paper Lunch Bags - 50 Count
Paper Lunch Bags - 50 Count

These paper bags are good for smaller loafs, and not for the loaf that comes of a bread machine.


Storing Bread for Shorter Times

For short term storing, (less than a week), store it at room temperature, around 68 °F. The best place to store it is the pantry, (in a plastic bag). If you want to slightly improve this method, put the bread in a paper bag, then in a plastic bag.

An alternative method is to wrap your bread in textile towels, (cotton is the best material), and then in a plastic bag. The towels will retain some moisture, but not too much, just enough to stop rapid evaporation. The plastic bag will seal the environment so that the bread is perfectly isolated from the exterior.

Bread Keeper

Prep Solutions by Progressive Adjustable Bread Keeper
Prep Solutions by Progressive Adjustable Bread Keeper

For short term storing this plastic bread keeper is a great solution. It allows breathing if you need it, (when the bread is very fresh), and it can be airtight closed, for sealing in the bread's moisture. The key is to have an airtight container, which this one is. Most of the wooden and metallic ones are not.



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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Clever ideas on how to store bread and make it last longer, so you won't have to buy them every week at the store. I never thought of them and would try them sometime. Voted up!

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I make my own bread for many years now and can confirm your methods work pretty well. My favorite is to use a cotton towel in combination with a plastic bag, but (if possible) eat it ASAP is still the best;)

      Thanks for all the tips!

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      I use the freezer too, and have an old fashioned metal bin, which is useful for short-term storage.

    • profile image

      flowgirl777 3 years ago

      Great tip! I will have to try this. Humidity in Florida is awful.

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 3 years ago from France

      Great tips, We do the same as Rosetta suggested with our French bread from the previous day. We also wrap it in tin foil to make an almost airtight environment.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Very good tips for storing bread - I use the freezer and it works great -- Nicely done

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      This is something I had trouble with before I started freezing my bread. It would go bad before we ate it and the info you gave is spot on.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada


      Fridge is not too bad, especially if you use plastic bags. It's just not good for storing it a long time.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada


      He is a wise man. Stale bread is not good.

    • KL Klein profile image

      Krissa Klein 3 years ago from California

      Good tips! I had a loaf go moldy just the other day, since it's been a lot more hot and humid than usual, and I left it out on the kitchen counter.

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 3 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Excellent advice on bread storage. I found it interesting the different temperatures and how that relates to bread storage. If I buy any fresh baked bread and we are not eating it the same day, it goes into the freezer to preserve the freshness. My hubby drilled that into my head. LOL

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      Unfortunately I've had to keep our bread in the fridge due to a sugar-ant problem this summer! But have found the bread does last longer that way. Have always wanted a bread-keeper device too. Good tips.

    • Ilonagarden profile image

      Ilona E 3 years ago from Ohio

      I get so frustrated with how fast my bread molds in our humid Ohio weather, thanks for the tips.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      We never used to have a problem eating bread before it went bad (we had two boys) but now that we're empty nesters we have to be a bit more careful with all of our food.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Good to know! We've had a humid summer and a few issues with mold on bakery bread. I certainly prefer fresh - and definitely don't like mold!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for the tips on how to make breads last longer.

    • Coffee-Break profile image

      Dorian Bodnariuc 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Canada

      Yes exactly, that's a great technique.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 3 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      Great tips! My French husband taught me that if bread gets dry or stale, you can rub a wet (clean!) sponge all over it and pop it in a hot oven for 10 mins. It comes out crusty and moist like fresh from the bakery.