How To Store Bread To Make It Last Longer
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.
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.
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.
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.