How to Store Bread

Bread boxes are as popular as they are for a reason – they keep your bread from going stale as quickly as it otherwise would! This isn’t magic, though, because as long as you keep your bread in an airtight container of some sort, it’s going to last longer than if you just leave it on the countertop.

A staple of virtually every kitchen under the sun, bread is one of the most versatile foods ever conceived. Since it goes so well with everything, though, it’s generally a good idea to have a loaf… loafing around at all times.

Preventing your favorite kind of bread from going stale is the name of the game today, and we’ve got plenty of advice to share. The key elements – as you may expect – will be the constituent parts of any given loaf. Let us explain!

How to Store Bread

How to Store Bread Properly

Your best bet for regular, day-in-day-out bread usage will be to invest in a bread box. It doesn’t need to be a fancy one, either! As long as it keeps your bread safe and sound from the air itself, it’ll do the trick just fine.

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Our suggestion would be to look into wooden or stainless steel bread boxes if you’re hoping to keep them for years at a time. The specific aesthetic will, we reckon, depend entirely on the aesthetic of the rest of your kitchen, so choose whichever you like.

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Bread boxes let in just enough air to keep your bread from molding over several days, but not too much, so that it doesn’t dry out and harden as it would if you had just left it sitting on the table.

A cheeky piece of advice we’ve also seen is for you to toss in an extra slice of bread into the bread box, to sit next to your loaf. The cut slice has more of its surface area exposed to the moisture in the air. In turn, this moisture will be attracted to the slice instead of being pulled in by the loaf you’re actually going to eat.

What Type of Bread Will Stay Fresh the Longest

More often than not, sourdough bread will have no trouble staying reasonably fresh for a whole week. Most kinds of flatbread, too, such as Matzo, can maintain their consistency for months or even years at a time, in extreme cases.

Of course, the specific shelf-life of any kind of bread depends almost entirely on what it’s made of. The fattier the basic ingredients, the longer will the loaf keep. To that end, you may be disappointed to hear that a sandwich staple, the baguette, won’t stay soft on the inside for a very long time.

Should I Refrigerate or Freeze Bread for Long-term Storage?

While we often put refrigeration and actual freezing of foodstuffs into the same basket for preservation purposes, the two are very different when it comes to bread. While it’s perfectly fine to freeze bread to keep it around longer, you shouldn’t refrigerate it.

Simply wrap your loaf in a freezer bag and defrost by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can also bake the loaf again at 325 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how thick it is. By the time it’s done, your bread should basically be good as new!

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How Long Can Bread be Safely Stored?

Regular white or mixed bread you’ll find at any store or marketplace usually won’t keep for long, due to not having lots of fatty content in it. Expect a mileage of 3-7 days if you preserve it in a bread box, depending on the specific variety you purchased.

Now, this may surprise some of you, but there’s nothing technically wrong with stale bread. Sure, it’s pretty darn tough and virtually impossible to cut through in a sensible manner, but it’s perfectly edible. Provided, of course, that it hasn’t grown moldy.

You can make breadcrumbs, Panzanella, put it into meatballs, or even make soup out of it. In a worst-case scenario, you can turn your stale bread into a delicious batch of croutons, which won’t get any staler than they already are.

How to Tell if My Bread Has Gone Stale?

While it’s not exactly ideal, the easiest way to tell if your bread has gone stale is to give it a bite. If the crust has lost its crunchiness and the soft insides have turned chewy and dry, it’s stale alright.

As with virtually any other foodstuff aside from specific kinds of cheese, you shouldn’t eat bread that’s growing moldier by the minute, though. If you see even a spot of mold on your loaf of bread, it might not be a bad idea to ditch it all and get a fresh one instead.

How to Store Bread

Bread Storage Mistakes We’ve All Made!

This one might sound a bit odd, but storing bread in plastic bags isn’t actually the best way of going about things. Your first choice should always be a paper bag, instead, as it isn’t quite as welcoming to mold formation as plastic often is.

Further, try not to leave the loaf you’ve already cut into exposed to the air. Either set it down with the cut side at the bottom or keep the heel and cover the cut side with it, instead. If you protect the cut side of your loaf of bread as much as possible, you can greatly reduce the chance of it going stale too quickly!

Finally, as we said before – refrigeration is not a good idea when it comes to bread. Sources indicate that bread goes stale faster when refrigerated, and at a whopping pace, too. Avoid doing that at all costs.

Keep Your Bread Fresh Longer (And Avoid Mold)

Bread isn’t a difficult kind of food to come to grips with, but there’s an almost ridiculous level of variety present in how well certain kinds do or do not keep. Sure, Matzo is going to stick around for literal years, but is it really going to be your first choice for a delicious Saturday morning sandwich?