If you’re regularly baking great fresh bread, you’ll know it can go stale quickly after bake day. So how to store your bread? Here are three ways you should store bread so it keeps fresher for longer, and one way you definitely shouldn’t.
1. Keep your loaf cut side down
The longer your loaf sits in the open air, the more moisture it loses and the stiffer (staler) it becomes. The crust acts as a natural barrier to this process, so you can help by following this first tip if you need to keep your loaf out on the table, for example during a meal, for any length of time.
Firstly, make sure any cut side is turned down onto the board in between slices. It’s surprising how quickly your loaf will stale, so prevent air getting to the soft crumb as much as possible. Alternatively, start cutting your loaf from the centre outwards, and push the two halves of the loaf back together between slicing.
2. Seal your bread in a bag or bread bin
Once you’re finished with your loaf, you can usually keep it at room temperature for a couple of days. To stop it going stale, you’ll need to seal it away from air as much as possible. Using a bread bin or similar sealed container is one way to do this. However, I also like to wrap my bread in plastic – usually a re-sealable (and re-usable) bag – which I’ve squeezed the air out of. The double protection of bread bin and wrapping means that bread can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days. If you don’t want to use plastic, you can buy, or make, a fabric bread bag. However, if your bread does unfortunately go mouldy in a fabric bag, make sure you wash the bag at a high temperature before using again, to remove mould spores from the bag fabric.
3. Slice your bakes and freeze them
I often recommend batch baking bread as you get plenty of loaves or rolls for a similar amount of effort as you would have making just one. However, what to do with all that spare bread? You could always give it away to willing family and friends, but you might have batch baked in order to stock up. In that case, the best way to store your bread is to freeze it. Bread freezes really well, and defrosts quickly. Wrap your cooled loaves in plastic bags or foil, label them clearly and then freeze on the day of baking to ensure maximum freshness. You could even slice larger loaves in half or into slices before freezing, so you only need to defrost what you want to use.
And finally – what one way should you never store bread?
I often hear of people storing their bread in the fridge. Unfortunately, this is possibly the worst way to store your fresh bread. Fresh baked bread kept in the fridge will stale much more quickly than when left at room temperature. So choose one of the other ways above instead!
Got more questions about storing your bread, or any other bread making questions? Please leave a comment below, or get in touch.
If you’d like to get started baking some great bread, why not try these warming roast red pepper, tomato and chilli bread rolls?
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