5 Secrets of Storing Bread
The truth is that baked goods are at their prime the moment they come out of the oven—especially bread. As soon as your loaf begins to cool, its quality begins to diminish. If you plan on baking homemade bread, be sure to time it so it can be enjoyed as soon as it comes out of the oven. But even if it’s from the grocery store or your local bakery, you can extend bread’s lifespan with a little science—and some storage know-how. With these 5 simple tips learn how to keep your bread fresh and make it last longer.
1. Different styles of bread require unique storage styles
Room temperature is ideal for maintaining proper crumb and crust texture. But in addition to proper temperature, you also need to manage your bread’s air exposure—which is done with proper wrapping. The plastic bag is often criticized for trapping moisture—which can speed up mould development—but this truly depends on the type of bread. For common store-bought loaves with tender crusts, plastic bags are just fine. Hard-crusted breads should be kept in paper bags (or, how they’re packaged at the bakery). As a loaf dries, the moisture that is pushed out of the bread is absorbed by the hard crusts, turning them tough and rubbery.
2. Air-tight tin
Bread should be stored in an air-tight container, but still have some room to breath. Any kind of tin or bread box will work, as long as the lid fits tightly enough to keep air out.
3. Bread box
Bread lasts best when it is kept out of direct sunlight and stored in a cool, dark location- enter the humble bread box. It can also be used as an extra precaution in conjunction with a bread bag.
4. Freeze It, but never refrigerate it
Thoroughly wrap a cool, dry loaf in plastic, making sure no moisture or condensation sneaks in. Then store it in the freezer for up to two months. (You could go longer, but the flavor may be affected.) While freezing is fine, refrigerating bread is just about the worst thing you can do, because it'll completely dry it out. Sure, it's fine to put a sandwich in the fridge for a few hours, but when you're talking about a loaf (sliced or not), the fridge gives it a funky texture that just isn't good.
5. Revive stale bread
To revive stale bread, put a clean, fresh celery stick inside the plastic bag with the bread. The loaf will slowly absorb the humidity from the celery, giving it a fresher taste and bounce. Since the celery doesn’t have a strong flavor, it won’t affect the taste of the bread.
There is the possibility that your bread has dried out beyond reasonable or easy softening. If this is the case, try reusing your bread in other ways: make bread crumbs, make croutons, thicken a soup, or feed the birds!
Have a wonderful day!