Local love in every loaf.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to store bread

This is a question we get asked at workshops occasionally, and it's more important than you might think. Hopefully by writing this post I will save at least one person from coming home to a ruined loaf of what used to be good bread.

How to preserve this crusty bread?

First: never store your bread in the refrigerator! Even if it's wrapped in plastic, the loaf will dry out. The exception to this is supermarket bread, which due to its preservatives will remain soft, spongy, and spoilage-free for mysteriously long periods of time under almost any storage circumstances...

Second: Store crusty breads in paper; store soft sandwich breads in plastic. Paper bags preserve the strong crunch of a good crust, while plastic keeps the moisture from fleeing a softer loaf. Wait until bread is room temperature before wrapping in plastic to avoid condensation, which will make the outside of the bread soggy and encourage the growth of mold. You can also make use of a classic metal bread box (or bread drawer), or a linen bread bag – we sell these from time to time, actually.

Third: While it should be eaten within a week if stored at room temperature, bread can be frozen in plastic for longer periods of time. For maximum convenience, slice bread and then freeze so you can pull out slices when needed. Frozen bread can be thawed on the counter, in a low oven, or toasted as slices straight out of the freezer.

And a bonus tip: stale bread can be revived by either sprinkling with a little water and microwaving for a few seconds, or by storing in a bag with a cut apple. Or just dip it in soup.

In bread we trust,

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