Keep Bread Fresh Longer?

The best is to store it in the freezer, please read these instructions carefully and proceed.

The best is to finish your loaf within 48 hours, However, The following steps are loosely how I take a loaf of bread, from cooling to cutting, to long-term storage.

Wait to slice bread after buying

Cutting fresh-baked bread too early will result in a  gummy and sticky interior. After the baked loaf is cooled and fully set, then it’s time to cut.

Store bread cut-side down

Once cool, we first cut the loaf directly down the middle creating two halves. This way after slicing from the middle I can turn the halves so the crumb is facing the cutting board. This completely surrounds the interior by the (relatively) thick crust, keeping it from drying out excessively. The crust is a natural bag of sorts, keeping moisture in and dryness out.

We can typically keep my bread like this for a day or two (remember, it’s very dry here) on my cutting board, at which point I move it to a breadbox.

Use a breadbox

This is as simple as it gets: just keep your cooled loaves, cut or uncut, in a bread box, and let the box do its job. 

Use reusable wrap 

Another option is to use a reusable wrap bread-sized Bee’s Wrap. This is one of our favorite ways to wrap up longer loaves and the wrap works extremely well at keeping loaves soft but not too soft. Simply place your bread in the wrap and cover tightly. 

Plain paper bags and kitchen towels also work very well to keep the bread from excessively drying.

Don’t place bread in the refrigerator

Finally, and this is a very important one, don’t store bread in the refrigerator. It might seem counterintuitive since the refrigerator is seen as a food-preserver, but placing your loaf of bread in the 

a refrigerator will actually cause it to stale faster than if it’s kept at room temperature.

The Practice: Freeze bread for Long Storage

For long-term storage, a freezer is a handy option. By subjecting bread to very low temperatures the retrogradation process can be mostly halted, preventing the migration of moisture out of starches and their subsequent recrystallization. This means a cooled loaf can be frozen whole or sliced completely and then the slices are frozen independently (my preference).

Freezing Slices

In practice, freezing individual slices of bread is a great way to get the best of both worlds: conveniently sliced bread that can be reheated at a moment’s notice that also keeps for a very long time in the freezer (I’ve done a month or so, but this could probably go longer). When reheated, the bread comes out like freshly baked bread that’s perfectly toasted.

The best way to store bread, freezing it

Upper-left: slice cooled bread thoroughly; upper-right: stack slices in a freezer bag; lower-left: a frozen bag of bread; lower-right: remove slices and reheat in a toaster.

The process is simple: once your loaf of bread is cooled thoroughly, slice it completely from end to end. Then place the pieces in a freezer Ziploc bag, one on top of the other, in an alternating pattern (place a layer on the bottom from side to side, then place slices on top of the bottom layer turned 90°) and press out as much air as possible. Then, place the bag in the freezer until the slices are fully frozen. At this point, take one or two slices out and reheat them in the toaster to your liking. The plastic freezer bag can be used many times without discarding.