Congratulations on making your own bread! One of the many benefits of making your own is that there are no preservatives. One of the drawbacks, however, is that the bread may have a shorter shelf-life. Fortunately, there are some options for storing your treasure so you can actually keep it around longer than a day or two.
Rigid Storage Containers
A Bread Box is simply a closed container that allows a little air circulation but keeps insects and dust out. In the ’50s and ’60s, almost every kitchen had a bread box. You can still use a bread box in your modern kitchen: either find one at a consignment shop, or purchase a new one to match your décor. Make sure it’s big enough for your loaves!
A Ceramic Container, such as the German Brottopf, is optimal because of its ability to breathe, yet a good-sized container often takes up precious counter space and can be more expensive.
Bags or Wrappers
Plastic, either as a wrap or a bag, does not allow for the passage of air and maintains the bread at a soft texture, so the loaf inside does not dry out. Plastic may work for softer breads but does not work well for sourdough or other crusty breads. It will make the bread soggy from the trace amounts of moisture that collect inside the bag. Plastic is not the best choice for homemade bread storage.
Paper is a cost-effective, simple choice. We recommend wrapping the bread in a linen or cotton tea towel first, then placing it in a bag, to keep it out of the dry air and allow for air circulation.
A Cloth Bag, such as our Organic Cotton Bread Keeper, is a favorite choice for nice aesthetics and regular use. It doesn’t take up much room, is cost-effective, and looks pretty on your counter. If you like different sizes, it’s fairly easy to make one of your own.
If you find that you will not eat the loaf in a day or two, the freezer works well for longer-term storage. We suggest this procedure: cool the bread completely, then slice it.
Wrap the loaf in plastic or zipper bags and place in the freezer. Take out slices as needed and bring to room temperature or toast.
What About Stale Bread?
If in fact your bread does go stale, first follow our recommendations for reviving dried-out sourdough bread. If it's too late to revive it, there may still be some life left. Try one of our many recipes or uses for stale sourdough bread.