4 Tips for Storing Bread

Keep your loaves fresh with these tips.

bread© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The days when no kitchen was complete without a breadbox are long gone. But storing bread in a way that doesn’t leave it too crusty, chewy, or dry is no less of a challenge. Follow these tips to make your loaves stay fresh longer.

Pass on the plastic and skip the fridge.

Plastic bags hold in moisture, which means fresh, crusty bread will soon turn unappealingly soft and chewy and will become moldy before long. In the refrigerator, the opposite will happen and the cold temperatures will cause the bread to dry out. The exception to this rule is store-bought, pre-sliced bread, which can be stored in its bag unrefrigerated for 5-7 days.

Swaddle it.

Stored in a paper bag alone, bread will quickly dry out. Wrapping fresh bread in a cloth napkin or tea towel and then storing it in a paper bag will help prevent it from drying too much. Many kitchen stores also sell linen bread bags, which serve the same purpose and look attractive on your counter while taking up less real estate than a breadbox.

Plus: The Best Place to Store Condiments

Buy a breadbox.

If you’re partial to homemade or bakery fresh bread, and you have the counter space, your best bet is to invest in a ceramic breadbox, which allows the bread to retain its moisture without trapping moisture in and inviting mold.

Squeeze and freeze.

To store bread for future enjoyment, put it in a re-sealable freezer bag and squeeze out the air before sealing. Pre-sliced store-bought bread can be frozen tightly wrapped in its original packaging. Frozen bread should be eaten within 3-4 months.

Sources: TheKitchn.com, StillTasty.com

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest