The Many Ways to Store Bread
We put a lot of hard elbow grease into making fresh homemade bread. It takes the right ingredients, the mixing, the kneading, the rising and the baking to turn out a loaf of bread thatís to die for. But if that fresh bread isnít stored correctly you can end up with breadcrumbs or worse yet that green furry stuff nobody wants to look at. Letís investigate some of the best way to store our bread so itís always fresh and ready to eat.
The Many Ways to Store Bread
Homemade bread always seems to spoil faster than mass-produced bread because of the lack of preservatives. One of the first ways we can suggest to store homemade bread is to look to our past and figure out what was done when people didnít have the same storage options we do today. Artisans have been storing their bread out in the open for years; sure it creates a tough crust on the bread, but it keeps the inside nice and soft and lasts for quite some time considering the conditions.
Many people do not like a tough crust, which means the bread will spoil faster. One of the ways to keep the ends from going stale while out in the open, is to store the bread with the cut side down. This will act as a ďtemporaryĒ crust, protecting the soft inside of the bread. Of course, storage out in the open will only last for a few days at most, no matter what type of bread you are trying to store. Anything after three days, it is best to put the bread into some sort of alternate method of storage.
The way most commercial bread is stored is inside of a bag. One thing that we can learn from commercial bread makers is a good way to store the bread. Usually it takes a couple days to get from the bakery to the shelf of the store. After that it can last a few days longer on your counter.
Taking a tip from the commercial bakeries, storage in some sort of bag is a way of delaying the aging process. The only problem now is trying to figure out what type of bag works the best for storage. There are plastic bags, cotton bags, breathable polyurethane and even foil-lined paper bags.
Each type of bread has different requirements for bagging. Most soft breads do well in a fully enclosed plastic bag. Breads that are going to be reheated in an oven, like French bread or baguettes usually do best in a foil-lined bag that can be put in the oven and heated through. The biggest thing to remember when bagging bread is to make sure it is completely cool before you bag it otherwise there will be added moisture, increasing the chance for mold.
Fridge and Freezer
No matter if you leave your bread out in the open or put it in some sort of bag, the best way to slow down the growth of mold is to put the bread in the fridge or freezer. The general consensus is freezing is better because there is less chance for the bread to just dry out. When storing the bread in the freezer, it is best to cut it into slices so you can remove only what you need and do not have to let the rest of the loaf defrost and refreeze.
Different altitudes affect bread differently, so try out a few different ways of storing your bread and figure out which way works best for each type of loaf. After all, you can always invite your friends over to help finish your bread off and make a fresh loaf to try new storage techniques with.