Storage Solutions for Keeping Bread Soft

JaclynM

I've just started baking sandwich bread, and made my first loaf a few days ago. Since my family is just me and my husband, we generally don't go through bread fast enough before it gets moldy. So when I bought sandwich bread at the store, I would always keep it in the freezer and take out slices as needed (they thaw quickly).

For this bread, I plan to also keep it in the freezer, but wondered what would be the best storage solution to keep it fresh and not get dried out? (Although since the loaf I make is smaller than the store-bought one, it's possible I may be able to keep it at room temperature since we'll use it up faster.)

I know some people keep their bread on their counter, with the cut side down, but I'd prefer the bread to be stored air-tight to keep it soft. I did try keeping it on the counter in a breathable fabric bag, and the outer crust got dryer than we wanted, so I think air-tight is the way to go.

I know KAF sells some plastic bags, but I'd prefer something I could reuse if possible. I was thinking of getting large ziplock freezer bags, which can be washed (or just rinsed) and reused several times. I've seen some Tupperware/Lock-n-Lock containers that might work, but was thinking they might leave too much room for air to circulate inside. Any thoughts?

badge posted by: JaclynM on January 20, 2011 at 10:16 am in Q & A
tags: bread, storage
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reply by: Mike Nolan on January 20, 2011 at 11:01 am
Mike Nolan

I buy plastic bread bags and keep bread in them, but I do NOT close it with a twist tie or tuck the end under the loaf, as that keeps the bread a bit too moist and it will mold faster, sometimes in just a day.

I let the bread cool/dry for 8-24 hours before putting it in a bag. Most breads are good for several days like this.

If I'm going to be out of town and need to build up some inventory for my family, I will put some of the bread in the refrigerator or double bag it and put it in the freezer.

After it thaws or after removing it from the refrigerator, putting the bread in a warm oven (200 degrees) for 5-10 minutes will refresh it.

reply by: elsa on January 20, 2011 at 11:53 am
elsa

I recently purchased plastic bread bags online from Sam's Club - 1,000 for $22. I guess that's enough for about five lifetimes. I agree with Mike's comments on storage; however, we generally don't enjoy thawed bread as much as "fresh from the oven." ;)

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 20, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Mike Nolan

A few years ago I purchased some items at an auction of a restaurant supplier who was retiring. One of the 'throw ins' in one lot was two boxes of bread bags, probably about 2500 of them.

I think I'm about half way through them at this point.

I agree that most breads are best the first few hours, but the practical reality is that many recipes wind up producing enough bread to last us 2-3 days. (We often have two or more different types of bread to choose from here, though.)

reply by: JaclynM on January 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm
JaclynM

Maybe I did something wrong, but the bread I made was dried out before 24 hours so I'm inclined to put the next one in a bag as soon as it cools. I made the King Arthur's Classic White Sandwich Bread (Walter Sands' Bread) from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/king-arthurs-classic-white-sandwi...

After it cooled, I tried putting it in a fabric bread bag (which is breathable) to see how it would do. I left it overnight, and about 9 or 10 hours later, the next morning, I checked the bread and the outer crust had dried significantly. It wasn't inedible, but it wasn't as pleasantly soft as it had been the night before. That's why I'm looking for something more airtight for the next loaf.

reply by: jengould on January 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm
jengould

I am a weekly bread maker for my household. And I have used the KA plastic bags for 10 years! I just restocked my supply recently. I reuse the bags for bread all of the time. And I give loaves as gifts in the bags. They are great!

Jennifer

reply by: jengould on January 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm
jengould

I thought that I sent a response, but guess I pushed the wrong button. I have used the KA plastic bags for 10 years and love them. I reuse them for bread, nothing else. Also use them when gifting sweet rolls, breads or muffins.

I encourage their use.

Jennifer

reply by: RonB on January 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm
RonB

I saw a new, (to me at least), type of bag in a store the other day. The brand is Bread Armour. A company video is here:

http://www.vimeo.com/12899071

Has anyone tried them? They look good, but are expensive at more than $2 each.

Ron