Written by Karen Bates (last updated February 14, 2022)
Bread is a staple that many people use daily. Whether you are making a sandwich, enjoying toast for breakfast, or implementing it into a larger recipe, bread is a vital and versatile part of most kitchens.
There are many kinds of bread, each with its own unique look and taste. Each person has his or her favorite bread, and this is the loaf that will be most likely kept on hand at all times. But when considering keeping bread at home, how are your supposed to store it? You might wonder if there is a particular way to keep it fresh that is more effective than another.
Of course, the simplest solution, and one that most people employ, is to leave your loaf of bread in its pastic bag and set it somewhere on the kitchen counter. Although you might not give how you store your bread a whole lot of thought, the truth is that the way you keep your loaf will impact how long it will last and how fresh it will taste.
If you'd rather not leave your bread in plain sight, you might want to store it in a cupboard or pantry. This still leaves the bread easy to access when you need it without it taking up precious counter space and making the area look cluttered. You might also consider a bread box, which will keep your bread fresher and prevent it from going stale as quickly. The breadbox may, however, take up too much counter space.
Do you want your bread to last longer? You can keep loaves of bread in the refrigerator or freezer. The cool refrigerator can help slow spoilage and can allow you to keep the bread for longer. Keep in mind, however, that keeping bread at fridge temperature may cause it to go stale more quickly. If you choose to store it in the freezer instead, you can keep bread handy without needing to worry about it going stale or moldy. Just remember to thaw the bread beforehand so you don't have to worry about chiseling frozen slices apart. Luckily, it doesn't take too much time to thaw and soften.
If you make your own bread at home, you can store it under a towel to keep it fresh. If you choose to store extra loaves of bread in the freezer, it is a good idea to slice them first.
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I routinely store my bread in the refrigerator in the closed original plastic bag; only briefly taking it out when I need to get some bread out of the bag. I learned to do this when I lived in Okinawa which is warm and humid; bread, if not refrigerated, would become moldy within a day.
I have not noticed that the bread goes stale in the refrigerator, unless it is in the refrigerator for 3 or more weeks.