Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Storing Homemade Bread

Fortunately, my bread baking experiments have improved since my first disastrous attempt. (Remember this?) I think the keys have been 1) Ignoring the recommended 4 hour rise time and letting it rise for 36 hours instead, and 2) Making it in a loaf pan rather than a free-formed boule.

Now that we have figured out the mechanics of baking, we’ve had to figure out how to store the bread to retain all of its freshness. After some experimenting, the method works best for me is wrapping the loaf in a sheet of parchment paper and letting it sit out on the counter. The parchment paper prevents staleness, but doesn’t make the crust go soft the way a plastic bag does.

How do you store your bread?


  1. What a good idea! I love how my homemade bread has a cruchy crust but am so sad when it softens after being in a baggie. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. 36 hours?! Wow, maybe I'll try that! Another sourdough baker told me that sourdough just doesn't rise much - I usually let mine go all day, so about 8 hours, before baking.

    I slice my bread and freeze it. When we want to use it, we pop it in the toaster oven. I might try your method. We don't have a regular pattern for how we use bread, so I get nervous that it will mold. Have you noticed how long yours lasts on the counter? Of course winter will be easier than summer.

  3. I just freeze it- but I would love to know what you think works best- I always feel like we never have the right amount of bread ready when we need it.

  4. I like the freezer idea, ladies. I think I might start doing that, at least with one loaf.

    I'm embarrassed to admit this, but it took us a week and a half to finish the last batch and it never became moldy. (Clearly we don't have a regular pattern for how we use bread either.) What I believe contributes to its longevity is 1) even though our apartment is quite warm, but not at all humid and 2) I use regular grocery store flour which is probably full of all kinds of bad things and not freshly ground flour.

    The starter probably has something to do with longevity too. If Margo's bread will rise in 8 hours and mine takes a good 36, the difference (besides the flour) is probably the starter.

  5. Meghan, I have read that the older a starter is, the better rising power it has. Also, my sourdough does not LOOK raised the way a commercial yeasted loaf looks. It's a little higher and rounder, but not doubled, by any means! I put pictures of this when I posted on how I make bread.

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  7. I will give parchment paper a try. You got interesting posts:) I am trying to learn to make the best homemade bread. Check out this bread i made:)



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