Bread Preservation: What Works And What Doesn't

If you don't go through bread quickly, you may find yourself occasionally needing to throw bread away because mold has started to grow or because the bread has become stale. If you want your bread to last as long as possible, you will need to know how to store it properly.

Freeze Your Bread

One way to make your bread last longer is to place it in a freezer. To prevent the bread from sticking together, place napkins or paper towels in-between the slices of bread. 

Freezing bread is the most-effective way to preserve it while minimizing staleness. While frozen bread is somewhat harder after thawing, it isn't as hard as bread that has simply been refrigerated. It will still have a spongy texture. If you add plastic wrap in-between the slices, you will reduce the chances that the bread will be soggy when you thaw it. If the bread isn't sliced yet, slice it before thawing. Frozen bread is harder to slice after it has been thawed.

Don't Refrigerate It

Don't place bread in the refrigerator because it will become stale. Even if the bread is perfectly sealed and sanitized, it will go stale because of how the structure of the bread recrystalizes at lower temperatures. The only upside is that refrigeration slows down the growth of mold.

Wrap It In Plastic

If you store the bread in room temperature, wrap it in plastic. This will allow the bread to keep its natural moisture, which will cause it to become less hard. If the bread is simply exposed to air without protection, it will become stale in a few hours. In about two days, the bread will begin to mold and become useless.

Avoid Moisture

Bread needs to retain some of its moisture to avoid becoming hard. However, too much moisture will accelerate the growth of mold, so keep your bread in a dry location.

Protect It From Light

Keep your bread away from natural or artificial light. If you go through bread quickly and you plan to store it at room temperature, store your bread in a bread box. Do not place bread near a window.

Purchase Whole Wheat Bread

The type of bread you purchase affects how fast it goes bad. White bread goes stale more quickly, and it is also better for you. However, you will still need to follow the same practices when storing it. Talk with your bread supplier to see what the best conditions are for your loaves.