The shelf life of most loaves of bread is rather short. Upon storage, bread loses desirable texture and taste and gets moldy within a couple of days.
Bread tends to mold at room temperature, especially in a warm and high humidity environment. A loaf of bread purchased at a supermarket is saturated with preservatives, which serve to prolong the product’s shelf life. Homemade bread made without added preservatives will grow mold quicker than a store-bought one.
Another process that affects bread is staling which leads to dry and hard texture.
Refrigerating doesn’t solve the problem. Storage at a low temperature slows the growth of mold, but staling happens faster and refrigerated bread tends to lose its flavor and freshness.
You need to provide proper storage for your bread to prolong its freshness, protect it from dust and pests, and keep it out of reach of your pets.
Where to Store Bread
For a long-term store, the best mold delaying option is freezing. Make sure that the bread cools completely before freezing.
If you are going to consume the bread over the next few days, it would be best to keep it at room temperature. Bread bins, bread bags, and airtight plastic containers are the most widely used options to preserve the taste and freshness of bread at room temperature.
Plastic bags for storing bread are made of BPA-free plastic and usually come with twist ties for sealing them. They will keep the loaf moist and are also suitable for storing the bread in the freezer.
Make sure your bread is completely cool before bagging it to prevent condensation in the bag.
The drawback is that plastic bags will ruin the crust. Using plastic bags for homemade bread can also encourage mold growth.
Reusable linen bread bags are made of naturally breathable flax fiber that attracts moisture to keep your bread fresh and soft for longer. They also keep a crisp crust of homemade baked bread. The con is that your loaf may become too hard after two or three days.
Bread bags made of fully recyclable paper is an economical and eco-friendly option for storing homemade baguettes and other crusty bread.
A paper bag will keep the crust crispy but the bread will become dry and hard after a day or two.
A good quality bread storage box will keep your bread fresh and moist for 3-5 days at room temperature. Small venting holes allow a little airflow to keep out condensation and discourage mold. Bread bins keep your bread and bakery products out of site keeping your kitchen counter neat and tidy.
Avoid overcrowding a bread storage box, as a lot of bread will increase humidity in the box.
Bread bins made of wood, bamboo, or ceramic/clay are good choices for keeping the inside moist and the crust crispy.
Wooden Bread Box
For most people, a wooden box is a preferable option to extend the life of their bread. Wooden bread bins are usually made from durable and lustrous acacia wood. The natural look of wood can refresh and beautify your kitchen.
The biggest con is that wooden bread storage boxes are hard to keep clean properly. If bread goes moldy once, you need to wash the box out thoroughly to prevent mold in the future.
Bamboo bread bins look attractive but often have poor craftsmanship.
Stainless Steel Bread Box
Stainless steel bread boxes look contemporary and attractive, matching with the rest of your stainless steel kitchen items beautifully.
These boxes are sturdy and easy to keep clean.
Make sure to select a model with a fingerprint-proof finish as stainless steel boxes show fingerprints easily.
If the product misses quality control the ages can be sharp and you can cut your hands when using or cleaning it.
A bread bin made of enameled or painted steel gives a vintage feel to your kitchen and makes a perfect housewarming gift.
Ceramic Bread Bin
These bread bins are made of glazed or unglazed earthenware. This natural eco-friendly material allows your bread to breathe, keeping the optimal moisture balance in the bin and keeping your bread fresh and tasty for longer. Ceramic bread storage boxes are often beautifully colored or hand-painted pieces that will brighten your kitchen.
However, ceramic bread bins can be very fragile, which is always a big minus for items that are meant to be used frequently.
Plastic Bread Containers
If you have ants in your house, an airtight bread container made of BPA-free plastic will solve the problem.
Bread stored in a bread box will draw ants, while a correctly sealed plastic container will keep the ants out.
Plastic bread containers are usually dishwasher safe.
Some people believe that plastic can negatively affect the taste of bread.