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Nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread, especially from your kitchen’s bread machine. My favorite part of making bread is taking a large bite of a fresh, warm crust with melted butter. However, that window of opportunity is small because it takes little time before the bread stales.
Learning how to store bread machine bread can help you keep your bread fresh for longer, so it does not lose any of its flavor
- How to Store Bread Machine Bread
- Avoid Storing Bread Machine Bread In The Fridge
- Why Does Bread Machine Bread Stale Quickly?
- Ideas For Reviving Stale Bread Machine Bread
How to Store Bread Machine Bread
Bread machine bread is always fresh and tasty on the day it’s baked. Still, these favorable characteristics only take a short time to dissipate. The bread begins to dry and stale when exposed to warm temperatures and direct airflow. It might even develop some mold.
Below are the most effective storage options to prolong the shelf life of your fresh homemade breads. I’ve included an extra storage option – one that you should avoid.
1. In A Bread Box
A bread box? Like that archaic, space-consuming contraption that grandma has on her kitchen counter? Yes, that’s precisely what I’m talking about. As it turns out, bread boxes are still relevant; they keep freshly baked bread fresh for as long as possible. This is because they allow fresh bread to breathe and control the humidity around it, limiting its exposure to air.
So, if you’re an avid bread maker without a bread box, find one that suits your kitchen and the type of bread you bake. Ideally, it should be larger than the bread loaf, able to close, and have some vents to allow excess moisture to escape. Talking about bread makers, check out the top pick bread makers for sourdough.
If you don’t have a bread box, you can mimic its effect by covering the freshly baked bread with a clean and dry kitchen towel and then putting it in a paper bag. This allows the bread to breathe but still protects it from the elements.
2. In A Paper Bag
You may notice that bakeries serve their fresh bread in paper bags. They do this to allow the excess moisture or steam to evaporate and prevent the bread from sweating and becoming soggy. However, paper bags are suitable for very short-term bread storage. While you could use a coated paper bag, even those are only effective at keeping bread fresh for up to two days.
If you leave your bread machine bread in a paper bag for too long, you’ll discover it becomes so stale that it is rock hard. It’s also likely to grow mold with sufficient moisture. Choosing the best flour in making a bread keep it last longer just like how ordinary flour differs from bread machine flour.
3. In A Plastic Bag or Wrap
Another standard method to store fresh bread from your bread machine is to keep it in a plastic bag. However, it would help if you allowed the bread to cool down completely before putting it in a plastic bag. Hot bread inside a non-breathable plastic bag will sweat, and the moisture can ruin the crust’s crispiness.
Here’s a great little hack for you if you prefer a plastic bag: Add a few slices of dry fresh apple, potato, or onion to the plastic packet and seal it. Doing this will help to draw excess moisture from the bread and keep the crust crispy.
So, what type of plastic bag should you use? The bag should be big enough to cover the bread completely. Freezer and resealable bags are helpful as the plastic is thicker and offers more protection. However, you should squeeze out the excess air before closing the bag tightly.
4. In Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is another standard way to preserve bread. When using it, carefully cover all the bread’s surfaces to protect it from direct air. Once you’ve wrapped the bread in foil, place it in a paper bag, container, or bread box for short-term storage or in the freezer for long-term storage. If you have no aluminum foil at home, it is okay to leave the bread on the bread machine overnight.
5. In The Freezer
An excellent way to preserve bread machine bread’s freshness long-term is to freeze it. You can store bread in a freezer for up to two months before it loses its fresh flavor. People who keep their bread using this method generally recommend slicing the bread before freezing for a few reasons:
- You only need to defrost the slices you’re going to eat,
- Smaller pieces thaw faster than a whole frozen loaf,
- You can place frozen slices directly into the toaster and heat them to the desired texture and color.
The best way to freeze bread is to allow it to cool down entirely before preparing it for storage. Wrap the slices in plastic wrap, ensuring a layer of plastic between the pieces. Then, place them all together and cover them entirely with aluminum foil. The foil helps to prevent the bread from getting freezer burn.
6. In A Bread Bag
Bread bags are designed to store bread and retain its freshness for longer. Some bags – like Boule bread bags – are designed to keep the crust crisp and chewy longer. They are commonly made from canvas, paper, or cloth. However, fresh bread stales within a few days in a bread bag, so it’s only suitable for short-term storage.
7. On The Counter
While storing bread on the counter with a tea towel looks cute, it’s not an ideal way to preserve its freshness. This is especially true for drier climates. However, you can store your bread this way for a short time, mainly if it contains fats.
8. In A Food Storage Container
You could also use a food storage container to store your bread – provided it is big enough. Airtight containers are suitable for keeping sliced bread and rolls at room temperature. If you want to convert a food storage container to a bread box, consider creating a few small vents in the lid or on the sides to allow for excess moisture to escape yet limit the airflow around the bread.
Avoid Storing Bread Machine Bread In The Fridge
Up to this point, we’ve discussed suitable ways to store fresh bread machine bread for short- or long-term use. What about our excellent friend, the fridge? Just don’t. Close the door and step away from the fridge as you’re about to commit a crime. Do not put freshly baked bread in the refrigerator.
Strangely enough, storing fresh bread in the fridge is the fastest way to make it stale. This rule doesn’t apply to store-bought bread, though. Keeping store-bought bread in the refrigerator helps to delay it from drying or turning moldy like it would if kept on the counter.
Why Does Bread Machine Bread Stale Quickly?
You may have noticed that store-bought bread generally lasts longer than bread machine bread. Store bread can be over a week old, yet it still feels springy to the touch and seems to retain its freshness.
On the other hand, homemade bread seems to go stale within a day; its texture and flavor degenerate quickly, and it might develop mold within days. What makes these breads so different? Do you ever think, why does the top bread collapse on bread machine?
Prepackaged store-bought bread usually contains a host of additives and preservatives. The additives add flavor and nutrients, while the preservatives keep it fresher and edible longer. Homemade bread, on the other hand, doesn’t contain preservatives to mask its age. That is why its flavor and texture change quickly if not stored correctly.
Ideas For Reviving Stale Bread Machine Bread
You may have a few slices of stale bread despite your storage efforts. Many people just throw it away or give their stale bread to the birds, but there are ways to soften it to an edible state. Here are some suggestions:
- If you have a microwave, place the stale slices of bread on a damp (not wet) paper towel and microwave for 10 seconds.
- To revive stale bread in the oven, put the loaf in a damp paper bag and warm it in a medium-low oven.
- Use the stale bread to make croutons or bread crumbs for another recipe.
- Make bread pudding or use the bread in a fondue.
- My favorite solution is French toast with organic eggs, syrup, and shredded cheese! Yum!
You can store bread machine bread in a few ways, but using a bread box is preferable. Before storing your fresh homemade bread, ensure it’s cooled sufficiently before slicing, covering, and storing it. And whatever you do, avoid storing fresh bread in the fridge.
Richmond Howard started Meal Prepify in 2019 and has helped over a million people learn how to meal prep, get better at meal planning, and create a kitchen they love to use. He’s an avid home chef and loves to bbq, grill out, and make awesome food for family and friends. He’s been featured on MSN, Renaissance Periodization, and Good Financial Cents.