Bread is one of the top wasted items in US households. Learn how to keep your bread fresh and get inspiration for ways to use up bread that might have already passed its prime.
Fresh Loaves (baguette, sourdough, etc.)
Storing fresh loaves of bread in the refrigerator will cause them to dry out. To maintain the quality of your bread, store it at room temperature in the original bag or in a breadbox. Keep the fresh loaf out of direct sunlight and in an area that isn't too hot or dry.
If you know you won't be able to finish the bread before it gets stale (2-3 days at most, depending on the loaf), cut the remaining bread into slices and place them in a sealed plastic bag or container. Label it with a name and date, and put in the freezer for up to 3 months. When needed, defrost only the slices you know you'll eat, and toast them in the oven or toaster to bring back some life and flavor.
Sliced Packaged Bread (sandwich, rolls, english muffins, etc.)
Storing bread that is pre-packaged is a little more forgiving than fresh bakery loaves. During warmer months, and when you know you need a week or two to finish the package, feel free to keep the sealed bread bag in the refrigerator. Make sure that condensation isn't building up in the bag by keeping it on the top shelf inside the fridge (always make sure your refrigerator isn't accidentally freezing items).
If you need more than a week or two to finish a loaf of sliced or packaged bread, plan ahead by putting a portion of it that you know you won't get to into a separate bag in the freezer. Date and label the bag so you don't lose track of it. Similar to fresh bread loaves above, defrost only what you need and toast or warm the bread in the oven or toaster to give it an extra refresh.
Ideas for using up extra bread:
- Leftover Baguette Croutons (for bread that is hard to cut)