Bread only stays soft and its crust remains crunchy if you avoid some basic storage mistakes.
There’s nothing better than fresh, fragrant, crusty bread, but unfortunately these are the very qualities that this everyday food loses the quickest.
If not consumed within several hours after bought, the crust will soften, the crispness is lost and even the delicious smell is gone. It’s good to know that long-lasting freshness of bread depends on storage: if not stored properly, bread can lose a lot of its qualities in a day.
But if you pay attention to a few little details regarding storage, you can still enjoy bread that has a fresh smell, taste, and texture the next day or even the third. The material you store the bread in is important, and so is the storage temperature.
How should bread be stored?
We know that a fridge is a great help in the kitchen, as it keeps food fresh. Although some people would rely on it to keep bread fresh, this is a big mistake. Bread placed in the fridge gets soggy in the humid environment, spoils faster and loses its crispness. The ideal storage temperature is 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, that is, room temperature.
It is not only the temperature that matters, but also the material the bread is stored in. It is usually sold in plastic bags in the shops and many people store bread in the same bag after buying it. However, the water content of the bread can cause it to become soggy and soft in the bag, and even cause premature mold growth.
At this point, many other people believe that paper bags are the optimal way to store bread, but they are only partly right. Bread stored in paper will indeed remain crusty for a day, but then it will dry out rapidly and become hard and inedible.
It is a smarter, and also environmentally friendly solution to store bread in a canvas bag, as this way any problems can be avoided. Bread does not become either soggy or hard because the fabric of the bag allows air to pass through easily. Besides, as the fabric also protects the bread, it will not dry out. It is worth buying more than one canvas bag to be able to change them about every three days.
What to do with the leftovers?
In every household, too much bread may accumulate from time to time. Although proper storage will help keep bread crisp for days, it cannot be kept in good condition indefinitely.
It’s important to remember that food is of great value and it should never be wasted, and bread should be stored responsibly too: it should be frozen before it expires, and it should be used wisely. Once it has lost its complete freshness, it can be used to make toast, hot sandwiches or even French toast. The latter is especially recommended for sliced bread that is a few days old, as it will have the perfect texture.