How to Store Your Sourdough Bread
The best way to store bread is…
At Prairie Flour Bread Co, we recommend that you store your sourdough bread in a cotton bread bag or wrapped in a large tea towel, so that the bread can ‘breathe’. Leave your bread in a relatively cool place so it can maintain normal ambient moisture levels.
It is not recommended to store bread in the fridge. A fridge is an extremely dry environment and will harden the bread quickly.
Storing bread in a plastic bag is also not ideal particularly in a warm place as the bag may cause ‘sweating’. Moisture and warmth encourages bacteria.
If you have several loaves to store, wrap them in clingfilm and put in a cool place. For longer term storage place cling-wrapped bread in the freezer.
A cotton bag is essential for storing sourdough bread properly.
Try re-baking your bread
No bread is ever ‘fresh’ for long. The loveliest bread is eaten just-cooled, about 2 to 6 hours after it has been removed from the oven. After that, the crust will become either soft and flakey, or dry and brittle or simply tough and dull – depending on the bread type and age of the bread.
Not everyone is lucky enough to live near a bakery offering fresh loaves. However, you can replicate that fresh-out-the-oven experience simply by re-baking your loaf in your oven at home, a much-overlooked trick! Though easy to execute, it takes a bit of planning.
Surprisingly, it takes about the same length of time to re-bake bread as it takes to bake bread from the raw dough, albeit at a much lower temperature. You also need to time for the loaf to cool down again. Hot bread, like crazy paving, is not all it is cracked up to be. The starches, when heated, revert to their original state and are less digestible, so you should leave it at least one hour to cool. This means you will need to get your bread in the oven a couple of hours before you need it.
Re-baking your loaf both refreshes your bread and your options on how you use or present it.
There are also many ways you can use stale bread slices or chunks in recipes, some of which are recommended below.
Which sourdough loaf tickles your fancy?
How to re-bake your sourdough loaf
For loaves that are a few days old, preheat your oven to 200°C. Spray the crust all round with water, then re-bake on the middle rack for 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf:
1kg (or less) loaves / pieces 30-40 minutes
1kg (or more) loaves / pieces 40-50 minutes
For whole or sliced bread loaves that are frozen, allow the loaf to defrost first. There is no need to spray them.
If your bread has already been sliced, wrap it firmly in tin foil before baking it. You can open the top up about 10 minutes before you remove it to improve crustiness.