Nothing tastes better than freshly baked sourdough bread with a tangy flavor. But how to store sourdough bread? You may be wondering. We got your back. This article outlines ways (that work) to store your sourdough bread so that you will never worry about your bread going stale.
Here is how you can store your sourdough bread.
Store in a bread box
The breadbox, as the name suggests, is an ideal storage spot for your sourdough bread. This method is traditional but works perfectly. Place your bread directly into the box. If you slice it, ensure the cut side faces down to enhance effectiveness.
A bread box comes in various shapes and materials. You can have it wooden, tin, or stainless steel. Stainless steel is the best because you can easily clean it.
So the type and size will depend on your preference. This is how it works is; when you place your bread inside, the air is dry and circulates to form moisture, just enough to keep the sourdough bread fresh.
However, the air is not too much to keep the bread moist, like storing it in a plastic bag. The breadbox is super effective because it can accommodate several sourdough loaves. That is why you can always get the size that suits your family size.
Another advantage of the bread box is you remove your bread and use it immediately without worrying about thawing time or anything. You pull it out, slice a piece, then put it back again.
You can store your bread in the bread box for up to 5 days. Thereafter, you should have consumed all of it.
This video shows you varieties of bread boxes you can own in your kitchen
Store in a paper bag
A paper bag is a perfect way to store your bread because it allows free air circulation. the paper bag is mostly brown in color, and you place your sourdough bread inside and tightly close it to ensure air doesn’t escape.
This method keeps bread fresh and helps conserve the environment as it is reusable. Again, when you dispose of the paper bag, it decomposes.
The paper bag is effective for storing freshly cut bread for up to 24 hours for bread that still tastes as fresh as it was when first baked. It can also store for up to 3 days but rest assured that the bread would have lost some moisture.
Because sourdough bread is characterized by a crusty surface and a soft inside, you shouldn’t store it in a paper bag beyond 3 days. The bread will have lost all of its moisture and start staling out.
Store in a freezer
If you want, the best and most recommended way to store sourdough bread is to freeze it! Of course, this method is only practical if you are the type who can resist wanting to eat the bread immediately. If your family will require bread instantly, then we recommend you stick to storing your bread in the bread box.
However, if you are not a big fan of baking regularly yet enjoy the sourdough bread delicacy, go the freezer way. In this case, you can store loaves you will eat for up to 2-3 months.
When freezing your sourdough bread there are two approaches you should keenly follow if you want the best results. You can freeze your bread, either whole or sliced.
Freezing whole sourdough bread
Freezing whole sourdough bread is the easiest and fastest way to store it. First of all, ensure your bread has completely cooled down. Then wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a freezer bag big enough.
Remember to squeeze out most of the air because when most air gets trapped in the bag, your bread will stale out sooner.
You can also use a vacuum sealer to store your sourdough bread. In this case, remember to use the option “seal only.” If you completely squeeze out all the air, your bread will be pressed down, and you know that sourdough bread is sweet when the crust is hard, and the inside is soft.
Wholly frozen bread can stay fresh for up to 2 months if you intend to eat it untoasted. You can also keep it frozen for 6 months, although you must toast it before consumption. Otherwise, the taste will be a bit off.
In this video, watch how you can freeze sourdough bread in two different way
How do you thaw whole frozen sourdough bread?
To thaw your bread, put it on the kitchen counter and remove it from the Ziploc bag. Then let it defrost in its foil at room temperature. This can be between 2 to 3 hours. You may also prefer to defrost overnight, and that is totally fine.
When your sourdough bread is completely thawed, spray a generous amount of water and warm it in the oven at 200°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t worry. As long as you’re not over-spraying the water, your bread won’t get soggy. Sourdough bread has a hard crust that can withstand water.
One thing you should remember when thawing your bread is to only though a loaf that your family will consume entirely and not freeze the leftovers again.
If you have a smaller family and are likely not to finish the thawed bread, then it’s time to use this second method to freeze your sourdough bread.
Freezing sliced sourdough bread
Slicing your sourdough bread is the best way to go if you plan to eat it bit by bit. It ensures no bread is not wasted as you only defrost the bread you need.
Freezing sourdough bread is simple; start by cooling your bread down completely before slicing it into sizeable slices.
Put the slices in a ziplock bag; the way you arrange them will determine how fast you will thaw a slice or two. Placing all the slices in one bag will have them freeze while stuck together. If you have a smaller family, you know what that means.
One way is to arrange the bread slices irregularly in the Ziploc bag. The second way is to place a baking sheet in between the slices. You can also place one or two slices in each small zip-loc bag. Obviously, this technique is only practical if you have numerous bags and are not trying to save storage space in your freezer.
These methods make it easier when you only need to defrost a few slices while keeping the rest perfectly frozen.
Here is a video demonstrating how you can thaw your sourdough bread
How to defrost frozen sliced sourdough bread
Just like freezing, defrosting sliced sourdough bread shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, it is the easiest as you don’t have to place it in the oven or even spray it with water.
When you need them, You just get your preferred number of pieces from the freezer and toast them immediately. They will be as tasty as freshly baked! However, you should note that frozen sliced sourdough bread tastes better when toasted.
Store it in a microwave
As weird as it may sound, you can actually store your bread in the microwave. If you have your microwave sitting idle, you could make good use of it.
The microwave is ideal because it serves as the modern-day bread box. It works by keeping the air out and ensuring free air circulation within. This process keeps your bread soft and fresh for up to 5 days.
As a rule of thumb, sourdough bread stored unfrozen for more than 5 days will definitely stale out. So, even if you are using the best methods, ensure you eat your bread before the recommended period elapses.
Unreliable ways to store sourdough bread
In the fridge
Even if you run out of options, never store your sourdough bread in the fridge. It will stay fresher if you just leave it on the kitchen counter.
The fridge has cold and dry air and will circulate and suck out all air from your bread, drying it up and making it go stale faster.
Yeasted bread will survive in the fridge, but sourdough can only survive that temperature while still unbaked.
Storing in a plastic bag
Of all the methods you could think of, plastic bags are the least, and you should avoid them. When you store your bread in a plastic bag, it will trap all the air and not allow any to escape or come in. hence, condensation will happen, making the bread soggy and moldy in the long run.
How to ensure your stored dough bread stays fresh longer?
- Ensure your bread is completely cool before slicing it
- Store the bread when entirely cool
- Squeeze out most air before freezing it in a Ziploc bag
- Keep a sliced loaf on the counter with the cut side facing down
- Don’t refrigerate it or store it in a plastic bag
How to revive staling sourdough bread?
If you store your bread the best way you can but still have more left, and it is starting to stale, you shouldn’t throw it away. Instead, you could make an Italia salad, Panzanella.
It is a simple classic recipe where you cut your sourdough bread and flavor the softer part of your bread by sucking up extra tomato juice. Then top it with cucumber, basil and strawberries, and olive oil.
Now that you know how to store sourdough bread, you can bake as much as you wish because you can store the rest later after eating your fill. You could freeze it and store it in a bread box, microwave, or paper bag. Just don’t let your bread overstay in these storage places.