Whether you’re baking at home using materials from the joint pantry, or picking up fresh loaves for the week, we get a lot of questions about how to stock up on and enjoy fresh bread.
Q: How should I store my bread?
A: Don’t refrigerate! You can store bread on the counter in its paper bag until you’re ready to slice and enjoy- this will preserve moisture and crust texture.
Q: What if I don’t plan to finish the whole loaf, or want to buy/make multiple loaves for the week?
A: The best long-term storage for bread is FREEZING. You can store loaves you plan to enjoy later in the freezer. When you’re ready for fresh bread, just thaw at room temperature, preheat oven to 400 degrees, rub water lightly over the bread and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes! You can also store half loaves and slices. Slices can be freshened up in the toaster!
Q: I’m planning to eat my bread tomorrow, so I don’t want to freeze it, but I don’t want to leave it out either.
A: In this case, you can store your bread at room temperature in an airtight container, and refresh before eating as described above.
Q: I’m learning to bake at home- how do I prepare my starter before baking?
A: The night before you plan to make the dough, feed your culture sample with 100g bread flour, 100g whole wheat flour, and 200g warm (78 degrees) water. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest in a cool, dark place for 10-16 hours. To test leaven’s readiness, drop a spoonful into a bowl of room-temperature water. If it sinks, it is not ready and needs more time to ferment and ripen. As it develops, the smell will change from ripe and sour to sweet and pleasantly fermented; when it reaches this stage, it’s ready to use.
See our previous post for full details on creating your own starter at home!