General Bread Info
Lean, crusty breads are stored differently than soft, enriched breads.
Don't store bread in the refrigerator; it dries out, even when packaged in sealed plastic bags.
Short Term Bread Storage
To preserve the crustiness in lean breads, store them in paper, but they will become stale within 1 day; they are best eaten the same day they are made.
If you want to preserve crusty bread for up to 1 week, cater wrap the loaves in plastic wrap (this means wrap them completely in both directions to prevent any air from getting to them), then place in a cool, dark location.
Soft, enriched bread, such as sandwich bread, is always best stored in plastic and kept in a cool, dark place. Regular soft bread loaves will have a shelf life at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. Exposure to sunlight causes the loaf to sweat, creating condensation in the wrapper and eventually mold on the loaf.
At room temperature, sourdough, whole wheat and multigrain will keep for 3 to 4 days; rye bread for 4 to 6 days.
Bread Long Term Storage
To freeze crusty bread, either cater wrap or use a ziplock bag (squeeze out all the air before sealing). When freezing, you can pre-slice the loaf so that you can remove only what you need without defrosting the entire loaf. Frozen bread will keep for 2 to 3 months.
Soft pre-sliced sandwich loaves are best for freezing, allowing the removal of only the slices you are planning to use (and they thaw much more quickly than whole loaves). Frozen bread will keep for 2 to 3 months.
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