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Bread boxes?

Is there any reason to have a bread box?

Had this conversation today, and none of us could come up with a good reason.

We were talking about storage - either out or in freezer - just never in the fridge.

Since to the best of my knowledge, the boxes just keep the bread out of view. Yet I

remember many people having them while I was young, many years ago.

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  1. Seems like bread boxes started to go out of style about the time preservatives were being put in bread.

    Also, plastic bags seemed to have made the bread box unnecessary. Prior to plastic, bread was usually wrapped in paper that usually seemed to have some wax in it.

    I remember using books of S&H green stamps for a breadbox for my mom's birthday ... it was a different era.

    Surprisingly there are still bread boxes being sold ... even by Williams Sonoma ... for $55.

    This sight has a slew of bread boxes with user reviews.

    There's a $100 bread box in that list. The reason seems to keep bread, bagels, baked goods fresher longer and to avoid counter clutter. Someone had a funny comment that it was a good place to stash clutter when freind dropped in unexpectedly.

    I guess it also keeps the bugs away from the bread.

    There are also two schools of thought
    - bread boxes that are air tight
    - bread boxes with holes to allow air to circulate.

    This guy came up with an improvement ... the ultra-voilet breadbox ... scary picture .. like a tanning bed for bread.

    Loved this site for kids about comingi up with ideas for science projects ... like "How does light affect the reproduction of bread mold on white bread?"

    So the kid puts a loaf of white bread in a bread box and watches it to see if it molds.

    Why didn't I think of science experiements like that in school? I can do that.

    Tho, if you are opening to box to check for mold ... uh, doesn't that expose it to light?

    1. We have a bread box in our kitchen. We keep our dried fruit caches stashed in it. And nuts. And crackers. And whatever else we don't want to have on the counter but want within reach. It's like a big extra drawer or shelf, actually, now that I think about it, and our Cuisinart Steamer fits nicely on top of it. And the extra cutting boards are tucked behind it, so it's also like a nice cover.

      Now that you mention it, our bread box is really handy. Just not for bread.

      1. I am an avid baker, and live in the desert, have been looking high and low for a bread box that will keep my sourdoughs from losing all their moisture before we have a chance to eat them, thanks for the website!

        1. I keep boxed pasta in mine....the breads out on a counter!!

          1. Thanks for all the interesting responses.

            1. -----

              Bread Boxes are almost a must if there is a cat in the house.

              Beyond basic protection, Bread Boxes are otherwise just a part of kitchen organization or out from view kind of thing.

              Now the nicest unit I have ever seen was a wall mounted combination Wraps and a double shelf Bread Box. Foil, plastic, and paper wraps dispenser was built into the top of the unit.


              1 Reply
              1. re: RShea78

                But I had a cat that could open the bread box. The kitchen was a mess of crumbs until I figured out that once again he had outsmarted us.

              2. I bake bread or buy very fresh bread, and a breadbox helps keep it at the right humidity, keeping it edible longer. Not to mention the pest issues. I keep the breadstuffs unwrapped or in a paper bag in the breadbox. I like the kind with some ventilation.

                2 Replies
                1. re: daisymiller

                  My friend bought me one of the expensive Williams-Sonoma breadboxes as a housewarming/birthday gift, a beautiful orange giant retro metal thing. I'd never had one before, but it does, at least for me in NY, keep my bread fresh longer than it would in the fridge, especially since I generally eat free-form bread with crispy crusts. Before, any such artisanal bread would get stale and hard really quickly.

                  1. re: daisymiller

                    Just curious why you like the ventilation?

                    Also, how do you clean your breadbox? I remember from my childhood days that despite my mother washing it down regularily, it always had tht funky stale bread smell ... maybe the reason for ventilation?

                  2. I think the bread keeps better with the vents. It needs to be kept exposed to air that does not move (dries out) the bread.

                    No issues with odor. I sweep out the crumbs periodically.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: daisymiller

                      I have a bread box with ventilation, and I was surprised that it does indeed keep the bread (I always buy mine at the bakery) fresh a little longer. Mine is clear acrylic, and I'm thinking it might also be a good fruit ripener.

                    2. My microwave makes a great breadbox.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tomishungry

                        I love it. I just started making my own bread machine bread and my microwave has room for 4 machine size loaves. Best thing is I never use my microwave. Thanks.

                      2. My parents used to keep their bread in the oven (shows you how often they used the oven!) One time I came over and was going to cook dinner and fired up the oven and thought "What is that strange burning plastic smell. . . ."

                          1. I guess I bought my vintage breadbox for the nostalgia, but it is good to know there is a couple of practical reasons to have it.

                            Keeps bread fresher
                            Defeats 4 legged critters

                            1. It keeps the air moister and the bread fresher is my opinion.

                              However, a great gadget is a "brisker" for crackers and flour. It has a small electric element that removes the moisture. In my old home on the coast, I could not keep an open box of crackers.
                              The Brisker solved that.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: exvaxman

                                If you put crackers, cereal, flour in glass (not plastic0 jars ...no problem with moisture. No additional electricity necessary. No special space to take up on the counter.

                                A dozen quart glass mason jars cost abou $10. The brisker before shipping costs $149 before shipping and then there is the electricyt for using it.