how do you store homemade bread?
hubby and i have been baking our own bread pretty steadily this summer.
but we're running into a 'storage' problem. we don't have a bread box ... and don't really have space to go get one, either!
we used to wrap the bread (cooled) up in plastic wrap but this isn't very effective - wrap loses its stickiness and the bread gets hard quickly. plus, it's not very environmentally friendly. now, we're saving and reusing plastic bags that we happen to have from the bulk store or grocery store (although, we don't have much of those either as we're trying to use mesh bags for produce).
so, how do you store your homemade bread? any plastic-free tips?
A nice problem.
If your bread has a hard crust, you can leave it out, cut side down on the curring board. You dont want to put this type of bread in plastic since the crust will get soft and the inside stale. For standard american style bread, with soft crust, you can put it in a plastic bag if you want or handle it as above. If you have too much bread, you can freeze the extra - refrig is no good for bread. Stale bread is great for bread pudding or you can make bread crumbs, panzanella (bread salad, etc.)
You wlll need plastic bags for the freezer. You can reuse sturdy supermarket plastic bags or buy good quality bags for this purpose. My parents have been washing and reusing their bread bags an indefinte number of times for many years.
When I do bag it I use clean plastic grocery store bags but like you, I'm taking my own bags to the store now. So lately I've been doing what great-grandmas use to and placing it cut side down on a cheap small clean plastic cutting board reserved for that use. Seems to be working so far, the cut end stays soft, the crust stays nice. That said, a loaf in this house is gone in a day and a half.
This was my biggest issue with homemade bread... until recently. I don't have a bread box, but I do have a set of stainless-steel nesting bowls with lids that sit down inside the lip of the bowl (not a super-tight sealing lid). I use the biggest one. It seems to keep the moisture level just right, and even though the lid is plastic, it never touches the bread.
I have an L-shaped counter and the back corner is totally unusable anyway, so that's where it goes. I suppose you could keep it anywhere -- in a cupboard or on top of the fridge or whatever.
The only trick is that the bread has to be totally cool before it goes in there, like with most bread storage, I guess! :)
thanks for the tips. we generally make breads with softer crusts so i guess it sounds like we gotta stock up on plastic produce bags.