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Stumbled upon great way to keep bread fresh!

I have a household of one and have trouble keeping breads fresh long enough to use them up. Sometimes I just don't have room in the freezer...

I purchased an artisan loaf (olive and rosemary, no preservatives) recently and had a portion with my soup. I was in a hurry to clean up the kitchen and stuck the rest of the loaf in a Romertopf casserole that I had not put away after using the day before.

Out of sight, out of mind...several days later I remembered the bread. Once I opened the clay pot I found the bread was still fresh as can be!

Not sure why it worked, but this is a trick will be using again.

Just wanted to share - a quick search did not show prior mention of this.

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  1. Interesting.... my Dad sometimes keeps bread in the Le Creuset he leaves on top of his stove. Maybe this is why?

    1. I have a fresh loaf of artisan Tuscan bread and a Romertopf so I'm going to try this and report back. Many thanks for the tip. Unused country loaves usually get made into croutons or breadcrumbs here so it will be fun to see how the taste and texture are after a few days..

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Maybe store some of it as you usually do and compare?

        I'm curious if this was just a fluke or if it really works.

        Now that I've thought on it I recall seeing these in the past:
        http://www.henrywatson.com/retail-sho...
        I had assumed they were primarily decorative and never thought about it again, but perhaps there is something to it?

      2. We used to call such a thing designed for the purpose a "bread box."

        3 Replies
        1. re: GH1618

          The bread boxes I grew up with were of the metal variety. Big, bulky and served as a storage spot more than as a keeping aid iirc.

          The terracotta is the twist which is new to me and seems to be key.

          1. re: meatn3

            The principle is the same. A bread box is an enclosed space, but is not airtight. It keeps the bread from drying out too quickly, while not accelerating the development of mold. It is a matter of moderating the humidity. A bread box is generally lined with wood, not merely a metal box. The terracotta might have a similar effect.

            1. re: GH1618

              Do an image search for "vintage metal breadboxes" and you will see the type I refer to. They often were an accessory to matching canister sets. The only time I ever have seen wood in one it was built into the door and served as a cutting board when opened.

              Perhaps different regions used different styles. I grew up where it was hot, humid and buggy. The boxes were used more to keep bugs away than anything else. Same principal as a pie safe.

        2. I'm in the same boat, single person household who likes a quality loaf of bread. I will admit here freely and openly, at risk of public ridicule and loosing my official CH membership ring, that I store my bread in a Ziploc bag...<allow time for gasps and agitated murmuring to subside>.

          Now quiet down, quiet down. You in the back, put down that pitchfork and torch. I realize that I am committing a mortal sin against the integrity of the crust but I have come to accept that it is a lesser sin than allowing the bread to go stale before eating it. And no, I really don't want to mess with portioning it, freezing, defrosting, etc., etc.

          But it so happens I have just such a clay pot sitting decoratively atop my upper cabinets (what else does one really do with them?). So I'm very interested meatn3, does storing artisinal bread in your Romertopf maintain crust integrity? If so I will cheerfully relocate my ceramic casserole to my countertop from its lofty perch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kmcarr

            Seemed too.

            I had planned to make a savory bread pudding from the rest of the loaf. It was too fresh when I checked it! Had to remove a portion and leave it out over night and make the pudding the next day.

          2. A shoebox lined with wax paper works for me.

            1 Reply