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Oct 27, 2013 04:43 PM

Wooden bread boxes

Do they really keep bread fresh longer? And is there something particular to walnut wood that is even better? Just saw this in an email from Provisions which made me wonder:

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  1. I can only speculate: Nothing that I can think of that would be special to walnut other than it would be food contact safe and it's extremely attractive. For the answer to the real question, again speculation, probably. Well, fresh longer compared to what? Fresh longer than letting it sit out on the counter, yes. Fresh longer than in a paper bag, yes. Fresh longer than in a plastic container, probably. The box will minimize air movement, thus not letting the bread dry out so quickly, it will also breath some and absorb some moisture, thus not letting the bread get soggy as it would in plastic. So it probably does work.

    As someone who has worked wood for the past half a century, I can tell you there is nothing about that box to justify a $200 price tag. It's not joined with hand cut dovetails, not even machine cut box joints, nor machine cut splines, just a simple miter joint. The wood grain doesn't wrap around the box for continunity, nothing that a piece of fine craftsmanship would display. If it really works and keeps bread fresh longer, I don't think I could spend $200 on it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mikie

      Thanks. It just made me wonder if it was some passed-down secret/trick that had eluded me. lol.

      I completely agree with your assessment of the box and its price. Unbelievable, really. It is pretty. I think DH has some walnut boards in his shop, so you see where I'm going. But I don't need another something to take up precious real estate in my kitchen, no matter how pretty, unless it really earns its keep.

    2. Thanks for the post mikie. I so wanted that box and "almost"
      ordered it but came to my senses. I'll ask a carpenter friend to supply one. For $200, I can probably buy enough walnut
      to make one for me, his wife, Santa Claus, my sister, etc.etc.
      Wish I were a carpenter. Boy oh boy, it IS a beauty, 'tho.

      1. I doubt it can keep bread fresh longer, but I could be wrong.

        1. Way longer. We split our time between Europe and the USA. In Europe they are very common, we have one. If the bread is going to sit on the counter, the boxes will keep it for at least twice the time, if not longer. However, European bread and even what we can get at "Artisan" bakeries is a whole different matter. I have no idea how putting USA purchased bread in a bread box will respond.

          We buy the best bread we can find in the USA, at a Belgium or a French bakery. We keep them in the frig. Last a lot longer than on the counter. Turns them a bit rubbery but that's better than bread crumb material. Preheat oven to 400F, 3 to 4 minutes, they're fine.

          As far as material, we've had both wood and stainless steel. No difference.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ray2

            Good to know. Thanks for your reply. I also keep bread in the fridge, against the widely-touted advice of well, pretty much everyone.