If you have recently hopped on board the sourdough bread making train, you are not alone. Many people have now discovered their love for baking sourdough bread, but once your bread is out of the oven, you may now be wondering what the best way to keep it fresher for longer is.
The best way to store sourdough bread to keep it fresh for longer is to store it in a way that allows moisture to escape and avoid exposure to air. Paper bread bags and cotton bread bags are examples of such storage solutions for sourdough bread
There are so many different storage solutions that are available for bread these days, and it may be hard to decide on the right one.
Let us look at the best storage solutions that can be used to keep your sourdough bread loaf as fresh as possible for as long as possible.
What Is The Best Way To Store Sourdough Bread To Keep It Fresher For Longer?
When it comes to storing your fresh loaf of sourdough bread, you will want to keep it as fresh as you can for as long as possible to be able to enjoy it thoroughly before it would go stale – so how do you accomplish this?
There are many different storage solutions that one could use to keep their sourdough bread loaf fresh, so let us take a look at some of these options:
Make Sure Your Loaf Is Completely Cool Before Storing
One of the best things that you could do to keep your sourdough bread loaf fresher for longer is to make sure that it is completely cool before storing it.
You should always ensure that your loaf of sourdough bread is completely cooled down before storing it in any of the storing methods you could choose from.
This is especially important if you have made the loaf yourself and have not just heated up a store-bought loaf because your homemade loaf of sourdough bread will be warmer and moister inside and out.
The reason you need to always make sure your sourdough bread loaf is entirely cool before storing it is because of the moisture – if you store a loaf that is still warm, the condensation of the heat released will cause the bread to go soft or even soggy wherever the heat gets trapped.
This will be especially true if the bread is stored in a plastic container or bag, as it will not be able to breathe at all.
So, before going with any of these storage methods, place your loaf of sourdough bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool entirely before being stored away.
Cotton Bread Bag Or Tea Towel
Storing your sourdough bread in a cotton bread bag is one of the most recommended forms of storage, specifically for sourdough bread.
A cotton bread bag is a bag made from 100% cotton and allows for any moisture released from the bread to leave the bag, which will keep the outside crust of the sourdough loaf crispy and the interior of the loaf to remain soft without any moisture causing the bread to go soggy or stale.
While this bag will help keep your bread loaf fresher for far longer than it would if it were to sit in your microwave, for example, it will still only be able to keep it fresh for the four to five days that a sourdough loaf can remain fresh at room temperature.
To store your sourdough loaf in a cotton bread bag, you will place your sourdough loaf, which has cooled down completely, into the cotton bread bag and leave it in a room-temperature environment, such as your kitchen countertop or your dining room table.
If you do not have a cotton bread bag, you could make use of a cotton tea towel – place your clean cotton kitchen tea towel on the counter, and then place your bread loaf in the middle of it, then fold the edges up and over the loaf, wrapping it in the towel completely.
This method should help your bread stay fresh for the full four to five days that sourdough bread generally lasts at room temperature.
Keep Your Sourdough Bread In A Paper Bag
Paper bags are another great solution for keeping your sourdough bread loaf fresh.
Paper bags are another storage method to keep your sourdough bread fresher for longer because the paper bag will allow your sourdough loaf to breathe – which is important in keeping moisture from being trapped.
Moisture being trapped in your storage container will not only make your bread soggy, but it will usually also lead to mold growing on your bread.
This is why paper bags allowing your bread loaf to breathe and allow the moisture to escape will make them such a great storage solution to keep your sourdough bread loaf fresher for longer.
Paper bags also will not taint or change the taste of your bread whatsoever, whereas storage bags such as plastic bags will generally have all sorts of chemicals in them that can often change the taste of your bread.
Paper does not add or change the taste or texture of your sourdough bread at all.
Freeze Your Sourdough Bread
Freezing your loaf of sourdough bread is a great solution to keeping your bread loaf fresh if you do not plan on eating it right away.
Freshly made bread that is homemade and free from preservatives will not last as long as shop-bought bread will, which means that even though you can keep your shop-bought bread in the pantry for six or more days and it will stay fine, this is not the case with your fresh bread.
Freshly baked sourdough bread will actually begin to become less and less fresh from the day it is made, and especially after it has been slice into.
Note: If you are on the lookout for great ideas on what to do with leftover sourdough bread, check out my article “16 Hassle Free Ways to Use up Leftover Sourdough Bread“
Because of this, if you are not planning on eating the freshly baked loaf of bread right away, it would be a good idea to store your loaf of sourdough bread in a freezer until you are ready to eat it.
When you are ready to use the bread, you can simply take the loaf out of the freezer and re-heat or re-bake the loaf.
To do this, wait until the loaf of bread has defrosted and is at room temperature. Then, place the sourdough bread loaf on a baking tray and bake it for around ten minutes with the oven on 350°F (180°C).
Once taken out of the oven, your sourdough bread should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – just like it was when it was baked the first time.
An alternative to freezing the whole loaf of sourdough bread would be to either freeze only half of the loaf so that you can consume the first half without worrying about the whole loaf going bad, then defrosting the frozen half when you are ready to use it.
Otherwise, you can freeze your loaf in slices. Once your freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread has been cooled down and is ready for storage, you can slice the entire loaf and store it in an airtight container in the freezer.
This way of freezing your sourdough bread is extremely convenient is you usually use your sourdough bread for toast or for sandwiches, as you can simply take out two slices at a time and either put them straight in the toaster for toast or defrost them in the microwave for a sourdough sandwich.
No matter how you choose to freeze your sourdough bread, freezing it is a great solution for keeping it fresher for longer, as you will not need to worry about it going soggy, stale, or growing any mold on it.
Note: If you want more helpful tips on how to freez your sourdough bread check out my article “Best Way to Freeze Sourdough Bread to Lock in Taste & Texture“
Keep Your Sourdough Bread In A Bread Box
If you have a bread box and wish to use it for storing your sourdough bread, this is also a perfectly fine option.
The only thing that you will need to take into consideration when using a breadbox to store your freshly baked sourdough bread is that a lot more air will be able to get to the bread than it would if it were to be stored in something that can be sealed off.
Because of the fact that so much air will have access to your loaf of bread, there is a higher chance of your bread going dry and stale far more quickly.
If you would like to make use of your bread box for storing your freshly baked bread, consider wrapping it in a cotton tea towel and storing it in the box like that.
Wrap Your Sourdough Bread In Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is an okay option but should be more of a backup plan to store your sourdough bread in than your go to plan.
Aluminum foil traps in moisture and allows for a much warmer environment inside the foil than any of the other storage solutions; this is not ideal for any form of bread storage as it can create the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Sourdough bread that has been made at home is especially not suited to be stored in these conditions as it does not have all of the preservatives in it that store-bought bread does, leaving it at an even higher risk for mold to grow.
If you need to use aluminum foil to wrap your sourdough bread in because it is all that you have on hand, try to only do this overnight and go out and buy either a paper bread bag, a cotton bread bag, or a cotton tea towel the next day.
Where Should You Store Your Sourdough Bread And At What Temperature?
There are two ways, and at two different temperatures, that you can store your sourdough bread in to keep it fresher for longer. Let us have a look at these different storage options:
A Cool And Dry Place
You can store your freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread somewhere that is cool and dry – a great example of this kind of environment would be your kitchen pantry.
The reason keeping your bread in a cool, dry, and mostly dark environment will help keep your sourdough bread fresher for longer is because of the following:
A cool environment is less suitable for mold and fungi to grow, so keeping your bread in a cool (not cold) environment gives you a better chance of avoiding mold growth on your sourdough bread.
A dry environment is another environment that is not ideal for mold to grow in, as it enjoys warm, moist environments – this means that keeping your bread in a fairly dry environment will help reduce your chances of mold growing on your bread.
Room Temperature, Out Of Direct Sunlight Place
Storing your bread in a room temperature environment is also a good way to store your sourdough bread as it will help the crust stay crispy and the centre stays soft.
However, if the room you are storing your bread in is a rather warm room, it may be better to store your bread elsewhere, as a warm room can be a good breeding environment for mold.
When you are storing your bread in a good room temperature environment, you will also just need to make sure that your sourdough bread stays out of direct sunlight.
If your sourdough bread is left in direct sunlight, no matter the temperature of the room, the bread is going to become hot.
This will not only cause the bread to change in texture, but it can also lead to staleness and quick mold growth.
Can You Keep Sourdough Bread In The Fridge To Keep It Fresh?
You should always try and avoid storing your sourdough bread in the fridge as much as you possibly can.
If you are worried about it going off quickly and want to keep it cold, consider freezing it as discussed above instead of storing it in the refrigerator.
The reason you may want to store your bread in the fridge may be in an effort to avoid your sourdough bread from going stale and to try to keep your bread as fresh as you can for longer.
Unfortunately, storing your bread in the fridge may have the total opposite effect on your loaf of sourdough bread than you were hoping for.
Instead of keeping your bread fresh, the environment of the fridge will usually cause your bread to become very dry very quickly, as well as become gross and stale – again, this is the complete opposite reaction you may have been hoping for when you decided on storing your sourdough bread in the fridge.
So, even though it may work out fine to store your store-bought bread in the fridge to keep it fresh, it is less than ideal for storing your fresh, homemade sourdough bread in the fridge when your goal is to try and keep it fresh for as long as possible.
Although there are many options that you could choose from when it comes to bread storage, not all of them will be right when it comes to storing fresh sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread has a unique build and way that it was made and baked, and so, of course, it has its own unique way that it will need to be stored to keep it fresh too.
So, in order to keep your wonderful loaf of sourdough bread that had so much effort poured into it fresh, you will need to ensure that you store it in an environment that is cool (but not cold) or a room temperature environment.
It needs to be kept fairly dry, so avoid anything that would cause moisture to be trapped in the bread. It will need to be kept out of direct sunlight, or it could go stale fast, but the most important thing that your bread needs is it needs to be able to breathe!
So, ensure that whatever storage solution you use to keep your bread in allows the bread to breathe – letting the moisture escape and preventing it from going soft and soggy.