Making sourdough at home is wonderfully rewarding, and storing it correctly is key to preserving its freshness and flavor. Here’s the simplest and most cost-efficient way to keep your sourdough bread fresh:
- Find a suitable storage container, like a paper bag or fabric bread bag.
- Place the bread inside the container, ensuring that it’s well-sealed.
- Store the bread at room temperature on the counter if you’re planning to eat it within a couple of days.
- For longer storage, freeze the bread in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible.
- To use frozen bread, I simply reheat it in the oven or toaster for a fresh-baked taste.
To keep my sourdough bread in top shape, I first grab a paper or fabric bag because these materials allow the bread to breathe and stay dry, preventing that dreaded sogginess. I resist the temptation to refrigerate it because the fridge tends to dry the bread out, leaving it tough. Instead, I keep my bread on the countertop, where it stays delicious for a quick snack or meal.
If I know I won’t finish it soon, I tuck it into a freezer bag with the air pressed out and freeze it for later use. When I’m ready for a tasty slice, I pop it right into the oven or toaster to bring back that delightful crunch and warm center. It’s easy and fast, and it ensures my sourdough remains as delightful as the day I baked it!
For those in love with sourdough, learning how to make a sourdough starter is a blessing. With an active starter, you probably find yourself baking a couple of loaves each day. With all of that baking, you need to figure out how to store sourdough bread.
The best place to store sourdough is in the freezer, but it is not the only spot. We are here to show you the best ways to store sourdough bread correctly. Correctly storing sourdough bread ensures your hard work isn’t going to waste. “I always remind my clients that freezing sourdough bread is like hitting the pause button on its freshness,” advises Samantha Chamberlin, a seasoned authority on food storage and preservation.
Sourdough is quite different from yeast bread, especially in commercial varieties. Sourdough doesn’t require the use of yeast at all. Instead, sourdough bread relies on the lactic acid in the starter to create the physical changes you see while baking it.
My Favorite Ways to Store Fresh Sourdough Bread
The chemical changes protect sourdough from becoming too firm, molding, and drying out without using chemical preservatives. Properly storing sourdough bread is vital to keeping your bread fresher longer.
With an active and healthy sourdough starter, you will find yourself baking more fresh bread than you can eat. Sure, you can start giving it away to friends and neighbors, or you can learn where to store sourdough bread for the longest shelf life.
These preservation methods also apply when you store fresh homemade bread of other varieties, too.
Storing Sourdough Bread in My Freezer
Do you know how quickly can bread go bad? If you don’t wrap it well and put it in the right location, bread goes stale pretty fast, unfortunately.
If you are wondering where to store sourdough bread, the best answer is in the freezer, just like when you freeze cheese of many varieties.
When stored properly in the freezer, bread keeps for up to six months. The only thing to watch out for is that long term storage leads to diminished flavor.
How you freeze your sourdough bread for long term storage depends on if you are doing whole loaves or slices. Allow freshly baked sourdough to completely cool before proceeding to the next steps in both cases.
To freeze entire loaves of bread, place them directly inside a freezer bag. Remove any excess air and then seal the bag before placing it in the freezer.
If you are worried about crusty loaves of bread ripping through the bag, wrap the loaves with cling wrap or aluminum foil before putting it inside the freezer bag. A paper bag works well as a substitute for plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
For sliced bread, wrap each slice with a separate piece of plastic wrap. Place the sourdough slices in a freezer bag and then seal it. Label the bag with the date and place it inside the freezer.
Parchment paper also works well to keep the slices separate. Remove individual portions and put them directly in the toaster for a delicious breakfast or a quick snack.
When eating this way, there is no need to thaw frozen bread slices. Otherwise, set the package on the counter at room temperature.
How I Store Sourdough Bread in My Microwave
A bread box works well to store fresh sourdough bread, but not everybody has one. In place of a bread box, you probably have something similar that works just as well.
Do you know where to store bread if you don’t have a bread keeper? Put it in the microwave after cleaning the interior of the appliance to store sourdough because the inside maintains a constant temperature, the humidity levels don’t fluctuate, and the air is only let in when you open it. All of these factors prevent the bread from becoming moldy or stale.
My Best Way to Store Sourdough Bread
Unlike store bread, sourdough doesn’t contain any preservatives, so its shelf life is measured in days rather than weeks. From the moment you first cut into sourdough, it begins to go stale, so you must learn the best way to store it.
For bread you have already cut, place it cut side down on a cutting board or your counter. Leave it unwrapped and use it within 24 hours if you want to prevent mold on bread.
Freshly baked whole loaves store well on the counter at room temperature for up to 24 hours, but some will keep up to two days. Anything older than that requires covering to prevent it from drying out or becoming stale.
Never wrap cut, sliced, or whole sourdough boules in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Skip storing it in a plastic bag. These storage methods trap moisture inside, causing soggy crust.
If you wish to use a bag, stick to a paper bag so the bread can breathe. Linen, beeswrap, or fabric bags also work to cover the bread.
Can I Store Sourdough Bread in the Fridge?
Some people wonder if it’s possible to store sourdough bread in the fridge. While you can store sourdough in the fridge, it is not recommended.
The dry environment inside the refrigerator quickly dries out the bread, which leads to a hard loaf. Hard bread is difficult to slice and isn’t very appetizing.
If you store sourdough in the fridge and discover it’s too dry to use as intended, there are other options. Turn your stale or dried out bread into bread crumbs or croutons with just a little extra work.
For bread crumbs, tear apart bread and place in a food processor. Pulse until you have crumbs. For crispy crumbs, spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until dry.
Tear up the bread into small chunks or slice bread into bite-sized cubes. For even baking, keep the bread chunks the same size.
Place the bread into a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter. Add your favorite seasonings, and then gently toss until evenly coated.
Spread a single layer of bread chunks on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake them for ten minutes. Flip the bread chunks and continue baking for another ten minutes. Watch closely, as cooking times vary depending on the thickness of the cubes.
How I Refresh Frozen Sourdough Bread
Refreshing frozen bread isn’t just for returning that crisp crust and freshly baked taste to your sourdough loaves. Refreshing works well for baguettes, artisanal bread, and much more.
Remove the frozen sourdough bread from the freezer and place it on the countertop. Leave the bread in its packaging and let it defrost overnight.
Place the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the bread from its packaging and lightly spritz with cold water. Turn the entire loaf over in your hands to spray evenly on all sides.
Place the loaf directly on the rack and bake for 20 minutes. The bread is ready when the crust splits as it’s lightly compressed. Baking time might vary based on the loaf size, so check baguettes and other smaller sized loaves after 15 minutes.
Take the loaf of bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool for one hour before slicing. Storing refreshed bread loaves is done the same way as freshly baked bread.
Thank you for reading the best way to store sourdough bread. If you found any of our tips or tricks for safely storing sourdough bread useful, please share them on Facebook and Pinterest so other people can learn how to store sourdough bread correctly, too.