These are the best (and worst) ways to store sourdough bread and - guess what - most of them are free! Storing sourdough at home is easy and straightforward, no weird tools or extras needed for perfect bread every time.
How to Best Store Sourdough
Cloth Bag or Tea Towel
Cloth bags and tea towels are nice options that hold in some of the moisture but also allow your bread to breath. This can lead to a harder outer crust, especially for whole grain breads, but is my top choice. This is best when the bread hasn't been cut yet.
Cut Side Down
This is the method I used when I worked at a natural bakery. It holds in the moisture from the exposed area of the bread but allows the crust to breath and stay crisp. Ideal for one or two-day storage.
Paper bags are a good option to keep your bread fresh. They can let quite a bit of air in which will cause your bread to dry out within 3 days or so, but will usually keep it from going mouldy (stale bread can still be used!). Like a cloth bag, this is ideal for unsliced bread.
Beeswax wraps are breathable but keep in more moisture than something like a paper or cloth bag. I find that they can lead to a chewy crust, though. Wraps are best used to cover a cut-side of bread if you want to leave the crust open to the air but don't have a good spot to keep your bread like for the cut side down method.
A great option but one that needs extra space and a special kitchen item. Natural wood bread boxes are ideal because they regulate moisture more effectively than metal ones.
If you can't eat a full loaf in a few days, slice and freeze your bread in a plastic bag or airtight container. Thaw these slices right in the toaster for easy single-slice sourdough toast.
How Not to Store Sourdough Bread
In the Fridge
Never store your bread in the fridge- it is not the optimal environment for sourdough as it dries it out much faster than if you kept your bread at room temperature.
In Plastic Bags
Plastic bags prevent any moisture from escaping, and will make your bread become soggy and mouldy, as it will just sit in any water that has condensed.
- Cool fully: wait until your bread is fully cooled before slicing and storing. If you cut into it too soon, the inside might stay doughy and sticky.
- If your bread does go stale: turn it into croutons, make bread crumbs, or use it in salads like panzanella, or in a stuffing recipe.
- Freshen the bread: alternatively you can preheat the oven to 300°F. Hold the loaf of bread under a running tap and cover the exterior lightly in water, avoid wetting any open cut-side. Bake for 5-15 minutes, until it becomes soft and fresh again.
- Use it for gluten-free: these methods all work just as well with gluten-free sourdough bread as they do with regular sourdough bread!
Does sourdough bread need to be refrigerated?
Sourdough bread should not be refrigerated. Storing it in the fridge will make it dry out faster.
How do you store sourdough bread so it stays crusty?
A loaf with higher hydration (more water to flour ratio) will stay crisp longer, but storing it in a breathable cloth bag or tea towel will help to keep it crusty. Freshen the loaf with the water method if it's gotten a little tough.
How long can I keep sourdough bread?
Sourdough bread lasts a little longer than yeast bread, and can usually be stored for up to 5 days. Freeze it if you don't think you'll be able to eat it all within that time.
Sourdough Bread Recipes
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How to Store Sourdough Bread
- Cloth bag or tea towel
- Paper bag
- Cutting board
- For bread that hasn't yet been sliced, keep it in a cloth bag or wrapped in a breathable tea towel (like linen or cotton) for 3-4 days. This is ideal.Cloth bag or tea towel
- Uncut bread can also be stored in a paper bag, but it does get tough sooner, so only keep it this way for a day or two.Paper bag
- If you've already started slicing your bread, keep it cut-side down on a cutting board or other work surface.Cutting board
- Sliced sourdough bread can be frozen for several months in airtight bags or containers. Thaw in the toaster for an easy quick way to have homemade bread.