Do you like sourdough bread? We certainly are! It’s not only delicious, but it’s also a healthier alternative to other varieties of bread. Of course, knowing how to properly keep fresh sourdough bread is essential if you want to enjoy it for as long as possible.
How should fresh (and homemade) sourdough bread be stored? For the first few days, leave it on the counter covered with a tea towel to allow air circulation for the crust to retain its texture. After that, it’s best to keep it fresh by storing it in a bag or a bread box (or in the freezer). You can keep your sourdough bread taste fantastic for weeks with a little know-how. Here are a few pointers to get you started!
Sourdough Vs Yeast Bread
Actually, sourdough bread doesn’t have any yeast in it. Instead, a sourdough starter is what causes the bread to rise. Wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria are typically added to a precise blend of flour and water to create sourdough starter, which contributes to the distinct flavor and texture of sourdough bread. Mold growth can be prevented naturally by the lactic acid bacteria found in sourdough starter.
Sourdough bread won’t have preservatives, but it will normally survive longer than bread produced with commercial yeast. The moisture content of the dough is one of many variables that affect how long sourdough bread will keep fresh.
In general, bread with a higher degree of hydration will stay fresher for longer than bread with a lower level of moisture. This is so that the bread doesn’t dry out and turns stale since the water content keeps the bread wet. Since sourdough bread has a higher water content than ordinary bread, it will often condense moisture on the inside of the plastic bag when it is being stored.
How Long Does Sourdough Bread Stay Fresh?
Sourdough bread does not go stale as quickly as other types of bread because of the presence of bacteria and the high degree of moisture in the bread. The optimal time to eat fresh sourdough bread is within a day or two of it being removed from the oven. You can savor the crispness of the crust as well as the light and fluffy bread inside. Sourdough bread can keep for up to a week if stored properly. Here are some storage techniques for sourdough bread so you may enjoy it for longer!
How To Store Sourdough Bread
The secret to preventing stale sourdough bread is to enable air circulation while keeping the bread from drying out. Bread will dry out faster if it is left out in the open. If you cut the bread into slices, the slices will dry out more quickly. Wrapping the bread in plastic, on the other hand, will trap all of the moisture inside. As the bread dries out, moisture will accumulate on the bag and be absorbed back into the crust, softening it. As a result, excellent air circulation is still required to keep the crust from becoming mushy and chewy. Let’s look at some sourdough bread storage ideas below!
1. Covered With A Tea Towel
In order to prevent the bread from drying out while yet allowing it to breathe, the simplest way to store sourdough bread is at room temperature on a kitchen towel. Dust and insects won’t be able to get near the bread because of the tea towel. Additionally, it will prevent moisture from evaporating while soaking up any moisture that does manage to escape the bread, preserving the crispiness of the crust.
This is also the ideal approach to allow homemade sourdough bread to cool to room temperature while retaining its freshness if it has just come out of the oven. This is the ideal choice if you intend to consume the bread in the next day or two.
2. Paper Bag
A paper bag can be used to store sourdough bread for about a day. The paper bag will keep dust and insects away from the sourdough bread, but it will not keep moisture in. Because air can still escape through the porous surface of the paper, bread can soon dry up within a paper bag. A paper bag, on the other hand, is a terrific way to wrap fresh-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread because it allows the bread to cool without trapping moisture. It’s also a visually appealing way for wrapping sourdough bread to give to friends and family!
3. Bread Box
It’s useful to have a bread box in any kitchen. Your bread is kept out of the way of other food items, which not only keeps it fresh. A bread box is often made of wood or tin and includes a top or front opening so that you can place your bread inside with ease. Since bread boxes are not sealed, air still circulates inside of them. The bread box will prevent the sourdough bread from drying out completely, though it still might. It will also prevent moisture from accumulating on top of the box, keeping the crust crispy because air is still able to escape from the box.
4. Dutch Oven
If you don’t have a bread box, you can substitute a cooled Dutch oven. A Dutch oven, or any other glass container with a lid, will also keep dust and insects out of your bread. It can keep the bread fresher for longer by preventing it from drying out. However, because a Dutch oven lacks air holes that enable moisture to escape as the bread dries, the crust may not stay crispy for long if stored this manner.
5. Plastic Bag
Sourdough bread may be sold by some bakeries in plastic bags, however these bags typically have holes in them to prevent moisture condensation. That’s because plastic bags don’t allow air to circulate, so condensation forms and is reabsorbed by the bread, softening the crust. However, sourdough bread that doesn’t have a crispy exterior, like rolls and buns, stores beautifully in plastic bags. The bread won’t dry out as quickly when stored in the plastic bag.
To prevent excess condensation from forming inside a plastic bag while storing handmade sourdough bread, wait until the bread has cooled to room temperature. As soon as the bread has cooled, it can be placed in a plastic bag and kept for later use.
Best Way To Store Sourdough Bread
After going over all of the numerous ways to keep sourdough bread, you may be wondering which is the best. The best way to store fresh sourdough bread is a combination of the aforementioned methods! Let’s have a look at how to store fresh sourdough bread versus week-old sourdough bread.
As the sourdough cools down after being taken out of the oven, moisture will evaporation. Fresh sourdough bread should be kept in a paper bag or wrapped in a towel during this time to prevent drying out while still allowing moisture to escape and maintaining the bread’s crispness. In order to prevent the inside of the bread from drying out too quickly after cutting into it, place the exposed side down and cover it with a tea towel.
The bread will begin to dry out more slowly. Keep it inside a bread box or plastic bag, however, to slow down the drying process and preserve the quality of the crust. Remember that the plastic bag will soften the crust faster than a bread box.
Day 5 And After
To keep sourdough bread fresh for longer than five days, you will need to freeze it. Let’s take a look at how to do that!
How To Freeze Sourdough Bread
The freezer is the ideal place to keep sourdough bread while still maintaining its quality. In the freezer, sourdough bread can remain fresh for up to six months. A entire loaf of sourdough can be frozen if you like, and you can even split it into thin slices to make it simpler to separate and refresh.
How to freeze sourdough bread is as follows: It’s crucial to let the bread cool to room temperature before continuing.
Then use plastic wrap to cover the entire loaf. It can also be put inside a sizable Ziploc bag, then the air should be squeezed out of the bag.
You can cut the bread into slices and wrap each slice in plastic wrap to freeze individually. After that, add the slices to a sizable Ziploc bag and press out any extra air.
Freeze the bag for up to six months after labeling it. You can defrost the bread at room temperature for several hours or overnight when you’re ready to eat it, then have some in the morning.
How To Refresh Sourdough Bread
Using an oven to renew sourdough bread is the best method. It’s also quite simple! Here’s how to revitalize sourdough bread: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are refreshing an entire loaf of bread, you can sprinkle some water over the crust to restore hydration, allowing the crust to become extremely crispy. This step is not required when reheating individual slices! After that, bake the bread for around 5 minutes. It will be just as wonderful and fresh when it comes out of the oven!