Sourdough is one of the most popular types of bread to bake at home. But once you’ve made it, what’s the best way to keep it fresh? Here’s how to store sourdough bread so it stays fresh longer!
You’ve labored in your kitchen to get the perfect sourdough starter. And you’ve nearly perfected the ideal loaf of bread. It’s warm and doughy soft when you pull it out of the oven and tear off your first piece.
Now how do you keep your homemade sourdough bread fresh, and help all your hard work last?
Fortunately, your sourdough doesn’t have to go stale before you have a chance to enjoy it. Here are a few different ways to store sourdough bread.
- How to keep sourdough bread fresh
- Store it in the pantry
- Use a breadbox
- Store it in the microwave
- Freeze your sourdough
- How to warm up a loaf of frozen sourdough
- Can I store sourdough bread in the fridge?
- Can I store sourdough in a plastic bag?
- What’s the best way to store sourdough bread?
- More food storage answers
How to keep sourdough bread fresh
From keeping it in your pantry to freezing it, there are several ways to store sourdough bread. Each storage method has its benefits, and which one you choose will likely depend on how long you need to store it.
Store it in the pantry
If you plan to eat your sourdough bread soon after you make it, the best option is to simply store it in a dry place like your pantry.
If you have one, it’s a good idea to place it in a brown paper bag first. This will help seal out some of the air and keep it fresh for longer. Avoid using plastic wrap as this can attract moisture and mold.
If you don’t have a paper bag on hand, you could cover it with a tea towel or keep it in a linen bag (or other type of cloth bag).
Or you can simply leave it uncovered on a cutting board. Place it cut side down if you’ve already had a slice, to help that side from going stale.
If you don’t have a pantry, it’s ok to just leave it on a countertop or in a kitchen cabinet as well. For best results, keep it in a bag or cover it.
Note: Sourdough bread can start to turn stale soon after you’ve made it. So it’s worth keeping in mind that storing in one of these ways at room temperature will keep the bread fresh for just about 24 hours.
Use a breadbox
If you want your sourdough to last for a few more days, a good option is to store it in a breadbox. This will help keep out dry air and humidity and keep mold at bay. The bread should keep for up to 5 days.
If your bread ends up softening after a couple of days, just toast it quickly to make it a bit more crunchy.
Store it in the microwave
If you don’t have a breadbox, you could try storing your sourdough in a microwave. Like a breadbox, it’s still at room temperature and in a confined space, so it will help keep air out and humidity levels low, while retaining much of the consistency of freshly baked bread.
Your bread should keep a bit longer this way, but if you use your microwave frequently, this could become problematic. Constantly removing your bread from the microwaving will expose your sourdough to the air and humidity you were trying to avoid. So, bear that in mind.
Freeze your sourdough
If you don’t intend to eat your sourdough bread right away, an effective way to keep it fresh for a longer period of time is to freeze it.
Here’s how to freeze sourdough bread:
- First, let the loaf completely cool.
- Then seal it in plastic wrap.
- Next, place the wrapped loaf in an airtight container. This will deter freezer burn and help keep away odors from other foods in the freezer.
- If you don’t have a large enough container, wrap the loaf in aluminum foil.
- Your sourdough bread should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer this way.
Freeze sourdough bread slices
This is a great way to store your sourdough, as it lets you consume only the slices you know you’ll eat while allowing the rest to stay frozen.
To do it, follow these steps:
- Cut off the number of slices you want to freeze.
- Wrap each slice in plastic wrap
- Place them in a plastic airtight container or in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
- Keep in the freezer until ready to thaw out and eat.
If you use a freezer bag, just be careful not to place anything heavy on top of the bag that might crush the bread.
Again, it should keep for up to 6 months this way. When you’re ready to eat them, simply thaw the slices out on a countertop, then pop them into a toaster.
How to warm up a loaf of frozen sourdough
If you’re ready to warm up your whole loaf of frozen sourdough bread, first remove it from the freezer and let it thaw on the kitchen counter.
After it’s thawed, spray it with a little water. This will help refresh the bread and the water will be absorbed into it when it’s being heated up.
Next, warm it up in the oven at low heat — around 175° to 200° — for about 10-15 minutes. When the inside of the bread is warm and soft, it’s ready to eat!
Can I store sourdough bread in the fridge?
You should never keep your sourdough in the fridge. The cool environment inside your refrigerator will cause your bread to go stale much more quickly than if you were to simply leave it at room temperature.
Even if you wrap it and place it in an airtight container, the cool air will affect the bread and turn it hard and stale very quickly. And no one like stale bread.
So by keeping it in the fridge, you’ll miss out on some of the things that make fresh sourdough bread so delicious — its pillowy-soft interior and crispy crust.
Can I store sourdough in a plastic bag?
It’s best to avoid keeping sourdough bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. The non-breathable nature of the bags traps moisture and humidity.
That can lead to mold growth. And it can leave the bread itself soggy and overly chewy.
What’s the best way to store sourdough bread?
The best place to keep your sourdough will depend on how soon you intend to eat it.
If you plan on consuming it within a day or so after you bake it, storing it covered at room temperature in a pantry or on the counter will work great.
To keep it for 3-5 days, try storing it in a breadbox or the microwave.
For long term storage, it’s a good idea to freeze sourdough either in slices or as whole loaves. The bread should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
If stored properly, sourdough bread can stay fresh for up to 5 days at room temperature. Avoid refrigerating bread, as that can make it go stale more quickly.
It’s best to store sourdough starter you don’t intend to use in the fridge, about 3 hours after feeding. Then feed it weekly until you use it. If you leave it out at room temperature for too long, it can over proof.
More food storage answers
Find out how to store some other popular foods. Check out these posts.
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