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Bread Storage Options

Keeping Bread and Buns Fresh


bread Photo © Mifflin
There is no clear rule as to where you must store bread and buns, but in order to keep it fresh, it should be kept in a somewhat air-tight and dry container or area.

Hot bread should not be put in a sealed container until it cools, because the steam will cause dampness, which in turn can cause mold to grow more rapidly. A little air is not a concern, but too much air can cause bread to dry out. There are several options to storing breads and what you choose will probably depend more on freshness and storing convenience than style.

Storing Bread on the Counter:

Keeping bagged bread right on the counter or table can be very convenient at times, but it can look messy and can also cause counter congestion. When your counter is cluttered with anything from ornaments to food items, it doesn't exactly inspire cooking or baking. It sometimes takes too long to clear the mess before you can create a new and more rewarding one. That being said, when it comes to bread boxes, most are counter units. When storing on the counter is a must, pick a spot away from your main workspace.

Storing bread on top of the refrigerator is not recommended. Refrigerator tops are usually very warm. This could either cause your bread to dry out more rapidly, or cause condensation in the bag. The same holds true with portable dishwasher tops where steam is often present. Use this type of storage only for the short-term or as a last resort.

Storing Bread in a Cabinet:

For years I stored bread/buns on the lower shelf of an upper kitchen cabinet, close to where breakfast or lunch foods are prepared. While this was a good storage option, it took cabinet space that could be used for glassware. It also looked messy when the cabinet door was opened. If you have ample upper cabinet space, this may be a good option for you, but keep it tidy and review contents regularly.

Storing Bread in a Drawer:

Many kitchen cupboard designs allow for a deep bread drawer with an easy-to-clean inner liner. This type of drawer, when closed, has a 'lid' that seals the unit. This is a great storage option and when planning a kitchen make-over, choose a middle drawer in the bank of drawers which would be more convenient, than a bottom one.

If new cabinets are not on the agenda and you have a deep drawer available, you could use a plastic container that easily slides into it, or you can store bread bags right in the drawer.

When using bread drawers, review contents regularly. There's a tendency to forget what's in there, since some items may remain unnoticed in the bottom of the drawer.

Storing Bread in a Bread Box:

Bread boxes are still as popular as they were decades ago, in fact vintage kitchenware like bread boxes are often still quite usable and collectible. But there are more choices today when it comes to style, size and finish. Bread boxes can look very stylish and provide a great kitchen accent.
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There are under-cabinet models which free up counter space, while providing storage and convenient access. But unfortunately, under-cabinet models can be hard to find as choice is very limited. It may be possible to adapt a regular bread box and attach it under your upper cabinet. However, inspect how the lid opens - retractable styles may not work, and the top of the bread box should be flat. The box should also have enough stability to make it durable as an improvised under-cabinet unit.

When choosing a bread box, consider where you'll place it and how much space it will need. Check the construction for durability - the door will get a lot of traffic. The design will dictate whether you'll be able to store anything on top of the bread box.

Storing Bread in an Appliance Garage:

While this may be a departure from what this cabinet accessory is designed for, I think it's a great place to store bread. There are straight designs or corner models. Whether you're storing bagged or homemade bread, there would be ample space in an appliance garage for it, along with a bread board and a bread knife. Wood or wood composite appliance garages are available where kitchen cabinets are sold. Choose a finish that will complement your cabinets, or order an unfinished model and finish it to suite your kitchen. Appliance garages will usually cost around $100. Corner models utilize counter space that is often wasted yet provide convenient storage.
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Expandable Bread Boxes:

Clear acrylic expandable bread boxes provide great storage especially for home-baked bread. The unit expands as required but is limited to one bread or a few buns. This is an excellent choice to keep your homemade bread loaf fresh. However, you will have to keep this acrylic bread box on your counter or on a cabinet shelf.
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Other Bread Storage Options:

Bread and buns could be stored in a small clear bin with a tight lid. The bin could be kept on a side shelf or inside a top or bottom cabinet. You could easily add air holes if you wish.

In some climates a safe and pest-free storage is often inside the refrigerator. Although bread will last longer when refrigerated, it tends to lose its soft texture.

Keep only enough bread in non-refrigerated storage for 2-3 days use, and keep the rest of your bread supply in the freezer. Bread and buns do freeze well, but tend to get freezer burn much quicker than other frozen foods. For this reason, keep your bread supply current and use the oldest frozen breads and buns first.
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Please share your comments below in the Readers Respond section and let us know where you store your bread.

Read More About Kitchenware:

How to Make Braided Bread
Cutting Board Basics
Products to Store and Organize
Keep Bread Pans Looking Good
Best Kind of Knife for Slicing Bread
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