Store Bread

When it comes to storing bread, the refrigerator is your worst enemy. Bread actually goes stale faster in the refrigerator than it does at room temperature. The best way to keep bread at its best is to keep it at room temperature for a day or two, then wrap it up and freeze it for longer-term storage. When you thaw it and heat it up, and it will taste freshly baked again.


  1. Wrap bread in plastic or aluminum foil. These types of wrappings will trap in the bread's natural moisture to keep it from drying out and getting hard. If your bread came in a paper wrapping, toss it out and wrap it in plastic or aluminum for storage.
    • If you have sliced, processed bread, you can seal it up in its original plastic packaging. Manufacturers of this style of bread recommend leaving it in this packaging to retain the moisture.
    • Some swear by leaving unsliced artisanal bread in the paper wrapper, or even leaving it unwrapped on the counter with cut side face-down. This does retain the crispiness of the bread's outer crust, but left exposed to the air, the bread will stale within a few hours.[1]
  2. Keep bread at room temperature for no more than two days. Room temperature should be around 20ºC / 68ºF. Keep it away from direct sunlight in a cool and dry place, such as in your pantry or in a bread box.
    • If you have high humidity in your house, your bread may mold quickly at room temperature. If that's the case, you might want to skip straight to freezing it after you've eaten as much as you want while it's fresh.
  3. Freeze extra bread. If you have more bread than you can consume before it goes stale within a few days, the best way to store it is by freezing. Freezing bread drops the temperature enough to stop the starch in the bread from recrystallizing and getting stale.
    • Be sure to store it in plastic freezer bags or heavy-duty foil, as lightweight household foil isn’t suitable for freezing.
    • Label and date it to prevent it from becoming a mystery cube.
    • Consider slicing your bread before freezing. That way you won't have to slice it while it's frozen, and it’s often difficult to slice post thawing.
  4. Don't put bread in the refrigerator. Scientific studies have shown that this draws out the moisture and the bread becomes stale three times faster than it would at room temperature. This happens from a process known as "retrogradation", which simply means that the starch molecules crystallize and the bread gets tough.
  5. Thaw frozen bread. If you have frozen your bread, allow it to thaw at room temperature. Remove the freezer wrapping and let it stand. If you'd like, crisp in the oven or toaster for a few minutes (no more than 5 minutes) to restore crustiness. Be aware that bread is only good for reheating once to return crustiness, after which you are simply reheating stale bread.


  • Some people believe that it is important to keep the crust slice / end slice as a "lid" to help keep the moisture in.
  • If you bring home freshly baked bread or bake your own, and choose to place it in a plastic bag, wait until the bread has cooled down. Bread that retains any warmth in it will go soggy. It is fine to leave freshly baked bread on the counter for a few hours to cool down before packaging.
  • Breads with oil or fat in them keep longer; for example breads made from olive oil, eggs, butter etc.[2]


  • Resist the temptation to microwave frozen sandwich bread - it will become very soggy and the texture will be unpalatable (sometimes chewy, sometimes rubbery). However, if homemade bread is cooled completely on the counter before being sliced and stored in the freezer, microwaving a slice can quickly restore the original texture and flavor with no sogginess, chewiness, or rubbery texture. Experiment with the reheat time; it may only take a few seconds depending on the thickness of the bread and the power level of the microwave.

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