Sustainable alternatives to a bread box.
Keep your bread fresh, family happy and all without waste!
How to store bread for longer: bread box, beeswax wrap, or plastic bag?
You’ve picked yourself up a crusty, aromatic, irresistible fresh loaf of rye sourdough from the farmers market. You’re delighted and losing yourself in dreams of the fresh sangas you’ll indulge in upon your return home. Never mind the looming thought of how much you just spent on the gourmet loaf, or how large it is. The fear of not being able to eat it all is starting to follow you as a dark cloud. So, what can we do to make sure the local bakers hard work is fully appreciated, and we minimise financial and food waste?
There are a fair few ways to store bread. On the bench top, the fridge, freezer, in a bag, box or wrap?! What works best for you? Let’s explore the options and how they may suit your fresh bread needs, lifespan and your lifestyle.
Some key factors affecting the shelf life of bread include temperature, moisture and exposure to the elements (air).
Leave it conveniently it on the bench
Store bread in a bread box
Bread boxes seem to be a trend at the moment – the old faithful Kmart bread box is getting a great workout on Instagram. Not only can they add a gorgeous touch to your bench top, they provide a very convenient way to store your favourite seedy loaf. You can get some that are just a box or fancier ones with built in chopping boards and knife holders! Although they look amazing and certainly help keep your bread fresh, are they the best option for you? If you want your fresh bread to last a little longer, there are other options.
Beeswax bread wrap
In our opinion, a beeswax wrap is the ultimate way to store your bread. It keeps the bread airtight, while allowing it to breath. It holds in moisture meaning your bread will not dry out so quickly and the antimicrobial properties of the wax can boost its life. Beeswax wraps usually come in really large sizes to cover your entire loaf and will fit snuggly around your bread, making a cosy package.
In waste-free spirit, the beeswax wraps are fully washable and reusable! You’ll be able to keep your bread fresh and looking fab more than 100 times! *let’s pause for a moment to dream of 100 fresh loaves of irresistible wholemeal spelt*
Keep your bread in a beeswax wraps either on the bench, or in your pantry cupboard. As with all room temperature storage options, particularly avoid heat and direct sunlight with the beeswax wrap method. We don’t want any wax melting boo-boos!
Storing bread in the freezer
Yes! Bread can be frozen. But how long does bread last in the freezer? It may last up to 6 months, in fact.
A hot tip is to slice off enough for 2-3 days. Keep this amount out in room temperature and store the rest in the freezer. How to put your bread in the freezer? We suggest using a plastic bag (re-purposed of course), a plastic container (with a nice snug fit), or even a beeswax wrap (caution: it may crack if not defrosted before removing!).
One downside of freezing bread can be freezer burn. Extend your frozen friends’ lifespan by choosing an airtight packing option. Also, don’t forget about them! Really have a think about what you’re buying at the time and if you can realistically consume it in time. We talk about it a lot at SUSTOMi, and food waste is something we hold dear to us – plan your meals ahead and save yourself some money and guilt.
In the plastic bag it came in:
For convenience sake, many people do end up leaving their bread in the bag it came in. It does save time but have a think about if it is going to give your bread the best life – and it deserves a good life! Plastic mixed with warm weather and humidity can make your bread sweat and certainly doesn’t let it breath. Soggy and prematurely mouldy bread can result *tear*. If you must purchase your bread in plastic and want it to be enjoyable for more than 2 days, transfer it into a bread box, beeswax wrap, or the freezer. Then, please repurpose the bag.
These are just a few options for how to store bread. Freezing bread is a good strategy for singles, or when you lash out on a bulk buy! Beeswax wraps are great for your longer lasting loaves, and the bench top containers and bread boxes are great for bread with a shorter lifespan and quicker consumption.