Loving sourdough bread so much, buying or baking more bread than you can eat in one day is typical. Now, you may be wondering how to store it. You don’t want the loaves to lose their airy texture or unique taste. Therefore, how to store sourdough bread?
The following is the best way to store sourdough bread successfully:
- Leave it on the countertop in a paper bag up to five days.
- Keep it in a breadbox up to five days.
- For longer-term storage freeze it up to three months in a plastic freezer bag.
Keep reading as I discuss the proper ways to keep sourdough bread tasting fresh. This article will also examine the following issues:
- How bread goes bad.
- How long you can keep sourdough bread.
- How to store sourdough bread successfully.
- How to thaw frozen sourdough bread.
- How to revive stale sourdough bread.
- What about the refrigerator?
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Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How To Store Sourdough Bread
You can successfully store sourdough bread at room temperature on the countertop, in a bread box or by freezing it. No matter which method you choose, make sure freshly baked bread has completely cooled down before storing it.
1. Leave It on the Countertop.
Keep the sourdough bread on the countertop for 4–5 days in one of the following containers:
- A paper bag.
- A cotton bread bag.
- Wrapped in a kitchen towel.
- Wrapped in beeswax wrap.
It’s unrecommended to keep the bread in a plastic bag or plastic wrap at room temperature because it may sweat if it is warm. Don’t expose any part of the bread to the air which may cause it to go stale and dry 1.
Keep the bread out of direct sunlight or away from a warm temperature source like the stove, dishwasher or the top of a refrigerator. If you can’t find a good place, try a deep, cool drawer or cabinet 2.
The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, UNL Food, says that homemade bread will keep at room temperatures of 50°F to 70°F for 3 to 5 days.
If you expect to finish the sourdough bread on the same day it was baked or bought, keep it cut side down on the cutting board. Let it sit there until it’s finished.
If you have trouble finding beeswax wrap, Amazon sells a wide variety with nice designs. Check them out here, Beeswax Wrap.
If you have a bug problem and prefer to keep bread in an airtight container, include a regular slice of bread in the container with the sourdough. The slice, which contains more dough surface area, will absorb more of the moisture.
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2. Keep It in a Breadbox.
You can use a breadbox to store sourdough bread at room temperature. A breadbox should maintain a constant temperature and humidity with just enough air to help your bread stay fresh. They have ventilation holes which keep the air circulating.
If you don’t have a bread box, they sell ones on Amazon with designs to fit any kitchen. Check them out here, Bread Boxes.
3. Freeze It (Uncut or Sliced).
Freezing sourdough bread is a good way to keep it fresh longer. You can freeze the whole loaf uncut or sliced.
To freeze uncut sourdough bread:
- Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place the wrapped loaf in a plastic freezer bag.
- Squeeze all the air out of the bag.
- Seal the bag.
- Write the date on the freezer bag.
- Place it in the freezer up to three months.
Some people don’t wrap the loaf in plastic wrap. If you think the crust will poke through the bag, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer bag 3.
Even if you’re not afraid of the crust poking through, the layer of plastic wrap is a good idea for extra protection against freezer burn.
If your sourdough is sliced, follow these steps:
- Place parchment paper between the slices.
- Place the slices into a plastic freezer bag.
- Remove as much excess air as possible.
- Seal the bag.
- Date the bag.
- Place it in the freezer up to three months.
Using parchment paper makes it easy to remove only the exact number of slices you wish to use at a later date without thawing the whole loaf 4.
If you don’t have parchment or waxed paper, alternate each layer of slices the opposite way. This will make it easier to separate each slice when needed.
You can freeze slices individually in separate freezer bags. Just remember writing the date on each bag always keeping track of when you froze the bread.
The best way to remove the excess air, especially with the individual slices, is to use a vacuum sealer.They are one of those items making you wonder how you did without one before purchasing it. Amazon has many affordable ones. Check out their current prices here, Vacuum Sealers.
How To Thaw Frozen Sourdough Bread
The best way to defrost frozen sourdough bread is to remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight or a few days until it fully thaws.
When looking to heat a slice of frozen sourdough bread, toss it straight into a toaster having a frozen/defrost button.
If you don’t have a defrost toaster, I prefer the Breville toaster with a defrost setting. Check them or others on Amazon, Breville Toasters.
Let a frozen slice thaw out on the counter beforehand if you plan to use it for croutons or a grilled sandwich.
If you want to warm and bring a frozen loaf of sourdough bread back to life, follow the following steps:
- Remove the plastic wrapping and spray a little water all over the outside of the bread.
- Wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil and put it in an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25–30 minutes.
- Take the loaf out of the oven and remove the foil.
- Put the warm, unwrapped bread back into the oven for about 5 minutes.
- After removing the warm bread from the oven the second time, let it cool for 20 minutes before enjoying.
How To Revive Stale Sourdough Bread
If the sourdough loaf gets stale from age or improper storage, two methods may revive the bread. You can put the sourdough bread in the oven or microwave. I will discuss the steps for reviving stale sourdough bread down below.
The Oven Method
Follow these steps to revive sourdough bread in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit:
- Give the top of the loaf a spritz of water.
- Put the bread in the hot oven until it is warm.
- Check the loaf after about 5 minutes.
- Do not leave it in the oven for over 10 minutes, or it will become more dry than before.
The Microwave Method
Follow these steps to add moisture back into a stale sourdough loaf or slice using a microwave:
- Lightly moisten a kitchen towel.
- Wrap the bread in the towel and microwave on high for 10 seconds.
- Check the bread after 10 seconds and if its not moist enough, you can repeat.
How Stored Sourdough Bread Goes Bad
There are two ways stored sourdough bread goes bad:
- Sourdough bread gets moldy. Mold spores are everywhere and they love to feed on the starches in the bread. Warmth and moisture contribute to the growth of this mold. You should avoid eating moldy bread because it can make you sick.
- Sourdough bread gets stale. The loaf can become stale because of a chemical process causing the bread to lose its freshness and become hard and dry. It’s not best to store bread in the refrigerator because it can speed up this chemical process. While stale bread isn’t very palatable, it isn’t dangerous to eat.
The good news is sourdough bread resists mold. This means the loaf will not develop mold as quickly as some other types of conventional bread when being stored. The bad news is it can still get stale and eventually get moldy.
If the stored sourdough bread gets moldy, throw it away immediately. Moldy bread is unsafe to eat 5.
How Long You Can Store Sourdough Bread
The staling process of bread, including sourdough, starts immediately after baking 6. Therefore, the storage tips and times in this article are important to preserving it for as long as possible.
How long sourdough bread keeps depends on how it’s store it. When properly stored at room temperature, bakery-bought or homemade sourdough bread will be good for 4–5 days. When properly frozen, it will maintain its quality for up to 3 months 7.
It will be safe to eat from the freezer even longer than 3 months, though it may not be of excellent quality.
If you refrigerate the sourdough bread, it will only last 2–3 days because it will become stale quicker in the refrigerator. For this reason, keeping your bread in the refrigerator is not a good idea. Which leads me to the next section.
Storing Sourdough Bread in the Refrigerator
It’s possible for sourdough bread to dry out in the refrigerator. The refrigerated air speeds up the staling process of bread 8. For that reason, many people ask, should sourdough bread be refrigerated?
Sourdough bread should be refrigerated if it’s going to be left out at room temperature for longer than three to five days and can’t be frozen. The bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic or placed into an airtight container. Refrigerating sourdough bread for two more days may prevent it from going stale or growing mold.
Even though it’s not ideal, the refrigerator can be a reliable means of storing sourdough bread, whether homemade or store-bought 2.
If your sourdough bread is already at risk of going stale and growing mold, let’s find out, how to store sourdough bread in the refrigerator?
Store sourdough bread in the refrigerator by following these steps:
- Wrap the bread tightly in plastic or place it into an airtight container.
- Place it in the refrigerator for up to two more days.
- Do not leave the sourdough bread exposed to the refrigerator air which will dry it out.
Exposing it to the colder air dries it out quickly 9. Anyone wishing to store their sourdough bread for longer than one week will have to freeze it.
Thinking about making your own bread? Check for affordable bread making machines on Amazon, Bread Maker Machines.
How do you store sourdough bread so it doesn’t get hard? Store sourdough bread at room temperature wrapped in beeswax paper or in a paper bag. Store the bread away from a heat source or sunlight. Avoid the refrigerator which will make the bread stale and hard quicker.
How to keep store bought sourdough bread fresh? Keep store bought sourdough bread fresh by storing it in a brown paper bag on the counter or in a bread box. Store the bread in room temperatures between 50°F to 70°F and avoid heat sources.
Read Next – More Bread & Food Storage Articles!
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- USDA: How long can I store Bread
- University of Missouri: Storing Food in the Cupboard
- University of Wyoming: Storing Bread For Maximum Freshness
- North Carolina State: Storing Bread and Baked Products
- The Safe Good Company: How To Store Sourdough Bread
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Impact of Storing Condition on Staling and Microbial Spoilage Behavior of Bread and Their Contribution to Prevent Food Waste
- Michigan State University: Cooling hot food, do it right to prevent bacterial growth
- The Washington Post: The Best Way To Store Bread
- Iowa State University: How to store bread