Plastic is commonly used to store different foods, including bread bought at the store. However, many people want to buy and store bread without plastic. It is better for the bread and for the environment.
Storing bread in plastic locks moisture in, which encourages the growth of mold. It also makes bread chewy. However, when you bake homemade bread, you can use any of the following five methods to store it without using plastic.
Five Ways to Store Homemade Bread Without Plastic
1. Use a Bread Bag
Linen bread bags are a great option for storing your homemade bread. They can be closed tightly, but they are still breathable. They look nice, and they keep the bread fresh longer. Your crust will remain crisp, while the inside of your bread will be soft and fluffy.
They close with a drawstring, but you can also use a rubber band. The key is to make sure that the bag is closed. You can keep the bread out on the counter inside of the bread bag and it adds decor to your kitchen.
2. Keep Homemade Bread in a Bread Box
A bread box is another great option for storing your homemade bread. It allows some circulation, but it will keep particles from the air or insects out of it. Bread boxes were very common back in the 1950s and 1960s, and you can still find one for your bread today. It will keep your bread fresh longer.
3. Use Paper to Wrap the Bread
Paper is a great material for storing your bread because it is inexpensive, and it works well. You may have noticed that bakeries often sell bread in a paper bag. Paper allows air flow inside the bag, which helps to keep the bread dry so that the crust stays crisp and flavorful.
The problem with plastic is that moisture gets trapped in the bag, which softens the crust right away. Your bread stores best at room temperature, and you can simply place it in a paper bag to keep it crisp. If you don’t plan to eat all of it in a few days, you can store it in the freezer for later.
4. A Ceramic Container Keeps Bread Fresh
Ceramic containers do a great job of keeping your bread moist and fresh. They are attractive, and they are porous enough to breathe without letting insects or other particles in. This type of container can be more expensive and it can take up counter space, but it is a great way to keep your homemade bread fresh.
5. Keep Your Bread on a Wooden Cutting Board
Finally, you can keep your bread out on a wooden cutting board for a few days. Just make sure that you place the cut side down and cover it with a linen towel. This will keep your bread fresh and you can enjoy it during this time. You can only keep it this way for a few days before it starts to lose moisture and flavor, so be sure to cut it and freeze it after this time.
How to Buy Plastic-Free Bread?
Many people want to buy plastic-free bread because it is better for the environment. Unfortunately, most bread in grocery stores is sold in plastic bags, which makes it hard to find. However, there are ways to do it.
First, you can buy your bread from a baker. Grocery store bread is stored in plastic because it is made and shipped a long distance before it arrives on the shelves, but bakers sell fresh bread. You can bring your own bread bag in to pick it up.
You can also ask for a paper bag. Many stores that sell fresh bread offer this option, and all you need to do is ask. Some grocery stores have their fresh bread in paper bags, so you need to look for the bakery section to find it.
How to Freeze Bread Without Plastic?
Bread only stays fresh a few days, which is why stores often sell it in plastic. However, you can freeze your fresh bread to preserve it. If you have homemade bread, it is best to slice it first so that you can take out what you need without having to defrost the whole loaf.
There are plenty of alternatives to plastic that you can use to freeze your bread. Try placing your bread in any of the following:
- Dish cloth
- Reusable beeswax wraps
- Unbleached parchment paper
- Paper bag
- Pillow case
- Reusable bread slice container
Make sure that you cover all of the bread when you wrap it, and you can use rubber bands or ties to keep the ends closed after you wrap it. You want to wrap the bread tightly. Bread will stay fresh for up to six months in the freezer, so you can enjoy it for that time.
How to Defrost Bread from the Freezer?
Many people recommend that you do not thaw your bread by letting it sit out on the counter. In fact, they say that it can become stale as it defrosts. Before you freeze your bread, you should split it into portions so that you won’t have to thaw more than you can eat.
You can heat the bread, which will cause the starch and water molecules to break down the crystalline portions. This will give you bread that is soft and delicious. It also works much faster than waiting for it to thaw on the counter.
You can microwave the bread for 15 to 25 seconds on high, or you can put it on a baking sheet in the oven for five minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. This is ideal for individual slices. If you have frozen the entire load, you will need to defrost it in the oven for closer to 20 or 30 minutes.
If you enjoy fresh bread, there are plenty of alternatives to storing it in plastic. Your bread will remain fresh longer, and you will reduce your impact on the environment.