Preserving Bread Today

Perusing through recently I noticed that there were quite a few bread boxes of varying types for sale.

Growing up in the early 1960’s my mom had a bread box on the kitchen counter where we would store our bread, and with my brother and I having sandwiches every day we would usually go through a loaf a bread a week.

Once I moved out on my own a loaf of bread would last me a couple of weeks, and finding a moldy piece of bread or two at the end of the loaf was not at all unusual. As a result I started storing my bread in the fridge and the problem by and large went away.

So why do people use a bread box and not just store their bread in the fridge? Tradition? Do they go through so much bread that it never has a chance to go bad? Are they trying to save space in their fridge for more perishable items?

The biggest problem for me having a bread box would be where to put it since it would take up a good chunk of my precious counter space.


“Preserving Bread Today” sound like most boring magazine I’ve ever heard of.

Yeah, I don’t understand the bread box. But, do you mean you would store in the box without the bag? I’ve never used a bread box or stored in the fridge. The bag and a twist tie always work out pretty good for me.

Bread goes stale faster in the fridge.

Good question.

My memory isn’t perfect, but I remember having to get the bread out of the bread box, unwrap it to remove a few slices, close it back up and put it back in the bread box. We wouldn’t store a ‘naked’ bread in the bread box.

I think the idea then was that a loaf of wrapped bread sitting on the counter looked untidy for some reason, so we had to hide it in a bread box, or in a cupboard, or in the panty. Since we used bread almost every day we wanted it to be someplace handy, like on the counter. The bread box did nothing extra to preserve the bread except, perhaps, to keep it out of direct sunlight.

I thought the bread box was old fashioned and would be dead by now since we all have large fridges, but I was wrong.

So then which is better, stale bread or moldy bread?

I suppose you could freeze it, take out the few slices you need each day and either let them defrost or microwave them if you’re in a hurry, but I don’t see a lot of people doing that either.

In my experience, bread stays fresh enough in a dark pantry. You may need a breadbox if you live in a humid area (my location is the desert S/West). Putting bread in the freezer can preserve it even longer but I never do that, despite family recommendations.

Never store bread products in the fridge, they will go stale very fast.

Could that cause yeast infections?

So how does putting a wrapped loaf of bread in a bread box reduce its humidity? Does putting bread in a dark panty reduce humidity?

Bread in fridge = stale bread. As to why breadboxes were/are used when bread comes in a plastic bag nowadays, it could simply be tradition–a throwback to when bread came from the bakery and did not have its own packaging. Or, it could be convenience–a place to store bread so that it is handy, but also out of the way. For many people, having food products just sitting out in the kitchen is considered untidy. Things should be stored in their proper places.

Hmmm… I think I slept through that college course.

I’ve always thought that breadboxes were about keeping out light (and nothing else; don’t think they’d keep out humidity unless they were airtight, and traditional ones certainly weren’t).

I assume that every loaf of bread has at least a few mold spores in it to begin with, and that light accelerates the growth of the spores. But my assumption could be wrong. :slight_smile:

We leave it in its bag, on top of the fridge.

I put the second half of a new loaf into the freezer as soon as I get home from the market, with the slices sort of “fanned” so that they’ll pop apart easier. The first half gets used up before it goes moldy, and the frozen slices that I start to pull out in clumps of four or six thaw very quickly. Popping the frozen slices into the toaster for a minute thaws them even faster.

Bread freezes very very well. I’ve stopped wasting the second halves of ciabattas or baguettes since I started freezing them.

I’ve tried refrigerating bread, and Fear Itself is correct. It just goes kind of stiff and waxy and never regains its original spongy fresh feel.

Like teela brown, I freeze bread I’m not going to eat soon.

A side benefit is you can spread refrigerated butter on frozen bread without destroying it.

Makes sense to me. Thanks everyone!

I’ve tried keeping my bread in a dark panty, and it does NOT reduce humidity. If anything, my dark panty gets more humid and smelly within just a few days.


Dark pantys are best with pumpernickle.

Pumpernickle? I hardly touched 'er!

I despise bread that’s been refrigerated. Why can’t I buy a loaf of like 8 pieces?

You guys don’t have cats? We had one who loved bread. At the house before this one, the kitchen cabinets included a “garage”. It was part of the cabinets but sat on the counter. It opened with a light push. I used it for bread, cookies, etc. Rick the cat would open the door, tear through the plastic wrap, and eat bread.

So I got a bread box, metal, with a curved lid that lifted from the bottom. Rick could open it but he couldn’t keep it open long enough to get to the bread.

Never did like bread from the fridge.