How to Keep Homemade Bread Fresh

Last updated January 20th, 2020

Almost 1/3 of bread produced in the USA and the UK goes to waste so we’ve found the best methods of keeping your homemade loaf fresh so you can stop your crusts ending up in the trash.

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What’s the absolute best way to keep your homemade bread fresh?

Freezing your homemade bread is the best way to keep it fresh.

For the best results wrap it in cling film then kitchen foil and put it in the freezer.

The freezing process will keep the bread from drying out, going stale, or molding and it will stay good for approximately six months before losing its flavor.

While the freezing method is the undisputed champion of keeping your homemade bread from going to waste, it may not be the most convenient as it requires thawing.

If you think that putting it in the fridge is a good compromise between convenience/freshness, however, think again. Refrigerating your bread is probably the worst thing you can do as its texture and flavor will be significantly reduced.

The Best Ways to Keep Homemade Bread Fresh

Here are the best methods we found to stop your homemade bread going stale or molding:

  1. 1. Freezing

    Homemade bread kept in the freezer will last up to six months before its flavor and texture begin to degrade.

    We recommend slicing the bread before freezing it so when you’re ready to use it you can take out as many slices as you need.

    Fresh sliced homemade loaf

    To defrost the bread, leave it out overnight and then once you’re ready to eat it place it in the oven for a few minutes. It will “refresh” the bread and have it tasting and smelling like a freshly baked loaf.

    We recommend:

    Try wrapping the bread in cling film or plastic food bag and then kitchen foil for the best results.

  2. 2. Plastic bread keeper box

    For convenience, you’ll find keeping your homemade bread in a bread keeper box much more manageable.

    Plastic bread keeper box

    Most feature an air-tight design, similar to plastic Tupperware, to stop bacteria and moisture from getting inside making your home-baked bread stale.

    Some models also include integrated cutting boards and cutting guides to help you cut your homemade bread slices to the perfect thickness.

    We recommend:

    Progressive Prepworks Bread ProKeeper
    Buy on Amazon

    Buddeez Bread Keeper
    Buy on Amazon

  3. 3. Cotton/linen bread bag

    Fabric bread bags are a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic bread bags and a great way to keep your homemade loaf fresh.

    Look for unbleached bags made of naturally anti-microbial materials like flax that extend the life of your bread by discouraging the growth of bacteria and mold.

    Cotton linen bread bag

    To prevent your homemade loaf going dry and stale, fabric bread bags also attract and hold a small amount of moisture but not enough to promote mold growth.

    For even better results, place your bread bag inside your bread bin.

    We recommend:

    Bread Story Natural Linen Bread Bags
    Artisan bread bag made of unbleached, natural cotton/linen. Hand wash only.
    Buy on Amazon

    Vie De Pain Flax Linen Bread Bags
    Natural flax bread bag available in multiple sizes, including large loaf and baguette sized bags.
    Buy on Amazon

  4. 4. Bread bin

    Certainly more stylish than a plastic box but not particularly useful for keeping your homemade bread from going stale.

    Fresh cut bread next to metal bread box

    Even the sleekest and best-designed bread bin is unlikely to be air-tight. At most, it will add a few days to the lifetime of your bread before the cut, exposed part of the loaf starts to go hard and then moldy.

    For longer lasting homemade bread pair the bread bin with a linen bread bag or bread saver sheet.

    We recommend:

    Brabantia Matte Steel Fall Front Bread Box
    Solid budget metal bread box with a magnetic fall front.
    Buy on Amazon

    Wesco Grandy Steel Bread Box
    Beautiful German designed retro steel bread bin.
    Buy on Amazon

  5. 5. Bread saver sheet

    Food saver sheets contain a range of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spices that keep your homemade bread fresher for longer.

    Bread saver sheets

    They aren’t designed to be used alone, so are best paired with either a bread bin or plastic bread for optimal use.

    Each sheet only lasts for around 30 days, but they are fully compostable so they won’t contribute to increasing landfill usage.

    We recommend:

    Freshpaper Bread Saver Sheets
    Perfect for most baked goods including homemade bread, cookies, muffin baskets and more.
    Buy on Amazon

  6. 6. Bread cap

    A bread cap is a stretchy piece of silicon designed to fit over the cut, exposed end of a piece of bread.

    The makers of the cap claim it can extend the life of an artisan or homemade loaf by up to five days.

    Artisan homemade bread cap

    The bread cap comes in a few different shapes and sizes to accommodate ciabatta, sourdough bread and standard loaves. The silicon also has some flex in it so it will stretch to fit a variety of different styles of bread.

    The bread cap will keep the center of your bread from going hard for a few days, but it won’t stop the crust from going stale.

    We recommend:

    CapaBunga Artisan Bread Saver
    Great for artisan and homemade bread but only covers the cut section of the loaf.
    Buy on Amazon

People also ask…

How long does homemade bread last at room temperature?

Homemade bread left at room temperature should last for 3-5 days before it goes stale or begins to go moldy.

How to store homemade bread without plastic?

If you’re looking for a plastic-free way to keep your bread from molding then try out a linen or cloth bread bag. For even better protection place the bread bag in a bamboo or metal bread bin.

What are the best natural preservatives for homemade bread?

Natural additives such as Lecithin (a food additive derived from soybeans) and powdered Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), can be used to help preserve homemade bread. Lecithin is also commonly used in baking to improve dough consistency and as an emulsifier.

How do you freshen homemade bread?

Stale homemade bread can be easily and quickly refreshed by running the bread under the tap and then warming it in the oven for a couple of minutes at 350F/180C.