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How To Store Sourdough Bread And Keep It Fresh

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Are you getting started with sourdough bread baking, and aren’t quite sure of the best way to keep it fresh? Or maybe you were gifted a sourdough loaf and want to preserve it for a special occasion? In this post, I’ll share a few suggestions on how to store homemade sourdough bread so it stays as delicious as the first day after baking.

various sourdough loaves on wooden cutting board

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Why Proper Storage is Important

First, it’s a good idea to understand why storing fresh sourdough bread the right way is important. When it comes to sourdough bread, you probably want to ensure it stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Prevents Staling

Sourdough bread is known for its unique flavor and texture, but it can also be prone to staling if not stored properly. Staling is what happens when the moisture in the bread evaporates, which eventually makes the bread become dry and hard. Proper storage can help prevent stale bread and keep your loaf of sourdough bread fresh and delicious.

2. Avoids Mold Growth

Finding mold on a yummy loaf of homemade bread is a major downer. When sourdough bread is not stored in a cool, dry place, mold growth is what happens. Mold thrives on warmth and moisture, so monitor the temperature and humidity levels of your storage location. Moldy bread can be harmful to your health, so it’s a good idea to take steps to prevent it.

3. Maximizes Shelf Life

Proper storage helps maximize the shelf life of your sourdough loaves. While sourdough bread can last for a day or two right on the kitchen counter, it will last even longer if stored properly. Store your bread in an airtight container or plastic bag, and help keep it fresh for up to a week.

sourdough bread stored in plastic bags next to farm fresh eggs

How long is sourdough bread good for?

It’s possible to keep your sourdough bread directly on a cutting board or the kitchen counter for a couple of days. Bread openly exposed to dry air may become tougher on the exterior, but will stay soft in the middle. In a plastic bag or ample amount of plastic wrap, the loaf of bread should stay good for 7-10 days. In a linen bag, other cloth bag, or brown paper bag, it will stay nice and fresh for 4-5 days.

(I use and love these extra large bakery bread bags.)

Best Practices To Store Sourdough Bread

Choosing the Right Container

When it comes to storing sourdough bread, choosing the right container is crucial. You want to keep your bread in an airtight container that will prevent moisture from getting in and drying out your bread. A plastic container or resealable plastic bag can be a good option, but make sure your bread is completely cool, and remove as much air as possible before sealing it. You can also use a bread box, which will allow air to circulate while still keeping your bread fresh.

A linen bread bag is good for keeping a crispy crust, but a soft interior. I also like that these type of bags are aesthetically pleasing and a great way to transport bread to a special occasion.

Beeswax wrap is also a fun and eco-friendly option to store your fresh bread in.

fresh sourdough bread stored in a linen bread bag

Store Sourdough Bread at the Right Temperature

Temperature is another important factor when it comes to storing sourdough bread. You want to keep your bread in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature range is between 60-70°F (15-21°C). I don’t recommend storing bread in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures can actually dry out all types of bread and make it go stale faster.

Freezing Sourdough Bread

If you want to store your sourdough bread for an extended period, you can freeze it. Freezing sourdough can extend its shelf life for several weeks or even months.

If you do decide to freeze your bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a resealable plastic bag. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours before reheating it in the oven. You can freeze an entire loaf, or we like to cut ours into individual slices to quickly pop in the toaster on any given day!

sliced sourdough bread

Common Mistakes When Storing Sourdough Bread

When it comes to storing sourdough bread, here are a few common mistakes that people make. Avoid these to keep your bread fresh and delicious.

Mistake #1: Storing Bread in the Fridge

Storing your sourdough bread in the fridge is a common mistake that can actually make it go stale faster. The cold temperature can dry out the bread and cause it to lose its flavor. Instead, keep your bread at room temperature in your proper storage container of choice.

Mistake #2: Not Wrapping Bread Properly

Another common mistake is not wrapping your sourdough bread properly if you choose to go that route. If you leave any part exposed to air, it will dry out and become stale. Make sure to at least wrap your bread in a clean and dry cloth, tea towel or paper bag to keep it fresh.

Mistake #3: Storing Bread in a Moist Environment

Sourdough bread needs dry conditions to stay fresh. If you store it in a moist environment, it can become moldy. Although I frequently use them, it is true that plastic bags or containers can create a more moist environment. If you do choose to store in plastic, make sure your fresh baked bread is completely cool first. Store your bread in dry conditions, and avoid storing it in the same container as other moist foods.

Mistake #4: Not Using Bread Soon Enough

It’s no secret that sourdough bread is best when it’s fresh, so try to use it within a few days of baking. If you wait too long, it will start to go stale and lose its flavor. If you have leftover bread, try to use it up quickly or freeze it for later (this is what we do!).

two loaves of sourdough bread stored on wooden cutting board

Tips for Keeping Sourdough Fresh Longer

Here is a quick cheatsheet and recap to help you keep your sourdough bread fresh for longer!

  • Store in a cool, dry place: The best place to store sourdough bread is in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. A breadbox or pantry is great! Avoid storing it in the fridge, as this can dry out the bread and cause it to go stale faster.
  • Wrap it up: Once your sourdough bread has cooled completely, wrap it in a clean, dry cloth or a paper bag. This will help to keep the bread fresh and prevent it from drying out. 
  • Freeze it: If you have more sourdough bread than you can eat within a few days, consider freezing it. Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe bag. Sourdough bread can be frozen for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw it at room temperature for a few hours. To reheat, you can wrap it in aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Reheat it: You can also revive slightly stale bread it by reheating it in the oven. Follow the same instructions by wrapping in aluminum foil and baking. This will help restore the bread’s freshness and flavor.
  • Slice it as needed: To keep your sourdough bread fresh for longer, slice it as needed instead of slicing the whole loaf at once.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your sourdough bread for longer and avoid wasting any of it!

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6 Comments

  1. i have been looking at a linen bread bag…I’ve been reusing plastic ones. Have you ever used a bread box? My grandma use to have one on her counter but I’m not sure if they’re necessary if I’m storing it in a bag!

  2. Super thankful for this post! It was thorough, yet to the point and not too long. I am bookmarking this to come back to, as I am in the beginning of my sourdough bread adventure. I love the way the linen bags look, and I think I’m going to go that route for crispy crust and soft inside!

  3. Very helpful post! Luckily, my house is always the perfect temp for storing sourdough. 🙂 I use a plastic bag for bread and air tight containers for other sourdough goods.