Sourdogh Bread Storage

(whippet) #1

For many years I’ve just stored my sourdough breads in plastic bags. Getting increasingly unhappy with this. There is always condensation in the bag. I wipe it out but it returns. Naturally this promotes mold on the bread, can’t always see it but it can be tasted and I can smell it. hate to throw out a half loaf because of this.
Most of my bread is used in sandwiches so most is made in bread pans. I’m the only one eating it so a loaf needs to stay good for about a week. I do freeze loaves after baking till I need a new one, one in use and one in the freezer.
Since I butter the crust before baking I’m not interested in a crisp crust for those loaves, but I am for some other breads I make.
I’ve kept it in the fridge but it gets stale in about 1 day. and the condensation is worse.
Now you’ve got the use details for the question.
What’s a better way to store them during use? I’ve heard of bamboo bags. What do they do and why are they better? Bread box? What’s it do to make the bread stay good longer? I can see how a perforated plastic bag will let out moisture. But how does it keep out the molds etc?
Do those things allow the bread to stay good longer?
Thanks for any info you can give me.

(trillium) #2

After trying a lot of ways that didn’t work I finally hit on a solution that works for me. I store my bread on the kitchen island in a large old crockery bowl which has a lid. I wrap the bread in the largest size Bee Wrap and keep it in the bowl with the lid tilted open a bit. A loaf of sourdough keeps well for at least a week without staling, although the crumb/crust is tougher after six or seven days, if we haven’t eaten it sooner. Best part, no more mold.
Hope this helps.

(Linda) #3

The bread gurus recommend never keeping bread in the fridge. It recrystallizes the starch and quickly ruins your hard work. If I know my freshly baked bread will be eaten in 2 or 3 days, I wrap the loaf in linen and put in the bread box. Otherwise, once the loaf is cooled, I slice it, put in one gallon freezer (not storage!) bags and put it in the freezer. It is a simple matter of (1) putting a frozen slice in the toaster, (2) taking out a frozen slice and setting on a napkin until it’s at room temperature, or (3) making a sandwich on frozen bread to eat a few hours later. I’ve been doing this for years, and it works beautifully. Oh, an added bonus about freezing bread … it keeps you from walking through the kitchen, eyeing your beautiful loaf and thinking “I’ll just slice a little piece for a snack.” At the end of the day and several slices later (and maybe some butter, cheese or homemade jam on top), you’ll soon be wondering why your jeans are snug. :slight_smile:

(mayoushh) #4

HI! I also found it be a good idea to slice the bread, put it in a freezer ziplock plastic bag or similar and take out as many slices I need when I need it - Either toast it straight from the freezer or leave it in a paper bag until its room temp.

(Melissa) #5

Haha so true, if I leave bread out, no one eats anything but bread.

I’m curious why freezer bags are different/better from regular Ziploc. I’ve always assumed I could save a few pennies and use (and reuse) regular.

(whippet) #6

The storage bags are lighter plastic, and don’t prevent freezer burn as well.

(whippet) #7

Thanks Trillium, I’ll give this a try.

(whippet) #8

Hi Linda, I agree with the guru’s. Bread doesn’t keep well there. Goes stale within 24 hrs. It is a last resort. Sometimes the loaf has lasted long enough that it’s that or give it to the birds. I’ve frozen half loaves and that works pretty well. Wanted to keep it all out for the week though.

(Linda) #9

Oh, sorry … I use Ziplock or Hefty FREEZER bags which are less porous than their storage bags.

(Melissa) #10

@whippet @lshafer1 Thanks for the freezer bag info :slight_smile:

(skyking964) #11

See here’s my recipe for Altamura Bread which was designed, more than 1000 years ago “to last for 2 weeks”.

Start midday the day before you want to bake
At lunchtime the day before you want to bake, start preparing your starter leaven using your fresh sourdough starter. Take 30g of your normal starter and mix it with 40g of water and 50g of Sfarinato in a small bowl, cover with a plate and leave to ferment at room temperature until early evening.
Now do a second refresh by repeating the first, this time leaving it overnight at room temperature for 12-13 hours. This then is your 210g Sfarinato starter.
To make the dough, mix the Sfarinato flour with the water and your starter then leave covered for 30 minutes (to autolyse). Next, add the salt and dried yeast.
If you have a mixer, mix on slow speed for 2 minutes until well combined, then for a further 8 minutes on a medium speed until nice and smooth. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover and allow to ferment for 3 hours.
To knead by hand, for the next hour, using a wet or oiled hand, give the dough a stretch and fold every 10 minutes. That is, with the dough in the bowl, put your hand down the side of the dough and pull it up and across the bowl, rotate and repeat a couple of times. Keep the bowl covered with a damp tea towel.
Flour your work surface and shape the dough into a boule (round loaf) and allow to rest on the floured worktop for 25 - 30 minutes covered.
Reshape into the boule by turning dough over and gently pull into an irregular boule, taking care not to knock out too much air and place onto a piece of parchment paper – these loaves are not perfectly symmetrical and so don’t go into a proofing basket. Prove for 2 - 3 hours at room temperature until fully proved - you can check this by gently pushing the dough with your index finger. If it feels firm it is under-proved. If it bounces back quickly it still has more to go. When it returns slowly then it is ready to go…If it does not return, but deflates and wrinkles then it is over-proved.
30 minutes before baking preheat the oven and La Cloche to 200°C.
Bake the bread inside the cloche for 25 minutes and then remove the cover and continue to bake for a further 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown.
Test the baking by lifting the loaf and tapping the base which should sound hollow.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Ingredients: 600g Sfarinato di Grano Duro flour (Durum flour)
440g Water at room temperature
210g Sfarinato di Grano Duro starter (see below)
12g Super-fine Himalayan Salt
1g Bioreal Dried Organic Yeast (A large pinch)

Use the RIGHT FLOUR, don’t mess with this DOP recipe.

(whippet) #12

Hi Skyking964, Have you ever tried this just the starter and without the added yeast?
Thanks for the recipe.
BTW did you ever watch the old Sky King tv show?

(skyking964) #13

No, I stick to the recipe precisely to the gram.

As they say, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it“.

As to sky king, yes I watched it, it was a great influence on my life.

I can answer virtually any trivia question regarding that show as I watched every single episode. But I’m dating myself.

I hope you enjoy the Altamura bread.

(GuyEWood) #14

So true about the refrigerator and THANK YOU for the idea to slice it and put it into the freezer. That could be very helpful for my wife and me, as we sometimes have to force ourselves to eat our loaves just so they won’t get stale. :slight_smile:

We can stop gorging and start freezing!

Thanks again…


(Bill) #15

I don’t seem to have to problem with humidity that you do, and yes, I live in a humid environment. I make sure the bread is completely cool before bagging, and that usually takes hours.

As for ideas for that left-over 1/4 or 1/2 loaf, I cut mine into cubes, put them on a cookie sheet, and use the oven’s bread proof mode (you could also use a dehydrator, if you have one) and in a few hours I have delicious croutons.

(whippet) #16

Thanks everyone. I have a few ideas now and will see what works best for me.

(Who_Knew) #17

Hi, just a few notes about moisture and bread storage, etc.
Where I live it’s mostly pretty dry here most of the time. I tend to leave the bread out for cooling on a rack for several hours after baking. After it has cooled, if I take a slice from a recently baked loaf, instead of putting it away, I’ll stand the loaf on the flat cut on a cutting board on the kitchen table, so only the crust is exposed. By the end of the day, I usually put the loaf away in a grocery store paper bag, cut flat facing the bottom of the bag. I roll the top of the bag to get rid of excess air, and clip the bag with a chip clip or bulldog paper clip. After a few days it starts to get crumby when you slice it, but the bread is still good. Loaves last 7-10 days this way. Some loaves have enough fat content that the paper of the bag tends to wick it up and show “dark stains that indicate freshness”. I’ve been thinking maybe a rectangle of wax paper to line the bottom of the bag should prevent the wicking and improve stored bread quality even more.

You can tune remaining moisture when you bake the loaves by using a thermometer. I use a BBQ meat thermometer. I insert it into the loaf after it has baked enough to have finished rising and solidify. If the loaf appears too dark but is not up to the desired temp, next loaf, bake at a slightly lower temp.

You might consider incorporating tang-zhong technique into some of your bread recipes. It’s supposed to slow down staling.

Have fun,


(Winifred) #18

I have a couple of solutions to the bread storage dilemma. For a couple of years now I have been using salad or vegetable ziplock type bags. They are lightly perforated. Some have many tiny holes (my favourites); the others have slightly larger holes that are well-spaced. They both work well - the bread doesn’t harden and there is no issue with condensation. I wash and reuse these bags and they last quite a long time. Eventually though I will get a tear in a seam or the zip will wear out.

About a month ago I purchased some beeswax wrap - and it seems to work pretty well. I like the beeswax because a) it isn’t plastic and b) I think it will last longer. The trickiest bit is that it doesn’t quite work for really large loaves. It has the advantage of molding nicely around odd-shaped loaves.

(DrCohen) #19

I put wax paper between the slices of bread before freezing. Otherwise it’s difficult to separate the frozen slices.

(Linda) #20

I’ve done that before but find that inserting the blade of a slim dinner knife between two frozen slices and gently tapping and twisting works great … even with the very (very) thinly rugbrød (for which I use a Danish guiottine style bread slicer). I freeze quick breads too (e.g., banana breads) and separate slices in the same manner. So far, so good. :smile: