How to Store Bread…Revisited

Bread Storage

In October 2011, I wrote about the best way to store bread.  It is one of the few Brain Food 101 posts I’ve written based on food science & theory, rather than personal experimentation.

In that post, I concluded that sandwich bread should be stored in a paper bag and eaten within a few days.  The paper should allow the bread to “breathe,” and therefore keep mold from forming.  But in practice, I’ve found that bread stored in a paper bag gets dried out and hard far too quickly.  So last week, I decided to do a little experiment to truly find the best way to store bread.

The Experiment

I split one loaf of whole wheat oatmeal bread into three parts.  One part went into a paper bag.  One third was put into a plastic bag that had the air squeezed out and was secured with a plastic tab. The final third was put in a plastic bag that I simply folded over, so that it wasn’t airtight.

By the third day, the bread in the paper bag was so dried out that it was inedible.  The bread in the plastic bags was starting to get a little dried out, but not very noticeably.

By the fifth day, I was starting to see some spots of mold on the bread in both plastic bags. But neither of them got moldy faster than the other, and neither of them dried out more than the other.

Moral of the story?

Store Bread in Plastic Bag

Ignore what I said before, and store your bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.  No refrigerating!  It doesn’t seem to matter if you fold the bag over or make it airtight. Just make sure it is closed.

If you won’t be eating your bread within 3 or 4 days, you can freeze it. Here’s how.


  1. sempergrumps says

    Some time back I read an article on the web, posted by someone at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
    It said that by accident it had been discovered that if you take a fresh loaf of bread and microwave it for ten seconds it will slow down the mold process. I have found this to be true, although I haven’t done any timing. Be sure to remove the metal wire tie-wrap first. I do this with ALL the bread that I purchase. I then store it at room temperature in a bread storage container. ( Plastic, dome shaped.)