How do I store bread without plastic? Any Ideas for zero waste bread storage?
Pssst, let me tell you a little secret…
I didn’t exactly have an answer to the questions around zero waste bread until recently. You see, I gave up gluten for like, 3 years because of health issues. And just before I did, I got serious about reducing our waste.
So after a rather long an elimination diet., I tried this slow-fermented sourdough bread that’s locally made. I’ve become a convert and our family of four looks forward to a loaf each week if I can get my hands on it. And now, I’ve finally got a few answers to those burning zero waste bread questions.
Good things to know:
- Bread should be stored in an air-tight container but still have some room to breathe.
- Bread lasts best when it is kept out of direct sunlight and stored in a cool, dark location.
- It’s best to start with fresh bread, but don’t discard day-old bread either.
- Hard, crusty bread can store well in a paper bag but must be eaten within a day or two for freshness.
- Artisan bread tends to get stale in the refrigerator and may mold faster when wrapped in plastic.
- Some bread may store longer than others because of the ingredients used to make it.
How to store bread plastic-free for optimum freshness and minimal environmental impact.
A cloth bread bag might be the handiest and easiest option. It can be made at home from any extra cloth you have (like that annoying flat sheet that we millennials can’t understand) or use any bulk bag if it’s large enough. Or, try a gallon-sized reusable bag from Simply Wrapped. Either way, having a bread bag works really well in conjunction with any of the other options here.
In a Box
Any kind of tin like the kind that you may find filled with cookies and treats, or an old fashioned bread box will work. You might even have luck finding an old wooden box to repurpose. As long as the lid fits tightly enough to keep air out, it should work. I’d suggest checking out secondhand shops for any of these. We use a combination of a Simply wrapped bag and a thrifted basket. It works great in the desert.
In a Pot with a Lid
Some of us might not have space for a bread box on the countertop so I like to use a large pot and a lid. It stores well in the oven if you want to get it off the counter, just make sure you don’t turn the oven on and forget it’s in there.
Outside the Box
Store a cloth-wrapped loaf in a kitchen drawer.
Wrap the bread in a large wax food wrap and then a box, a drawer, or pot for even more staying power.
Store fresh bread in the freezer. It can be wrapped in a cloth bag and a thick towel and used within the week. It’s a good idea to slice it before freezing. This way you can grab you you need and toast it to use right away. Or, leave on the counter for half an hour to defrost.
Don’t Waste It
Stale bread, crust, or butt ends can be dried on the counter and made into bread crumbs by placing into a food processor or grating on a cheese grater. Day-old bread or to use up bread, cut and toss with olive oil, garlic and other seasonings and toast to make croutons. Or tear it up for bread pudding. If all else fails, share it with the birds (assuming those ingredients are safe).
Got any more ideas for zero waste bread storage? Let me know so I can add them to the list.
You might also like: Hosting a Zero Waste Dinner Party