4 Easy Hacks to Keep Your Bread Fresh While You're on Vacation

Don't come home to something stale.

A loaf of homemade sourdough bread on a chopping board in a kitchen

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Going out of town, even for a long weekend, requires a lot of preparation. Sure, there’s the usual planning, packing, and even cleaning your home before departure so you can come back to a peaceful abode. But those preparations should also include storing any perishable food properly, including bread.

According to Healthline, bread typically has a shelf life of about three to seven days when it’s stored at room temperature. That means if you’ve purchased bread on a Thursday and are planning a three-day weekend escape, your precious loaf could go bad before you return. Here are a few ways you can extend that rather short shelf life and ensure long-term freshness for your bread. 

Seal it correctly.

You know the bag your sliced bread comes in? Yeah, that’s not good enough for long-term storage. Instead, BistroMD suggests investing in vacuum-sealed bags that take out surrounding oxygen so mold cannot thrive, thus allowing your bread to last a little longer.  

Store bread in a cool place.

Do not, under any circumstances, store your bread atop your fridge. Madelyn Osten, former head baker at Sullivan Street Bakery, says this will make your bread go bad in the blink of an eye. “Keeping bread on the fridge will cause paper-bagged bread to dry out, and plastic-bagged bread to mold faster,” Osten shared with Food&Wine. Instead, Osten suggested you “store bread in a cool and dry area of your kitchen. If not out on the counter, then in a cabinet or a deep drawer."

Try adding honey to the recipe.

According to Luminary Bakery, adding a touch of honey could work as a natural preservative if you bake your own bread. “Many bakers swear by the honey preservation method, which requires you to either add honey to the recipe (usually about two tablespoons for a standard loaf of bread) or use it as the replacement for your regularly scheduled sugar,” the bakery shared in a blog post. “The result is a sweetly flavored creation that lasts longer.” 

Or do as Ina does and freeze it.

Ina Garten can do no wrong. That’s why it’s probably good to follow her bread-keeping advice the next time you plan to go out of town. In 2019, Garten told Food&Wine reporter Maria Yagoda she always stores her bread in the freezer to keep it fresh for as long as possible. But, she doesn't just do it all in one loaf. Instead, Garten shared, she cuts it into large chunks and wraps each one tightly in freezer-safe paper. This way, you don’t need to unfreeze a whole loaf when you want a little hunk of bread. This method could keep your bread fresh and tasty for up to six months. So maybe extend that trip a week or two, knowing you can still make a delicious sandwich, or at least good toast, upon your return. 

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