One question that I'm regularly asked is about storing bread. What is the best way to make sure it doesn't go stale?
Since good, healthy, traditionally made bread does not have the same preservatives as factory-made bread, it does take a little more maintenance to keep it fresh. Here are a few ways that we keep our loaves of bread fresh at home:
Cover your bread with a linen towel or in a linen bag.
After baking, the water in bread continues to evaporate, the starches crystalize and the crumb (inside) of the bread gets hard. The best way to slow this process is to keep the bread under a breathable cover. You really don't want it in an airtight container or you run the risk of the evaporating moisture turning to mold.
Stand your bread on the open end.
When you have cut a slice off of your loaf of bread, store it with the cut side down. This prevents some of the drying out as there is less loss of hydration through the crust than there is through the open crumb.
Try the Maple Oat Sourdough
If bread tends to sit on the counter for an extended time in your home, a bread containing fats will last longer than one without. The maple oat sourdough has milk and oil in it rather than water. Besides making for a softer crust, these work to inhibit how quickly the loaf dries out.
For full admission, I have never actually done this but you can cut and freeze some or all of your bread. Make sure it is well wrapped in plastic and stick it in the freezer. When you take it out, give ample time to thaw (and maybe plan on warming it in the oven with some butter).