Never again pull out a slice only to find it covered in fuzzy mold spores—by choosing the best bread box for your home, you'll always have delicious loaves of bread ready to enjoy.
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🗝️ Key takeaways
- Bread boxes provide just the right amount of air circulation to prevent mold growth (yuck!) while keeping bread tender and soft
- It's a stylish storage solution that helps your kitchen counter stay clutter-free
- The cost of bread bags and plastic wrap adds up, but a bread box is an investment that can last for years.
Whether you're trying to preserve homemade bread, store-bought bread, or other baked goods, bread boxes are the best way to keep it fresh for longer.
🍞 How to choose a bread box
You'll want to choose a bread box that looks amazing in your kitchen but there are other things to consider.
First, consider size. It's essential to give your bread enough room for air to circulate around it. If your family often enjoys two or three loaves of bread at a time, you'll want to choose a very large bread box.
On the other hand, if you don't have much counter space, you may prefer a smaller bread box—just be sure it's not too small. Tiny bread boxes tend to fill up with humidity more quickly, which can make bread mold.
Then, think about the material! Wooden bread boxes are rustic and tend to be more spacious.
Ceramic bread boxes can cost a bit more, but they're great for keeping bread moist. And, they match the modern design of many newer kitchens.
Stainless steel bread boxes are growing in popularity because they provide quick, easy access to bread, and are very durable.
Finally, take a few moments to decide on a lid design. Don't have much storage space? Choose a bread bin with a roll-top lid.
However, if you have a little more room to work with, you might prefer a hinged lid or a detachable bamboo lid—some even double as a cutting board, so you get extra functionality!
Last but not least, choose a bread box that has small air vents. Since it's so important in preventing mold, the best bread boxes on the market all have this feature. Avoid cheap bread boxes without ventilation holes, since these are made more for decoration, not for actual use.
🚫 Other ways to prevent mold
If you don't have enough counter space for a bread box, or can't afford one just yet, don't worry! There are a few different ways you can still keep bread fresh.
Brown paper bag
Brown paper bags aren't just for school lunches and DIY hand puppets. In fact, storing fresh bread in a paper bag is a method bakeries have used for years.
As it turns out, brown paper bags offer bread enough protection from drying, without trapping excess moisture inside—a common cause of mold growth. Keep the paper bag tightly closed for best results.
However, not all types of bread fit easily in a brown paper bag—some baguettes, for example, are just too long. A great way to solve this problem is to slide one paper bag on each end of the loaf or just cut the bread into thick, bag-sized slices.
Cloth bread bag
A cloth bread bag offers the same storage protection as paper but in a sustainable, reusable form! They also make nice gifts, if you like to bake for friends and family.
Like paper bags, a soft, linen bag creates the right conditions to prevent the growth of mold, while preserving the fresh texture of whole loaves or pre-sliced bread.
Parchment paper offers enough air circulation to protect against dry and moldy bread, but it has another advantage over paper or cloth: parchment doesn't soak up oil.
Buttery, cakey breads, like banana bread, have a lot of moisture and fat. When you store them in paper, the porous material can soak up that oil, making a mess in your kitchen.
Parchment and wax papers are coated so that they don't soak up any butter. Simply roll out a long piece, and place the bread in the center. Fold each of the sides up and over the bread, securing it with some twine or a chip clip.
Freezing bread is a good idea if you want it to last for months. After all, even the best bread boxes can't preserve an entire loaf of bread for more than a week or so.
However, you can't just pop the bread into a paper or cloth bag and toss it in the freezer—the dry environment will zap the bread's moisture and can cause freezer burn.
Instead, wrap your bread tightly in plastic wrap, then store it in another airtight container or heavy-duty plastic bag. Then, you can freeze it—usually for up to three months.
Feel free to cut the whole loaf of bread into slices, first, slipping a piece of parchment paper in between each. Then, once frozen, you can simply pull out a few, individual slices.
Thaw frozen bread at room temperature for about an hour, or pop a single, frozen slice into the toaster for a few minutes. This is a great option if you don't have a large family to eat up all the bread right away!
💭 Things to know
⭐ Expert Tip: No matter which storage method you prefer, keep the bread out of direct sunlight. A cool, dark, dry place in your kitchen preserves bread the best.
- The shelf life of bread varies based on the recipe you used. Most homemade loaves are best on the first or second day but some can last for five days or even a week—as long as they're stored properly.
- Buying from the grocery store? The best option is always unsliced bread. It'll stay fresher if you only slice it as you eat it!
- Start slicing bread from the middle and work outwards. Slide the two ends together to "seal" the exposed, soft insides. The crusty ends lock in moisture, keeping the inside of the bread nice and soft.
- Use up stale bread for toast, make it into croutons or breadcrumbs, or incorporate it into bread pudding—no one will be able to tell!
- Be sure to cool your homemade bread fully before cutting, storing, or freezing it. Trapping excess moisture inside leads to mold.
- You can store other baked goods inside a bread box too, like muffins, quick breads, cookies, cupcakes, and some kinds of sweet rolls. Just double-check the recipe to make sure it's safe left at room temperature.
If you remember one rule from this post, let it be this: don't store bread in the refrigerator! This goes for almost every type of bread, except spoon bread or anything you may have topped with cream cheese frosting. The refrigerator makes bread dry out so quickly.
Nope—sorry! Plastic locks in too much moisture, which is mold's best friend. For a fresh loaf of bread, avoid plastic unless you're preparing it for the freezer.
Nah, bread boxes make it easy! You can place the bread directly inside and close it up. However, if you'd like to keep the bread box clean or prevent cross-contamination, feel free to line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
Bread boxes we recommend
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LARS NYSØM Bread Box
I love this LARS NYSØM Bread Box! It's made of tin and has ventilation, available in 8 colors, plus it comes with a linen storage bag. It's also an affordable option.
The grooves in the top make it a bit tricky to get the crumbs out if you use that side for cutting. Also you'll want to check the dimensions carefully - it's a touch smaller than some others.
Oggi Stainless Steel Bread Box
Oggi stainless steel roll top bread box has a nice height and a sleek look that I love. It worked well with my homemade yeast breads but I haven't tried quick breads in it.
I like the frosted glass lid but you can get tempered glass, too.
Homekoko Wood Bread Box
This simple bamboo bread box has plenty of ventilation to help keep bread fresh and mold-free.
📚 Bread recipes to try
- Old-Fashioned Batter Bread doesn't require any kneading at all, so it's super easy for beginners or those looking for a simpler recipe.
- Deliciously tender, these Soft Baguettes have the best flavor and are so versatile—they go with anything you're cooking for dinner!
- They said rolls in a half hour couldn't be done. Well, whoever "they" are, they're wrong! These 30-Minute Dinner Rolls are easy and satisfying.
What's your favorite way to store homemade bread to keep it fresh? Leave a comment below and let us know.