Number One Tip

Terry Ramsey. Bakery Chef and Doughpuncher, is a true artisan when it comes to baking breads, working each batch of dough carefully to achieve the consistency and quality he desires.

Because he cares about the quality and consistency of his breads, this webpage was created to point out some common misconceptions that his customers may have when it comes to baking and storing bread. And, it turns out they may have been doing a few things wrong.

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Number One Tip!

Terry's number one tip is to not buy pre-sliced breads, since the shelf life of bread dramatically decreases as soon as you slice it and put in a plastic bag. Instead, he recommends slicing off just the portion of bread you plan to eat from the loaf, and then inverting the exposed end on the table or cutting board. This method allows the crust to breathe and evolve as it sits.

The exception to this rule is the baguette, which is essentially a daily bread and should ideally be consumed the day of use. (Who can wait anyway?) If you need to store bread for longer periods of time, you should freeze it.

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THE PROPER WAY TO STORE BREAD:  

Slice off just the portion you plan to eat, and invert the exposed end on a table or cutting board.

Alternative to Sliced Bread

Since the shelf life of bread dramatically decreases as soon as you slice it and put in a plastic bag, Chef Terry recommends slicing off just the portion of bread you plan to eat from the loaf, and then inverting the exposed end on a table or cutting board. This method allows the crust to breathe and evolve as it sits.

The exception to this rule is the baguette, which is essentially a daily bread and should ideally be consumed the day of use.

Avoid Storing Bread in the Refrigerator

Changes in the alignment of the starch molecules are what cause bread to go stale. These molecules change most rapidly at the temperature range of the refrigerator (just above freezing). When you reheat bread, it actually changes the starch molecules back, but this also means they can go stale more quickly afterward. So try to eat your reheated breads within an hour or two.

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WHEN FREEZING BREAD, MAKE SURE IT IS WELL WRAPPED: We recommend either double wrapping it with plastic, or tightly wrapping it in plastic and placing it inside of a Freezer storage bag.

Freezing Bread

If you need to store bread for long periods of time, you should freeze it. When storing breads in freezer, make sure the bread is well wrapped so it retains moisture. The good folks at King Arthur Flour recommend double-bagging hard-crusted breads to protect against sharp edges, which can cause small tears in the plastic, exposing the bread to freezer burn. Chef Terry recommends wrapping the bread tightly in plastic wrap, and placing it in a zip-top freezer bag, before tossing it in the freezer. Another good option is to use a vacuum sealer.

When you are ready to eat the frozen bread, it's important to take the bread out and allow it to thaw completely before unwrapping. This will allow the loaf to reabsorb any of the moisture that's migrated out to the wrapping. Let the bread come to room temperature, then pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees for a warm revitalized loaf. King Arthur Flour has a technique for going from freezer to oven: Place unwrapped bread in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. (This "hot-thawing" method makes items stale quickly, so you'll want to enjoy immediately.) Either way, the oven is your friend when it comes to eating bread from the freezer.

Alternative to Sliced Bread

Since the shelf life of bread dramatically decreases as soon as you slice it and put in a plastic bag, Chef Terry recommends slicing off just the portion