How to Keep Bread Fresh (without plastic)
You surprisingly don’t need chemical improvers to keep bread fresh. Real bread from a proper baker actually keeps for longer, if you keep it in the right way. Keeping chemical bread in plastic bags is not the best idea.
Keep bread dough away from pets, as it can expand in the stomach. Also never feed stale, mouldy or crusty bread to birds as it can cause choking (buttered bread can smear on feathers to negatively affect waterproofing and insulation of feathers). For safe occasional treats to give, see how to help our garden birds).
Eat fresh bread within a couple of days, store in paper or cloth. Plastic bags will encourage mould to grow. If you have leftover bread, then freeze it and defrost slices in the fridge overnight, to avoid soggy countertop loaves. You can reheat bread from the freezer, just pop it in the oven or toaster.
If you don’t have a wooden bread box, then just invest in a fabric bread bag, which allows the bread to breathe. You can take this with you to the local indie baker too. One tip from an expert is to store a slice of bread with your loaf in an airtight container, to help deter unwelcome creepy crawlies, as it will attract water and control moisture content. Don’t store bread in the fridge as it will go mouldy in plastic, or dry in paper. Also don’t store anywhere near moisture, like a sink or dishwasher.
Freshpaper Bread Wrap is a great invention. Just drop a sheet into anywhere you keep baked goods, it’s also good for bagels, cookies, muffins or rolls, especially if freshly baked. If you eat cheese, they also make a similar product to keep it fresher for longer, which helps you to buy less.
Reusable Bread Bags
Bric Organic Cotton Bread Bag is designed and hand-printed with eco-friendly water-based inks. The large bag has a drawstring cord to pull closed, making it easy to use. And the thickness of the cotton helps to keep fresh, but allows your loaf to breathe. For each bag sold, £1 is donated towards planting a tree.
Green Tulip Baguette Bag is made in Québec (from naturally grown US cotton). It feature a cotton tape strap to keep 2 baguettes secure. Wash on cool delicate cycle with biodegradable detergent. Lay flat to dry (do not tumble dry or use fabric conditioner, expect shrinkage).
Other options are Eddingtons Ceramic Bread Keeper (rinse in warm water, dab dry and place in the bread bin). Or Reusable Bread Wrap with plant-based waxes/resins lasts up to a year (flammable, keep away from ovens/flames, do not use to wrap hot/warm food).