The Absolute Best Way To Store Homemade Sourdough Bread

So, you successfully nurtured your very own sourdough starter and avoided the biggest mistakes people make with sourdough, and now you've got a gorgeous loaf ready to be devoured. Except, odds are you won't finish it all in one sitting, and when you're putting away those leftovers, you'll have to reckon with arguably the biggest challenge of homemade bread — it can go stale fast. Homemade bread goes stale quickly because home cooks like you aren't using the age-defying preservatives used in many commercial bakeries.


Luckily, the acid created by sourdough fermentation helps to preserve the loaf for around four to five days on average. For the first 24 hours, the best place to keep your sourdough bread is actually on the counter — no bag, wrap, or breadbox required. Be sure to place the cut end down on the cutting board to keep the air away from it, which will keep it from going dry. If you've saved the end piece of the loaf, you can press it against the cut end for the same effect. This should keep your bread as good as new for a day, but for longer-term storage, you'll need to take additional measures.

Where to store your sourdough

For storage up to five days, the easiest option is to place the loaf of sourdough in a brown paper bag, again making sure to keep the cut side facing down, or against the end piece to prevent it drying out. Another option is to wrap the bread in a tea towel and store it on the counter in the Dutch oven you used to bake it. You could also use a bread box, but make sure it doesn't allow too much airflow.


Keep your sourdough bread in the freezer for longer-term storage beyond five days. You can even pre-slice it if you'd like so that you can thaw just as much as you need at a particular time. If you freeze the bread when it's at peak freshness, it should be just as good when it thaws out. Whatever you do, don't store any kind of bread in the fridge, as refrigerator temperatures are actually conducive to bread going stale.

How to reheat sourdough so it's good as new

Even if you store your sourdough bread under the perfect conditions, it's still going to lose a little of its texture after the first day. The crumb tends to hold up well, but the crust won't stay as crisp as it was fresh out of the oven. Fortunately, you can revive it, and even save a piece of stale bread, with the proper reheating technique. All you have to do is take the leftover portion of your sourdough loaf and lightly spritz the crust with water. If you don't have a spray bottle, you can dampen your hand and rub it all over the loaf — you just want to introduce a little bit of moisture to the surface.


Once the crust of the loaf is moist, place it directly on the grates of a ripping hot oven, at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat will turn the water you added into steam, which will moisten the interior of the loaf. The steam will also create a layer of starchy gel on the surface of the loaf, which hardens in the heat to form a crackly crust. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, at which point you can pull your bread out of the oven and it should taste like it was freshly baked again.