The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hey y'all

welldigger's picture

Hey y'all

I'm new to The Fresh Loaf but not new to bread baking. Started 40 years ago with the Tassajara method. Am now quickly becoming a Lahey and Reinhart devotee (but I kind of miss the therapy of all that kneading).

 I love the crustiness I get with the Jim Lahey style bread. But if I store in in a plastic bag, the crust goes all soft. How can I keep it out on the counter for 3-5 days? Someone suggested keeping it in a paper bag. Anyone ever had luck with that?


cranbo's picture

Paper bag or bread box will help. 

Even better: reheat it briefly in your oven. 

Crust goes soft due to moisture retained in bread after baking. Letting the finished loaf sit in a slightly cracked-open oven for 5-10 minutes after baking can help too. 

richkaimd's picture

I agree for the most part with cranbo's suggestions.  I would only add that you should never seal a warm bread in plastic.  Wait for it to reach room temperature.  If you have to travel with warm bread, carry it in an open brown paper bag to let it cool and breath.

I've watched my brother's Dutch wife, while visiting the couple in France where they live in the rural southeast Ardeche, brush baguettes with water before putting them in a hot oven to crisp up.  They come out as if just baked.  Just don't do it for too long.  Also, though maybe you already know this, never store bread in your fridge.  There's no better way to make bread go stale than to store it at 40 degrees F.  On the other hand, you can always freeze sliced bread and take it out one or more slices at a time to toast.

welldigger's picture

Thanks for the suggestions. Even without the crustiness, home baked bread is wonderful.