The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Keeping my Artisian Bread Fresh

kathleenmolony's picture

Keeping my Artisian Bread Fresh

Hello to All,

Started making artisian bread several months ago after reading, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes". Love it and now would like expand my horizons. My problem is that the bread dosen't stay fresh like when you first made it. It seems like it's a one serving bread. What am I doing wrong.?


cpanza's picture

I don't have that issue at all. As long as it is properly covered, I don't have the issue. As a matter of fact, if I toss mine in the oven the next day to heat it up, it's usually even better! Then I just need to put it in a plastic bread bag and it's good for days. 

Nickisafoodie's picture

Hi Kathleen, I'm not familiar with the book you cite, but I can tell you this:

  1. Long slow rises develop more flavor, complexity and better keeping qualities. 
  2. These types of breads generally have higher hydration ratios, thus a moister interior.  See the "Tartine" Bread book- their white flour recipes use 70% hydration (i.e. water is 70% of the weight of the flour used).  Their whole wheat recipes are at 80%.  These breads will stay fresh for days compared to 55%-60% doughs
  3. Internal temp of the finished loaf - can range from 200 to 215 degrees depending on shape of loaf, hydration, etc.  Perhaps a probe thermometer will let you better track your internal temp?  These can be found for $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond, and with their typical 20% off coupon, $16- one of the most used gadgets I have and great for the perfect roast too.  I get good results baking to 203 degrees.  Some recipes go to 215 degrees and even these artisen hard crusted breads baked at 450°-470° have a nice moist interior if the hydration ratio is high to start (as above in Tartine)

Hope this helps, stay with it.  Try a slow rise recipe if you can get it to fit into your schedule.  5 minute bread is great compared to store bought.  Slow rise and natural leavening will take your breads to another level.  Good luck!!

alexvm's picture

Assuming you're using one of the lean bread recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes, you're not doing anything wrong. If it's anything like their "master" recipe, or one that contains no fats or sugars, that's just the nature of such a recipe. All the recipes have pretty high hydration, so I doubt that's your issue.

You could try adding some milk powder or milk (in lieu of some water) in the recipe, or adding fat, such as canola oil, olive oil, or butter, but all of these things will change the recipes in very significant ways (I'm afraid I'm not sure how they'll affect how well the dough stores, but I certainly wouldn't push it to the 14 day maximum mentioned in the book.

If you're cutting it before it's completely cool, I think that may also contribute to early staling.

Personally, I just took to making smaller loaves more frequently. I'm a bit of an addict for fresh-from-the-oven, so it works out okay as long as I have time to bake.



davesmall's picture

I usually slice any leftover bread and freeze the slices in a plastic freezer bag. I thaw the slices in a microwave oven and toast in a toaster oven for sandwiches, croutons, etc. This lets me have a large variety of rolls and artisan breads always ready. 

Don't freeze until fully cooled though. Warm bread will give off moisture that condenses into ice crystals. Those crystals can melt in the microwave giving you soggy spots.