The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Using a wine cooler for storage?

myratfink's picture

Using a wine cooler for storage?

I'm a mom of two toddlers and have something of a dilemma.  I only have time to make bread on occasion, so most of our sandwich bread is storebought.  I prefer to buy whole wheat bread without preservatives.  My current favorite is Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat for the kids; it's soft enough where they even scarf down the crust.  I often like to keep a more rustic "adult" whole grain bread around too.  However, these breads begin to mildew in just a few days.  Back to being a mom of toddlers - I like to go to the grocery store once a week, not every other day.  But I don't like the effect that refrigeration has on bread, and I'm not a fan of freezing it (my freezer is always full of other things; bread gets "lost" in there; just like having ready-to-eat bread, etc)

To make matters worse, now that it's spring in the Midwest, I've been keeping my windows open... and the temperature is often around 80F, not to mention the humidity! 

Sooo... I got to thinking... what if I purchased a small wine cooler for storing my bread & butter?  I've often thought that it would be great for keeping butter soft enough for easy spreading, or to take out & be nearly ready for creaming into recipes.  But what about bread?  If I stored it around 50 to 55 degrees (F)... shouldn't it stay fresh a couple days longer & retard mildew, without the condensation & negative effects of refrigeration?

Please tell me if you think I'm on to something or way off base here.  Do I need to suck it up and just divide & freeze my loaves?

Thanks in advance!


sphealey's picture

The other option would be to buy a bread machine and make your own soft loaves every 2-3 days. My family generally prefers soft loaves for weekday bread (they will choke down my crusty efforts on the weekend). After burning out two lesser machines in 5 years I bought a Zorijishu; we use it 2-3 times/week with no problems and excellent results [it is making some pizza dough for me right now ;-) ]. I have been experimenting with using the timer for overnight baking and can generally have a loaf of fresh soft sandwich bread ready at 6 AM per order.

The other advantage is that we can control the ingredients exactly, which is important for us due to nut allergy but also helps with nutrition.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My first two weeks here, this month, the heater wasn't working.  The place was 13°c that is about 55° F and the bread kept longer just sitting out wrapped in paper.  Left overs got left out and the butter stayed out of the fridge.  Even the eggs found a spot on the counter.   That got me to thinking how much heating our homes has changed our habits.  Refrigeration became a must with central heating, and humidity levels sink and dry things out.   
And the glass door front saves opening the door just to look in.  :) Mini Oven