The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Reheating sourdough bread

Jennie Beth's picture
Jennie Beth

Reheating sourdough bread

Hi all, 

Quick question: I need to bake six-eight loaves of bread for a family gathering. No-knead, sourdough, some with garlic, etc., Dutch oven variety. I can bake two at a time, but there is no way I can bake that many the day of, and still make the rest of the meal. If I bake them the day before, is there a good way to store, and then reheat, when it is time to eat? Planning to serve with soups, and dipping oils and vinegars.

I have seen recommendations of spritzing with water, no water, in a paper bag, no bag, anywhere from 325-425 degrees...

Thanks all!

Jennie Beth

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

First of all, sourdough keeps really well, so the storage could be as simple as "place cooled loaves somewhere out of the way." If they haven't been cut into yet, I wouldn't worry about them drying out, so no need to cover them. Just put them somewhere clean and let them get their beauty rest.

As for reheating, I'll admit to being a bit perplexed. Do you really need warm bread to go with soup? Are you feeling self-conscious about your baking and worried people will only like the bread when warm? I think most bread is best at room temp or just a little above that. Quite bluntly, I associate warm bread with mediocre table bread at restaurants, and re-heating seems unnecessary.

I think the easiest option, assuming you are making some part of the meal in the oven, is to wrap the bread in foil, and when the roast/lasagne/what-have-you, comes out of the oven, turn it off and load the bread in to let it gently warm in the redisual heat for 10 or 15 minutes. Pull it out, let it cool until it's sliceable again if it's gotten really warm, serve, and enjoy a nice meal with your family. Alternately, slice up your already baked and cooled bread, and skip to that last step.

Shai's picture
Shai

Bread with large percentage of whole wheat, highly enrichedbread and sourdough all tend to keep well for a few days, especially un-sliced. I'll recommended to store them in a tight plastic bag. 

For reheating, put them for a few minutes in a oven over medium heat, just until slightly hot to the touch, then let them chill for another couple of minutes before slicing. They will end up slightly warm (which I find more pleasant then hot) and thecrust will be sslightly crisper. 

jaltsc's picture
jaltsc

I live in the tropics where it is very humid and the crust gets soft quite quickly. I have found that leaving sourdough loaves uncovered overnight seems to develop a better sourdough flavor. I then reheat it at a high (400F) for 10 minutes to crisp the crust. I get excellent results.

Jennie Beth's picture
Jennie Beth

Thanks so much for the input! My immediate family loves my bread pretty much as close to right out of the oven as I will let them have it, and I rarely have any left to see how it is a day or more later. My gathering will include everyone from the rednecks to the Rolex and Lexus crowd, and I admit, I do want to knock their socks off, but a lot of them will have only mediocre restaurant bread to compare...which, as you said, is usually served warm.

tracker914's picture
tracker914

I bake quite a bit of sourdough weekly and freeze it immediately the next morning. When ready for use I pull one out of the freezer and pop it into the oven, still frozen. takes a little longer to heat thru but seems to me the water trapped in the loaf steams the whole thing a little, becoming crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.

Nice loaves by the way.

 

AGGut's picture
AGGut

What temperature do you use when reheating from frozen?  

tracker914's picture
tracker914

hi, I usually go with around 300-325F. Keep an eye on it, usually about 20 minutes or so does it.

Thanks

AGGut's picture
AGGut

yesterday at 300°.  After 20 minutes, thermometer registered 32°F in the middle.  Increased heat to 325° and they were still cold in the middle.  Concerned that they would get too dried out on the outside, and running out of time, I popped them  in the microwave on defrost setting for 5 minutes,  and they came out perfect.  I was worried that the crust would soften but it did not, probably  because of the earlier oven treatment.