What to do with old bread & more

Old bread is never too hard –
but being WITHOUT bread, that's really too hard!

While most people are in bed and asleep, we spend every night in our beloved bakery, and use all our skill and dedication to artfully transform flour, water, sourdough and other special ingredients into delicious bread and other sweet-smelling bakery products. Thanks to our sales department, we can ensure you'll be supplied with our fresh baked products every day of the week.

But here are a few tips on how to keep bread at home, and ensure it stays nice and crusty!

Is all bread the same, and can it be kept fresh in a similar way?

No, not all bread is the same. Not all types of bread have the same characteristics, or will stay fresh in the same way. They differ according to the ingredients and the method of production: the larger the quantity of rye in the dough, the longer the bread will stay soft. How you store your bread is also an important factor …

So what is the best way to keep bread?

For short periods, the best thing is to store it in a paper or cloth bag and put it in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.

If you want to keep the bread fresh for several days, it's best to keep it in a plastic bag or an airtight container, to stop it drying out.

Can you give me some idea how long the different types of bread will keep?

We've found that, with proper storage conditions, the times are as follows:

Rye and wholemeal bread 6-8 days
Rye bread 5-8 days
Mixed rye bread
(over 50% rye)
3-5 days
Mixed wheat bread
(over 50% wheat)
3-4 days
Wheat bread up to 3 days

Is there any difference for smaller items (30-250 g)?

Yes, because smaller items generally dry out faster than larger ones. So, if you're not going to freeze them, you can't really keep smaller items for longer than 1-2 days: the best thing to do is to put them in a plastic bag.

 Our tip: before eating, put them in a preheated oven (200-220°C) for one or two minutes, if necessary sprinkled with a little water.

What's the best way to freeze bread?

If you're going to freeze bread or any other baked product, it's important to do it before it starts to go stale. In other words, the sooner you do it, the better. So, you need to put the bread or pastries in plastic bags, and freeze them at relatively low temperatures as soon as possible.

The storage temperature in the freezer should be at least -18°C. In this way, your bread or pastries will keep perfectly for several weeks.

 A tip: before you freeze it, divide the bread into suitable portions, then you can just remove the amount you need from the freezer every time.

And do you have any advice about defrosting?

The best thing is to leave the bread in its plastic bag and let it defrost overnight at room temperature. If necessary, put it in a preheated oven (220 - 230°C) for one or two minutes before eating. As the moisture seeps from the inside to the crust during the defrosting process, you don't need to add any more water.

Rolls and smaller items can be defrosted in about half an hour at room temperature. Immediately before eating, put them in a preheated oven (220 - 230°C) for one or two minutes, adding a little water if necessary.

 A tip: never try to refreeze bread or other baked products once they've thawed.

I've got some bread that's gone stale, but I don't want to throw it away. Do you have any suggestions?

Yes, even stale bread has its uses. For example, you can turn it into crispy croutons to serve with soup. White bread or rolls left over from the previous day can easily be toasted or reheated. Just brush a little water onto the crust and put them in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

Stale bread can also be made into breadcrumbs for coating cutlets. There are also many recipes which require stale bread, such as dumplings with speck, steamed wrapped dumplings, and bread or cheese dumplings. You can also use breadcrumbs for coating different types of meat or vegetable before cooking.

What should one do with mouldy bread?

You should never eat mouldy bread; even if only some of the bread looks mouldy, the whole loaf may well have been contaminated. You should throw it away immediately, and clean the container it was in very thoroughly.