April 7, 2011
I love freshly baked bread--whether artisan loaves from the bakery, or ones I make myself. But with just the two of us in the apartment, it's rare that we're able to finish an entire loaf of bread in just one day. It's a shame because we know that by day 2, that awesome bread will have lost a lot of its charm. I've tried multiple ways to store fresh bread--inside a paper bag, wrapped in plastic, in a cloth bag, even in a pillowcase! The results were never perfect as the cut side usually ended up hard and stale, while the crusty part ended up soft and kind of chewy.
But not too long ago I learned a pretty cool trick. To keep a crusty loaf of bread fresh overnight, store it cut-side down on a wooden cutting board. The bread's natural crust will keep the exposed bread fresh, while the cutting board will protect the side that's been cut. I've been doing this lately, and have been amazed by how well it works.
I've found that this only works really well a maximum of 2 nights, but that's usually enough for us to finish off a small loaf. Anything past that, I toast the bread and use as crostini or croutons.