Cutting and Storing your Bread
So, after all the blood sweat and tears, finally a baked loaf you can be proud of.
Heat and moisture within the bread need to dissipate slowly allowing the bread to gradually get to room temperature, so leave to cool for at least 1 hour, preferably longer.
Cutting too soon can mean the heat dissipates too quickly causing the crumb to become sticky and gummy.
Denser bread like Rye, Spelt and Whole Wheat will take longer to fully cool, perhaps up to 3hrs. Softer, lighter bread may cool faster, but cutting these too soon can cause the crumb to compress and lose their airy texture.
Cutting your bread
- A good serrated bread knife is a must, sourdough crust can be challenging for regular knives
- It’s better to leave your bread for at least an hour or two to cool as cool bread is easier to slice. If you can’t wait turn it on its side, to prevent compressing the bread.
- Try to use a sawing motion when slicing through the crust and a small amount of pressure on the bread when you slice
Storing your bread
How to best store sourdough bread seems an endless debate, and unless you eat it within the first couple days, it does gradually get stale – but who doesn’t love sourdough toast, right?
Dependent on how long you intend your bread to last, there are several good storage solutions.
If your household gets through a loaf quite quickly, requiring only short term storage, the cut it in half, and store cut side down on your bread board will probably work very well.
Medium term storage, and those who don’t like their bread lying out in the open may prefer the traditional bread box/bin. Storing it in a plastic bag or bees wax paper, does seem to work pretty well as far as keeping it softer and fresher esp. if baking day was over 3 to 4 days ago, and has the added bonus, for some anyway, of softening the crust.
For longer term storage, freezing is the way the way to go. Being able to always have sourdough bread to hand is fantastic. Simply cool well, and put whole loaves, or batches of sliced loaves into ziplock bags and store in your freezer. Only get out what you need and save wasting any.
Best storage solution probably does depend on the type of bread, the environment, and a myriad of other variables, so the short answer, as with so many other things sourdough, is to do what works for you.
A good serrated bread knife