I'm currently baking a batch of sourdough bread. My last batch turned out perfectly with a hard crust and chewy inside. My problem is how to store the bread such that the crust stays hard. If I put it in a plastic bag the crust goes soft in a matter of hours and I'm afraid that the bread will turn dry if I leave it without some kind of protection. Note that I'm not looking for a long term storage solution.

What is the best way to store my bread, such that the crust stays hard and the inside stays chewy?

3 Answers 3


I recently read somewhere (I forget where) that if you're only storing it for a day or two, standing the loaf cut-side down on a cutting board worked fine. The crust stays crisp, and the cut edge is protected and doesn't go stale.

Storing it that way much longer than a day or so probably would risk going stale.

Unfortunately, we don't get to do this much as we can't eat one fast enough to get away with unprotected storage like that. So we have to live with increasingly soft crusts in plastic bags.

  • 1
    I will try the "cut-side down" method tomorrow on halt a loaf!
    – ase
    Dec 19, 2010 at 23:25
  • This is what I do with my high-hydration long rise loaves. If for some reason one lasts longer than a few days it will get stale this way. Solve that by baking slightly smaller loaves. Sep 23, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    For some kinds of sourdough, cut-side down with a paper bag over the loaf results in palatable bread up to a week later. (Slightly chewy and not as good as fresh, but definitely with a crust and only moderate staling on the cut face.) Sep 24, 2014 at 18:12

For crusty bread, try a paper bag. It'll help keep the bread crusty, and it won't dry out quite as fast as being left on the counter.

  • 2
    Due to lack of paperbags I will store the bread in towels overnight. Tomorrow I'll report on how that turned out!
    – ase
    Dec 19, 2010 at 23:24
  • 5
    Towel works fine for storing the bread.
    – ase
    Dec 21, 2010 at 23:08

A bread box could be useful. Aside from keeping bread fresh and protected from critters, I would think it could help with crust appeal.

I also wonder if storing in a cloth bag or towel would protect it from drying out, yet allow enough air circulation to prevent the crusts from softening.

Here are quite a selections of bread boxes, who knew they were still so popular:


This may be your perfect solution where you can control amount of air flow:


I would think a bread box from a bread flour company would be well suited to home-baked bread:


... aside from the frequents dings that people are finding in the exterior. Just add a couple more and call it patina.

NEW INFO: I asked King Arthur Flour about effectiveness of the bread box on crusts:

It will definitely keep the bread from getting too hard like leaving it out in the open air, and it will keep it from getting too soft like plastic bags do.

The crust on your rustic breads will soften up some though, especially after a day or two and it will vary depending on the weather. So in general, it's better than plastic or nothing at all, but there will be some changes to the crust texture over time.

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