Updated: Jun 14
The bread we bake in the climate we live, usually keeps fresh for 4-5 days. However, in the hot and humid summer months the 100% rye breads might need to be put in the refrigerator after day 3 to prolong their life.
On the kitchen counter
We sell most of our bread in paper bags with a perforated plastic window. This bread is best stored on your counter. For the first 1-3 days leave it in the bag and wrap in linen kitchen towel or tea towel, and cut what you need daily. You can also wrap it in wax paper/wax wrap if you have one, best if you can give it a couple of layers. Bread kept in this way doesn't mold. Serve as is or toasted if you prefer.
Restoring your older loaf For loaves 4-5 days old
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Take your older loaf, and brush or spray the outer crust with water. It should have a wet crust, but not soggy.
Place the loaf in the oven. Direct on the rack should be fine. Let it bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the oven, and allow it to chill on a rack for 15-20 minutes before serving still warm.
This will restore the moist to the crumb and crispiness to the crust. But you can only do it once.
The bread will dry a little more each day as it ages. On days 4 and 5 the loaf is a great candidate for the reviving method above. Anything you have left after that can be used in many delicious ways. As dip for sauce our soups, as absolutely yummy croutons, mediterannean panzanella salad, even a simple or decadent bread pudding. You can also find many more recipes using stale bread and other often shunned ingredients in Bread is Gold recipe collection from the world famous chef Massimo Bottura.
Many customers have been asking if our sourdoughs can be frozen. The short answer is yes. Our recommendation would be to freeze the bread sooner rather than later after purchase. You can freeze it sliced or whole depending on your intended use. Currently we do not slice our bread. It is almost impossible to slice effectively a freshly baked loaf of bread. If you like to freeze your bread sliced, we would recommend to invest in a good bread knife. A quality bread knife is a one-time investment of about Yen 10.000-15.000.
If you know that you only need a few slices occasionally and prefer to have them toasted, then we recommend that you first slice your bread and then freeze it. When you need it, take a slice of sourdough out, toast it directly out of the freezer and serve. Ciabatta and focaccia can be reheated in a toaster over or oven at 180C for 10-20 minutes depending on your oven.
If you would rather have your home smell of freshly baked bread and enjoy a good part of the loaf with family or friends, we recommend that you put your loaf into an airtight plastic bag or wrap it in kitchen wrap and freeze it whole. You can also wrap it in kitchen wrap before putting it in the freeze bag to preserve as much moisture as possible. Defrost it at room temperature well ahead of the time you need it, still in the wrap and/or bag. Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius and warm the fully defrosted loaf for 5-10 minutes until warm all the way through. It will become as good as a freshly baked one.
The sourdough has a good shelf life outside the fridge most of the year, if you live in a continental climate. In Japan the summer months could get a bit too hot and too humid for it to keep for more than 4-5 days. Putting the sourdough bread in the fridge would prolong its life by 2-3 days, but it will also inadvertently make it's crumb drier and crust gummier. It will be perfectly good even like that, but if you have time to warm it up on a pan with some butter or drop it in a toaster it will again become soft and delicious.
We hope the above is helpful. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have or any comments or experiences you want to share with us.