If you are a fan of fresh bread, then you know that it can be a bit of a challenge to keep it tasting fresh and delicious for more than a couple of days. Unless you live in an airtight home, the bread will inevitably start to go stale after a few days. If you are looking for a way to keep your bread fresh for longer, then a good old-fashioned bread bin might be the answer to your problem.
So, what is it and why use a bread box anyway? A bread bin just is a container for storing bread and is designed to keep bread fresh by keeping it out of the reach of air and moisture. By keeping the bread in a closed container like a bread bin, the bread will not be able to dry out.
Bread boxes used to be a common household item, but in recent times they have become a bit redundant. They were very popular when people used to make bread by hand but now that bread is made commercially with preservatives and wrapped in plastic to make it last longer. So, the use of a bread box has become obsolete.
I don’t know about you, but every time I visit friends and family, they almost always have their packets of bread out on the counter or in useless paper bags with tiny holes. When I ask where their bread box is, they just give me a funny look.
I think it’s time to bring back the bread boxes! What do you think? If you are still not convinced that you need a bread box, here are six big reasons I think you should be using one.
Why use a bread box? The six big reasons
They keep bread fresh for longer
First and foremost, a bread box is a great way to keep your bread tasting fresh for longer. The main reason for this is that a bread box reduces the bread’s exposure to air. Bread and dough are pretty temperamental creations and need to be stored properly in order to increase their lifespan. There is nothing more frustrating than buying a delicious sourdough loaf from your local bakery, only for it to go stale in just a couple of days. But why does this happen?
When you expose bread to air, it causes the starch in the flour to break down and crystalize. This process makes the bread go stale faster. The moisture also evaporates from the bread, making it rock hard. This is why a great tip to revive stale bread is to give it a light sprinkling of water to soften it up and pop it in the oven for a few minutes (more on fixing stale bread later). Water rehydrates the bread and makes the crystals go back to their original state.
A bread box is mainly useful for the bread that is not covered and is freshly made with natural ingredients. The plastic packaging on store-bought bread helps to keep out the air, to a certain extent and prevents it from going stale as quickly. Store-bought bread is also riddled with preservatives, so that helps keep it fresh for longer. However, if you want to buy preservative-free bread, then a bread box is the perfect way to store it.
As a general rule, a bread box will keep your bread fresh for up to 4 days. Considering that bread can go stale within a day if left out uncovered, 4 days is a huge improvement.
If you are storing bread that is already in a packet, it will last a little bit longer. I have had store-bought bread last well over a week in my bread box!
They keep bread at room temperature
Bread boxes help to keep bread fresh for longer because the dark and dry interior of the bread bin allows the bread to sit in a nice, humid, and room temperature environment.
We either like our homes to be too cold or too hot, and either is an ideal temperature for storing bread. A cold environment will dry out your loaf too fast and a hot environment will cause it to go moldy within a few days.
The bread box keeps the bread in a stable environment where it will not dry out or become moldy. The bread bin is designed in such a way that it allows the bread to breathe while at the same time letting just enough moisture out so it doesn’t make the exterior of the bread soggy. In turn, it traps enough moisture so the interior of your bread stays nice and soft.
Bread bins have the optimum conditions for storing bread in a humid, yet well-ventilated environment.
They keep bread safe from you and bugs
Bread boxes not only keep your bread fresh but also protect it from being squashed or eaten by bugs.
We have all been there before. You buy a beautiful loaf of bread and then leave it in the cupboard, only for half of it to be squashed the next morning by a cereal box that has toppled over.
Or you leave your loaf on the counter only to find that a family of ants has made their home there and have eaten half of your loaf. How rude!
A bread box will keep your bread safe from all of that. The lid is big enough so that you can fit a loaf of bread in without it being squished.
We are quite a clumsy lot in my house and tend to knock things over quite a bit. Before I got a bread box, bread would be chucked here and there, sometimes in the fridge, sometimes on the counter, but most of the time in the cupboard squished underneath jars and cans. Now that I have a bread box, my loaf has a safe space.
If you are worried about bugs, the bread box has a tight lid that will keep any nasty little creature away from your bread. The holes in the bread bin allow air to circulate so your bread can breathe, but bugs should not be able to get in.
If you live in a climate where ants are a common problem, then I would definitely recommend placing your bread in an air-tight container first and placing that container in the bread box. This will ensure that nothing will try and eat your delicious bread.
I can’t guarantee that the bread box will completely protect your bread from bugs, but if you keep your countertop area clean from crumbs and anything that would attract ants and bugs then you should be fine.
I keep the area where my bread box is located clean all the time and I have never had any issues with ants or bugs.
Mold does attract bugs and fruit flies so if you are storing bread in your breadbox, make sure you don’t just leave it in there for weeks on end as it will get moldy and that mold might attract bugs.
They keep your kitchen tidy
One of the best benefits of having a bread box is that it helps to keep your kitchen tidy. All you have to do is place your loaf of bread in the bin and have a designated space on the countertop or in the cupboard for it.
No more half-eaten loaves of bread left out on the counter or squished into the fridge! Plus, if you have a lot of people over, you can use your bread box as a serving dish. Just take off the lid and voila! You have an instant breadbasket. No need to dirty any extra dishes.
Bread boxes are a great way to keep your kitchen looking tidy and organized while also keeping your bread fresh. It certainly improved my kitchen organization immensely and made it look a lot tidier.
Bread Bins are Aesthetically Pleasing
Aside from bread bins keeping your kitchen organized and tidy, they are also very aesthetically pleasing. Organization and aesthetics come hand in hand I think.
Bread bins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors so you can find one that will fit your kitchen decor perfectly. There are some really funky designs out there too if you are looking for something a bit more unique.
You can find simple bread bins with a lid that slides up or ones that have a lid at the top. If you really want your bread bin to make a statement, you can get your hands on one that looks like a glass cabinet so your friends and family can admire your selection of artisan bread.
Not good enough for you? A wall-mounted bread box might be just what your kitchen aesthetic needs.
If you are worried that a bread box will make your kitchen look more cluttered, or you have a small kitchen and it will take up too much space, thankfully bread boxes come in all sorts of sizes.
Even if your kitchen is small, you will easily find a compact bread bin that can fit one loaf. Just take some time when you are researching and look at the dimensions so you are sure it will fit nicely in your kitchen without making it look too cluttered.
Bread boxes are used for more than just bread
Don’t be fooled by the single-use name! The purpose of a bread box is so much more than just storing bread.
Bread boxes are great for storing cupcakes, muffins, and even cake. If you have a lot of baking tins taking up space in your cupboard, then using your bread box as extra storage is a great way to save some space.
When I make cupcakes or brownies and there is some leftover, I place them in an airtight container and put the container in the bread bin.
Not only does this help keep my baked goods fresh for longer, but it also keeps my kitchen looking clean without any Tupperware and containers lying around (not to mention it keeps them out of sight so I’m not as tempted to eat them all in one sitting!).
Another thing you probably didn’t know you could store in your bread box is fresh fruit and veg. Go ahead and chuck some tomatoes, avocados, and bananas in the bread bin. I especially like to keep my bananas in there. That way they are always ripe and ready to eat when I need them. It also keeps those nasty fruit flies out of reach.
If you are looking to store more than just bread in your bread box, then you will want to get one that is big enough to fit everything you want to store. Most bread boxes are spacious enough to hold a loaf or two and some fruit and veg.
If you are low on kitchen storage, then using your bread box as an extra pantry is a great way to go.
They are cost-effective!
Bread boxes are a very cost-effective way to keep your bread fresh. They are not expensive to buy and will last you for years, especially if you get a good quality one.
The cheapest you can pick up a bread box for is around $20. This is a small price to pay for something that will keep your bread fresh and help organize your kitchen. I have seen bread bins out there that can cost over $100, but this is not necessary and is a waste of money (unless boujee bread bins are your thing!).
If you are not too fussed about the design of the bread box and just want something that does the job, then I would recommend going for a cheaper option. Whether you want a bin made from bamboo or a mental one with a lid, you will not struggle to find one within your budget.
Plus, just think how much money you will save by not throwing out a half stale loaf of bread every couple of days!
Are Bread Boxes Worth It?
Is that even a question? Of course, bread boxes are totally worth it! It is one of those kitchen gadgets that you didn’t know you needed until you have one.
Investing in a bread bin is a small price to pay compared to the amount of stale and moldy bread you probably end up chucking out just after a day.
They are not only great for keeping your bread fresh but they can also be used to store other baked goods and keep your kitchen looking organized. What’s not to love?
How To Fix Stale Bread
I love bread, it is a staple, and can’t go a day without eating it. Before I got my bread box, it pained me when I had to throw out stale and moldy bread.
Regardless of whether you have a bread box or not, knowing how to fix stale bread is a good trick to have up your sleeve as you will probably have to revive a loaf of bread at some point in your life.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
- If your bread is starting to go stale, then you can try reheating it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F and place the loaf of bread on a baking sheet. Bake for about five minutes or until warmed through.
- If your bread is already stale, then you can try soaking it in water for a few minutes. Once soaked, place the bread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about five minutes or until warmed through.
- Another way to revive stale bread is to toast it. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and toast at 350F for about five minutes or until golden brown.
- If you want to get really creative, then you can try making bread crumbs out of stale bread. Simply pulse the bread in a food processor until it resembles crumbs. You can then use these to top salads, soups or casseroles.
- Make croutons! Cut the bread into cubes and toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- If you have stale bread that is too hard to eat, then you can try using it to make bread pudding. This is a great way to use up any old bread without it going to waste.
Whatever you do to your stale bread, try not let it go to waste!