The Best Place to Store Leftover Bread

published Apr 21, 2015
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(Image credit: Sea Wave)

Among the constant food staples in my kitchen is bread. You’ll rarely find me without a hearty loaf of multigrain (homemade, on really good weeks), and a fresh baguette. But, as much as I love carbs, it’s sometimes tough to eat my way through without facing stale slices or dry heels.

Though I’d like to use the stale leftovers for croutons or bread crumbs, there’s never quite enough to make a worthwhile amount, or other times it doesn’t fit into my cooking plans.

To prevent food waste and extend the life of my bread, I started storing the leftovers in a smarter location.

The Best Place to Store Leftover Bread

Whether it’s a stale heel that will be a useful addition to a batch of bread crumbs later, or a big chunk of baguette I want to save for dinner next week, the best place to store leftover bread is in the freezer.

Freezing whole, or even half, loaves of bread always feels pretty intuitive, but storing the stale, dry crusts isn’t quite as obvious. On their own, one or two heels of old bread isn’t quite enough to yield anything meaningful. But, when accumulated, those pieces can be thawed and used to make bread crumbs, croutons, bread pudding, stuffing, or strata.

When storing bread in the freezer, be sure it’s well wrapped first. And when you finally remove it, let it thaw completely before unwrapping it and putting it to use.

This tip may already be common practice for some of you. If so, how do you like to use frozen overstocks of bread?

More tips on getting the most out of bread

Updated from a post originally published February 2009.