how to

store | freeze | refresh 

Below you’ll find my favorite methods on how to store, freeze, and refresh bread so that it tastes freshly baked.

how to

store your bread

Days 1 & 2:

  • For bread that has just been baked (or refreshed), leave it out, completely uncovered, at room temperature. The crust on freshly baked bread will remain at its best texture for at least one day.

  • If you slice into your bread,  it is best to leave it cut-side down on a cutting board uncovered, particularly if you enjoy a crisp crust. This will help protect the interior from drying out.

  • If you choose not to slice into the bread on the day of baking, transfer the loaf to a paper bag and fold over the edges. While the crust won’t be quite as crisp as the first day of baking,  the paper bag will allow air to circulate, yet also help it not dry out too quickly.

Days 3 & 4:

  • While the above method works really well for freshly baked bread, you’ll want to cover it a couple days after it has baked, otherwise it will dry out quickly and become stale/too hard to slice. 

  • Usually by day three, the best option is to store it in a large Ziploc bag. This isn’t a perfect solution, as it will inevitably cause the moisture from the loaf to be trapped, resulting in a softer textured crust. You can get around this by toasting your bread lightly. 

  • Alternatively, you can also wrap your bread in natural beeswrap , which is my favorite alternative, as it is naturally porous and won’t cause as much moisture to be trapped.  They sell a knock-off version at Trader Joe's that works well.

  • If you do not plan on consuming your whole loaf of bread within the first few days of baking, I generally always advise storing it in the freezer.

how to

freeze your bread

When it comes to sourdough bread, your freezer is your friend!  I highly recommend freezing whole loaves, and enjoying them at a later date.  I almost always freeze a loaf when I’m baking. The frozen loaf out of the freezer can taste just as good as the freshly baked loaf! 

If stored properly, bread can be stored in the freezer for about three months.


To freeze an entire loaf of bread, allow the bread to cool completely, then wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap, followed by wrapping in aluminum foil.  This is my favorite method for short or long term bread storage. 


If you only eat a small amount of bread at a time, a great way to store it is to slice it before freezing.

To do this, slice your bread and transfer it to a large Ziploc bag. If the interior is extremely moist, I advise placing a small piece of parchment paper between each slice to ensure that the slices don’t stick together. 

This method allows you to take one slice out at a time and toast it in your toaster or favorite method of choice.

how to

refresh your bread

This is my favorite method for refreshing whole loaves of bread. It sounds a bit crazy, but this method will result in a very crisp crust that tastes and feels like you just baked it!

I promise - you'll be amazed!


  • Allow your frozen loaf of bread to thaw (keep it in the plastic and foil) at room temperature for several hours or overnight on your countertop the night before. 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees for at least 20 minutes with a rack in the center position. 

  • Just before you are ready to put the loaf in the oven, remove the wrapping and lightly spritz it evenly with cold water.  If you don’t have a spray bottle, just quickly run it under cold water (I know, sounds crazy). You do not want to saturate your loaf, just lightly coat it with cold water on all sides. This light coating of water steams in the oven and results in a far crisper, fresher crust than placing a loaf in the oven dry.  NOTE:  Do not complete this step until your oven is completely preheated and you’re ready to place the loaf in the oven. 

  • Place the whole loaf of bread directly on the oven rack and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is crisp.

  • Remove and allow the loaf to cool completely on a cooling rack – at least an hour – before slicing. Store bread as directed above.  Generally, the refreshed whole loaves of bread will store just as well, perhaps drying out slightly faster, as freshly baked loaves. 

what to do

with leftover bread

  • Grilled cheese or panini -  Jalapeno Cheddar makes a great grilled cheese!

  • Crostini - slice your 4 - 5 day old bread into thin slices, put in a ziplock and throw in the freezer to be used at a later time.   Simply brush slices with olive oil and bake on a sheet pan at 350, turning often, until crisp.  Great with a cheese plate, tapenade or as bruschetta.

  • Croutons -  cut leftover bread into squares, put in a ziplock and keep in the freezer.  Pull out what you need and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.  Bake on a sheet pan at 350, tossing often, until crisp. 

  • Breadcrumbs - Bake slices as described for crostini.  When cool give them a whirl in the food processor.

  • French Toast - our favorite weekend breakfast!

  • Bread Pudding

resist the urge to

slice into warm bread

It is very important to allow bread to cool completely to room temperature before storing or slicing.  Place it on a cooling rack and resist the urge to slice into it.  Slicing fresh warm bread out of the oven, while extremely tempting, affects its texture and flavor - it will be gummier and less airy; and will result in a loaf that dries out much faster.

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slicing your

sourdough bread

Slicing bread, in particular sourdough bread, can be a bit tricky, especially if your loaf is very crusty.

The right knife, with a long serrated blade, really does make the job easier.  I have this one and have been very happy with it.  They have a model that is more expensive and one that is less expensive.  I chose the middle of the road and am very impressed with it.


A couple tips when slicing sourdough:

  • ALLOW your bread to cool (if you refreshed your loaf) at least 60-90 minutes.

  • Don't press into the bread because you will damage the crust and squish the inside.  Pressing down on the bread will also result in raggedy, uneven slices.

  • Use the knife like a saw, back and forth all the way through until the base of the bread is cut.  Let the knife do the work.

how to

make artisan pizza at home

Making artisan pizza using naturally leavened dough is so satisfying, and has the added benefit of a long, slow fermentation!  Shaping the dough takes some practice, but once mastered, you can create a perfect crust (with those big fermentation bubbles) to compliment your toppings.  This dough is designed to make a Naples style pizza, which has a thin crust with an airy and soft rim.  I have included a video and some helpful tips below to guide you through the process.  The video is based on using your home oven with a pizza stone.  If you have a specialized pizza oven (or make your pizza in a BBQ), you are probably already serious about your pizza and have your own process.


Here are a few quick tips and tools for making artisan pizza in your home oven.

  • Dough will save in the refrigerator for 2 days or you can freeze it for up to 1 month.  To use from frozen, place the container in the refrigerator the night before you plan to make pizza.  Take out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before shaping.

  • Please don't use a rolling pin when shaping your pizza dough, it knocks all the fermentation bubbles out and can make your dough tough.

  • If the dough resists when you are shaping it, give it a rest.  Cover it with a towel and let it sit for 10 minutes, then come back and continue with the process.

  • Try to avoid loading your pizza down with a ton of toppings, this can weigh the crust down.  This style of pizza is not designed to handle a ton of toppings.

  • It's very helpful to have the following:

    • Pizza peel​

    • Parchment paper

    • Spray bottle of water


making pizza in your oven

steps to

​The video to your left (or below if you are on a mobile device) will walk you through all these steps, but here they are in a nutshell:

  1. Take your pizza dough out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you plan to shape it.

  2. Pre-heat your oven to 550F or as hot as it will go.

  3. Put pizza stone on middle rack of your oven.

  4.  Gather all of your supplies and toppings - very helpful to have everything you will need ready to go:  parchment paper; pizza peel; spray bottle filled with water; all toppings.​

  5. Cut a piece of parchment to hold your pizza dough.  Flour the parchment.

  6. Gently dump pizza dough out of container....let it come out slowly on it's own, or with a little gentle coaxing with your fingers.  If the dough sticks to your fingers, dampen fingers with water. 

  7. Flour dough ball and begin to shape, starting from the middle of the ball and pressing out, avoiding the 1 -2" rim to preserve the bubbles in the crust.

  8. Gently pick up and rotate in a circle, letting gravity help you shape the dough.

  9. You can also rest the dough on your knuckles and let gravity help stretch, rotating as you go.

  10. If the dough is resisting being stretched, throw a towel over it and give it a 10 minutes rest, then continue shaping.

  11. Once you have the shape you are happy with (this dough ball should make a 10 - 12" pizza), top with toppings of your choice.

  12. Turn oven to Broil (high)

  13. Slide pizza on the parchment paper into the oven, onto the pizza stone.

  14. Quickly spritz all sides of dough with water mist.

  15. Bake 2 minutes on Broil.

  16. Turn Broiler off and set oven back to Bake at 550F.  

  17. Rotate pizza every 2 minutes to ensure even browning of crust.  Total bake time should take approximately 7 - 9 minutes.