Friday, April 17, 2009

I learned a valuable lesson this week.

There is a good reason to follow a bread recipe to the letter.

Every time we've made bread, neither T nor myself have put the butter on it when you pull it out of the oven. What could possibly be the purpose? It's just added fat, right?

Last weekend, while in Fort Kent visiting family for Easter, I paid a visit to my grandparents on my Dad's side. I was telling Memere how I started baking my own bread this winter and have no plans on stopping. She told me how she used to make bread all the time. And then mentioned rubbing butter all over it when it was fresh from the oven.

Turns out, those recipes have it listed for a reason.

It keeps your bread soft!

I tried it Monday when I made this week's bread. Sure enough. We started in on the 2nd loaf this morning and the bread (specifically the crust) is still just as soft as it was on Monday!

So thank you, Memere, for informing me of this little tidbit. Otherwise, I don't know if I would have ever put it together on my own.

I'm also curious as to how others store their homemade bread. I've been storing mine in Ziploc bags. I reuse them a few times to help reduce waste, but I'm sure there has got to be a better (and GREENER) solution.

Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!


Anonymous said...

I did it! Thanks! I hope this helps my computer. So far so good... I can even comment you! Yehaw!

Country Girl said...

I use a plastic bag too, the cheap ones that close with a tie. that what the butter is for?

Anonymous said...

Hi yes rub butter all over your fresh hot bread and wet a clean dish cloth with hot water and wring it out and place it on your hot bread for a few minutes and your bread will be soft ..
Memere Dedean

Basic Bryan said...

Nothing is better than a freshly baked loaf of bread. Bread is best the day it is baked. However, there are ways to keep your bread fresh and tasty.

The moister the bread is the longer it will keep.
Keep soft-crusted breads in a plastic bag or airtight container.
Store crispy-crusted bread in paper.
Keep the bread in a cool dry place, such as a bread box.
Keep freshly baked bread at room temperature in the open until it has cooled. Otherwise the mold development will be accelerated.
Do not store bread in the refrigerator. This will dry it out and it will become stale faster.
Freeze your bread to keep it for several months. Keep the bread wrapped tightly in plastic and place in the freezer.
Any bread can be freshened by quickly dipping it in cold water, draining, and heating it in the oven.
Different types of breads have different shelf lives. Keep this in mind when storing your bread

1 day- French and Italian breads
2-3 days- Sourdoughs, Whites, and Whole Wheats
3-5 days- Rye breads
Once a bread has gone stale there are still options for use. The uses for stale bread are so many and varied that it is obviously unwise to waste a particle. Follow some of these examples and recipes to make use of your left over bread.

Croutons- Cut stale slices of bread half an inch thick. Trim off crusts (which may be set aside and used for puddings), butter the slices, and cut into half-inch cubes. Place on shallow pan and brown in a hot oven, turning them so that they may not burn. Serve with soup.
Steamed Bread- Brown the stale bread in a buttered griddle.
Soft Buttered Toast- Toast six or eight slices of stale bread. Melt one-fourth cup butter in half a cup of boiling water in a bowl. Quickly dip each slice of toast in it. place in hot dish, and pour remainder of "dip" over all.
Bread Cereal- Dry bread in oven until crisp and brown. Roll on board, or put through meat grinder, having crumbs coarse. Serve warm as a breakfast food with cream.
Bread Pudding-
3 eggs.
2 cups bread-crumbs.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
1/2 cup raisins.
2 tablespoons butter.
1 quart milk.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Little nutmeg.

Scald milk. Add butter and bread-crumbs. Beat eggs light and add with salt and spice to bread mixture. Bake lightly in moderate oven about an hour.

Basic Bryan said...

Go to

for the Rubbermaid "Bread Keeper"

jamie said...

I started baking all of our bread some time ago. It just tastes so much better doesn't it?! I am eagar to try rubbing the butter on top of my next loaf! As far as storage I have been using large zip lock bags too. I did just see a blog post about sewing bread bags recently. I am not sure which blog it was but I will check it out and share the link to the post with you if I can find it.
Are you using recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day? I have been wanting that book for awhile now and would love to know what you think of it!

Jodi said...

Jamie - rub the butter ALL over, not just on top. It makes a difference.

I posted the recipe I use for bread a while back. It's a Honey Wheat Bread from Betty Crocker.

I JUST received Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes from T last Monday for my birthday. I haven't cracked it open yet, but I'll be getting into it this week.

Thanks for all the tips on storage, everyone!

gardenofsimple said...

I've never done the butter thing either - what a great idea!

As far as storing bread, Soulemama had a wonderful idea posted last week. I've been reusing store bread bags - but I like these:

gardenofsimple said...

Hey, saw this today and thought of your post! Just thought I'd share! :D

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