If you’re on a gluten-free diet, then you’ve no doubt had to give up most of your bread and other wheatier, gluten-containing foods.
Thankfully, more stores are offering gluten-free bread options so you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods! That being said, one of the most common questions I’ve gotten is, “How do you store gluten-free bread?”
So, here are a few quick tips on how to store gluten-free bread:
- Store your bread at room temperature.
- Store in a Ziplock bag or airtight container.
- Consume the bread within four days.
- Freeze gluten-free bread to retain its freshness.
Unfortunately, gluten-free bread is usually a good bit more expensive than traditional bread. It’s not like a $2 loaf of white bread that you can afford to toss away without a second thought. So today, I’m going to show you the best way to store gluten-free bread so that it’s always fresh and tastes great every time!
The Best Way To Store Gluten-Free Bread
When I first started my gluten-free journey, there were nowhere near as many gluten-free options as there are today.
If you go into your local health food store, chances are that you’ll find several different brands and varieties of gluten-free bread. Around 30% of Americans are actively avoiding gluten for one reason or another, meaning that gluten-free bread and bread alternatives are more popular than ever.
Gluten-free bread is a great choice for those with celiac or gluten sensitivity. It allows you to continue eating your favorite foods, such as cheeseburgers, cold-cut sandwiches, PBJs, and more without the nasty side effects that come with a gluten allergy!
The only trouble is that gluten-free bread doesn’t usually last as long as your typical white bread does. This means that it’ll go bad a lot quicker if you don’t store it the right way. So, based on my experience, here are the best tips for storing gluten-free bread.
1) Store Gluten-Free Bread At Room Temperature
Most people typically store regular bread in their refrigerator. This is fine for gluten-containing bread and can help it last longer and stay fresher. However, gluten-free bread doesn’t take too kindly to low temperatures. I had to learn this the hard way…
Whenever you refrigerate bread, it also dries up. This usually isn’t a problem for regular bread, as the gluten helps hold the slices of bread together. Gluten-free bread, on the other hand, will begin crumbling and falling apart once it’s refrigerated and loses moisture.
Just one day of storage in a refrigerator can be enough to turn your soft, delicious gluten-free bread into a hard, stale lump of cooked dough. The best way to store your gluten-free bread is at room temperature (around 60 to 80-degrees Fahrenheit).
2) Store Gluten-Free Bread In A Ziplock Bag Or Airtight Container
Keeping your bread at room temperature is generally the best way to preserve the bread’s taste and consistency. However, if you want to retain the freshness of your bread, you can usually extend its life a few days by storing it in a large Ziplock bag or an airtight container.
You don’t have to go overboard and vacuum seal the bread, but keeping it in a Tupperware container or a Ziplock bag (with the air pressed out of it) can make a big difference.
Personally, I use those large bread loaf-shaped plastic containers to store my gluten-free bread. They’re usually pretty cheap and your local supermarket or cooking store should sell them!
3) Eat The Bread In The First Few Days
Even if you store your bread at the perfect temperature and use an airtight container, it’s probably not going to taste all that great by the end of the week.
That’s because gluten-free bread (especially the all-natural ancient grain varieties) uses fewer artificial preservatives.
As I mentioned above, you might be able to keep your bread fresh for a couple of extra days by using an airtight container. However, you shouldn’t expect it to last more than four or five days at the most.
After this, it will usually start to taste stale and may even start going bad.
5) Freeze Any Extra Bread To Retain Freshness
Okay, so let’s just say that you found a great buy buy-one-get-one-free deal at the store and decided to stock up on some extra gluten-free bread. The only problem is that it’ll all go bad in the next five days…
So, what now?
The best way to store your extra gluten-free bread is in the freezer. The freezing temperature will keep any bacteria from growing and will keep the bread frozen solid in its current state.
All you need to do is defrost the bread one loaf at a time, as needed. As long as it was stored correctly, each loaf should last three to four days after being defrosted!
That being said, you don’t want to haphazardly throw the loaf of bread directly in the freezer. This will almost always result in the bread getting freezer-burned, and will destroy the taste and texture.
Whenever possible, I recommend using a vacuum sealer to tightly seal your gluten-free bread in the freezer. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer on hand, then I recommend tightly sealing it in a large Ziplock freezer bag.
Does Freezing Gluten-Free Bread Affect The Taste?
Generally speaking, freezing gluten-free bread won’t affect the taste too much. Now, if the bread was already getting stale before you froze it, then it will be just as stale when you pull it out of the freezer. That’s why I usually suggest freezing your extra gluten-free bread while it’s still fresh!
Why Doesn’t Gluten-Free Bread Last As Long As Regular Bread?
If you have celiacs, a gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy, then you probably have some pretty negative connotations toward gluten. However, gluten is a very important part of baking, especially when it comes to bread.
Gluten is a protein, and one of the first things you’ll learn in cooking school is that protein is what holds food together. The longer a food is cooked, the more its proteins are broken down and the weaker it gets. That’s why burnt food just crumbles and falls apart!
So, when it comes to baking bread, gluten is responsible for holding the loaf together. Without the gluten protein group, gluten-free bread simply doesn’t hold its texture and consistency for as long as traditional wheat or rye bread.
What’s The Best Way To Store Gluten-Free Dough?
These tips are all fine and great when you’re talking about store-bought gluten-free bread. What about the bakers and at-home chefs out there, though?
So, while we’re on the topic, we may as well address the best way to store gluten-free dough. Let’s just say that you’ve just made your own gluten-free pizza dough, bread dough, or a sweeter dough designed for baking pastries.
Usually, I’d recommend only making enough dough to use on that particular day. Sometimes, accidents happen and we make a little bit too much, though. In this case, the best way to store gluten-free dough is to wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it. If it’s tightly wrapped, it should remain fresh for up to three days.
If you’ve never tried baking your own gluten-free pizza, then I highly recommend trying it sometime. The process takes a bit of time, but the reward is well worth it! Check out this video for a simple, great-tasting gluten-free pizza dough recipe:
How Long Does Homemade Gluten-Free Bread Last?
Once baked, homemade gluten-free bread typically has the same shelf life as store-bought gluten-free bread. Obviously, it’ll always taste best when it’s fresh out of the oven. As long as you eat it all in four to five days, it should still be perfectly good, though.
Long story short, just remember that gluten-free bread doesn’t last as long as regular bread. It also needs to be stored at room temperature and shouldn’t be refrigerated.
I generally advise my readers to avoid stocking up on too much gluten-free bread at once. As a rule of thumb, I usually only get enough to last for five days at a time. If you found this article helpful, then I highly encourage you to check out my gluten-free lifestyle blog for more tips and tricks on living your new gluten-free lifestyle.