Even though smaller loaves are more expensive per slice, they are better value if much of the large loaf goes uneaten. An alternative is to freeze half a large loaf straight after purchasing.
Bread is best stored in a bread bin or paper bag (not plastic) at room temperature. This allows for air circulation but prevents it from drying out too fast. Do not store bread in the fridge.
Bread should be well wrapped or placed in a freezer bag before freezing. It’s great frozen pre-sliced, so separate slices can be used as needed. Toast can be made straight from frozen. Bread thaws to room temperature really quickly. If you are making sandwiches for eating later, just make them with the frozen bread and they will be thawed out by the time you come to eat them.
You have loads of options to bring new life to your old bread. Stale baguettes can be rejuvenated by slightly wetting their surface and warming in the oven. Old, dried bread can be turned into breadcrumbs and stored in the freezer. Breadcrumbs have many uses including coatings for baked chicken or fish, and binding for burgers and fishcakes. Dried crusts can be toasted and used as croutons in soups, stews and salads.
French toast (or eggy bread) is a delicious way to use up stale bread. The French themselves call it pain perdu – lost bread.
Good to know!
Recent evidence is very clear that bread should not be fed to ducks. It’s bad for them and bad for the environment. It’s much healthier to give them salad, frozen peas or sweetcorn because these are closer to their natural diet.