Hate moldy bread? Tired of dry bread? You’re not alone. It’s frustrating buying a loaf of crusty artisan bread that turns hard as stone in a couple of days. That’s why people are taking a new look at the merits of the old-fashioned breadbox.
These handy storage containers help keep bread moist and chewy, and the bread is safe from insects and other pests. Breadboxes keep baked goods organized and close at hand. They make efficient use of counter space while adding a note of color.
How a Bread Box Works
The purpose of a breadbox is to keep baked goods from drying out by trapping moisture and storing them at room temperature. Typically, they keep bread fresh for about three days. The staleness that makes bread unappetizing is caused by retrogradation, a fancy term that means the molecules of starch in the baked goods have crystallized.
Why not store bread in the refrigerator? This actually hastens the drying out process. The retrogradation process speeds up in the colder environment in the refrigerator.
On the other hand, you can store bread in the freezer. This is an excellent choice if you aren’t going to finish it in three days or so. However, it takes time to defrost, and it’s never quite the same as fresh.
For at least the first three days, a breadbox will give your baked goods the best consistency, taste and appearance.
Appearance and Material
You can find breadboxes to go with any with any décor. Looks include retro, rustic, ultra-modern and functional in every color imaginable. They are made from:
- Stainless steel
One big way breadbox styles differ is how they open. You can find hinged openings, roll-tops, lids that lift off and those that drop down.
The best bread bins, though well sealed, allow a certain amount of airflow. This reduces condensation and prevents mold.
How to Choose a Bread Box
Look for breadboxes that work well with your kitchen’s color and style. Because so many varieties are available, your biggest problem is narrowing down the selection and finding the best one to suit your preferences. Other considerations are how much space you have and the local climate.
A breadbox can take up a fair amount of counter space. If you have a small kitchen and space is at a premium, consider getting one with a flat top so that you can put other things on it out of the way. Another great space saver is choosing one with a wood top that serves as a cutting board. The most space-saving choice is an expandable breadbox that collapses as you use up the loaf of bread.
Do you eat a lot of baked goods? Even if your counter space is small, choose a bigger breadbox. That way, you can store cookies, biscuits, hot dog buns, donuts and pastries in the extra space along with your bread, and they will stay fresh longer.
Is it warm most of the year where you live, or does the temperature vary significantly on a daily basis? Get a non-metallic breadbox. Bread gets stale faster the warmer it is and the more temperatures fluctuate. A better choice in this type of climate is plastic or wood.
If you tend to forget what bread and buns you’ve bought, choose a clear plastic model. This lets you see at a glance what baked goods are on hand.
10 Types of Bread Boxes
1. Breadbox with Pull Open Door with Handle
A breadbox with a Pull Open Door (Amazon) makes it easy to add a loaf to the container. This type of opening is often found on retro-style boxes that add a 1950s feel to a kitchen.
2. Roll-top Breadbox
The roll-top opening makes this a compact choice for counters where space is tight. Choose one with a flat top, if possible, so that you can store other items on top.
This type of bread box is a classic style. There are many available, especially on Etsy (where you can find some fabulous bread boxes). Here’s one from Etsy I really like:
Buy the above bread box on Etsy.
3. Breadbox with Lift-off Lid
Lift-off lids are excellent space savers. Look for one made of wood so that it can double as a breadboard.
4. Hinged Breadbox with a Window Door
Hinged openings on a breadbox make it simple to open up. A handy window on the door lets you see at a glance how much is left in the loaf.
5. Rustic Breadbox
For a rustic look, choose a tin breadbox. Complete with two shelves, it can double as a desk organizer too!
6. Breadbox with Pull Out Cutting Board
As an alternative to a lid that also serves as a cutting board (Amazon), look for a breadbox with a cutting board at the bottom that pulls out.
7. Adjustable Breadbox
A see-through, adjustable breadbox expands to fit loaves as long as 11 inches. That means it takes up less space as you work your way through the loaf, and you always know how much is left. Choose a model that lets you adjust the air vents.
8. Hardwood Breadbox
A great way to add an upscale look to your kitchen is with furniture-quality cherrywood or other hardwood. A handcrafted breadbox from hardwood can be used to store a variety of items in the kitchen.
9. Stainless Steel Breadbox
Stainless steel isn’t just the standard silver color any more. You can find breadboxes made of this durable material in a wide range of colors, even bright red. If you like the look of classic stainless steel, choose one with a brushed surface that doesn’t show fingerprints.
10. Plastic Breadbox
Plastic is light and durable. It is also efficient at keeping bread fresh.
11. Retro Distressed Bread Box
If you have a rustic or country vibe in your kitchen, you can go with a retro distressed (or vintage) bread box look. This not only offers bread storage but is also a decorative piece in your kitchen.
The above vintage bread box is available at Etsy.
12. Enamel Bread Box
While I’m not a big fan of the enamel bread box, it is a type of bread box you can buy. My preferred online store for enamel bread boxes is Etsy where they have a good number to choose from. Here’s my favorite enamel bread box on Etsy:
13. Space-Saving Breadbox and Cutting Board Combo
This bread box by Cooler Kitchen has a few nice features that you may not have considered. First, it’s seal is engineered to keep bread fresh without letting moisture building up inside so that bread goes soft and moldy.
The other obvious feature is that the lid doubles as a cutting board which comes in handy when dealing with bread. In my experience, you can’t have too many cutting boards and with this bread storage item, you gain an additional cutting board as part of the deal and function. Pretty good, eh?