Cooling & Storage
For most breads, remove from pan immediately after baking and cool on a rack to prevent the bottom crust from becoming moist and soggy. For some richer coffeecakes baked in tubed cake pans, cool in pan for 10 minutes to prevent coffeecakes from breaking apart.
Unless the bread is to be served warm, cool before slicing. Use a serrated knife with a gentle “sawing” motion for cutting. An electric knife is particularly good for slicing warm breads.
Storage of Breads
Cool breads completely before storing.
To retain the freshness of crusty loaves of bread, store them unwrapped at room temperature. Once sliced, place breads in closed paper bags. To maintain freshness of soft-crust loaves, store in airtight plastic bags or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store at room temperature.
Homemade bread contains no preservatives; it usually stays fresh for a short period of time. When bread has lost its freshness, remember, there are croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding – or your dog; dogs love hard bread.
Placing breads in the refrigerator is helpful in warm, humid weather to prevent molding, but it does cause the breads to dry out more quickly.
Breads can also be stored in the freezer. Wrap first in plastic wrap or foil, then place in a self-sealing bag. Let bread thaw at room temperature, partially unwrapped to allow moisture to escape. Slicing bread before freezing will make it possible to take out a partial loaf at a time and will shorten the thawing time, as the slices can easily be separated. However, it may not stay as fresh for an extended period of freezing.
For best results, breads should not be frosted or glazed before freezing. Breads should be used within 6 to 8 weeks of freezing; longer storage means some loss of flavor and moistness.
Basic loaves and rolls will maintain their quality better when frozen than the richer, sweeter coffeecakes and rolls. Some richer doughs will dry slightly.
To reheat coffeecakes and rolls, wrap in foil and heat in a 300°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the bread. Glaze or decorate after reheating. A microwave oven may be used for reheating breads; follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for the setting and time.