thrift kitchen

Thrift Kitchen: Bagging up Homemade Bread

I’ve been cranking out the bread lately. Something about being without an oven for so long has made me go a little overboard. Or maybe I just really appreciate what I have and actually use it. It’s been about a loaf a week for a while now and I think I’ll keep it up. While baking your own bread is delicious, easy, and cheap, it does have the very wasteful side effect of chewing through plastic wrap.

White Bread

{Basic White Bread from Beard On Bread pictured above}

You see, freshly baked bread, just like any other bread, will go bad when left exposed to air and it’s wonderful “wild yeasty beasties.” So I wrap it up tight. Maybe too tight. I’m going through like a roll of plastic every other month, not very Craft Leftovers spirited.

I’ve thought it over quite a bit and tried a few different things and here’s what figured out works best to keep my bread fresh and not blow through so much plastic wrap. What’s funny is that I wrote up this whole post intending to make a reusable bread bag. All the directions typed up and ready to go even.

Then I realized we only had about 2 slices left of the two loaves I had baked on Tuesday (we had company and we devoured it together). Okay, not so bad, I’ll bake some more. So today I baked a new loaf of bread–altered the Homestyle recipe so it’s just one loaf instead of two (Beard On Bread cookbook) and it turned out splendidly.

breadbaking03

{Homestyle bread I baked today}

And then I realized that I was out of wax paper – which is what I had originally conceived making my bag out of. Then I thought oil cloth would be great–until I realized I was out of that too!

I was getting ready to wrap up the bread in plastic wrap, in defeat, when Jason says, “Why doens’t home baked bread get put in a bag like store bought?” Completely oblivious to my internal war–my mind vs. stale bread vs. wasteful plastic wrap usage–that had been raging for the last 3 days. I said, “Well, it should be, and that’s what I’ve been struggling with. I want to make a reusable bread bag, but the ziplocks are too small to fit a whole loaf and I don’t have any wax paper or oil cloth or vinyl right now.”

His response was pure genius:

“So why don’t you use the bulk bin bag from Wheatsfield that I had the rice in?”

Brilliance!

breadbaking02

It’s free, it gives another use to a produce bag, and Wheatsfield bulk bin bags are made in some kind of fancy pants eco friendly way (100% post consumer recycled industrial resin). And it’s big enough to fit the bread and even comes with a twist tie.

breadbaking01

Moral of the story?

  • Don’t over-think solutions to easy problems.

And

  • Make sure to take a look around the house before you run out to buy a half yard of oil cloth.

And

  • Don’t get stuck thinking there’s just one solution to a problem, there are always multiple solutions.

Future Reusable Bread Bag

Now, I am trying to scale down our garbage, so we will not have steady flow of bulk bin bags for much longer. I’m going to take my food containers and have them weigh them out before filling them up. Eventually I will have to make a reusable bread bag. But that day is not today. I will keep my eyes peeled for some free oil cloth so when the time comes I’ll have some, but until that day, I’ll work on other fun things–like the little zine library boxes I’m working on after I finish this post. :)

Actually, I’ll take this opportunity to ask: Does anyone have some cute oil cloth they want to send my way? I’ll swap you for it. Maybe some yarn? Or a zine? Just email me at kristin [at] craftleftovers [dot] com.

Happy crafting!
Kristin Roach

10 thoughts on “Thrift Kitchen: Bagging up Homemade Bread

  1. can you just rinse the plastic bag, let it dry and reuse it? that’s what i used to do with my ziplocs… or use a plastic/glass container with an airtight lid?

  2. I don’t know if it’s available from Tupperware US, but in Europe they make a bread box that’s freaking amazing. My homemade bread lasts a good week or more in it… and no plastic wrap!

  3. That’s what I was thinking – just reuse it until it gives out, then I’ll come up with a longer lasting solution. A food container would be great, but I don’t currently own one that’s big enough to hold a full loaf. I really wanted to avoid buying something new to hold bread. But then again, if I keep this up, the eco and money savings would balance it out I think.

  4. That would be great. It might just be labeled as a food container, but I’m sure there’s something in the States that would serve the same function. The main thing is being big enough. I think the local kitchen store would have something – but that usually means it will be pricey… I’ll have to go check it out now though! Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. What about an airtight tin, like a large biscuit or cake tin? There are even dedicated bread tins, which are bound to be large enough!

  6. My husband makes sourdough breads, and we usually eat them up before they go stale. However, when we do bag them, we use the paper bags that the flour comes in! Our local artisan bakery sends home loaves in paper bags, so we figure it must be a reasonable solution. (I also save plastic produce bags, to use in CSA season., but I don’t use plastic for the breads)

  7. I make all our bread, and I use the large freezer ziploc bags, they are a little small for a full loaf, so I slice my bread all at once. I wash the ziploc bags until they completely fall apart. You can also make more bread at once and freeze it, sliced or unsliced.

  8. They do have 2 gallon sized ziploc bags now. I bake about 9-12 loaves a week and I keep them in the 2 gallon ziploc bags, Hefty has a 2 gallon size now as well. I can fit 2 whole loaves in one bag—and have room left over for some slices as well. I also have a bread box, but the bread goes bad quickly in the summer, so we still have to keep it in a ziploc.

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