Getting the most out of your sourdough loaf!

We often get asked how to best store or care for our sourdough loaves, so we have pooled together our top tips to help you get the most out of our bread. Here are five things you need to know about storing your bread and keeping it fresher for longer.

1. Understanding bread's shelf life

There’s nothing better than fresh bread. We bake and deliver our bread fresh every day and we don’t put a best before date on it – so when you buy it you know its fresh! So how long does it last? From the time break is baked, it starts to lose moisture.  But the amazing quality of Irrewarra sourdough bread is how long it lasts! Our tin loaves – Sesame Wholewheat, Soy and Seed Superloaf, Breakfast Seed Loaf White Sandwich and the Fruit & Nut last at least a week! So does the Casalinga.  This is because our sourdough bread is long fermented at ambient temperatures which creates a longer living loaf that loses moisture at a slower rate. (Our rolls and baguettes do dry out is a bit faster as they are smaller with more crust to crumb but toast so well after a couple of days!) And if you store our bread correctly or refresh it (see below), you will never have anything left for the compost bin!

2. How to store your irrewarra sourdough 

To preserve the freshness of your sourdough bread, store it in an environment where the loaf has room to ‘breathe’. As mentioned, bread starts losing moisture as soon as it comes out of the oven. This moisture needs to escape, that’s what we mean when we say it must “breathe”.

A top storage tip from our Grocery Sales Manager Hege is to store your bread on a timber board in the open kitchen, cut-side down, with a light linen tea towel over the top - as this will allow it to breathe, keep the cut face moist but slow the moisture loss. It will soften the crust, but this can always be refreshed in the oven to bring back the crust (see below).

You could also keep your sourdough wrapped in natural cloth bag.

Here’s one of our delightful customers on Instagram who shared her picture of our Kalamata Olive Baguette à l’Ancienne safely stored in cotton a 4myearth bread bag.   

Image: @marilyn_ella on Instagram

Don’t leave it in direct sunlight or in a draughty spot or it will dry out quicker.

Other things to avoid when storing your sourdough:

The fridge

When storing your sourdough, avoid the fridge! It's best to keep it out of cold air to preserve moisture.


When you put your loaf in a plastic bag or plastic wrap, container or bread bin moisture and condensation will build up. The moisture will keep the crust wet and create the perfect surface for mould to grow.  Though sourdough bread has high acidity which helps preserve the bread, we don’t use mould inhibitors and preservatives so if the bread is in a confined space and can’t breathe it will eventually grow mould. You may wonder why commercial yeasted sliced bread can last for a long time in a plastic bag? It's because these breads contain preservatives or emulsifiers.  They unnaturally prevent moulding. Emulsifiers bind fat to water to slow staling and prevent moisture release and hence mould.  Both preservatives and emulsifiers are not healthy or good for you!

3. What can you do to extend the life of your loaf? 

Over 20 years of making traditional sourdough we've learnt a trick or two about extending the life of sourdough. After a few days, if you want to return your loaf to the freshness of “just baked” – moist crumb and crisp crust - we recommend reheating your sourdough in the oven. Simply wrap your loaf in foil and place it in a hot oven around 180°C for 5-10 minutes and check that the heat has transferred throughout the centre of your loaf. This is a great way to refresh and get the most out of your sourdough. The heat causes the bread to release moisture and make the inside of the loaf soft again.

We also recommend this ‘bread wetting’ technique by Alice Zaslavsky (@AliceInFrames). Gently spray the crust with water (or place under running water), ensuring not to wet the interior of your bread, and pop in a warm oven for 5-10 minutes to warm up. You can also wrap it in a damp tea towel and pop it in the microwave for 10-second intervals to revive your loaf. 

This works well for all our loaves.

Video: @Irrewarra_Bakery on Instagram

4. Toast it!

Many Irrewarra customers say that they love our bread because it’s so good toasted! Not just in a toaster but also in a sandwich press or pan toasted.  Irrewarra bread can be toasted for over a week after purchase, just make sure to keep a light tea towel over it so the crust does not become too hard.

5. what else to do with bread after a few days?

    Give your leftovers a new lease of life with our favourite ways to make the most of old bread.

    Make simple cheese fondue with breadsticks for an entertaining appetiser during your next night in. 

    Whizz dry bread up in a food processor to make fresh breadcrumbs for chicken stuffing, crumbing pork cutlets, or for topping stuffed mushrooms or red capsicums along with goat's cheese (we love Meredith Dairy!) We particularly like David Herbert’s Mushroom & Goat's Cheese Crumble recipe from The Really Useful Cookbook – it's a faithful classic, if you're lucky enough to have a copy.

    One of our favourite recipes by David Herbert. Image: Booktopia.

    Toast cubed bread or crusts in a hot oven for chunky croutons to top salads and soups, or try your hand at making this stale bread soup with fried bone marrow

    Looking for something sweeter? We adore this apple bread and butter pudding with apple core caramel recipe. Or, soak in an eggy mix for a sweet and delicious French toast like this Casalinga recipe... the only limit is your cookbook library! 

    Instead of sending food to the landfill, you'll end up reducing food waste and ensuring that every last crumb is savoured in a new way.