Linen bread bag

4 February 2020
I finished my bread bag a couple of days ago and it's a nice bag to use. I'm not sure how good it would be in other climates but with our humidity, it doesn't trap moisture inside the bag and it doesn't go mouldy. If you're in a cold or mild climate, and you have been using a linen bag, please tell us what your experience is.



Now I have my linen bag, I slice the bread as soon as it's cooled down, and place half in an airtight plastic box which I keep in the freezer. The other half is kept in the linen bag and I'm seeing how it goes being out of the fridge. It takes us about a week to eat one loaf and so far it's going well.

It's difficult giving advice about storing bread because people have differing expectations. Your climate and the inside temperature of your house play a big part too.  Some kitchens in a cold climate are warm because the fire is going. Some kitchens in a warm climate are cool because the air conditioner is cooling the home.


One thing is for sure, bread, particularly homemade loaves which don't contain any preservatives, start going stale the day after they're baked.  The main thing to remember is to slice and freeze large loaves and take out only enough bread that you'll use for a day or two.  Bread defrosts fast and you can make sandwiches with frozen slices. Toasting frozen bread gives you the same result as toasting fresh bread.

When you make your own linen bag, make it fairly narrow so the bread remains as a loaf shape without allowing the slices to slip out.  Keeping the loaf together stops it drying out too fast. My bag is 28cm/11½ inches wide and 43cm/17 inches long.  A longer bag allows me to add a couple of bread rolls to the bag, as well as the bread, if I want to.

Another thing to remember is to make your bag using fabric with plant origins. Linen is a specific type of fabric made from flax plants.  It's strong, absorbent and easy to clean.  Cotton is another fabric you could use.  It's a natural fibre made from the cotton plant which is breathable, soft and easy to clean.  You could also use hemp. Acrylic and polyester are both made of plastic and are not suitable for bread bags.

I'd like to see your bread bag if you make one. Add a photo on IG and I'll find it.

25 comments

  1. That's a very sweet bread bag, Rhonda. I use a pyrex loaf pan with a plastic lid that snaps onto it. It keeps the bread very moist and fresh. I use it for quick breads, too. They taste even better after being stored in this container. I've had it for twenty years. Am hoping that it lasts me twenty more...

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    1. Hi Stephenie. Thank you. Isn't it great when you find the ideal container. Your Pyrex loaf pan sounds like a great bread storage solution.

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  2. That sounds ideal. I wonder if they still make them.

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  3. Rhonda, a Linen bag and it is beautiful. What an awesome time I saw this. I am some hours up the coast from you, our new house has no aircon in the living area. Hense this year my bread machine is doing all the work and Ive noticed keeping my bread in the fridge it is feeling hard the next day just good enough for toast not sandwiches. You've just sparked an enthusiasm in me to pull out the sewing machine. Rhonda your needle work looks wonderful, gives your bag a nice vintage look. Have a wonderful afternoon and THANKYOU xx

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  4. I never slice the bread ahead... and when I use the bread I keep the first slice to put back on top... it keeps fresher that way.

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    1. Yes, I use the ends like book ends. When the loaf is finished I give the ends to the chooks.

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  5. That turned out so nice, looks so fresh and clean. I love the embroidery too. We keep our bread in the freezer and toast or miceowave it. I used to keep bread in a tw box on the kitchen bench, but it never tasted very fresh. Two of us have celiac disease, that bread really needs to be frozen down when fresh as it goes stale very quickly.Pam in Norway

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  6. I can't keep bread in fabric bags, they'll dry rock hard in a day. We have very low humidity inside, because we have to heat the house two thirds of a year. I've learn that you shouldn't keep bread in fridge, because it makes sugars/carbohydrates in bread to chrystallize and it makes bread hard and affects on the taste, too. But toasting of re-heating makes it taste fine again, if eaten soon after). But because of the low humidity/relatively low temperatures home baked bread keeps in plastic bag or container several days, only few weeks in summer we might have problems. And then we have this sourdough rye bread, which seems to keep forever. Even shop bought it doesn't have any preservatives (well, salt), but it is edible (soft..ish, it's not very soft in the first place) and good tasting, sometimes for two weeks. It's not like Russian or other east European loaves you could use as bricks to built a house...
    Maybe the difference is that there's no fat/oil nor sugar in bread we eat?
    And by the way, I love ends.

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  7. I have a large stoneware container that I use, however the bread does not stay fresh in in for long, just a day or so. So I do slice the loaf and put it in the freezer if there's room, but more often than not there isn't. I don't have any linen, however, I do have a couple of old linen tea-towels that I don't use as they're not very absorbent. Think I'll sew myself a bread bag out of those, thanks for the idea Rhonda!

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  8. Yes, I keep the end slices as well then when the bread's all gone and I have enough of them they go into the food processor for breadcrumbs or for making bread pudding.

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  9. Hello Rhonda- the embroidery on your bread bag is so lovely and delicate. You have done a beautiful job of it.

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  10. Since I started baking my own sourdough I have used a cotton bag that I bought but you have motivated me to make another as I really like the stitching on yours. I’ve not crafted for ages, there is always some excuse, but this would be the perfect simple project to start again. Thank you for the idea.

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  11. To improve the keeping quality, wherever on the globe you live I would always recommend leaving the loaf unsliced. Obviously this does not apply to bread you freeze and thaw out a slice at a time. For bread that you wish to leave in a bag I would definitely leave the loaf (or part loaf) unsliced. The bread keeps far better (as much as days better) by leaving it unsliced in order to retain the moisture within the loaf. Even if your loaf is stored in a plastic bag, it still stays fresher longer if it is unsliced.

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  12. I am making a bread bag now, too. It is not as gorgeous as yours is Rhonda, but I am embroidering some wheat on it. The pattern is from a transfer book I have had for many years; probably from the seventies. It is charming, and I can't wait to finish it. Not quite as large as your version, I made mine about 11 by 15 inches. It may not be quite large enough, but I'll see when it is finished. Next time maybe one a bit larger.

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  13. What a beautiful bag. I tried a linen bag for my bread but it went mouldy quite quickly. I live in the NW of England it is very damp here pretty much year round, average rainfall of 1m a year. I now keep it in a wooden, purpose made, bread bin in the pantry. My pantry is a cupboard under the stairs and the bread bin is built into the underneath of the stairs - if that makes sense!

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  14. Rhonda,

    Thanks for the inspiration! One of our dinner napkins tore a week or so ago, so when I was at our locally-owned fabric store (getting a button to repair a thrift-store shirt that was missing one) I also bought 1 1/4 yards of lovely spring-green batik and made four more lovely large napkins.

    With a teenager in the house, we still finish loaves of bread before anything much happens to them: or I freeze half and the other half gets devoured.

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  15. Hello Rhonda. I just adore your bread bag & am keen to make one myself using an old linen dress I no longer wear. I currently keep my bread in an enamel breadbin but I notice this hot summer weather it goes mouldy quite fast & I am wondering if the enamel gets hot during the day. I look forward to starting my bag this weekend. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

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  16. Beautiful!

    Madeleine.x

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  17. It looks beautiful!
    Lovely addition to the home, homemade bread in a beautiful homemade bread bag.
    Xx

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  18. Beautiful work Rhonda! I love items that are handmade, beautiful and practical - there's nothing better!

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  19. Just goes to show that practical can be beautiful as well, looks wonderful Rhonda.
    Kate (Tassie) :)

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  20. That is beautiful Rhonda.Such pretty work.
    I have linen tea towels. Some to wipe dishes with and some, which I have crocheted edges on , are used for wrapping baked goods.
    They are also used to keep bugs off food because our home is an old Queenslander style and is not fully screened.
    I wonder how many plastic items we don't use in a year by using cloth to wrap and to wash own dishes with. 2 easy changes to make.

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  21. Such a pretty bread bag, Rhonda. I love how you have repurposed fabric to make it and the stitching is lovely. MegXx

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  22. It's beautiful, Rhonda. If I made homemade bread, I'd give it a try.

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  23. Not sure how I got to your blog but I like the idea of the linen bag. I made sourdough bread which doesn't go moldy and I've been reusing plastic bags that I had in my drawer but I will try this. Thank you.

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