Should I get a bread box?

Hi there Choice community!

I was wondering whether or not I should invest in a breadbox.

Does it keep bread longer/fresh?

How much do they cost?



I like some answer to that one too.


If you don’t eat a lot of bread, and are looking to keep it longer… I wouldn’t bother. Its just a nice way of keeping it on the bench. My mum always had a bread tin, but back then, like 70 years ago, we ate a lot of bread… toast at breakfast, sandwich at lunch, and often a slice of bread and butter with tea/dinner… So it was not necessary to have it stay fresh for longer.

I’m still a freezer believer. Takes me 2-3 weeks to get through a loaf.


No. It is a convenient container with an easily accessible lid that allows you to store your bread on the kitchen bench. Even if it is airtight this will not keep the bread any fresher and it may encourage mould in the right conditions.

As discussed in the thread on keeping bread in the fridge, it is best kept either frozen or room temperature. If you want to keep it fresh longer then freeze it and thaw as much as you need at the time. If you want to keep it unfrozen a bread box is nice looking.


I’ve a small collection of old enamelled bread tins. My nan kept her bread in one in a cool corner of the kitchen. The bread was freshly baked and delivered by a bloke (also a nephew) in a giant wicker basket. The aroma from the van was amazing, the bread crusty with a pure soft white grain free whole meal free etc texture. It only stayed fresh till the next day, when the crust might still be ok but the centre less giving. The purpose of the tin? To keep the mice, roaches and all else out of the bread. Apparently common around many households in our greater urban sprawl and farms in times gone by.

By all means buy a bread box. It will add charm and character to the kitchen. Choose wisely as if a collectors item the local historical village may require. As an investment only the rare and genuinely old offer any future value.

What happened?
The bread carters demise came swiftly in the late 60’s in our area. The new bread came wrapped in plastic, pre sliced from mass production. Pint sized super markets appeared, complete with an errand boy to carry the oversized paper bag or two with the shopping to the car boot. Our household bread still went into a modern anodised aluminium bread bin. Did it keep longer? Yes - 3 sometimes 4 days due to new found ingredients for modern baking. Most modern homes of the era still had pint sized fridges and even smaller freezers. Our bread bin ultimately found retirement upon arrival of a new larger fridge, expected to last till death do us part, just like the old one that was still working after 25 years. At least one motor burn out and a Vee belt or two replaced along the way.


Bread boxes were popular in times before plastic packaging/film, refrigeration and pantries were common place. They provided a storage for bread which was less exposed to the air - the bread boxes had their own microclimate which kept bread fresher than being left on the bench unprotected.

With the introduction of plastic packaging and refrigeration in the home, bread boxes redundant as newer storage methods are more effective than a bread box to lengthen the storage life of bread.

In addition to the above, in the kitchen bread boxes can take up valuable bench space which could otherwise be used for other things.

This is principally why they have generally disappeared over time, like other ways of storing things such as meat safes and flour/rice canisters.


I don’t think this is or ever was significant. It is part of the belief that staling is due to drying out that is still prevalent but not true.


It is true in low humidity environments, where the surface of cut bread dries out quickly. In high humidity environments, the effect is less.

It is an experiment easy to do at home. On a low humidity day, place a slice of bread on a plate and see what happens over a relatively short period of time. The surface of the bread dries, becomes more crumbly and staler.

Do the same experiment on a very humid day, and the bread surface will take a lot longer to dry out. If you are in a location where it is or can maintain 100% relative humidity, it may form mould before the surface has had a chance to dry.

The above is an experiment which used to be done by food technology students to show the impact of humidity on storage life of products.

Bread has a moisture content of around 40% on baking. On freshly cut bread surfaces, the bread will lose moisture quickly after cutting in low humidity environments. You are right that the effect in high humidity environments is less. If the bread is kept whole/unsliced, the impact in a low humidity is unlikely to be significant as the crust has a lower moisture content than the inner bread.

In my earlier post I forgot to mention that the other major advantage of bread boxes in the past was to protect the bread from flies and vermin (mice and rats).


Staling and drying out are not the same thing but both contribute to bread becoming less attractive. A sealed container will prevent drying but not staling. But you are right that in very dry conditions slowing down moisture loss is useful. I haven’t seen a bread box that would do this very well but I accept that such things exist.

My breadbox is timber, it looks like a baby roll-top desk! It is full of potatoes because it keeps them in the dark but allows some air circulation.


Well I am not going to bother. How about you @Read_Choice?


What a fab idea!! I don’t buy many spuds at a time, because I keep them in their plastic bag and although its dark in the cupboard, plastic and air circ are incompatible. The current lot are going very green and I suppose I should toss them :frowning:

Breadbox to be ordered


Plastic bags are not a good way to store potatoes. The best way is in a dark cool place store them in a shallow open container (such as a sturdy cardboard fruit box) or in a paper bag.

Plastic causes potatoes to sweat (surface to become moist due to changing temperatures) increasing the rate of sprouting and decomposition.


I wrap artisan bread in a linen towel and freeze it.


I made a double thickness bread bag out of linen tea towels which I think helps to keep artisan bread fresh


I have an enamel bread box (bought new, enamelware is becoming popular again). My mum kept her daily bread (delivered by baker) in her stock pot. She would put the pot on the landing for the baker to put the bread in.

Now, i also have a bread maker so the loaf isn’t the same as a supermarket loaf. If it’s more than a day old it gets wrapped in a tea towel but even if it wasn’t, its the bread rather than the crust that goes stale. Thats the slice you toast :wink:
There’s only 2 of us home now, but we manage to get through a bread maker loaf in a day or so. I love my bread box.


Ah yes, the warm smell of the fresh bread when the baker opened the cart door, the timber cart towed by a white horse down our dusty outer suburban dirt road. Then into the metal bread bin, any left over the next day turned into bread and butter custard pudding or dried for breadcrumbs. Ah, the pre-sliced pre-plastic pre-consumer-goods days of the early 1950s!


I mean, its one of those things that are either a novelty or a necessity. I like soft unfrozen sandwiches, so a breadbox I would definitely consider as viable. Time to research and buy one and see how it goes i guess.


Just googled some and wow they look good

Welcome to the community @Helen7!


I usually leave the bread out and if it starts to go stale, I then make bread crumbs and freeze them and use as I need.