You’ve finished your fresh loaf of bread. It is hot and steaming in the breadmaker. Now what? Can you let it cool in the bread maker? Can you leave it in the bread maker overnight? How do you store bread in a bread maker without causing problems?
Can You Cool Bread in a Breadmaker?
In theory, yes, you could if you left the lid off. The moisture would have to be able to escape from the bread if you didn’t want it to be soggy shortly thereafter.
And letting the bread sit in the bread maker with the trapped moisture overnight could foster mold growth. That’s why we say only do so if the steam can rise and escape from the bread maker. However, you’ll get better results if you take the loaf out of the bread maker and let it cool on a cooling rack.
Can You Store Bread in a Breadmaker?
If you made the dough in the bread maker and then baked it inside the bread maker, the answer is typically no. Your loaf of bread may have clean edges, but the inside of the bread maker is not clean.
This can foster mold and bacteria growth. If your dough contained raw eggs, milk, butter, and other fats, this protein will fuel bacterial growth that will affect the bread.
And the salmonella that could linger in the splattered baking mix on the edges of the bread maker could contaminate your bread. This is why you want to remove the bread from the bread maker to cool and then clean the bread maker.
Wash the kneading paddles if they were inside the loaf of bread. Clean the bread pan. Clean the rest of the bread maker, too. Only then could you possibly consider storing the bread in the bread maker.
How Do You Store Bread In A Bread Maker?
Suppose the bread has cooled and the bread maker is clean. You could at this point put the bread in a clean bread pan and store it in the bread maker as a de facto bread box.
This will protect it from insects and light. It will do more to protect the bread from drying out or contracting mold than if it were left out on the counter.
However, this isn’t as good of a solution as wrapping the bread in plastic or foil and storing it in a cool, dark place.
You could in theory wrap the bread in the plastic wrap and store it in the bread maker. If you are lacking counter space, that is a possibility. However, you don’t want to forget about the bread.
Homemade bread will typically last three days at most. Sourdough bread is the only exception to this. It will last four or five days under ideal conditions.
Can You Store Sourdough Starters in a Breadmaker?
Sourdough starters can be kept in a container in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter. It needs to be “fed” flour and water every few days.
While it contains some yeast, this is wild yeast that requires little maintenance. You don’t have to heat up water to a narrow temperature range to proof or stimulate the yeast.
Nor do you want to store the sourdough starter in the bread maker pan.
Can You Store or Proof Yeast in a Bread Maker?
Most bread makers aren’t made for this. In fact, most bread maker recipes call for a special “bread machine yeast” that can be mixed in with other dry ingredients.
Store your yeast in dry form in the pantry and in a living form in a container similar to how sourdough starters are kept. Don’t try to store your yeast in bread maker, dry or proofed.
The odds are you’ll either keep it warm and dry it out, cook it until you kill it or just fail to maintain it properly.
Can You Store Raw Dough in a Bread Maker?
Raw bread dough should be refrigerated. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You can freeze bread dough, too. It can sit at least three months in the freezer if tightly sealed in a plastic bag.
This bread dough should be thawed in the refrigerator. It can also be thawed at room temperature in two to three hours assuming you start to bake it soon after.
The dough can be kneaded inside the bread maker. This is safe because it is about to be cooked. Bread dough can be allowed to rise in the bread maker, too.
There is probably a setting for it on the bread maker. This doesn’t count as storing raw dough in the bread maker. Instead, it is bread dough in the process of being made, and it is about to be cooked.
One benefit of the dough cycle is that it allows you to control the shape and height of the bread.
What Else Can You Store in the Bread Maker?
There is generally no issue with storing the baking tray and other implements in the bread maker itself.
You could put the scoring blades and other tools in the bread maker opening assuming this doesn’t scratch up the bread maker tray or touch the heating elements.
Note that this is why you don’t want to slice the bread while it is in the bread maker or baking tray while sitting outside of the bread maker.
How Do You Store the Breadmaker Itself?
When it comes to storing the bread maker, it could be kept in any cabinet. We’d recommend storing it somewhere it won’t get dirty since you don’t want food debris fostering bacteria growth in a bread maker.
Nor do you want it to get dusty in the off chance that debris gets into the food you’ll eventually bake in it. This is the same reason you want to thoroughly clean the bread maker after every use.
Do not pour liquids into the bread maker to clean it, since this could short out the control board, sensors or heating elements. And ensure that it is unplugged before you do any maintenance such as cleaning it.