|The best way to store bread is in an old fashoned bread box. The next best thing is just to keep it in a paper bag with the top closed. Plastic is never recommended. Bread that is stored in plastic may appear fresh because it is soft, but plastic actually accellerates the staling process by giving mold and bacteria a more favorable environment in which to grow. The flavor breaks down and the crust deteriorates more qickly wraped in plastic.
The exception to this rule is if you are freezing bread, which can be done with excellent results. The ideal way to freeze bread is to tightly wrap an uncut loaf in aluminum foil, place it in a plastic bag and then freeze for up to three weeks. To thaw, bring the bread to room temperature, unwrap and place it in a 350 F degree oven for 10 minutes. This will bring the crust back to its original crispness.
Alternatively, you can slice the bread before freezing, wrap as above and then remove as much as is needed to thaw or toast. Toasting is the only way to bring the crust back if bread is frozen this way.
Artisan Baker's bread is at its highest quality for 38 to 48 hours. The reason for this is that is that how much time it takes to make the bread. In general the amount of time put into making a loaf of bread is the same amount of time as the bread is at its highest quality. This is because the fermentation process of the dough is its natural preservative. So we recommend eating as much of your fresh loaf of bread as you can in the first 48 hours and then slicing and freezing the rest to enjoy later.