How Long Does Sourdough Bread Last? – 3 Best Ways to Store Sourdough

For some of the beginner chefs, sourdough is a mysterious bread type in this world due to its texture, taste, and composition. Yet, if you are wondering how long does sourdough bread last? Does sourdough bread go bad? Might be; you were worrying about it rightly. Sourdough lasts from 5-7 days if stored properly, and afterward, it definitely goes bad.

How Long Does Sourdough Bread Last

Yet, quoting these numbers also depends on many factors like mode of storage, ingredients, temperatures, etc.

Factually, there is a lot of chemistry going on behind the scenes. Unlike pizza dough, storing sourdough bread always needs your utmost attention, as this type of bread is known for its lousy shelf-life.

So, let’s jump onto some critical points that will be looked after while keeping the sourdough fresh;

How Long Does Sourdough Bread Last – Right Way of Storing Sourdough Bread

Sometimes people get confused between the freshness of sourdough bread vs. shelf-life. Don’t get confused, mate! Let me keep this whole thread super simple and precise. As far as freshness is concerned, 24hrs is the limit. Else, the sourdough shelf life can be between 5-7 days due to its acidic nature. And yes, this shelf life is greater than ordinary white bread.

How Long Does Sourdough Bread Last

You need to keep 2 of the most critical ingredients in mind that stand behind sourdough survival;

  • Lactobacillus Bacteria (Lactic Acid): A microbe that presents in sourdough releases an antifungal compound when it eats the flour.
  • Acetic Acid: This substance is also present in many fruits, including apples, grapes, oranges, strawberries, etc., works as a shield to prevent mold. So, it offers the same functionality here in the case of sourdough.  

So, with these types of acidic ingredients, the sourdough itself has natural antifungal preservatives that keep sourdough consumable for 5-7 days if all essential storing measures have been taken carefully.

The sourdough topic always gets into endless details. We’ll cover that too, but first, watch out for the ways of storing sourdough bread for longer durations. Also, read the difference between bread dough and pizza dough.

Best Ways to Store Sourdough Bread – How to Do it:

You’ll think of the same 3 dough storage techniques in this scenario too. However, circumstances are a little different here;

  • At room temperature: A confident Yes
  • In the Fridge: Not Recommended
  • Freezing the Sourdough Bread: Yes, You can definitely do it.

At Room Temperature: The staling process rightly starts after the bread baking has been done and it is out of the oven. For 3-4 hours, it should be kept on the countertop while it can also sustain freshness at room temperature for 24 hours.

At Room Temperature

However, in the case of humid places like Florida, You can place it in a freezer or plastic bag once it cools down.

Pro Tip: Don’t cut the bread loaf as it’ll stale faster. Also, don’t pack hot bread loaf in the freezer or plastic or airtight plastic container. It’ll institute a steamy environment that isn’t good for sourdough bread texture and freshness.

How long does sourdough bread last in the fridge?

Should I open a secret here? Unlike the other dough, storing sourdough bread in the fridge isn’t the best route if your destination is the crispy crust and chewy bread. The cold temperature will make it dry and hard. It’ll stale faster, so will lose its freshness

Can you Freeze the sourdough bread?

Yes, you can freeze sourdough for future use as it can easily last 2-4 months without deteriorating much on superior quality and texture. But above all, Sourdough fermentation is definitely not a pleasant experience for chefs who are weak at patience. It definitely takes time, and that’s why you don’t waste your sourdough; instead, you freeze it for future use.

Can you Freeze the sourdough bread

So, if your plans are to extend the sourdough’s life, freezing the sourdough positively works as the best method for that. However, many people get stuck on the point of how to freeze sourdough bread?

So, let’s take a quick overview;

  • The same formula of pulling out air and moisture, which applies to other food items while freezing, would also be applied here.
  • First of all, the better idea is to put a whole loaf of bread in the freezer. In the case of leftovers, you really need to care about the positioning of the cut side, as little moisture and air leaks can damage the bread’s airy interior.
  • Put the bread in an aluminum foil, zipper bag, and airtight container. I prefer a zipper bag, as squeezing the air from these bags is easy.  
  • Place it in the safest corner.
  • You can thaw it on the counter once it is pulled out of the freezer.

Since storing the sourdough properly only leads it to last long, here are some tips regarding how to manage storage properly;

Don’t act too fast: Sourdough isn’t bread that should be cooked and, right away, thrown in an airtight container for storage. Divide the 5-7 days of sourdough bread shelf life into segments.

Don’t act too fast

Day 1: Let it cool down for 4-6 hours. Leave it uncovered for 24hrs and it won’t stale.

Day 2-3: Place it in a breathable linen or kitchen towel. It simultaneously slows down the stalling process and maintains a nice texture.

Day 4-5 or 7: Now, you can place it in an airtight container. You can freeze it for long-term use or have it after a week.

Hold Your Knife: Don’t cut it when it is hot. I know hot crusty bread is irresistible, but when you cut it for storage, ensure it cools down properly and should be in slices. This way, it’ll stale slower and be easy to thaw once you freeze it.

Keep it in a cool place: Sourdough bread demands a balanced environment, not too dry, not too humid, similarly, not too cool and not.. too,.. Hot.

If your room temperature is above 35F, it’s better to keep it in a cool place other than the fridge, as it’s a dry environment and will make your bread dry.

If it’s too humid, place it in an airtight container, but ensure it is not under sunlight. The microbes activate in a hot environment.

But wait! Wasn’t I repeating the shelf life of sourdough bread, only 5-7 days? This is another story about how you can use sourdough bread even after its shelf life and keep it fresh for longer.

How to Keep Sourdough Bread Fresh?

The short answer is you can’t enhance the freshness duration of sourdough until you put it down into the freezer and refresh it after two months. Sourdough remains fresh for 24 hrs after that, the staling process accelerates at a fast pace.

How to Keep Sourdough Bread Fresh

However, you should be sensible enough to find a difference between freshness versus going bad. The shelf-life of sourdough is about 7 days. But you can consume it until you don’t have moldy activity on it.

The only thing that’ll change in these 7 days will be texture and softness. However, you bring it back by toasting or microwaving the sourdough.

How long is sourdough bread good for – Homemade vs. Store Bought:

  • Homemade Sourdough: 7-8 days, depending on storage and fermentation techniques
  • Store-bought Sourdough: Above 7 days, anything between 10-15 days:

The reason behind it is that homemade sourdough is raw. 

It usually contains basic ingredients with no artificial preservatives to extend its shelf life. Whereas store-bought bread usually comes with a slight amount of preservatives in its recipe to make sourdough last longer from the date of production.

Still, if freshness is concerned, the 24hr period is somewhat identical in both cases. Yet, store-bought bread sometimes has more strength to counter molds, so you won’t see expiration after 7 days.

How to tell When Sourdough Bread Goes Bad?

Stalling starts right after you pull your sourdough bread out of the oven. However, many chefs believe sourdough doesn’t remain edible after its shelf life, like 5-7 days. It’s entirely wrong if this theory is based on crumb and crust texture that goes hard day after day.

How to tell When Sourdough Bread Goes Bad

The sourdough stays good and consumable without any health effects until you don’t see a spark of mold or fungal activity.

Usually, you’ll see these types of symptoms or molds on sourdough after it burns its shelf-life;

  • Soft foamy white covering on the dough surface
  • Pale yellow or green patches show a fungal activity
  • Odor becomes unpleasing from the vinegary scent.
  • It becomes hard and non-chewable


Does Sourdough Starter Spoil in the Fridge?

It runs for ages till you have a nice feeding plan for your sourdough starter. Also, until you don’t see any fungal activity on the starter, it is in fine form.

Does Sourdough Bread Go Bad?

Yes, sourdough definitely goes bad after 5-7 Days. It has that much shelf life only. You can freeze sourdough bread, and it can even run long to 2 months even. However, some store-bought sourdough bread can last longer than 10 days due to artificial preservatives in their recipe.

How do you know when sourdough bread is bad?

When you start to see moldy activity, foul odors, and the texture becomes hard, these are the indications your sourdough bread has turned bad. You better discard it and bake a new one. Although you can eat it post-expiration, make sure it doesn’t have any mold.

The Bottom Line:

So, how long does sourdough bread last? It’s apparent! You can’t go over 5-7 days in the case of homemade bread. Store-bought sourdough bread can sustain its power for some longer extant. Above all this, the shelf life of sourdough entirely depends on the mechanism of how and choosing the best way to store the sourdough bread.

And lastly, there is a difference between stalling and expiration. You can’t control the stalling process, and this leads to expiration. Once you see some mold on sourdough bread, it’s time to discard it.

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