As you know—and only because I write about it so much—I may as well be president of the Artisan-In-Five fan club for how the book and method of making homemade bread have rocked my world.
Back when I was first learning to make homemade artisan bread (it is so easy), I decided I needed bread bags not only to store partial loaves, but also for presentation. Let’s just say that when you bake bread, you have a lot of friends.
Turns out bread bags are quite inexpensive, purchased in bulk. And when I say bulk, I mean a case of 1,000 bread bags. I did. I bought a case of 15-inch, gusseted bread bags.
As I look back, I’m not sure what I was thinking. Apparently, the idea of 1,000 loaves of bread ever coming out of my kitchen was overshadowed by a (then) bargain-basement price of large bread and bakery poly bags when purchased in bulk. These slightly smaller bags are equally useful, for about half the price.
- RELATED: Got 5 Minutes? Bake Bread!
While I continue to bake bread as needed by my household of two people, I use one, maybe two, bread bags a week for bread. But for dozens of other uses around the house? These bags are the best thing since, well, sliced bread!
Store decor, crafts
I fill bread bags with holiday and seasonal decorations like tree ornaments, strings of lights, and pinecones. Because these bags are gusseted at the bottom, they expand to hold a lot. Plus, I can see exactly what’s in each bag and nothing gets mixed up.
I don’t like the idea of shoes touching clean clothes in a suitcase. Bread bags are the perfect size for a single shoe or a pair depending on the style and size.
I always pack a few empty bread bags in my suitcase for soiled clothes on my return journey.
Don’t you hate it when you open your suitcase only to discover the bottle of lotion, or shampoo, or even hairspray has managed to leak, explode or otherwise make a mess? Me too. That’s why I bag all liquids and lotions in bread bags, just in case. Even the smallest leak can make a mess of things and bread bags have saved my bacon on more than one trip.
While my grandsons were in the diaper stage, I kept a stash of bread bags handy to take care of soiled diapers before tossing them in the trash. Just drop the soiled diaper in, tie off the top, and into the trash it goes.
On the go
I keep a stash of bread bags in the car and boy do they come in handy to hold trash, to clean up a spill; to organize wet wipes, tissues, charger cords, manuals, and toys.
I keep a roll of paper towels in my car—in a bread bag. The towels stay clean and can’t unroll.
I use bread bags in the fridge to hold everything from vegetables to cheese, meats and fruit. It’s so easy to just throw stuff in a bag, tie the bag loosely, and pop it in the fridge. It’s visually appealing because I can easily see what’s in each bag.
If you’re bringing your pets along on vacation, fill a bread bag with the food they’ll need instead of packing the entire twenty-pound bag.
Pet clean up
If you have a dog to clean up after when you go for your walks, a bread bag makes that chore easy, neat and clean. Use it as a “glove” to pick up the poop, then just tie it off and it’s all ready to toss when you get home. Use the same method to remove clumps from the cat litter box.
If you’re crafty, you know the tyranny of little things. Thrown into a box, it’s hard to find anything, which can lead to re-buying just because you can’t find what you need! Keeping supplies in a cloth bag is even worse because I can’t see what’s at the bottom.
I love bread bags for keeping balls of yarn segregated and all of the things I need in my knitting bag tidy and organized. Works like a charm.
I have quilt pieces separated, stacked, and sequestered in bread bags. It’s so beautiful, I hesitate making the quilt because I’ll have to spoil my artful organization.
My grandsons and I use bread bags for everything you can imagine from markers to puzzle pieces, socks, sandals, board games, and toy parts. We keep precious things like rocks, leaves, and twigs safe and secure in them, too.
Now and then I still pack lunches and find bread bags to be so much handier than zip-type bags (cheaper, too). They just work.
Breading and Seasoning
Bread bags are perfect for breading or seasoning foods. Just put the breadcrumbs or seasoned flour into a bread bag, add the meat or vegetables, shake, and then proceed to bake or fry.
I slip a couple of bread bags on my hands when mixing a big batch of meatloaf or cooky dough and even to form loaves of bread dough.
A bread bag is a perfect shape and size to slip over a paint roller when I need to take a break but the job is not yet done. I wrap rollers and brushes tightly in individual bread bags to hold until the next day—no need to wash them out. When I’m ready to get back to the task, I just unwrap the roller and brushes, throw the bags away and we’re good to go.
Since making this dubious purchase quite a few years ago, I’ve come to the conclusion just about everything around my house is better thanks to my now-half-empty case of disposable bread bags.
Vacuum seal liners
I use my FoodSaver every day, or so it seems. Bags for vacuum sealing are pricey, so I reuse them as many times as possible. What I hate is having to wash them. So I don’t. I use bread bags as liners so the vacuum sealing bag stays clean. Wrapping ground beef, for example, in a bread bag first then dropping it into a vacuum seal bag keeps all the juices sealed inside the bread-bag liner. Works great!
If you have a backyard compost, keep a bread bag on your kitchen counter to collect the fruit and vegetable peelings and various other food remnants throughout the day.
Bread bags are the perfect size for holding wet swim clothes after a day at the beach or lake.
Make a Plyarn Rag Rug
I saved the best for last. While preparing this post, I remembered my grandmother cutting up bread bags to make “rag rugs” for her kitchen. I loved them—probably because I loved her and thought anything she did was amazing. Her kitchen floor and door mats were waterproof, colorful, and fun to walk on.
She’d collect bread bags (and ask her friends to save them for her, too). When she had enough she’d cut them into long strips of “plyarn” and then crochet them the way she’d crochet rag rugs out of strips of fabric. Sometimes she would make a rug from all clear plastic bags, and it would turn out all sparkly like crushed ice!
Want to give it a try? Check out this video that will walk you through the process.
It took nearly eight years, but I did manage to go through that entire case of 1,000 bread bags. I’m now working on the second case. I like these large 18-inch bags because they are so versatile. However, the 15-inch version bread bags are equally useful, and (today) much less expensive at about one-third the price.
The bags are FDA-approved for safe food service, storage, and handling.
NOTE: The price of bread bags seems to be skyrocketing. Act now if you are interested.
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