Keep Bread Soft With The Butter Wrappers You're Always Throwing Away

From being the perfect muffin pan greaser to stick-proofing your knife against gluey foods, butter wrappers have so much reuse potential that they're practically the Swiss army knife of kitchen hacks. Even if you're not a frequent baker or a home chef with cast iron pans to season, you should probably think twice before tossing a butter wrapper as soon as it's done. Stick them to the exposed ends of your bread loaves, and they'll do wonders to keep your bread soft and moist for longer periods of time.

Ideally, you'd be using room-temperature wrappers instead of the ones you just peeled off of a refrigerated stick. You want the butter to be soft and sticky so it can cling to the exposed surface of the bread, creating a seal that traps in as much moisture as possible. The fact that it nicely seals off the loaf without covering any other part of it makes it the best of both worlds when it comes to bread storage: You're getting all the moisture retention of a plastic bag and the mold-resistant airflow of a paper or cotton wrapping.

A literal band-aid solution for bread

Food influencer Joy Huang casually displayed this butter wrapper trick on Instagram while discussing fairy bread. In the second slide of her post, she included a demonstration of what the butter wrapper seal should look like. According to her explanation, you should let a stick of butter rest at room temperature before peeling it off.

It's simple, easy, and even more efficient than using the heel of your bread as a makeshift cap — but it's probably not the end-all, be-all of keeping your bread fresh. Different kinds of breads have different ways of molding and going stale depending on various factors like humidity, temperature, and airflow. That's not even to mention that the butter itself will leave a residue and slight taste on your loaf. For the best results, you should probably reserve this trick for already buttery and moist breads and take a different approach to preserving the freshness of more artisanal and hard-crusted loaves, such as cutting into the loaf from the middle or investing in a bread box.