There are no added preservatives in the bread I bake, so it only stays fresh for two or three days. If I am not going to use it all during that time, I can put it (or part of the loaf) in the freezer. It will taste fresh when it thaws. If I only want to use a few slices at a time, I slice the bread before I put it in the freezer and then just take out the slices as I need them. More often than not, though, I just put the extra loaves of bread from the batch in the freezer and leave out the loaf I've started.
That's because I happen to like slightly-stale bread for lots of things. I put bread that I haven't used within a few days in the refrigerator. Refrigeration does not slow the staling process--in fact, it speeds it up--but it delays the growth of mold, which I aim never to have on my bread, because then I have to put it in the compost.
Some foods that I think are actually better with stale bread: French toast, toast, bread pudding, and sandwiches in the Foreman grill. Other great uses for stale bread, depending on the type: croutons, bread crumbs, French onion soup, and fondue. Okay, I've never actually served fondue, but I have eaten it. I think it was in the '60s when it was really popular. Remember--I'm old.
|Fresh out of the oven|