Pastries taste best straight from the oven, gradually losing flavor and appeal as freshness dissipates. Oxygen exposure dries out pastries, making them taste stale. Without proper packaging, soft pastries become hard and hard pastries become soft. Depending on the type of packaging and storage method, you can keep pastries fresh for up to three months.
Fresh pastries must cool to room temperature before you wrap them, or the residual heat will create condensation making them soggy. Place fresh pastries inside a paper bag to help retain the quality of the crust. Keep the pastries at room temperature to prevent condensation so that they don't soften. Seal the paper bag inside a plastic storage bag for extended storage of up to about five days. Squeeze out any excess air inside the plastic bag to extend freshness.
The freezer is the best place to store pastries to retain freshness beyond about five days. Use only freezer storage bags designed for optimum moisture-vapor resistance. Freeze the pastries for up to two to three months; thaw them in the packaging before reheating.
Serving the Pastries
Regardless of how you store pastries, pop them in the microwave or oven to help restore freshness. Heat pastries at approximately 350 F for 10 minutes in a conventional or toaster oven, or warm them in a microwave on the low setting for 30 to 60 seconds.
A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.