What's the best way to preserve a brand-new baguette that I won't be eating right away? If it matters, I'm in humid (though air-conditioned) South Florida.
I thow them into the freezer. Mine keep very nicely, especially when I find the parbaked ones.
The freezer makes sense, but how do you wrap them? I assume unwrapped will lead to VERY UNtasty bread. ;-/
Surprisingly they seem to come out fine unwrapped just in the sleeve. However, I now realize that the parbaked ones come shrinkwraped. You can probably wind plastic cling wrap down the length.
When freezing, I wrap my baguettes, or any kind of bread, in several layers of foil (heavy duty if you have it.) Otherwise, you'll get yucky freezer burn. It'll happen eventually anyway, but the layers of foil will at least slow the pace. To reheat, place wrapped bread in preheated 375 oven (still in the foil), for about 15 minutes, or until thawed, then remove the foil and continue to heat just to crisp the outside a bit.
When reheating a baguette that was frozen, I spray the bread with water before putting it into a preheated oven. I find this gives the crust a lovely crispy texture.
Freeze it. Several layers of foil, or vacuum seal it, and it will last for at least a month. Reheat, stil frozen, at 350-375 for about 20 minutes. It'll be as good as new.