Awhile ago I mentioned my new "Encyclopedia of Kitchen Secrets" and suggested that readers post inquiries. Yeaaa... we got one!
"I have a question/challenge for your Encyclopedia. Is there a rule of thumb for storing baked goods? I know that you have suggested metal tins for cookies. But, for some reason, I still seem to goof this up! My baked goods either become soggy or dried out."
Excellent question! I checked the Encyclopedia and found a detailed section on freezing baked goods. It categorizes baked goods (e.g. bread, doughnuts, coffee cake, etc.) then discusses for that particular category (e.g. muffins) how they should be frozen. That's a start. Here are my very general thoughts on the subject.
Freezing works very well when goods are tightly wrapped, first in waxed paper, then in aluminum foil and, finally, in a zip-lock plastic freezer bag. Package to eliminate as much air as possible.
Store cookies in tins. Line the tins with waxed paper, then layer cookies to minimize breakage. For that fresh out of the oven texture, microwave for a few seconds. Alternatively, freeze the cookie dough in balls. Later, defrost a dozen or so and bake per the recipe instructions.
Store cake in the refrigerator in a covered cake plate. Cut pieces and bring to room temperature before eating (if you can wait that long!).
Store pastries in waxed paper in the refrigerator. To eat, remove pastry to a plate and microwave for a few seconds to add back lost moisture.
Storing pie is the most problematic. I just try to eat it as fast as I can!
You'll note that I don't mention plastic wrap very much as I am working to eliminate as much plastic as possible due to the multitude of studies finding that plastics contain carcinogens. No matter what... never use plastic in the microwave oven! As plastics warm, they give off gases that are carcinogenic. For the same reason, never leave plastic water bottles in a warm car. The plastic leaches into the water... very bad! Enough for the lecture, but it needs to be said.
I would love to have other readers make suggestions to address this question. You can post using "anonymous" if you'd like.
Thanks for the question!