We’ve all questioned how to keep bread fresh at some point due to its limited shelf life. The greatest loaves pass away sooner than later. While there are numerous options for storing those lovely bakery loaves, some are preferable to others because they risk going bad fairly soon. After all, they contain flour, yeast, and water.
In actuality, the freezer is by far the best method out of all of them. But we tested and rated a few other techniques if you don’t have much freezer space or prefer to keep your bread at room temperature.
What is Bread?
Bread is a baked item prepared from a meal or flour wet, kneaded, and occasionally fermented. It has been a staple food since prehistoric times and has been prepared in several employing a wide range of ingredients and techniques. Nearly 12,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period, the first bread was probably produced from water and finely crushed grain. The dough was then likely spread out on heated stones and cooked by being covered in hot ashes. According to legend, the Egyptians invented baking ovens and discovered that letting wheat dough ferment and release gases led to a light, enlarged loaf.
How to Make Homemade Bread Last Longer in the Fridge?
A Box of Bread
In the open-ended paper bakery bags they arrived in, we placed a fresh but fully cooled sourdough loaf and half of a fresh baguette into a bread box with the cut side of the baguette facing the sealed end of the bag. The paper bags were largely used to prevent crumbs from falling into the bread box, but we left them open to allow air to circulate. Both loaves were still very soft and had a crusty top by the end of the first week. It developed mold after seven days.
A Bag of Plastic
A sourdough bread and half of a baguette from the same freshly baked batch were placed in separate freezer bags, as much air was evacuated as possible, and the bags were then tightly sealed. After that, we kept them there for several weeks. Both loaves of bread remained moist and mold-free for a full week, but the sourdough’s crust had lost part of its crunch. In exactly one week, we also noticed mold development on the sourdough. Shortly after, mold began to grow on the baguette. They were both still soft after two weeks. Both loaves had a lot of mold on them.
A Stylish Bread Bag
The Uashmama Bread Bag, a coated paper bag with a terracotta bread warmer, is a favorite among our friends. However, after using the same sourdough loaf and half of a baguette to test the fancy bread bag, it appears that the bag would be better suited for very short-term bread storage.
Neither during the two-week testing period nor the third week that we kept it there purely out of curiosity did the bread in the Uashmama bread bag mold. The bread inside was rock-hard by day six of the first week, about what we would anticipate from a paper bag, even a coated one. However, since it is possible to salvage stale bread, it is preferable to moldy bread.
A Bag of Boule Bread
We placed a sourdough loaf and a full baguette into boule bread bags in addition to the fancy-coated paper bag. The bread could have just as easily been left out on the counter, even though we loved that one of the bags was the exact size and shape of the baguette. It never became moldy, but boy, it got tough and fast.
What are Different Types of Bread?
The first type of bread, flatbread, is still consumed today, particularly throughout a large portion of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The main grains in these bread include wheat and rye, corn (maize), barley, millet, and buckwheat, all lacking in gluten (elastin protein) to form raised bread.
In India, two common varieties are chapatis (crisp wholemeal cakes) and millet cakes. The small flat cakes known as tortillas, popular throughout much of Latin America, are produced from corn, and cassava is used to make small cakes in Brazil.
Rolls and buns, quick bread that is chemically leavened, and yeast-leavened sweets that are loaded with sugar and shortening are all examples of other raised bread. Hot cross buns, spiced sweet bread, were traditionally eaten in Britain after Lent. The dried fruit is mixed into the dough or sprinkled on other sweet or spiced bread like plum bread, Chelsea buns, Welsh tea bread bara brith, and lardy cake.
What are the Ingredients Used in Bread?
Although many pieces of bread incorporate one or more add-ins, they are not necessarily necessary.
Butter or Oil: Adding fat to bread, such as butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil, gives it a softer, moister feel and makes handling the dough simpler.
Fruit: To improve the flavor of the bread, several recipes use fruit such as raisins, cranberries, and oranges.
Nuts: For taste, body, and texture, holiday bread and loaves frequently contain nuts like walnuts or pistachios.
Sweeteners: Including a sweet ingredient, such as honey, in a loaf of bread can give it flavor and a moister texture.
Herbs and Spices: Almost every herb or spice, from sweet, delicate basil to stronger anise, can be used in a loaf of bread.
How to Identify Stale Bread?
Most bread has a “best-by” date, which indicates how long your bread will stay fresh, although many packaged commodities have an expiration date.
However, best-by dates are optional and may not signify safety. Thus, even after its best-by date, bread can still be safe to consume.
It would be best if you inspected your bread personally to determine whether it is fresh or rotten.
Some signs that bread is past its prime include:
Mold: A fungus called mold produces spores by absorbing nutrients from bread and forming fuzzy spots that can be green, black, white, or even pink. If you notice mold, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises tossing the entire loaf.
Unappealing Smell: Avoid smelling bread with visible mold because the spores could be dangerous to breathe in. It’s still advisable to throw away the loaf even if you can’t see any mold but can smell something.
Unusual Tastes: It’s generally best to toss the bread if it doesn’t taste right.
A tough texture Unsealed or improperly stored bread can go bad or dry out. Stale bread can still be consumed as long as there is no mold, although it may not.
It is Rock Hard and Dry: Have you ever reached inside to take a piece of bread only to discover it was rock hard? A sign that bread is past its prime is when it becomes hard and dry. However, if the bread’s texture is the only drawback, it is still permissible to eat it.
You can make tasty breadcrumbs out of hard, dried-out bread if you want to. Stale bread benefits the most from additional toppings and moisture. You can also try making French toast with butter and syrup on top or making it into a pizza to hide the texture.
What are the Different Methods of Making Bread?
Today, bakeries primarily employ one of two bread-making techniques:
- The Bulk Fermentation Process (BFP) (BFP)
- The Chorleywood Bread Process (CPB) (CPB)
Bulk Fermentation Process
This approach is conventional. A dough is created by combining the ingredients and is then allowed to ferment for one to three hours. The dough transforms from a short, compact mass during fermentation to an elastic dough. The amount of yeast used and the dough’s temperature often determine how long fermentation takes. Smaller craft bakeries prefer this approach.
Chorleywood Bread Machine
This technique was created in 1961 by the Flour Milling and Baking Research Association of Chorleywood in the UK. It does away with the traditional method’s fermentation time need. Today, bakeries utilize it the most frequently to make bread.
In a few minutes, dough development is accomplished through rapid mixing and active mechanical labor. To do this, a flour treatment agent (Ascorbic Acid) and a small amount of fat or an emulsifier—typically a bread improver—must be added. All steps involved in creating bread, excluding mixing and bulk fermentation, are identical to those involved in producing bread in any other method, including splitting the dough, proving, baking, cooling, and slicing.
There are additional ways to make bread, such as:
- Dough Development Activated (ADD)
- Direct Dough Technique
- Salt Used After a Delay
- Fermentation Dough Process (Sponge and Dough, or S&D)
How Much Bread Must be Consumed in a Day?
Bread is often baked and served as a main course with almost any meal. It is made using water and flour. However, some people have the propensity to consume excessive amounts of this tasty food source. If you fall into this category, you should adhere to these straightforward recommendations for a healthy yet satisfying bread intake, depending on the bread you’re consuming.
This bread is among the most well-liked of all and goes with anything on the table, whether toasted or soft and chewy. The average individual consumes up to 8 slices of white bread daily. However, be sure to balance that consumption with other forms of carbohydrates. For instance, you might take one medium potato and one piece of bread instead of 3 slices.
Arabic Pita Bread
With the Masterchef Gourmet Plus kitchen appliance, it’s simple to make this tasty bread variety and serve it hot to the entire family. Up to one and a half loaves of pita bread per day are advised. Keep this portion to one loaf when your meal includes grains like bulgur, rice, or pasta.
Your body objectives will determine how much of this delicious bread you should eat daily. Thus, you can eat up to 12 slices of whole wheat bread daily to maintain weight. However, depending on your overall carbohydrate intake, you might want to stick to 8 slices per day if you’re trying to lose weight.
What is the Nutritional Value of Bread?
Here are some crucial nutritional facts regarding bread:
Four medium slices of white bread per day would give more than 30% of the daily calcium intake that is advised to maintain strong bones and teeth. White bread is fortified with calcium.
Bread, particularly wholemeal bread, is a significant source of dietary fiber, which helps maintain the health of our digestive system, control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and prolong our fullness.
Our bodies need protein for growth, renewal, and repair, and protein bread provides a low-fat supply of this essential nutrient.
White bread is fortified with iron. Iron is necessary for blood health, a strong immune system, energy, and focus.
Minerals & Other Vitamins
The B group vitamins thiamine (B1) and niacin (B3), crucial for releasing energy from meals and keeping healthy skin, eyes, and nails, are among the vitamins and minerals in bread. It contains the B vitamin folate (also known as folic acid), which is crucial for pregnant women because it can lessen the risk of birth abnormalities, including spina bifida.
Bread has a low-calorie count. White bread has 77 calories per typical medium slice, whereas brown and whole wheat each have 72 calories.
Low-fat food is Fat Bread. White bread has 0.6g of fat per medium slice, brown bread has 0.7g, and whole wheat bread has 0.9g.
Be cautious about what you add to it, and stick to healthy toppings and spreads.
Most bread is low in sugar, which is crucial for maintaining good teeth and a stable weight.
Reference: Potential Functional Food Ingredients in Bread and their Health Benefits
Bread is a frequent food in the human diet and is a functional food. It can be a great source of energy. Additionally, it can be utilized as a transporter for nutrients such as phytic acid, minerals, melanoidins, folate, copper, thiamine, zinc, and iron and is armed with fortification. Additionally, bread can be a highly advantageous delivery system for phenolic antioxidants and fiber polysaccharides. Therefore, this review focused on potential functional food elements with health benefits, like the natural antioxidants in bread.
Store-bought bread will last longer in the fridge if kept in an air-tight container. However, if you live in a warm, humid environment, you should be extra careful as mold spores like moist areas and will settle into bread quickly. Therefore, you should store your bread in the fridge or freezer and separate each piece at a time. The most susceptible types of bread are those made from soft, white flour.
To store bread properly, ensure it is cooled and wrapped in plastic. Store-bought bread can also be stored in a plastic bag. Keeping it in an airtight container will prevent mold and other harmful bacteria from growing. You should try to eat your bread within three or four days.