Plenty of people will have bread at home in their kitchens. Bread is a versatile food, you can have it with a stew or both, make it into a sandwich, and much more. But, bread has the downfall of not having the longest shelf life.
Fresh bread will only last a few days at its best before going stale, whereas processed bread can last a little bit longer, on average, perhaps a week or so before it is no good- even for toast.
So how should you store your bread to lengthen its lifespan and avoid waste?
Ways to lengthen Bread life
Whatever bread you like, whatever shape or size it is, wheat or grain, brown or white, sourdough, malt, you will need to store it. And certain storage techniques will result in a longer life for your bread. Let’s have a look at these ways you can store your bread to get it to last the longest.
As is with many things, freezing is one of the best ways to preserve your foods. This applies with bread too. To adequately freeze your leftover bread for storage you should wrap it tightly in a freezer bag.
Never put the bread in the freezer without an airtight container, as this can give your bread freezer burn, it should be sealed, this way it can also retain its moisture too. You can freeze it whole, or sliced.
If you freeze it sliced then we recommend using wax paper sheets between each slice so that it is easier to just take out and defrost what you need.
Do be aware that freezing will likely end up causing a bit of sogginess, so thawed bread is best for things such as toast. You can also crisp it up in the oven too, reheating it straight from the freezer, which is best for a full loaf.
If you have a fresh loaf it is best to eat within two to three days, otherwise, it might start to harden and get stale. If you plan on eating it within this time frame then you can store it well in a paper bag on the counter.
Plastic storage may seem like a good idea however, as plastic is an insulator, it tends to encourage mold growth, especially if not kept cold and so it can result in your bread going bad extra fast. Paper is the way to go.
Bread boxes are also a good shout. They also look great and add a sense of style to your home and kitchen. A good bread box will have tiny holes in it which allow air to circulate stopping the bread from becoming insulated and moldy.
If you have a pet and you are worried they are going to jump up and start licking your bread, a bread box can be a saving grace.
Where to Store
Where you choose to store your bread, matters. Should you store it on top of the refrigerator? Hell no! It will cause the bread to dry out and if it is in a plastic storage container then it will mold even faster.
Your fridge exudes hot air to keep your food inside cold, so anything on top of a fridge gets heated, the same for refrigerators. We vote for bread boxes overall as these are cool enough to prevent mold growth from happening excessively quickly.
Try to always store your bread in a cool and dry area, if a counter is not suitable, then a bread box, a cabinet, or even a deep drawer is efficient.
As we have spoken on how to store and what way is best to store your bread, now we would like to give you a few tips on what to do when you store and why you should take these steps to store your best to achieve ultimate freshness.
Some bread will automatically be sold and sealed in plastic packaging, if this is so you can continue to store it in this wrapping. However paper is better. You could also use aluminum wrapping as well. It also depends on where you wish to store your bread.
If you intend to store it in a bread box, a paper bag is plenty efficient. However, if you intend to leave it on the counter you may wish to use other materials, such as original plastic wrapping.
Whilst it is good to have air circulation to your bread, too much can make it stale faster. There is a fine line between too much and too little air.
The material should also not retain too much heat, and it should not be kept in a warm area, as heat will encourage mold growth. More on this below
For the best quality, you should not keep bread at room temperature for any more than two days. Room temperature in this instance is around 20 degrees Celsius, or 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should also keep bread away from direct sunlight and keep it stored in a cool and dry location, such as the bread box method we previously discussed.
If you have a lot of humidity in your house, bread may mold quickly at room temperature so you may wish to freeze it. See Below.
If you have more bread than you can consume before it goes bad, or if you have a home at high humidity, you should freeze your bread. Doing so will stop the starch init from recrystallizing and become stale.
When you freeze your bread be sure to do so in a freezer bag, heavy-duty foil, as household foil is not suitable for freezing. You should also label and day it to prevent you from forgetting what it is.
And also consider slicing it to make it easier for you to separate and take away the need to slice when frozen.
Avoiding the fridge
Refrain from putting bread in the refrigerator as it draws out the moisture and your bread will stale three times faster than at room temperature.
This is because the starch molecules crystalize and the bread becomes touch in the refrigerator. So it is best for freshness and life span to put your bread either in a bread box or to freeze it.