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Tips for Keeping Bread Fresh For Longer

Edited By: Natalie Smith


 Bread is a basic product that exists in different forms, made of different types of flour and is an inseparable part of many people's diets. Some people bake their own bread and pastries while others buy them at the supermarket or bakery, but all bread poses the same problem; how do you keep it fresh and tasty for longer?

 

Usually, 24 hours after the end of the baking process, bread loses its crispness and taste, and many people just accept this situation instead of realizing that they may be storing it in unsuitable conditions. That’s why we've put together a number of methods to help you keep your bread fresh for longer than usual.

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2 ways and 5 methods to keep bread fresh

Pantry Storage

This is the most common method of keeping the bread fresh on the shelf or in the pantry, and for it to be as effective as possible, you need to know what kind of wrapping you should use on different types of bread.

Method 1: Different bags or covers

  • Plastic bags: When you buy bread in the supermarket, it usually comes packaged in a plastic bag. In such cases, when you finish eating the desired amount of bread, make sure the bag is well closed after use. The bread should be placed on a shelf or in a pantry so that it can maintain maximum freshness for about 2-3 days. It is important to note that this method is not suitable for sourdough, home-baked, or artisan bread since these types don’t contain preservatives and the fermentation process which still occurs can lead to sweating conditions in the plastic bag, making a great environment for mold. 
  • Paper or cloth bags: Wrapping bread in these bags, beyond being an economical, simple and ecological choice, is also recommended because it does not allow dry air to penetrate and cause the bread to dry out, thus keeping it moist and crisp. Paper and cloth bags also help prevent the process of sweating which often leads to the formation of mold, and they can be used for almost all types of bread.

 

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Method 2: Wooden or tin bread box

One of the most effective ways to keep the bread fresh out of the freezer is to store it in a wooden or tin box with an appropriate lid that allows air and gases to be released from the box. If you want to provide your bread with double the protection, you should wrap it in a cloth or paper bag while storing inside a bread box. The box should be placed in a dark, dry and cool place.

Tips for keeping bread fresh without freezing:

  • Don’t store bread above the refrigerator, as the heat from the back of the refrigerator rises and can dry out the bread. The same heat also can cause condensation in the storage bag which speeds up mold formation.
  • A whole loaf of bread should be sliced from the middle out and not from the end. This allows you to cut as many slices as you want and when you're done you can “close” the loaf back up by placing the two ends back together and storing. 
  • Do not store bread, in any packing method, in a place that is too hot and/or exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Bread should be kept in a dark, dry place.
  • It is not recommended at any stage to store bread in the refrigerator, which speeds the formation of mold by up to 6 times, causing bread to lose its taste and texture.

You can bring stale bread back to life with a genius trick you can learn here.

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Freezer storage

Storing bread in the freezer is considered the most efficient method of all and there are a number of good and easy ways to implement this storage method which will help us keep our bread fresh over time.

Method 3: Double-wrapping bread in plastic 

If you choose to store bread in the freezer, it is best to double wrap it in plastic to prevent the penetration of unpleasant odors and to prevent the formation of freezer burn on the bread.

Method Number 4: Do not freeze a whole loaf of bread

The reason why it is not recommended to keep a whole loaf of bread in the freezer stems from the fact that it is very difficult, even almost impossible, to slice frozen bread. This action is dangerous because the center of the bread is an area that contains some liquids that freeze into a block of ice which can cause the knife to slide when pressure is applied. In addition, if you want to eat only a few slices of bread, you’ll need to thaw the whole loaf, which will lead to the beginning of the aging of the bread again, after which it is also not recommended to freeze whatever is left. Therefore, freezing the whole loaf is only recommended if you plan on eating it all in one sitting, however, it’s always better to freeze bread that has been sliced, which leads us directly to the next efficient method.

 

Method 5: Freeze slices

Freezing bread in slices is the best way to keep bread fresh for a long time, because if you want to eat a few slices of bread, you don’t need to thaw the entire loaf, only to get the desired amount. Here are tips to help you do this effectively:

Storing a few slices of bread in a ziplock bag

Ziplock bags are commonly found in many homes, and in order to store slices of bread in such a bag all you’ll need is a simple plastic straw and to do the following.

1. Put the bread slices into the bag and arrange them one on top of the other, no more than 3-4 slices - depending on the size of the bag.

2. Put half of the length of the drinking straw in the bag and zip the bag closed as much as you can without removing the straw.

3. Hold the bag in the area of the closing strip, place the straw in your mouth and suck the air out of the bag forming a vacuum.

4. Remove the straw and quickly close the seal.

5. Now that the bag contains only a small amount of air and is sealed, put it in the freezer until use.

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Storing slices of bread with dividers

When bread sizes are frozen, the slices stick together, and when separated, they sometimes break or crumble. It is therefore advisable to use the following method, which will allow you to freeze a loaf of sliced bread as a single unit but will still allow you to separate as many slices as you want:

1. Take parchment paper and cut it into equal sized squares slightly larger than the size of a slice of bread.

2. Remove the bread slices from the bag in which they’re stored, and place a piece of parchment paper between each slice. 

3. Return the bread with the parchment paper back into the bag - it is recommended, but not mandatory, to remove the air from the bag - and put it in the freezer until your next use.

4. When you want a few slices of bread, simply remove the amount you want easily by separating them without having the stick to each other.

5. Place the papers aside to dry (they will be slightly damp at first), so you can use them again in your next loaf of bread.

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Tips for keeping frozen bread fresh:

  • It is not recommended to freeze bread that has already been thawed.

  • Freezing bread, which has been outside for several hours or days and has gone stale, or whose texture is no longer soft, will not cause it to be fresh again once thawed. It will come out dry and exactly the same texture it was when you put it in the freezer.
  • The maximum amount of time recommended for freezing bread is between two and three months. Beyond that, it loses its taste and some of its nutritional value.
  • Thawing frozen bread should be done in a natural cloth bag (without heat) and at room temperature, or by wrapping the loaf of bread in aluminum foil and placing it into a preheated oven at 300 degrees F (150 ° C) for 5-10 minutes.
  • It is recommended to double-bag bread you intend to freeze: the first bag should contain as little air as possible (you can use the straw method) and the second bag will contain some air to create a space that will prevent ice from forming on the bread.
 
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