Who in this world would not want freshly baked homemade bread in breakfast or dinner. Nothing can beat the smell of freshly baked bread when it’s deliciously warm, fabulously crusty and slathered with butter and a favourite spread, i mean, what could taste better than that?
This is not only for homemade but for any bread, whether it’s bought from a supermarket or grocery store near your home.
You bought it or you made it, whatever process you use, whether it’s by hand or by bread maker. In all the conditions there will be this same and obvious question that how can you stop it from going stale too quickly.
It’s not like bread is something you can bake in few minutes so you can made it whenever you want, if you want to eat it, you should have this already baked.
Say you baked fresh bread for your family and friends, you would definitely want that bread to last longer so that you can enjoy it for few days.
But the question is what can you do to make your homemade bread last long? Well, we will try to find out the answer of this very question here.
What can we do to make homemade bread last long?
Bread is one of the most popular foods around the world, typically made from wheat (or alternative grains), yeast, and other ingredients, bread stays fresh for only a short period before it starts to go bad.
Actually the thing is the bread which are prepared in home does not contain preservatives like the the shop-bought loaves contain.
Therefore it just won’t last as long. But there are some ways by which you can make sure it’s good for a few days so that you can reduce waste.
As we said, homemade bread has a short shelf life because of the lack of preservatives in it, therefore no matter what you do your bread will go stale if you keep it at room temperature for long.
The best way to preserve its freshness is of course by freezing it, in order to get most out of your bread you can cut the loaf in half , wrap that half tightly in plastic wrap and then freeze it inside your freezer.
That wrapped portion of bread will be good to use for up to one month. To serve it, you can thaw it at room temperature and refresh the crust in a 350°F oven for five minutes.
There are several things you can do to make homemade bread last long?
1. How long will your bread last, also depends on the the ingredients or say contains of it, as we said above homemade bread doesn’t have preservatives, so if you are making your own bread you should choose recipes that includes fats like butter, eggs or oil etc.
These are the ingredients which will help the preserve the bread and keep the bread softer for long. Recipes is definitely something you can choose according to your convenience and taste.
2. This is not just the case with bread, but with major food items, that you should not store it while it is hot or just cooked. You should definitely wait for your freshly baked loaf of bread to cool completely before you put in for storation.
You can store it but you should try to consume fresh bread as soon as possible, reason being it will start to stale once it has cooled. If you will store your bread while it is hot, you will only increase its chance to go stale.
3. In case you are planning to freeze your fresh bread, you should do it as soon as possible after baking and cooling it. We also said above that, you can wrap it in plastic after slicing the bread, and then put it in freezer. Sliced, it will thaw out in around 10 minutes, or can be quickly toasted using the defrost setting.
You should not confuse between freezing it and just putting it in your refrigerator, refrigerator is not a good idea.
4. You should never keep your bread in your fridge. The reason of this is that there are starch molecules present in bread, they recrystallize very quickly when there is cool temperatures.
And this causes the bread to stale much faster then it will in room temperature. That is why always freeze any leftover bread, as there are plenty of uses for them, like croutons and delicious French toast for Sunday brunch.
5. If your bread is shop-bought rather than homemade, you should keep it in airtight plastic bags, rather than in your fridge. Bread boxes are great if you want to keep a loaf for a couple of days.
For bakery breads that are usually sold in a paper bag, you can remove them from the bag when you get it home, wrap it tightly in cling film and store it at room temperature.
6. Say, you did the best you could to keep your breath fresh, but it got a bit staled. There are ways by which you can refresh them.
The best way to refresh bread that has staled is to run the loaf under tap water until the crust is wet, then heat it for five to 10 minutes in a 180˚C oven. What it will do is the starch molecules will re-absorb the water and your bread will be nicely revived.
7. Other than this, if your loaf does go a bit stale , chucking it is not the only option. You can make breadcrumbs (in a food processor) and freeze them for gratin toppings, stuffings and coatings.
Or your stale loaf can also be magically transformed into an amazing pud too – check out this indulgent Bread and Butter Pudding Traybake.
How long does bread lasts?
Speaking of, what is the shelf life of bread? Well, there are many factors influencing bread’s shelf life means the length of time it lasts before starting to go bad.
The shelf life of bread ranges from somewhere between 3-7 days when kept in room temperature. Now this time here may vary depending on the ingredients of it, the storage method of the type of bread.
If we talk about sandwich, bakery bread or loaf available at grocery stores, they often contain preservatives to prevent mold and increase its shelf life. They can last 3-4 days at room temperature. Some common bread preservatives include calcium propionate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid.
Dried bread products, such as breadcrumbs or crackers, usually stay safe the longest because mold needs moisture to grow.
Unlike Gluten-free bread which is more susceptible to mold due to its higher moisture content and limited use of preservatives. And because of this it’s usually sold frozen instead of room temperature .
How should you store bread?
As we said shelf life of bread also depends on the storage method. It is more likely to spoil if stored in warm, moist environments.
To prevent mold, it should be kept sealed at room temperature or colder. Frozen bread may last up to 6 months. Although freezing it may not kill all dangerous compounds, but it will stop them from growing.
How can one tell if the bread has gone bad?
I mean, you can find out if the product has gone bad by seeing its date of expiration, but most breads doesn’t have a expiration date, instead they have best by date which denotes for how long your bread will stay fresh.
If you observe any hard texture on its surface, or like any unpleasant odour, if you see mold which is a fungus, or at last strange or off taste, you can say that it has gone bad.
it’s best to examine it yourself to determine whether it’s safe to eat. One should throw away bread if it’s moldy or has a strange taste or smell.
What can happen if you eat expired bread?
Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Mucor are some most common bread molds, some types of mold may be safe to consume, but it’s impossible to tell which is which molds produce mycotoxins, which are poisons that can be dangerous to eat or inhale.
Mycotoxins can upset our stomach and cause digestive problems. And they may also disrupt our gut bacteria.
Moldy bread may produce mycotoxins, which are invisible poisons, unsafe to eat. Therefore it is best to throw away the whole loaf if you see any mold.
The bottom line is homemade bread in something that everyone likes, and one should know the methods by which he/she can make it last longer.
There are things you need to keep in mind in order to do this, starting from selecting the ingredients for making bread to its proper storage condition.
How you should do this, and what can you do if something goes wrong. Bread’s shelf life largely depends on its ingredients and the storage method. You can boost shelf life by refrigerating or freezing it.