What bakers advise you to keep your bread well.

What bakers advise you to keep your bread well.

When you think of bread, most people think of it as a simple snack or side dish. But bread is much more than that! In fact, it is an important part of many different dishes. And if you want your bread to taste its best, you need to know how to store it properly. Here are some tips from experienced bakers to keep your bread fresh and delicious.

Factors affecting shelf life.

Mold is the main reason bread goes bad. Every bread really has dormant spores just waiting to emerge if the conditions are right. The resulting fungus or bread mold can be toxic. In fact, yeast – the main ingredient in many bread recipes – is a form of fungus. When hot water, sugar, and flour come into contact with yeast, it feeds and multiplies. The yeast then produces a waste product: carbon dioxide. This in turn causes the bread to rise and give it a chewy texture and bigger size.

The good news is that yeast is pretty harmless when it comes to spoilage. All day long, controversy hangs in the air in our kitchens and pantries; it only takes one spore to come into contact with a slice of bread for mold to start growing. This is also why it is so important to store baked goods in a plastic bag or at least wrapped in paper. If bread is carelessly placed in a bread drawer, compartment or pantry without being properly sealed, spores have free access to it.

But even if the bread is properly sealed in an airtight bag, other factors affect the shelf life of the bread:

  • Ingredients like eggs, milk and sugar create a petri dish-like environment for accelerated mold growth. Any bread made with these types of ingredients should be eaten as soon as possible or stored in the fridge or freezer.
  • Storage space can also affect rapid mold growth. This is why bread boxes and bread drawers are usually sealed tightly to limit exposure to spores in the ambient air.
  • The method of preparation can also affect the durability of bread. The more the bread dough is mixed and kneaded, the more oxygen is incorporated into the bread. Oxygen is another factor that promotes rapid growth of mold. This does not mean that the loaf should not be mixed or kneaded, but only to the extent necessary. Excessive mixing or kneading only adds oxygen.
  • Moisture can cause mold to grow at a surprising rate. Areas with high humidity can be extremely affected by bread spoilage. Bread placement can also increase its exposure to moisture. This is another reason why it should be sealed and kept in a proper storage area.

Techniques to extend shelf life.

These techniques for extending the shelf life of bread do not involve the use of artificial preservatives that are often found in store-bought bread.

Temperature has a big effect on mold growth. Spores, molds and fungi prefer warm temperatures to thrive and grow. Room temperature is not ideal if you want to extend the shelf life of breads. However, refrigeration can prevent mold growth for up to two more weeks.

Ingredients like salt, water, and vinegar, unlike milk, sugar, and butter, can also prevent mold growth, but again, it’s a matter of days at room temperature.

Some people have reported that letting the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator after wrapping it carefully can prevent mold growth. Again, this just adds a few days to the shelf life.

Bread life control panel.

Here we give you a quick overview of the shelf life of bread. These are estimates drawn from various sources and some factors affecting bread spoilage may vary as noted above.

Gluten free.

  • Pantry – 3 days.
  • Refrigerator – 1 week.
  • Freezer – 1 month.

Homemade white or wheat bread.

  • Pantry – 3 to 7 days.
  • Refrigerator – 1 week.
  • Freezer – up to 2 months.

Store-bought bread (with preservatives).

  • Pantry – 5 to 7 days.
  • Refrigerator – 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Freezer – 3 months.

Sourdough bread.

  • Pantry – 7 to 10 days.
  • Refrigerator – 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Freezer – 3 to 4 months.

Matzah bread.

  • Up to 2.5 years in the pantry with proper storage.
  • 5 to 10 years in a closed container.
* Presse Santé strives to convey knowledge about health in a language accessible to all. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information provided replace the advice of a medical professional.

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