How to store bread: some useful tips
Bread is one of the most popular food products in the world. It is easy to manufacture, it perfectly saturates a person, but at the same time it has a very significant drawback - a limited shelf life. Often, because of this, whole loaves and loaves have to be thrown out. It is worth noting that homemade baked goods are always stored less than industrial, because “store” bread always contains a set of preservatives. In addition, bread with added fat, such as brioche or challah, also retains its taste and texture longer than usual. Here are some tips to increase your shelf life in everyday life:
Why does bread get stale?
At first glance, it may seem that bread becomes stale when it loses too much moisture. This is partly true, but not only that. Staling bread is a sign that chemical reactions are stopping inside. The flour used for baking most types of bread contains starch molecules, which form a crystalline structure. In the baking process, when water is added, this structure is broken, which allows the test to absorb water. Thus, the “hard” starch molecules become more gel-like, and the bread acquires a lush, nostril structure.
When the bread cools, the water gradually leaves the starch. As a result, solid crystals of starch are formed, due to which the bread becomes dry and crispy. For this reason, by the way, the refrigerator will not protect the bread from staling - in fact, the cold only speeds up the process.
Where to store bread?
Storage of bread is primarily a matter of controlling temperature and humidity. It is best to store it at room temperature in a dark and airtight box. For these purposes, traditional bread bins were created. But if you do not have such a device, then a microwave oven (of course, not when it is turned on), a plastic food container or a pantry is suitable for storage. It is important to block air from entering the bread, but keep in mind that any change in temperature or increased humidity makes the product more susceptible to mold.
Do not have time to eat? Freeze!
It is optimal to store bread at room temperature, but in this case, it will most likely begin to get stale after 5-6 days. To prevent this from happening, you can try to freeze it. Before freezing, it is better to cut the bread into small slices (they thaw much faster than a loaf or whole loaf). When freezing, you should make sure that the bread is tightly wrapped - so it will retain the most moisture, which means it will remain soft. So, most wheat breads can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you decide to freeze the whole loaf, then know that it will thaw for about 4−5 hours at room temperature or 30−40 minutes in the oven, heated to 350 degrees.
What if the bread is still dried?
Dry bread is far from the most useless product. There are dozens of recipes for excellent dishes, which include pieces of dried bread. In the end, even dry breadcrumbs can be used as breadcrumbs!