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How to Keep Bread Fresh the Natural Way

Unless it’s loaded with preservatives fresh bread won’t stay fresh for very long. There are many methods employed to keep bread fresh but most of them only give an extra day or two, if anything. There is however, a proven way to significantly extend the shelf life of bread, but first let’s see what the alternatives are:

The standard way is to use a bread bin or a bread box. The wooden ones may be considered old fashioned by some, but they do tend to work better than metal or plastic ones. They all trap moisture in the air and cause it to condense, which actually hastens molding, particularly the plastic ones. Freezing or refrigeration are the most popular methods of prolonging the life of bread. Whilst refrigeration can delay molding it will accelerate the process if moisture gets trapped inside the plastic bag. Staleness (where the bread gets harder), happens wherever you keep it. Bread goes stale due to the gluten proteins knitting back together after cooking, making the bread tougher. Bread is only soft where gluten is present; when it is fresh the gluten protein strands are long and stretched. Believe it or not, bread stales much faster at lower temperatures, this results from a change in the starch fraction of wheat flour involving crystallization, or retro gradation. If bread is stored at higher temperatures it becomes moldy much faster. The starch crystallization reaction can be reversed, which is why stale bread can be softened by gentle heating. The normal commercial method to delay staling is the use of additives like glycerol monostearate or methylcellulose; molding can be partly inhibited by using an antimicrobial, like propionic acid.

Other alternatives include:

Let freshly baked bread completely cool before storing it. Wrapping it too soon causes condensation to form which is absorbed into the bread, making it soggy and accelerating mold growth.

Keep bread at room temperature in a paper bag.

For longer periods of storage time keep bread in the freezer, first wrap it in aluminum foil and then in an airtight plastic bag. Keep it whole to prevent freezer burn.

Frozen bread should be thawed at room temperature. Warm it up before eating for about 10 minutes in the oven at 350 degree F.

Or, insert a dish cloth into the bag the bread came in and arrange it so the bag won't stretch beyond its capacity. Squeeze as much air as possible from the bag and seal it with a twist tie.

Put the bag in the freezer, it should last for months. To thaw the bread, open the bag and remove the cloth, then put the bag of bread in the refrigerator. It will take hours to thaw, but it won't be soggy or hard.

Quite a few bags and boxes are currently available that claim to keep bread fresh, but none of these are particularly effective.


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Good post. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..

anonymous Newark, United States

Well I need more information then that?

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