Bread is present on the table of all peoples of the world; it is an integral part of the food culture. In the first hours, it is fragrant, delicious, with a crispy crust product. And how sad it is to see how it is affected by mould fungi; it spoils. Therefore, it is helpful for all people to know how to store bread not to turn mouldy, unsuitable for eating.
Breadbasket, traditional way of storage
The storage of bread is accompanied by a natural physical phenomenon – the evaporation of water. Of course, it is impossible to stop the process of drying the bread product completely. It can be slowed down if you place the bread in an enclosed space, for example, in a bread pan, a bag of paper, fabric, polyethene, a pan with a lid.
Necessary: The material in which bread is wrapped so that it does not stale should pass air well. Otherwise, the product will be covered with mould. This is especially true of plastic bags. In the factory, packages specially make holes for air exchange. It does not need to be tightly closed; it is better to make a few holes for ventilation yourself. Sometimes, polyethene fits snugly to the surface of the bread. You should free up space between the bread crust and the bag.
Secrets of long storage
The shelf life of bread depends on many factors:
- room temperature;
- flour quality;
- compliance with the norms in the baking process.
Mould develops the fastest if there are already fungus spores in the neighborhood (poorly washed bread pan, old crumbs, a previously used plastic bag), temperature 25 – 30 ° C, humidity 65 – 80%. To maintain a typical microclimate, you should regularly ventilate the kitchen; turn on the hood in cooking.
It so happens that for baking, use flour from grain affected by mould. It is not entirely killed (the product is under-baked), so regardless of storage conditions, existing spores quickly germinate. If this is repeated regularly with products of the same manufacturer, it is better to buy products from another bakery.
The use of mouldy bread is dangerous to health. If visually the mould is detected in one place the entire loaf is affected. You can not cut the edge and use the pulp.
Black and white, together or apart
One of the questions people decide is how best to store bread if the family buys different types. Products made of wheat and rye flour are best stored separately. You can put it in 1 bread pan, but preferably in separate packages, compartments. Each product has its environment, its smell and percentage of water. Black has a longer shelf life since it initially contains more moisture, which does not stale longer. A more acidic environment causes more excellent resistance to fungus. White is impregnated with the aroma of black; if they lie side by side, it becomes stale faster.
Ways to store bread
All methods aim to reduce the evaporation of moisture and, most importantly, prevent the formation of mould. Hence, the bread must be insulated with breathable materials. Hide in a bread pan, wrap in a cloth, a bag. If you use low temperatures, as in the freezer, this will stop all the processes of vital activity of microorganisms; the shelf life increases many times.
Storage in bread pan
Traditionally, bread baskets are used to reduce the drying of bread—best of all, products are made of natural materials – wood, metal (stainless steel). Plastic is also suitable if it is of good quality and is intended for food. For the bread pan not to become a source of fungal spores itself, it must be kept clean. Bread crumbs should be removed regularly; once a day, leaves the door open for ventilation.
You can put a loaf in a pot with a lid covered. Stainless steel or a product with an enamel coating are well suited. The container itself, where bread is stored, should be wiped with a sponge moistened with a weak vinegar solution or alcohol at least one time per week.
All bread pans, except wooden, it is helpful to wash with soap or dishwasher. It is enough to wipe the wood product with a dry cloth, paper napkin. After cleaning, the bread pan should be dried well, preferably in the sun. After that, put bread in it.
It is also essential to cool the bakery products entirely and then put them in storage. Otherwise, due to the intense evaporation of the liquid inside the bread pan, there will be increased humidity, which is a favourable environment for the fungus development. For the air to pass under the bread, it is placed on a board made of wood or a plastic lattice.
In a draft, the bread pan itself is not recommended in direct sunlight, on the refrigerator, near the radiator or stove. It is also better to allocate a place away from sources of strong smells (raw vegetables, tea, coffee). If you pour a little salt into the bread pan, it will absorb excess moisture, protect the bread product from fungus. Raw peeled apple, on the contrary, will slow down the drying of the bun.
Good storage conditions for bread are created when wrapping a loaf in a cloth. Flax, cotton – natural materials, easily pass air. You can cover the bread in a clean towel or sew a cloth bag. It should be regularly washed, ventilated, dried in the sun. When washing, avoid powders with a pungent smell so that the bread does not have the smell of chemistry. Correct storage conditions for bread and bakery products allow you to use white bread for up to 2 days, black – 3 – 4 days.
A small trick: if the fabric is rinsed in salt water (2 tbsp. l per liter of water), the bread better retains freshness.
You can buy ready-made bags for storing bread products. They consist of 2 layers of fabric and a perforated plastic layer between them. Such a package combines the advantages of fabric and polyethylene products, devoid of their disadvantages. Therefore, bread rolls are stored in them longer, up to 4 – 5 days. It is better to have a couple of such packages and alternate them, allowing ventilation. A similar effect can be achieved if you put bread first in a cloth bag and then in a polyethylene one without closing it tightly.
Storage in the freezer
Freshly baked bread tastes best, but sometimes there is a need to keep it for a long time. Here, the freezer is helpful because the product can be stored in a frozen state for up to six months and not spoil. Pulled out of the freezer, it is left at room temperature. Again, the bread is delicious and soft, as if from a store.
Before use, you can sprinkle it with water and warm it up in the oven or microwave. Then the crust will become crispy again. After wrapping it in a damp towel, the product is sent to the microwave for 1 to 5 minutes. In the oven – for 10 – 15 minutes at 150 – 180 degrees. Heated bread should be eaten immediately because then it quickly stales. Therefore, it is better to freeze bread already cut into slices and not a whole loaf. So that during storage, the product does not lose moisture, it must be placed in a plastic container or wrapped with a film, foil.
Long-term storage bread is treated with special preservatives, iodized salt, acids, and whey added to the dough. Sliced loaves keep freshness longer. They prevent the growth and reproduction of mould fungi.
Can I store bread in the refrigerator?
Bread of long-term storage (yeast-free, custard) does not spoil for 5 – 7 days. When bread stored in the refrigerator, it will also be suitable for use for about a week. It does not mould, but it is stale and loses its original taste faster than room temperature. It is proved that at 0 – 10 degrees, the evaporation rate of bread products is maximum.
In addition, even with regular cleaning, the refrigerator has a unique smell. It is not very pleasant to eat a loaf when it has absorbed extraneous odours. There is another danger: if one of the products spoils in the refrigerator, the process can spread to the food lying next door.
Dried bread can still be used in food like crackers, toasts, breadcrumbs. Before use, you can stream it on the stove in a water bath or a steamer. It is enough to heat a piece of bread in the microwave, sprinkling it with water or placing a small container of water next to it.
How to store bread?
So, the main points, how to properly store bread at home:
- Observe temperatures up to 25°C and humidity up to 65 per cent.
- Do not cap tightly into polyethene, leave holes for free passage of air.
- Keep the bread pan clean; use new bags of paper, polyethylene or clean and dried fabric.
- Try not to buy a lot of bread unnecessarily, because it is most delicious when fresh.
- The most reliable remedy for mould is freezing the product.
If the bread product is baked at home, you can affect its shelf life already at the stage of manufacture. Such components of the dough as butter, milk, cream, eggs slow down the drying process of the bun. The finished product must be taken out immediately from the bread maker to achieve a crunch of the crust. Cover with a clean cloth until completely cooled, place on a grid, remove from the draft.
To keep the bread soft, you can cut it not from the edge but in the middle. The crust loses less moisture than the pulp. Cutting off the slices in the middle, the remaining two halves of the bun are combined, reducing water loss.
Let the bread on the table always be fresh, tasty, delicious, and then the house will become even more cosy and hospitable.