Can we store bread- Yes or No?

by Sanjeev Kapoor

We have been relying on bread since forever for breakfasts and evening snacks too. Whether it is for your kid’s tiffin or office dabbas, our buddy is bread when it comes to easy and quick food preps. But, there have been several arguments about its shelf life and how it should be stored.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to store bread plus a few super cool hacks too!

The bigger question- Is it safe to store bread?

Yes, you can store bread for a short time.

But why only for a short time?

This is because; the packet does not allow the bread to breathe. The moisture trapped in the bag causes the bread to form molds. Some people prefer to remove the packaging and store the bread in paper or wrapped up in a clean cloth. But this method is not the correct way either, it will completely dry the sliced bread which is not what you want. Maybe, a whole uncut loaf can be kept this way. 

So, what is the correct way to store the bread?

Remember bread is always best eaten fresh! But if you really have to store it, here’s what you can do. The bread will stay well for several days at room temperature and for up to three months in the freezer. To store fresh bread in the freezer, wrap the bread in heavy-duty aluminium foil and then slide it into a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air from the zip lock as possible before placing it in the freezer. So, for soft textured bread, keep it in a bread box or paper bag. This will hold some of the moisture in, while still keeping the crust firm. Some people prefer to use a plastic bag, which will keep the bread softer longer but encourage spoilage by holding moisture in. It will also soften the crust of the bread.

How to reheat bread?

It is best to defrost bread as slowly as possible. Six hours at room temperature and twelve hours in the refrigerator. Make sure to leave the bread wrapped while defrosting. Using the microwave for defrosting or heating bread can dry out and toughen the bread. But, if you are using one, first sprinkle some water on the bread because it cannot be dry and then reheat the bread only for 30 seconds or less because if it is overheated it will become chewy.

Time for some facts:                                        

The scientific fact is that bread kept in the fridge goes stale about four times as fast as it does at room temperature!

That is super interesting. Let’s see why!

A bread loaf is best stored at room temperature in the loose fitting plastic bag it is sold in. If we refrigerate the bread, it tends to lose moisture and becomes dry and tough. Staling can occur either when the bread dries out through evaporation or when cooked starch molecules in the bread cool and form a crystalline structure. Crystallization forces water out of the starch molecules and causes the bread to become more firm in texture. We think of staling as being a loss of water when, in fact, the water content may still be the same, just no longer trapped by starch molecules. The cool temperature of the fridge increases the speed at which crystallization occurs.

Hope these tips help you make the most of breads!

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.