From the moment the bread is taken out of the oven, the ageing process of the starch contained in the bread begins.
The best time to enjoy a loaf of bread is usually between 1 to 3 days after it has been made, the longer it takes for the ageing process to deepen, the less it tastes and the more likely it is to spoil.
So whether you make your own bread or buy it from a shop, it is not advisable to make or buy too much at once.
- Possible changes in bread during storage
- Ageing of the bread, mainly in the form of a dry, hard texture and less fluffy tissue.
- Dough deterioration, with small mouldy spots appearing on the surface of the bread, which can spread to the entire loaf over time.
- The risk of spoilage is greatest in bread with added fillings.
To avoid the loss of taste and the possibility of spoilage, how do you store bread properly?
Bread needs to be cooled on a cooling rack before it can be sealed, but generally it will cool naturally at room temperature.
Why does the bread need to be cooled before it is packed?
If the bread is not completely cooled and the residual heat has not dissipated, sealing the bread at this time will cause a build-up of moisture, which will greatly reduce the taste of the bread and increase the risk of spoilage.
Cooled bread needs to be sealed immediately, the longer it is exposed to the air, the greater the chance of air drying and ageing.
They are classified according to the storage site as Room temperature storage, Refrigerated storage and Frozen storage.
- Store at room temperature. Fresh bread is best kept sealed at room temperature and consumed in 1 to 2 days, or up to 3 to 4 days for some breads.
- Refrigerate. For bread with fillings, 1 day is recommended. Do not use this method of storage if possible.
- Frozen. Longest shelf life (approx. 1 to 2 weeks), but thaw before serving and bake in the oven before serving.
Depending on the type of bread, there are different ways of preserving bread-
Note: The room temperature may vary depending on the ambient temperature, and the room temperature varies from season to season, with a reference value of 18 to 24°C.
Hard breads such as baguettes
It’s recommended to keep them at room temperature for no longer than 1 day and they can be stored in a paper bag. As you have experienced, baguettes can become tough and difficult to chew when the crust has absorbed external moisture.
For baguettes that are not consumed within their shelf life, place them in a sealed bag to extract the air and store them in the freezer, then thaw and bake before serving.
These breads taste best on the same day, but can be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
If not eaten within 2 days, they should be stored in a sealed freezer, especially at room temperature with the addition of fillings.
Brioche & Doughnuts
These breads have a high oil and sugar content and should be kept at room temperature and sealed for 2 to 3 days.
Seasoned bread, sandwiches
Seasoned breads have a short shelf life and the fillings, vegetables and meats inside the bread are highly susceptible to spoilage. Store sealed at room temperature for 1 to 2 days.
However, in summer, when temperatures are high or humidity is high, it is advisable to store hot dog buns and sandwiches in the freezer as soon as possible to avoid spoilage of the fillings if they are not consumed within the shelf life.
Toast & Bagels
For unstuffed toast, slice and seal as many servings as you need per day, reserve 1 to 2 days’ worth and store the rest in the freezer.
Store shellfish at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. The longer they take to absorb moisture, the tougher they will become.
Sweetbreads & Soft Roll
Sweet breads without fillings usually last 2 to 3 days at room temperature in a sealed container and 1 to 2 days with fillings.
If the crust becomes dry, it is advisable to spray the surface with a little water and bake it in the oven.
- If you need to store bread for a long period of time, you should freeze it rather than refrigerate it, as bread placed in the freezer will dehydrate faster and age quickly and taste dry.
- Before freezing bread, wrap it in cling film and seal it well before freezing. Do not freeze bread wrapped with fillings.
- Frozen bread needs to be thawed at room temperature before baking in the oven. The shorter the freezing time, the better the taste of the bread when thawed and re-baked.
- For bread kept at room temperature, some dry crusts can be sprayed with a little water before baking.
- Thaw the bread and bake it at the appropriate time and temperature for the size of the loaf.
- Bread with a relatively high oil and sugar content will have less change in taste when stored compared to bread with a low oil and sugar content.
- To seal bread, use cling film, plastic bags, ziplock bags or sealed boxes.
- If you are storing bread at room temperature, do not store it in an environment with too high humidity.
- If conditions allow, cooled bread can be sent directly to the emergency freezer for rapid cooling and then transferred to the general freezer for freezing.
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