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Right Way Bread Storing and Reheating

Yes, it seems to be a universally accepted answer to keep food out of the fridge.
But in the case of bread, the refrigerator’s pride and joy in keeping it fresh doesn’t work – refrigeration is a killer!

Overnight, bread can become dry, crusty and rough. If you understand why & learn the following tips, you can bring bread back from the dead.

  • The path of aging bread

From the moment the bread comes out of the oven, it has already started to age as time passes, the temperature drops and the moisture evaporates into the air.
Some people must say: wouldn’t it be better to keep the bread sealed when it’s slightly warm?
Yes, this is one way of delaying the drying out of the bread, but a more important principle is the degeneration of the starch.

During the baking process of the dough, the starch becomes pasted, allowing the flavour of the raw flour to disappear, then as the water evaporates, it becomes solidified and the pasted starch turns into a white sponge-like consistency, creating the soft texture of the bread.
When the bread is cooled after being taken out of the oven, the soluble starch gradually turns back into insoluble starch and the bread gradually hardens, which is how it ages.

There is experimental evidence that bread ages fastest at close to 0°C. Placing bread in a dry environment in the fridge freezer at 2 to 6°C is the same as pressing the fast-forward button on the rate of evaporation of water and starch ageing, causing the bread to become dry, hard and rough more quickly.
Interestingly, bread stored at temperatures above 60°C stays relatively fresh for 24 to 48 hours. 40°C, the shelf life is cut in half. At 30°C, the time continues to be reduced.

Even more interestingly, bread stays in a fresh state when the temperature drops to -10°C to -185°C. So both room temperature storage and frozen storage keep bread more alive than refrigerated storage.
So how exactly do you do it? Before you can understand preservation methods, you need to be aware of the tasting periods and characteristics of different breads.

  • Tasting period for bread at room temperature

1. Sweet bread/toast without filling at room temperature

3 Days

Sweet bread and toast also have a high level of sugar and fat, and both sugar and fat have a certain shelf life and preservative effect, so the shelf life of sweet bread is relatively long, and the taste of bread kept well at room temperature and sealed within 2 to 3 days will not change much.

Note / The bread you have made and stored normally, if it becomes dry and hard in a day, then it is very likely that the dough was beaten too hot and fermented too fast, and the finished bread tissue will age faster.

2. Bread with filling / Toast room temperature

2 to 3 days or 1 day

Bread with oiled bean paste or coconut filling can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days if well sealed, as the filling is not easily perishable.

The fillings in these breads are more likely to spoil, so they can only be stored at room temperature for 1 day.

The other type of bread is cold processed bread, where the meat and vegetable fillings are assembled after the bread has been baked (e.g. sandwiches).
This type of bread has the shortest tasting period, no more than 4 hours at room temperature in a sealed container and only 1 day even if refrigerated.

3. Danish bread at room temperature

3 to 5 days or 1 day

Danish bread, like croissants, also has a high sugar and oil content and therefore has a long shelf life. However, if the Danish bread contains meat fillings, the tasting period at room temperature is only 1 day, as with hot processed seasoned bread.

4. Crusty bread (e.g. baguette) room temperature

8 hours

When it comes out of the oven, the moisture from the inside will slowly seep outwards and the crust will no longer be crisp and hard as it absorbs the moisture.
It is important to note that baguettes need to be stored in paper bags rather than plastic bags, which are highly airtight, so that the moisture from the inside of the bread cannot evaporate outwards.

5. Heavy oil bread at room temperature

1 to 2 weeks

Heavy oil breads such as Stollen, which are high in oil and sugar, will not spoil easily even at room temperature if they are well sealed.
However, be careful not to reduce the oil or sugar when making the bread, as this will affect the taste and also change the tasting period.

  • Bread Storage & Reheating

When the temperature drops below 0°C, the ageing of the starch will be greatly slowed down and the moisture in the bread will be locked in by the low temperature and will not evaporate easily.
If kept at room temperature, the bread will become dry and hard after the expiry date, and then put into the freezer is not good.

The right way / Place the bread in a tightly closed plastic bag (preferably double-layered, or sealed and then placed in a freezable storage box) and vent the air, then tighten the bag and place it in the freezer at about -18°C. It will keep for about 1 month. The sooner you eat it, the better the flavour.
This method is suitable for breads that do not contain raw vegetable fillings, such as toast, croissants, crusty breads, etc.
If the bread is large and thick, it is advisable to slice it and then freeze it for easier consumption at any time.

It says that the bread will become hard as the soluble starch gradually changes back into insoluble starch. However, by reheating the degraded insoluble starch to 100°C to 125°C, some of the degraded starch can be restored to its original state or even completely restored.

How do I reheat frozen bread? We have found 3 types of frozen bread – slices of toast / sliced bread / cinnamon rolls as an example, try the following 3 methods –

Re-baking

If you have an oven at home, remove the bread directly from the freezer, spray the top with water and place directly into the oven without preheating, set the temperature to 150°C and bake for 5 to 8 minutes for a fluffy loaf. Ideal for small loaves or sliced bread.

For thicker loaves, wrap in sprayed greaseproof paper and re-bake in the oven.

Re-steaming

If you ask, can you put it in a pan and steam it under water? This is a good way to bring the bread back to its fresh state. It is particularly suitable for hard omelettes and bagels. Again, the bread does not need to be defrosted, just put it directly into the steamer and steam for 3 to 8 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the bread, to get a soft, non-cooked loaf.

Natural thawing

If you are not in a hurry, remove the bread from the freezer and thaw it naturally to room temperature before eating. It is usually better to defrost overnight.

TIMEXING wants everyone to be able to make delicious tarts easily and share the joy with family and friends!

Follow TIMEXING for ongoing professional baking and home storage tips.

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