Bread is a staple in most homes, especially when you have a growing family. From sandwiches to dried bread crumbs, the uses are nearly endless. If you save money by buying your bread in bulk, keeping it fresh is key. After all, no one wants to eat stale or moldy bread, regardless of its use. Below are 5 great life hacks you can use to keep your favorite bread fresh longer.
Long ago, breadboxes were found in nearly every kitchen. Back then, its primary purpose was to keep mice and bugs from invading fresh made bread. The world evolved and people began storing their bread in the plastic bags it came in or in the refrigerator. While this will preserve your bread for a few days, it isn't as effective as a breadbox.
When bread is stored in a plastic bag, there is no airflow. Without ventilation, condensation can build and create mold. Bread that is stored in the refrigerator can get dry and stale in a matter of days. Breadboxes offer the perfect balance between airflow and ventilation. There is enough airflow to keep condensation at bay without cold, dry air wreaking havoc on the freshness. Breadboxes made of solid wood or stainless steel are ideal. Aluminum boxes are okay, but aluminum can leach into other products. So if you buy an aluminum box, use with caution. Whatever box you do buy, just make sure it has a small hole for ventilation.
Bread can last months in the freezer. How you freeze it is imperative to its use and freshness. When you freeze a solid, whole loaf of bread, you have to use the entire loaf once it is out of the freezer. When you freeze your bread in slices, it allows you to use bread as needed. This way, you don't end up wasting half a loaf because you didn't eat it quickly enough.
Using a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, lay individual slices out and pop it into the freezer. Once they have frozen, gather them up and put them in the freezer in the packaging the bread came in. If you bought a fresh loaf from a baker or bread supplier, you can freeze it in a linen or cloth bag or an old store-bought bread bag. Once you have frozen all the slices, you will be able to use individual slices as needed. Simply let the slices thaw on the counter for a few minutes before using. You can also pop a frozen slice in the toaster for quick thawing in a pinch.
Refresh Your Bread
If you've forgotten about a loaf or just didn't get to it in time, you can breathe new life into an old loaf quite easily. Simply wrap the bread in foil and bake it in an oven that has been heated to 250 degrees for about ten minutes. It will lightly crisp the outside of the bread and soften the inside.
Your bread will taste as good as the day you bought it when you work to keep it fresh. By investing in a breadbox or freezing bulk bread, you are making your penny go farther.