For many people, nothing beats the taste of fresh bread. Once you bring the bread home, though, how long is it actually considered “fresh?” Surprisingly, the answer isn’t as simple as you’d think. If you want to enjoy fresh bread at all times, here are a few things that you should know.
Homemade or Store-Bought
One factor that determines how long your bread will stay fresh is where your bread was baked. If you bake bread at home, you can expect to get about 3-4 days of freshness if you store the bread correctly. Store-bought bread, on the other hand, might stay fresh for a week or longer because of the preservatives in the bread. Whether store-bought or homemade, bread needs to be kept in an airtight container to have any hope of lasting more than a few hours.
Chilled or Not
To prolong the life of your bread, your best option is refrigeration. Putting your bread in the refrigerator will typically add another 3-7 days to its non-refrigerated lifespan. The key to refrigerating bread is to store it away as quickly as possible. Reducing the bread’s temperature quickly will help retain the moisture that’s crucial to avoiding stale bread.
Another variable that determines the lifespan of bread is the size of the loaf. In general, larger loaves have a longer lifespan because the outer slices protect the inner slices from air. If you prefer to consume smaller loaves, you’ll want to store your bread carefully to protect each slice. Another option, of course, is to utilize daily fresh bread delivery so that you’re always enjoying the freshest bread, no matter the size of the loaf.
If you find yourself needing more time with your bread, your best bet is the freezer. Although bread will lose some freshness when frozen, this method definitely beats facing moldy bread after only a few days. If you do choose to freeze your bread, make sure to wrap it carefully. Since bread is porous, it is especially vulnerable to odor absorption, meaning your bread could end up smelling like chicken nuggets and peas if you’re not careful.
Bringing Bread Back
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your bread will still go stale. If that happens, there’s still hope for an enjoyable culinary experience. All that you have to do is moisten the bread using a kitchen brush or spray bottle. After that, place the bread in the oven for a few minutes until the excess water evaporates. When you’re done, you’ll end up with fresh, moist bread once again.