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Store Bread Optimally – So It Still Tastes Good Tomorrow

Fresh from the baker or from your own oven, a loaf of bread tastes juicy and delicious all day long. But the very next day, unprotected, it has aged quite a bit. But since bread is always in the house, the storage problem should be optimally solved.

The storage challenge

Freshly baked bread contains water, which is bound by the starch it contains. After baking, this moisture is gradually released back into the environment – the bread dries out. This process is accelerated by low temperatures. In addition, the moisture released must not accumulate and thus encourage mold. Therefore, a storage location for bread must offer the following:

  • Temperatures from 18 to 22 degrees Celsius
  • Protection against dehydration
  • adequate air circulation

It’s too cold in the fridge

The temperatures in the refrigerator are far below the ideal value. The cold will quickly dry out the bread instead of keeping it fresh as intended. Only on warm and humid summer days would the bread spoil faster outside than in the fridge.

Paper bags at short notice, plastic bags never

At the bakery, the bread comes in a paper bag for a good reason. This material can absorb the excess moisture well and still protect the bread from drying out. Smaller amounts can also remain in it at home, provided they are used up promptly.

Moisture released from a plastic bag cannot escape. The bread gets wet and soon starts to get moldy. The otherwise practical plastic bags are only suitable for transport, rather less for storage.

Bread box – the best solution

If bread is to be stored for a long time, then a bread box is the right choice. Copies made of different materials are available on the market. But not every box is as good as the next. It is important that air circulation can take place:

  • the material used is breathable, such as wood, ceramics, etc.
  • or the box has ventilation holes

If the baked goods are also left in the paper sales bag, they are optimally protected from drying out. It also keeps foreign odors away.

Shelf life depends on the type of bread

The rule of thumb is: the darker the bread, the longer its freshness can be preserved. Below is a brief overview of the types of bread:

  • Wheat bread keeps for about two days
  • Rye bread can be eaten for three to four days
  • Wholemeal bread has the longest shelf life: 7 to 9 days

Whole bread or slices?

You can keep whole loaves longer than slices of bread. The latter dry out faster or molds. Sliced bread should be stored and cut side down to prevent drying out.

What to do if the bread is moldy?

If mold is spotted on the bread, everything has to be thrown away. Just removing the moldy bit isn’t enough. It may well be that mold spores, invisible to the naked eye, have permeated the whole bread.

Wipe the bread bin out with vinegar water to remove mold spores that have stuck to it. This procedure should generally be carried out preventively every two weeks.

Conclusion for fast readers

  • Moisture: Water is bound in the bread, which is slowly released again after baking
  • Consequence: The bread dries out, and it ages. The cooler the ambient temperature, the faster
  • Fridge: Usually not suitable for storing bread; only on hot, humid days
  • Ideal storage location: 18 to 22 degrees Celsius, good air circulation, protects against dehydration
  • Paper bag: Paper is good at absorbing the moisture released; suitable for short storage
  • Plastic bag: moisture cannot escape; the bread sweats and molds quickly
  • Longer storage: A bread box is the best storage place; Leave the bread in the paper bag
  • Requirements: The bread box is made of breathable materials or has ventilation holes
  • Tip: Wood contains tannic acid and therefore has a natural antibacterial effect
  • Shelf life: Depends on the type of bread; the darker the bread, the longer it will keep
  • Types of bread: white bread: about 2 days; Rye bread: about 4 days; Wholemeal bread: 7 to 9 days
  • Slicing: Whole loaves last longer than slices; Store sliced bread cut-side down
  • Tip: Bread can be stored in the freezer for four months; just let it thaw overnight
  • Moldy bread: Must be discarded completely; not just the moldy piece
  • Cleaning: Wipe out the bread box with vinegar water; generally every 14 days or after mold growth
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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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