A lot of people like to buy their bread in bulk, I am personally one of them. My family goes through bread like it’s water, but I know many people who can’t seem to keep their bread fresh. It either ends up moldy, stale, or turning into soup inside of the packaging. Fortunately, for those of you who want to buy in bulk and properly store your bread, here’s how you can do it.
How Long Does Bread Last?
After you have brought your bread home from the store, it can last from a few days to several weeks, depending on your method of storage and the expiration date found on the packaging. Freezing bread can make it last up to six months past the printed date. If left unopened in the pantry it can last 2-3 days, and if it’s in the refrigerator, it is not recommended for consumption past the printed date. With that said, here’s the best and worst method for storing your bread.
The first thing that may come to mind is that the bread is going to dry itself out or taste a little funky after you freeze it. This statement is true if you incorrectly place the bread in the freezer. In order for it to maintain its freshness, you must first ensure that it’s completely cooled and placed inside of a freezer bag, eliminating as much or all of the air inside of it as possible. This can work with both homemade and store bought breads in different slices and sizes. The one rule you must follow is to make sure that the bread isn’t already stale before tossing it in because it will remain stale and therefore taking up space that could be used for fresh bread.
To Refrigerate Or Not To Refrigerate
This is a mistake that a lot of people make without even knowing it. Scientific studies have shown that bread in the refrigerator will actually end up stale three times faster than it would being placed out on the counter. This process is called “retrogradation”. It’s basically the process in which the bread starch molecules crystallize, toughening up the bread. So, the answer to this age-old question is do not refrigerate your bread.
Bread can be tricky to deal with, especially if you have multiple loaves from different companies with different expiration dates. As seen above, the best method for keeping bread in bulk is to store it in the freezer. You can keep single units of bread in the pantry for 2-3 days, but if you don’t eat bread often, it won’t really do you much good. Just make sure that you follow all of the tips for freezing before you start the process.