Bread is one of the most common food items and is used in several preparations. From breakfast to evening snacks, bread is used in almost all the meals. It also makes for a popular tiffin or lunch item. Most of our bread comes from the stores in packets. These bread have a relatively short shelf life and go bad in about 4-5 days as per the information is given on the packet.
Obviously before buying a packet of bread, we do check the best before date but in reality. But, the question of the hour is, how long can a bread stay safe for consumption? And is there anything you can do to extend that time! There are various notions and ideas on how should you ideally store bread to prevent it from going bad. Is it okay to consume bread that has expired but looks ok? And how would you know whether the bread you are using has gone bad, and much more? Read on to get all your answers and know the right way to eat and store your bread.
Bread is usually made up of water, all-purpose flour and yeast. If not stored properly or stored for too many days, it is prone to grow moulds and get stale. The starches used to produce the bread start degrading which is why bread turns stale quickly. The packaged bread bought from stores and bakery usually lasts up to 5-6 days at room temperature. After which it is not advisable to consume it, be it white, brown or whole wheat bread. Homemade bread, on the other hand, can be stored up to 7 days at room temperature.
How to increase shelf life
As long as you do not open the packaging of the bread, it is safe to be stored at room temperature. But, once open, make sure to seal the bread properly for it to last longer at room temperature. If the original packaging is tampered by any reason, you can use a bread box or another plastic bag to store the slices of bread. Another option is to store the bread in the refrigerator. This has been long debated, and it is argued that the bread hardens fastest in the fridge. That is correct in case you seal the bread too tightly! If it is left in the original packaging or a bread box, the contents will retain moisture and not dry out easily. The best way to store the bread is in brown paper bags. Surprisingly, if you want to store your bread for a very long term, then it is best to freeze it. It is a lesser-known fact that bread does not turn stale, and in fact, it can stay fresh for up to 6 months when stored in the freezer.
How to know your bread is bad
People still don’t know how to tell, if the bread has gone stale or bad? Though there are several ways, however, people are confused about them. The most effective sign of bread turning bad is the mould it develops, which you will be able to smell before you see. Mould can range from green to white, sometimes it develops even in the colour of the flour making it difficult to differentiate. But if you do spot mould on even one of the slices, it is advisable to do away with the whole packet. Another way of identifying stale bread is by its texture. If the bread becomes too hard and dry, it means it has gone stale. However, the bread can be used in some dishes as bread crumbs provided there is no mould or other damage. So, now that you know the various techniques of how you should store your bread, be wise in your usage to avoid wastage of food or damage to health.