Warm, soft, healthy, fluffy, delicious, aromatic and fresh! These are just a few of the words that pop into the head when I picture bread. Bread! Beautiful, golden bread! How often have you thrown away a loaf of bread because it developed mold or turned too hard and crispy to be eaten? There's no shame in admitting it. And that's why, this Tastessence article is the perfect one for you. It has some easy to follow methods of keeping homemade bread fresh.
The best way to get away from an unfavorable situation is to try to avoid it altogether. Most of you will agree with the adage of prevention being better than cure, right? Well then, one of the best ideas to prevent bread from getting spoiled soon and from developing those annoying mold patches is to use preservatives in the bread mentioned here, right when you're baking it. That way, instead of worrying about it getting spoiled soon (though I'm sure you still will), you have at least some assurance that it will remain fresh because of the ingredients that you used to make it.
You may have heard that people refrigerate their bread and it still ends up stale when they remove it. Or worse, you may be one of the unfortunate to have actually experienced the distressing situation yourself. There's little that's more saddening than seeing a perfect loaf going into the bin because you refrigerated it and when you removed it, it had gotten all hard, crumbly and quite inedible. All your kneading and fluffing gone to vain! Simply refrigerating bread can turn out to be disastrous as the chilly atmosphere inside the fridge absorbs all the moisture from it by a process in which the molecules crystallize, thus rendering it the crumbly and inedible attributes mentioned above. If your fridge comes with a humidity controller that can regulate the amount of moisture within the compartment, then nothing like it! It can keep bread fresh for quite a while. An alternative to simple refrigeration is to use the freezer instead. Yes, who thought two parts of the same appliance could have such opposite effects, right? Freezing bread has proven to extend its shelf life to a considerable level. So, wrap your loaf of homemade bread (sliced up to prevent post thawing slicing woes) in a freezer bag and simply place it in the freezer. When you need to use it, simply remove it, thaw it for a while and it's good to be turned into a glorious sandwich!
Store it Right
Using suitable methods and materials is of utmost importance when it comes to storing homemade bread and keeping it fresh. After all, a food item is only as good as the surrounding that it is kept in, right? Given below are some of the most popular options, tips and methods that you can use.
- Many people suggest using foil to wrap the bread in after you have cut the slices that you need and have some of them still left in the loaf. The foil keeps the moisture intact and hence prevents it from hardening.
- There are a lot of varieties of zip lock bags, which are made of plastic. Using these bags to pack off the leftover bread tightly, without letting any moisture in is also recommended by many.
- Apart from zip lock bags, you can also purchase air tight bread boxes that do not let any moisture get into them and thus keep it fresh and soft for a longer time.
- You may also want to try this idea out: instead of using plain water while making the bread, use the water that is left after you boil potatoes. It's supposed to make the bread last longer.
Homemade bread is best when eaten fresh and straight out of the oven. However, due to some reason, (for instance, a sudden urge to keep baking non stop) it may result in it getting left over. Don't panic and throw the it away. Just use the tips given above to keep your loaf and enjoy it the next time!