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99 percent of UK households buy bread regularly, so it’s fair to say it’s one of the nation’s favourite foods. But bread has a short shelf life, lasting just three to seven days at room temperature before it starts to develop mould. Storing it correctly can increase its shelf life. TikTok content creator, Cary, also known as @pairswellwithwhine, uses a simple plastic container to keep bread fresh.
The video, which has 940k likes started with: “I love my flip top containers – and I love them even more when I found one to fit a whole loaf [of bread].
“It keeps the bread fresh, and keeps you from sticking your hand inside the bag.”
Cary dropped the loaf of bread in a bag into the plastic container. She then opened the bag and wrapped it over the top of the container before adding the lid.
“To take out some bread, take off the lid, pull down on the sides of the bag and the bread rises,” she demonstrated. “To close it, use the lid to push the bread down gently.”
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You have to be careful where the container is kept. Mould thrives in any, warm locations, so look for a cool, dry place.
Food expert Jennifer Hill Brooker said that the worst place to store bread is on top of an appliance like the fridge or microwave.
She explained: “It’s so warm up there that whatever moisture is trapped in the container or the bag for the bread will start to help it mould.”
What the bread is made from will also impact its shelf life, Jennifer said.
“Fat is a natural preservative, so anything that has more fat tends to preserve or freeze well and last longer,” she revealed.
Loaves that have eggs (like challah) or butter (such as banana bread) will go stale slower than French bread, which is leaner.
The type of flour even makes a difference when it comes to the fat content and degree of moisture.
Jennifer said: “If you use a different type of flour that’ll contribute to the amount of moisture that’s actually in the wheat or in the flour before you even get a chance to make your bread.”
Bread baked with almond flour will very likely preserve better than one baked with all-purpose flour since the natural nut component stores more fat.
If you want to keep your bread fresher for longer, consider swapping the bag its in.
The majority of bakeries sell bread in paper bag – paper allows moisture to escape, which keeps crusty bread crusty.
Air is also allowed to circulate around the bread in the bag, keeping it crustier for longer. The crust helps to maintain more moisture in the crumb.
The one problem with this is that the bread stales relatively quickly – in the space of two to three days, it can be rock solid.
Fortunately, stale bread is better than mouldy bread as it can be refreshened.
Simply add a few droplets of water to the bread and place it in the oven for five-10 minutes.
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