The tips you need to make bread last longer
From jam on toast to crusty rolls with soup, fresh bread is a staple of many UK householders meals. But despite its versatility, sometimes you find a loaf has started to go stale before you've had the chance to use it up.
Food tips and tricks are the bread and butter of the Good Housekeeping Cookery Team, so we asked them for their top tips for making bread last longer. Here's what they said...
How to keep homemade bread fresh
*If making your own bread, choose recipes that include fats like butter, oil or eggs. These ingredients will help the preserve the bread and keep it softer for longer.
*Wait for your freshly-baked loaf to cool completely before storing. Try to consume fresh bread as soon as possible — bread will start to stale once it has cooled.
*If you are planning to freeze homemade bread, do it as soon as possible after baking and cooling. Wrap it in plastic and, ideally, slice the bread before freezing. Sliced, it will thaw out in around 10 minutes, or can be quickly toasted using the defrost setting.
How to keep shop-bought bread fresh
*Never keep your bread in the fridge. The starch molecules in bread recrystallize very quickly at cool temperatures, and cause the bread to stale much faster when refrigerated.
*Shop-bought loaves should be kept in an air-tight plastic bag at room temperature rather than in the fridge. For bakery breads that are usually sold in a paper bag, remove them from the bag when you get it home, wrap tightly in cling film and store at room temperature. Bread boxes are great if you want to keep a loaf for a couple of days.
Can I freeze bread?
Bread freezes really well. You can freeze whole loaves or in slices so you can take out a slice or two at a time to toast or use for sandwiches.
What can I do with stale bread?
*The best way to refresh bread that has staled is to run the loaf under tap water until the crust is wet, then heat it for five to 10 minutes in a 180˚C oven. The starch molecules will re-absorb the water and your bread will be nicely revived!
*It's even worth freezing bread that has gone a little stale as there are still plenty of uses for it - croutons, delicious French toast for Sunday brunch or a comforting treat in bread and butter pudding.
*If your loaf really has gone stale, don’t just chuck it – make breadcrumbs (in a food processor) and freeze them for gratin toppings, stuffings and coatings.
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