Bread is an amazingly important part of life. In fact, many people might even consider it a staple. From including it in from including it in your breakfast, to having a sandwich for lunch, and finding a way to include some rolls or biscuits in your dinner, bread fits just about every meal. Many people also include bread in their snacks as well. Considering just how popular and important bread is, it becomes equally important to make sure that your bread is in good condition. Fresh bread only lasts for a certain amount of time, and there are some kinds of bread that last for even less time. Knowing exactly how long you have to eat your bread is important, as it will decrease the chances of you ingesting moldy food.
Knowing How Long Your Bread Lasts
It goes without saying that different kinds of bread last for different amounts of time. To make things easier when you are working with bread, you might want to think about the kinds of bread as categories. There’s your typical loafs of bread, fresh from the bakery. There’s also processed bread, which could be biscuit dough, crumbs, or even croutons. And then, there’s packaged bread, which is essentially bakery bread, but in a special bag to preserve the life of the bread a little bit longer. Now that you know about the different types of bread, you will be able to know just how long your bread has until it probably shouldn’t be eaten.
Bakery bread is bread that is usually freshly baked and just bought from the bakery, and it is almost always one of the freshest kinds of bread that you can get. However, this also means that it can expire the quickest. Generally, bakery bread itself will last for about two to three days past its printed date. If you want to keep it for longer, you can keep it in the freezer for about six months, and keeping it in the fridge is usually not recommended.
Another form of bakery bread is bagels. Just as with bakery bread, bagels will also last for about two to three days past the printed best by date, and you can keep them in the freezer for about six months if you want to keep them around longer. It is also usually not recommended that you keep your bagels in the fridge, as this can alter the taste and quality of the bread.
Packaged bread is usually fresh in its own rights, but it is not quite as fresh from the oven as bakery bread is. Additionally, it usually comes in special packaging that is designed to keep it fresh for just a little bit longer, as long as you store it properly. Packaged soft bagels will usually last for about five to seven days after the printed date, giving you a bit more time to go through it. You can also put it in the fridge, making it last a little bit closer to one to two weeks. You can also keep it in the freezer for six months if you are so inclined to do this.
Packaged bread itself is a little bit different. Of course, it will stay fresh for about five to seven days after the date printed on the package has passed, which is better than bakery bread. Again, you probably shouldn’t put this bread in the fridge if you want to keep it in good condition, since the fridge can damage the bread itself. If you want it to last longer, you can also keep it in the freezer for about six months’ time.
Processed bread is generally bread that isn’t quite as simple as a loaf of bread baked in a baker’s oven. It could be Pillsbury biscuits that you keep in the fridge, or it could be croutons that you keep in the pantry to put on your salad. Because these breads are generally processed, the amount of time they last can vary wildly. For instance, refrigerator dough, such as Pillsbury rolls and biscuits, are only good for about two hours in the pantry. In the fridge, they can last for about one or two weeks, and you generally shouldn’t freeze them unless you want to change the taste of the product.
Croutons are usually kept in the pantry, and you shouldn’t put them in the fridge or freezer. Fresh croutons will last for about five to six months in the pantry, past the date printed on the package, meaning you don’t have to worry nearly as much about them as other breads. Similarly, bread crumbs can stay in the pantry for about five to six months as well. You shouldn’t put them in the fridge if you can help it, but you can put them in the freezer to increase the amount of time they last to six or eight months.
What Does Rotten Bread Look Like?
As many people know, one of the telltale signs of bread going bad is, well, mold. Mold often appears when bread has been left out for too long, improperly sealed, or when the bread has just simply gone bad. The mold that grows on your bread can be green, blue, or black, and you should always throw out moldy bread. Don’t just cut away the mold and keep the loaf, as you never know if smaller mold colonies are growing deeper inside the bread itself.
Before the bread becomes moldy, you will be able to tell whether or not it is starting to go bad. More often than not, as bread ages, it begins to harden. Most people know this as stale bread, and most people don’t really appreciate eating stale bread. While there are some things that you can do when the bread becomes stale, you should generally take this as a sign that it is time to get some new bread.
Extending the Life of the Bread
If you want to make sure that you get the most out of your bread, and that you are not wasting it, there are a few things you can do. Usually, such as with processed bread, your bread will come in a package that you can use to keep the bread stored in. This is often the best thing you can do, especially if you have a bread tie to seal the bag with.
Some breads can be stored in the fridge, but for the most part, keeping it in the fridge will only reduce the quality over time. Refrigerated bread will dry out much faster than normal bread, and generally, eating dry bread isn’t something that people enjoy. Only some types of bread, such as Pillsbury dough, belongs in the fridge, and it will usually say on the packaging whether or not it does.
Finally, there is freezing the bread. You can technically freeze bread forever, as long as you use an air-tight container so that the bread doesn’t become a hunk of ice. However, the taste and quality will decline when it passes around six months or so. Sometimes, you can use the bag and bread tie that came with the bread itself, but you shouldn’t rely on this as your only method of keeping air away from the bread. If you really want to play things safe, you could consider using both the bread tie and an airtight, freezer-safe container to store your bread in. These are just a few of the ways that you can think about storing your bread, so that you can make the most out of including it in your meals.