Whether you pick it up fresh from the store or bake your own at home, nothing compares to a fresh loaf of bread!
But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so is the case with fresh bread.
The best time to enjoy bread is right out of the oven, but for many of us, that’s not an option.
We need to know how long our bread lasts on the counter, in the fridge, and in the freezer, as well as equip ourselves with techniques to extend the lifespan of each slice.
Knowing how long bread lasts can help us keep better track of our pantry inventories, reduce waste, save time and money, and stay on course with our health goals.
Let’s get to the bottom of why bread goes bad in the first place and determine the warning signs you should look for.
Then we’ll fill you in on the best ways to store bread and explain why some types of bread last longer than others. Here we go!
Has my bread gone bad?
It always feels like it happens too soon. The days fly by and your bread is already past its expiration date. What a waste!
But how do you know for sure if your bread has gone bad? Here are some things to watch.
- Hard and stale bread means the product has lost too much moisture and dried out.
- Stale bread may still be used to make croutons, crumbs, or other recipes. It isn’t dangerous to your health to do so.
- Moldy bread means it has been exposed to too much moisture and bacteria has started to feed on the starch, rendering it inedible.
- White, blue, and green spots mean the bread should be tossed immediately.
- If you get any weird smells (think vinegar, alcohol, or yeast) from your bread, it’s time to say goodbye.
- Odd smells mean you should toss the bread, even if no mold is visible.
Knowing these warning signs is key, and you’re going to have a bad time if you ignore them.
If you are unsure whether bread is safe to eat, the website Does it Go Bad recommends you break off a little piece and taste it to see if you get a weird sourness or tang.
If the taste is even a bit off the mark, throw the remainder of the loaf away.
Consuming even a tiny amount of mold can lead to bad reactions from the stomach or the immune system, and it isn’t worth risking your health for a tasty slice.
In the case of stale bread, it’s perfectly acceptable to revive it by toasting for a minute or two and slathering on a bit of extra butter or jam.
You can also throw a loaf in the oven to overcome the stale texture.
With all that said, let’s talk about how to make your bread last as long as possible.
A few proven methods exist to make bread last.
A bread box is an old-school tool meant for reducing air circulation and moisture, which can add a few precious days to the lifespan of your loaf.
This doesn’t always yield great results, however, especially if you are accessing other items in the box throughout the day and grabbing slices from the bag.
If you are cautious to quickly wrap the bread in plastic after getting your slice, you can help keep moisture out of the bag and tack on a few extra days of use.
If you have the option, it is always preferable to store bread in the refrigerator or freeze it, even if it means you’ll have to revive it in the oven or toaster down the line.
Fridge and freezer
Leaving bread out on the counter is clearly not the best way to extend the lifespan of a loaf, which is why many folks turn to modern technology to keep bread alive longer.
The first method is refrigeration, which has certain key advantages:
- It can prolong the shelf life of most bread by a few weeks
- Convenient storage and access
- Faster time-to-table than defrosting from freezer
- Pre-sliced loaves don’t suffer as much
Many folks have been led to believe that bread does not fare well in the fridge, since the texture of the food seems to change after being stored for a few days.
An article from Chatelaine explains that refrigeration is “totally fine” when storing bread.
According to food scientist Nathan Myhrvold, who authored the legendary Modernist Cuisine series, that slightly tougher texture from fridge storage doesn’t mean the bread is stale.
Instead, is the result of a restructuring in the starch compounds of the bread, known as crystalization. You can bring it back to normal fairly quickly.
In the freezer, bread can last even longer, sometimes up to months at a time.
The super-cold environment prevents bacteria from growing, although you may sacrifice some of the natural flavors of the bread if you choose to freeze.
Still, it’s better than the garbage can.
We recommend storing slices of bread in the freezer rather than an entire loaf. They are easier to defrost and more convenient for toasting up a snack on the fly.
When you do have a few minutes to revive a frozen slice, try to let it defrost naturally and then blast it in the toaster or oven for the best results.
Keep in mind that fresh bread from the bakery simply does not do well in the fridge or the freezer, as noted by Northern Nester. You have to accept that the bread is going to last less than a week, and plan accordingly.
High quality bread that keeps
Selecting bread is a game of trade-offs, especially with regard to lifespan.
You’ve probably found from personal experience that the best tasting bread does not last long, especially airy sourdoughs and fluffy ciabatta loaves.
Fresh bread from the local bakery is best served that day, and the taste quickly goes downhill from there. That’s why bakeries in Paris refuse to sell “morning baguettes” in the afternoon!
The more nutritionally dense a bread, the less likely it is to keep.
The sprouted grain bread popular in the health scene is also not known for its stellar lifespan, meaning you need to be extra cautious about preservation.
The store-bought loaves that come in plastic bags last longer because they are typically made with preservatives, which turn off the more health-conscious consumers out there.
As stated in a piece from Healthline, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and sorbic acid are all chemicals commonly found in grocery store bread to push back the expiration date.
At Uprising, we feel the pain of the bread lovers out there who find themselves in this dilemma, which led us to create a healthy, hearty bread that lasts.
Our Superfood bread is made with five simple ingredients and has a superior lifespan to many of the healthy bread available on the shelves and in the freezer section of the supermarket.
On top of all that, we deliver new loaves of Superfood bread right to your door, so you can stay on track with your health goals and never have to run to the market in a pinch.
Since we don’t pre-slice our bread, it can last much longer than the healthy stuff you find at the store. Of course, we use no weird preservatives to artificially extend the lifespan of our bread. The ingredients are just super high quality and fresh.
Check out our FAQ to get answers to the most common questions about our bread.
It’s one of those frustrating truths that the healthier and tastier the bread, the shorter it lasts on the shelf. Refrigeration and freezing only extend lifespan so long.
For folks sticking to a gluten-free or dairy-free lifestyle, it’s extra tough to find bread that lasts more than a few days.
This was one of the main motivators when we engineered Superfood bread, making sure people can enjoy incredibly delicious and nutritious bread without worrying about mold or staleness.
In nearly every category, our Keto Kubes outperform the sprouted grain and all-natural bread found at the store, including on-the-counter lifespan.
In addition, the bread is packed with more protein, fiber, and healthy fat than the rest, not to mention at a better cost per calorie.
Better yet, you can forget about scheduling your grocery excursions around bread.
Since we deliver right to your door, you will never be without excellent bread, and any extra can last for months in the freezer if need be.
We can figure out an optimal shipping strategy for your specific needs.
We’ve made it our mission to provide bread that checks all the boxes, from health and fitness to taste and longevity.
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