How Long Does Bread Last in the Fridge? Does it Go Bad?
Did you buy an extra loaf of that bread you like so much? If you find that it’s taken more days than you expected to finish it, you’ll probably find yourself wondering: how long can bread stay before going bad? Unfortunately, bread normally has quite a short shelf life as it is susceptible to mold growth. Also, even while it’s still safe for consumption, bread has the probability of getting stale pretty quickly.
If you’d like to know more concerning shelf life, storage and the signs of bread becoming bad, continue reading the article.
How to Store Bread
When it comes to the storage of bread, there are three viable options that you can select from. However, every one of them has it pros and cons.
Storing Bread at Room Temperature
Storage of bread in the pantry or kitchen shelves at room temperature is the default method. As long as it hasn’t been opened, the bread doesn’t need any additional layers for preservation.
However, one the package is opened, ensure that it is always sealed tightly. If using the original bag to seal the bread isn’t an option, you can transfer it to a plastic storage bag or a breadbox. You don’t want to bread to get air or moisture because it will then grow mold easily.
For packaging freshly made bread, you can put it in a brown bag before storing it in the pantry. Simply put the bread in a brown bag, fold the top part of the bag and secure the seal using paper clips. Make sure that the bread is stored in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight so that it can have longer shelf life.
Storing Bread in the Fridge
The second option is to store bread in the fridge. There is quite a number misinformation available on the internet stating that one shouldn’t store their loves of bread in the fridge. The main reason behind it is that the cold temperature will dry out the bread, causing it to stale faster. This only applies to bread that isn’t tightly sealed.
If you isolate it appropriately from the fridge’s environment, for instance if it maintains its original plastic packaging or is placed in a freezer bag, then it will maintain the moisture. If you want your bread to stay for a few more days, you can store it in the fridge.
Finally, if you want your bread to last longer, you can also store it in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Bread?
Though this may be surprising to you, but bread can stay well in the freezer (same applies to banana bread). You can choose to freeze your bread as a last resort of saving it from going stale. You can even freeze some of the bread when you think that you won’t be able to finish it and it will go stale.
One of the most important things when freezing bread is to ensure that it’s pre-sliced. Slicing frozen bread will leave you with uneven slices. Also, having pre-sliced bread makes it easy for you when you want to remove a few slices leaving the rest in the freezer. Plus, it takes a shorter time to defrost frozen slices which is why its better to freeze pre-sliced bread.
Now let’s discuss about packaging bread before putting it in the freezer. If your bread is unopened, you can just put it in the freezer because you don’t need to repack it. However, if your bread is already opened and you want to freeze it, you can transfer it in to freezer bags ensuring that there is minimal air in the bag before sealing it. If you think the bread might get smashed by the other foods before it freezes, you can place it in a container for further protection. Otherwise, you won’t need one.
When you need a couple of slices of bread, the following are some of the methods you can apply to defrost them without difficulty:
- On the countertop. Carefully separate the slices of bread, laying them on a tray or plate so that they can defrost quickly. Depending on how thick the slices are, it should take about 10 to 20 minutes.
- Use a sandwich maker or a toaster oven. Warm the frozen slices of bread using either of the kitchen appliances. If you don’t want the bread to toast, you can heat up the device for a short time, then turn it off before placing the bread in it. This way, you’ll be able to defrost your bread to room temperature in a short time.
Always ensure that the bread is consumed immediately after it’s defrosted.
How Long Does Bread Last?
Store-bought bread, whether whole-grain, multi-grain or white, can last for around 5 to 7 days when stored in the pantry. Although it may still be safe for consumption after one week, it will probably be stale.
On the other hand, homemade bread can stay in the pantry for at least 4 or 5 days. It can get both stale and bad quickly compared to bread bought from the store. If you want your bread to last for a few extra days, you can put in the fridge (after sealing it tightly).
Bread can be kept in the freezer for as long as one wants, but its advisable to consume it within 3 months before it loses its quality. Bread will slowly lose its quality while in the freezer, hence the need to finish it before it does.
If you’re planning to store bread in the freezer for a long time, make sure that it is wrapped properly. If you’d like to keep in there for about 2 months or more, have it wrapped in additional freezer bags or aluminum foil.
|Store-bought bread||5 – 7 days||7 – 12 days||3 months|
|Homemade bread||3- 5 days||5 – 8 days||3 months|
Note that the dates given above are only approximated.
How to Tell If Bread Is Bad
Want to be able to tell when your bread is stale? Stale bread in usually tough and dry. However, it isn’t considered to be bad. The bread isn’t bad in the sense that it may cause you to become sick. It will still be safe for consumption, maybe not as desirable to eat like fresh as fresh bread. You can choose to either eat it or dispose of it for quality reasons. It all depends on you.
When dealing with bad bread, there are a number of obvious visible signs. They include mold or black, white, green or blue spots which become visible on the surface of the bread indicating that it is spoiled and should be thrown away.
If the bread is store-bought and it smells yeasty, sour (like vinegar), or like alcohol, then you should discard it too. When the rotting process is occurring, you can easily smell it and you should then toss away the bread. This is also applicable when there are no visible signs of the bread being spoilt and it “only smells bad.”
If your bread smells and looks fine, it means that it is safe for consumption. You can eat a tiny piece to confirm (without butter or other spreads). If you find that it tastes sour, then get rid of it. Otherwise, the bread is perfectly safe for consumption.