Fabulous, you’ve got some bread.
Whilst you should enjoy bread in moderation due to its high carbohydrate content, it is remarkably nutritious for cheap staple food.
Bread boasts high fiber, essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system, and its carbohydrate content fuels your brain, heart, and central nervous system.
But your bread is out of the packaging, and you’ve found yourself questioning: does bread go bad?
The bad news is bread does go bad. The good news is that you can find out if your bread is still edible, as well as how to store it so it doesn’t go bad, below.
How To Tell If Bread Has Gone Bad
Is your bread off? It’s not hard to tell. The signs are:
- Mold. Can you spot white, green, blue, or black spots on the bread? Cut it open, and see if it’s discolored. If it is, throw it out!
- Smell. Your bread should smell clean and fresh, but if it starts smelling a bit weird, it’s time to bin it.
You do have the option of just binning the slices that have gone off, but it’s not recommended.
You might be wondering: what are those brown spots that look like they’re sprinkled on my white bread?
The answer is: they’re nothing to worry about. The specs are caused by unincorporated baking soda. This is what can make the crust look super brown.
If you’re ever making bread, that’s why you should combine baking soda thoroughly with the dry ingredients, before mixing in the liquids, because baking soda reacts with water. This helps the bread with even leavening.
How To Store Bread
To protect your bread’s shelf life once opened, make sure to store it properly. There are three options.
One option is to store your bread in a cool and dark place, such as a cupboard. Humidity, heat, and light are all of the worst enemies of bread, and they can also cause mold and fungus to develop.
Your best bet is to keep your bread in a fridge or cupboard, to keep it completely mold-free and delicious.
Tightly sealing the bread in a wrap bag can also be beneficial in slowing the bread’s aging process. This helps to keep moisture away from the bread and prevents the crust from getting too ropey, whilst allowing the inside to stay soft.
Crunchy crusts and soft bread. Mmm!
Otherwise, the wrap bag can also be substituted with a tea towel or cling film, thin plastic which can be wrapped around the bread for short-term preservation.
Any longer than that and you’d be better off bagging it, before putting it into your freezer.
Be warned. Although bread can keep from 3-6 months in the freezer, the taste may become blander and less distinct. You can try to prevent this by keeping your bread in the warmest part of your freezer. That’s probably the freezer door or the designated bread shelf if there is one in your freezer.
Exactly what type of storage method you should use will be determined by the type of bread, which we will cover below. However, if you’re ever in doubt, you can’t go wrong by simply storing your bread wrapped in cling film in a dark, cool place, which is always a necessity for your bread to hold onto its healthy color and smooth texture.
Types Of Bread & How Long They Last
How you store your bread and how long it lasts depends on the number and volume of preservatives included.
Often, loaves of bread from bakeries have shorter shelf-lives due to being free of added preservatives, unlike mass-produced grocery store bread, which is found to have other chemicals mixed in with the fresh dough.
Ciabatta bread is made from stronger flour, with wetter dough. These longer, flatter pieces of bread tend to become hard in about 2-3 days unless stored in a freezer.
Store-bought bread (with preservatives), both multigrain and whole-grain, can last up to 5-7 days. While it may be safe to eat a slice or two after a week, the texture will probably be dry.
To prevent premature dryness, remember to keep your store-bought bread in an airtight container in a cool place, or in the freezer if you want it to last longer.
Sourdough bread can last up to 7-10 days. Unlike normal store-bought bread, you want to put sourdough bread in a tea towel, to let it breathe. You should still keep this bread in a cool place.
7-10 days not long enough?
Sourdough bread can last up to 3 months in the freezer if properly stored!
One last thing. Always check the best before and expiry dates, no matter the type of bread. Follow the dates and storage advice on the packet first and foremost.
Unfortunately, bread does go bad.
However, there are plenty of ways to extend how long your bread lasts. You can wrap it in cling film, a tea towel, or a wrap bag, for example. Opting for sourdough over ciabatta will buy you some weeks in the freezer, too.