How to store artisan bread
What is Artisan bread?
Well, just bread, but made in the traditional way. Bread made with only 4 ingredients – flour, water, salt and yeast. NO additives. Don’t be fooled by what is on the label of packaged bread. There are a host of additives added to bread at the dough making stage, some of which are derived from animals – vegetarians be aware – but they are not shown on the label because they are “processing aids”
How long will it stay fresh?
Artisan bread is at its highest quality for 38 – 48 hours. This equates to how long it takes to make the bread. In general the amount of time put into making a loaf is the same amount of time as the bread is at its highest quality. This is because the fermentation process of the dough is its natural preservative. Sourdough (wild yeast) bread takes twice as long to make so, consequently, the shelf life is twice as long.
What is the best way to store my bread?
The best way to store bread is in an old fashioned bread box or your Bread Angels cotton bag. Plastic is never recommended. Bread stored in plastic may appear fresh because it is soft but the plastic speeds up the staling process by giving mould and bacteria a more favourable environment in which to grow.
Will bread freeze?
Yes, with excellent results. Wrap the uncut loaf tightly in foil and place in a plastic bag and freeze for up to three weeks. Thaw at room temperature. If desired, although not necessary, you can refresh the loaf in a moderate oven for 5-10 minutes.
Alternatively slice the bread before freezing, wrap tightly in clingfilm, and then remove as much as is needed to thaw or toast. Another alternative is to have your favourite bread made into baps and then freeze these individually. They take hardly any time to thaw.
Can I store my bread in the fridge?
Changes in the alignment of the starch molecules are what cause bread to go stale. These molecules change most rapidly at the temperature range of the refrigerator (just above freezing). When you reheat bread, it actually changes the starch molecules back, but this also means they can go stale more quickly afterwards. So try to eat your reheated breads within an hour or two