Bread boxes have been popular for centuries. You may remember your grandmother having one in her kitchen when you were a child.
Perhaps you are wondering: Do bread boxes keep bread fresh longer? It depends on the box you choose, and how you plan to use it. Also the bread will stay fresh longer if you keep it in a cool and dark place.
Bread Boxes: Past And Present
In the distant past, large families meant loaves of bread did not need to last very long. Bread was generally eaten before it had a chance to spoil.
In the nearer past, smaller families usually bought bread from grocery stores.
As these ready-made, wrapped breads were filled with preservatives, keeping bread fresh for a period of time was still not an issue.
Today, more and more individuals have returned to the art of making bread at home. It is a wonderful hobby whether you are a single, couple, or have a family.
You bake healthy bread that does not contain preservatives, and you want it to stay fresh until the entire loaf is eaten.
You want a bread box that is more than an attractive addition to your kitchen countertop. All you need to do is find the right one. Appearance is important, but not nearly as important as how the bread box functions.
How Do Bread Boxes Work?
Before you rush out and buy the prettiest bread box you can find, or order a nice one you see advertised online, start by considering the purpose of a bread box and how it works. This will help you choose one that is effective.
First, bread boxes keep bread at room temperature. This increases the length of time a loaf is both fresh and soft. Bread stored this way can stay fresh and flavorful between 4 days and 1 week.
Second, condensation can cause bread to become moldy. This is one reason to avoid airtight plastic containers and plastic bags. There must be a little airflow so condensation does not occur. A simple approach is to use a bread box with a lid that is slightly loose.
Third, the lid must also protect the bread. Ants, roaches, flies, and even household dust can ruin bread. The lid must not be so loose that pests and pollutants can get into the box.
For the best results, take extra steps after you have purchased a bread box. You should not keep your bread box on a countertop that is exposed to kitchen heat and direct sunlight, Instead, place the box in a dark, dry, cool area that does not have excessive moisture or humidity.
Will Other Methods Keep Bread Fresh?
A good bread box is definitely the best place to keep your homemade bread. While bread is not meant to last for a long period of time, bread boxes keep bread fresh longer than other popular storage methods.
One popular example is a plastic bag. Breads from grocery stores are sold in plastic bags, but even with all the preservatives they quickly become stale or moldy.
If you take this approach with your homemade bread, the bread’s natural moisture will be trapped within the plastic. This will affect the texture of the bread itself, and especially the crust. Your bread will not taste as fresh as it should.
Some individuals use paper bags. While this approach is common in bakeries, you will not like the results with your homemade bread. If you use paper, air will seep into the bag. If it is not eaten immediately, the bread will become dry or even stale.
A third mistake is storing bread in the refrigerator. You may think it will stay fresh because it is cool, but refrigeration causes the opposite effect.
Refrigerating bread results in faster retrogration of starch molecules, and faster dehydration. Bread can become hard and stale approximately 6 times faster if you keep it in your refrigerator instead of at room temperature.
However, bread boxes are not meant for long-term storage. There may be times when you do not plan to eat the bread within a few days.
Perhaps you want to make multiple loaves, or you may want bread for a special dinner or event. While you should only freeze bread when it is absolutely necessary, you can have delicious, fresh loaves for any occasion.
Make sure the bread you baked is completely cool so it does not become soggy or moldy. Use a quality plastic wrap to tightly wrap an individual loaf.
Next, use freezer paper or foil so the bread is double-wrapped. Double-wrapping will keep it fresh, but it should be used within 6 months. Freezers are not meant to store food indefinitely, and homemade bread is not an exception.
It is not difficult to thaw frozen bread so it retains its freshness. You can thaw it overnight in your refrigerator, or toast it immediately in your toaster. It will be delicious and ready for your meal or your dinner party.
Why Should You Buy A Bread Box?
Logically, bread boxes are meant for bread, while other methods are not. When you make your own bread at home, it is one accessory you really need.
Choose one that looks appealing, but keep its functions and purposes in mind. It is worth the small investment to always have nutritious, tasty, fresh bread.
When you are shopping for a bread box, also consider your baking habits and the reasons you want the bread.
While it is not impossible for bread that has been frozen to taste good and have a good texture, freshly-baked bread is always better.
You can bake a loaf today, and have it on your table tonight or tomorrow. You can make super sandwiches for your kids to take to school in their lunch boxes, or one for yourself if you take brown paper bag lunches to work.
There is nothing quite like homemade bread. From the aroma to taste and nutrition, it is much better than bread you can buy at a store.
If you do not plan to eat it as soon as it comes out of the bread machine or your oven, storage does not have to be a problem.
You can find the ideal place to keep your lovely new bread box. It will taste almost as if it came directly from your bread machine or oven.
You can show it off to all your friends, and encourage them to start baking homemade bread, too.