In this brief article we will answer the query,”How long does bread last in the freezer?” We will look at various factors that influence the shelf life of bread. We will also discuss some signs that show that your bread has gone bad.
How long does bread last in the freezer?
Bread can last for about 6 months in the freezer if it is shop-bought bread. However, for home-made bread it tends to have a shorter shelf-life of about 2 to 3 months when frozen because it has no preservatives.
Crusty breads such as French baguette tend to come apart when it is frozen and then thawed so it’s best to be consumed on the day it is purchased fresh from the supermarket.
What is the shelflife of bread?
There are a lot of factors that affect the shelf life of bread which is the duration that it takes before bread goes bad.
When kept at room temperature, the shelf life of bread is about 3 to 7 days but can also vary based on the ingredients, types of bread and the storage methods.
Let us look more at some of these factors.
Type of bread and ingredients used
Breads such as sandwich, loaf and bakery breads which are store-bought usually contain preservatives to prevent microbial spoilage such as mold and increase the shelf life. If preservatives are not added to bread it can only last about 3 to 4 days at ambient room temperature.
Commonly used bread preservatives are sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, calcium propionate and sorbic acid. Some bakeries also make use of Lactic acid bacteria which usually produce anti-mold acids.
Breads such as gluten-free bread are more likely to be contaminated by mold because it has a high moisture content and also has limited use of preservatives. This makes sense why it is mostly sold when frozen instead of room temperature.
However, dried bread products such as crackers and breadcrumbs have more shelf life because molds require moisture to grow.
Doughs that have been refrigerated for biscuits and rolls contain oils that become rancid with time so they also eventually go bad.
As earlier mentioned, homemade breads lack preservatives and also use perishable ingredients such as eggs and milk. There are also bakeries that do not use preservatives. Always make sure that you look at the ingredients list on the label.
The storage method is another factor that influences the shelf life of bread. In conditions that are warm and moist, bread spoils much faster. To prevent your bread from molding, ensure that you keep it sealed and at room temperature or a colder environment.
As mentioned, at room temperature bread can keep well for about 3 to 4 days if its homemade and upto 7 days if store bought. Refrigerating bread can help extend its shelf life by 3 to 5 days for both homemade or store-bought bread.
When refrigerating bread ensure that you keep it well sealed so as to prevent drying out of the bread and ensure that the packaging has no moisture. Frozen bread can keep well for about 6 months but you should note that freezing bread doesn’t destroy harmful bacteria but only slows down their growth.
How can you tell that your bread has gone bad?
There are some tell-tale signs that show that your bread has spoiled. One of the quickest ways of gauging this is by checking the ‘Sell by date’ or ‘Best by date’ although these dates are not accurate as bread might still be safe to consume after these dates.
Some of the signs of spoilage are:
Mold is usually evident by fuzzy spots that appear to be green, black, white and even pink. It is recommended that you throw out the entire loaf of bread if you spot any mold on it.
If your bread has visible mold you should avoid smelling it because the spores are harmful to health if inhaled into the body. Also, if you do not happen to see mold but the bread has a strange smell it’s recommended that you discard the loaf of bread.
If you notice that the bread does not taste okay, make sure that you immediately discard it.
Hard texture is a sign that bread wasn’t sealed properly and has become dry and stale. If there are no signs of mold, stale bread is still safe to consume.
To learn how to properly freeze bread click this link.
In this brief article we have answered the query,”How long does bread last in the freezer?” We have looked at various factors that influence the shelf life of bread. We have also discussed some signs that show that your bread has gone bad.