Thursday, 22 February 2007

The 2 golden rules of how to keep your real bread fresh.

Most of the bread we eat is home baked. There are two reasons for this. Firstly I enjoy making bread, it's just plain good fun. Secondly it tastes better, a good sourdough just can't be bought around here - you have to bake it yourself.

One thing you notice with homebaked bread, even with a robust sourdough, is that it seems to stale more quickly than a sliced white. There are a few reasons for this, mainly to do with strange additives which are in mass produced bread to make it seem fresher. You don't want to know about those if you eat a lot of that kind of bread, you'll just feel bad.

Bottom line is that keeping your bread fresh is a simple matter, boiling down to two simple rules.

RULE ONE : Fridges suck
Do not put your bread in the fridge. Unlike everything else you eat, which is preserved by the cool of the fridge, bread actually stales QUICKER in the fridge. It's all very sciencey to do with chrystalisation of starches. All you need to know is that bread goes stale quickest at 5'C which is probably exactly the temperature of your fridge.

RULE TWO: Plastic bags rule
In addition to the sciencey chrystalisation part, bread can dry out which makes it seem staler. Put your loaf in a plastic bag! The useful pic below should help you understand what this looks like!

Follow my two simple rules and your bread will last longer. I promise.

french country bread in a bag

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