Spare counter space is generally earmarked for useful equipment like blenders, microwaves, and coffee makers these days, but seldom for a bread box. Breadboxes were a common home staple until major producers discovered how to preserve bread fresher for longer. As My Recipes explains, their popularity started to wane in the mid-twentieth century, but breadboxes have made a gourmet return as processed goods continue to be overlooked on market shelves. As The New York Times pointed out in 2001, preservative-laden bread, sometimes known as “mass-produced plastic food in plastic wrap,” has never needed careful preservation. The ingredients keep pre-packaged loaves of bread taste as good as new for up to a week, but freshly made bread may harden in a day.
Yes, breadboxes have been shown to keep bread fresh for extended periods of time. Delicious baked items may be kept fresh for a long time with the aid of a closed box. Even days later, bread lovers may enjoy that fresh-from-the-oven flavor. Taste of Home tested this by keeping identical loaves of bread in four different ways, one of which was secured in a typical breadbox. Without a doubt, the loaf preserved in the breadbox tasted the finest. “It assisted the bread in retaining its natural characteristics: a crispy surface, a juicy crumb, and a delightful chew,” they said. Other packaged alternatives included a couple of plastic possibilities and one paper one, and none could stand up as well as a traditional breadbox.
What’s the Experiment?
I bought a couple loaves of unsliced sourdough bread from the same bakery and kept them in four different ways: in plastic wrap, the plastic bag they arrived in, a paper bag, and the bread box. For a few days, I tried to forget about the delicious crumb, crispy shell, and completely seductive scent. (If I’m being honest, I purchased a fifth loaf and devoured it on the way home.) I kept an eye on the bread for three days before dividing it in half and evaluating it for two more.
A Closer Look at the Results
The Method That Just Didn’t Work
By far the weakest link was the paper bag. It was as hard as a rock by day two. For the second part of the tests, I could hardly cut through its crusty shell by day three. While the interior was still wet, I would have needed to utilize this stale bread technique to make it palatable. So, avoid the paper bag when it comes to keeping your bread.
The Ones That Were Pretty Good
When it comes to keeping the bread fresh, the plastic bag and plastic wrap approaches were quite comparable. But they both had one huge flaw: the plastic smothered the crust. The bread was still edible on day three, but it was entirely soft. It had lost its crispy surface, which gives bread its distinctive crunch. They were both somewhat dry, but not absolutely stale.
The bread box was the obvious winner in this trial. What is the purpose of bread boxes? They aid in the preservation of bread’s inherent features, such as a crispy surface, a moist crumb, and a delightful crunch. This bread-making gadget, like a plastic bag, keeps moisture from the bread within the container. However, unlike a bag, a box is also permeable, enabling some of the moisture to escape rather than softening the bread’s crust. In a nutshell, the box generates the ideal humid climate to keep your bread fresh for three or four days.
However, the sliced loaf dried out on the cut end when placed in the bread box. I was able to keep the exposed slices from drying if I squeezed the slices together, but the slices in the plastic could be totally exposed without drying out (at the expense of a crisp exterior, of course).
Bread Boxes: Past And Present
Large households meant that loaves of bread did not need to last very long. The bread was often consumed before it spoiled.
Bread was traditionally purchased from grocery shops by smaller households.
Because these ready-made, wrapped breads had preservatives, keeping bread fresh for an extended amount of time was not a concern.
Today, an increasing number of people are rediscovering the practice of baking bread at home. It is a fantastic activity whether you are single, married, or have a family.
You create nutritious bread with no preservatives and want it to remain fresh until the whole loaf is consumed.
You want a bread box that does more than just look nice on your kitchen counter. You just need to find the correct one. The appearance of the bread box is significant, but it is not nearly as vital as how it performs.
How Do Bread Boxes Work?
Before you go out and purchase the loveliest bread box you can find, or order a wonderful one you see advertised online, think about what a bread box is for and how it functions. This will assist you in selecting an effective one.
First and foremost, bread boxes preserve bread at room temperature. This extends the time a loaf remains fresh and tender. Bread kept in this manner may keep fresh and tasty for 4 to 1 week.
Baguettes and a cloth wipe in a bread box on a table with a hardwood pad containing bread and peppers, as well as a toy and peppers in a cup
Second, condensation may cause mold to grow on bread. This is one of the reasons why sealed plastic containers and plastic bags should be avoided. There must be some ventilation to prevent condensation. A bread box with a slightly unfastened cover is a straightforward solution.
Third, the bread must be protected by the cover. Ants, roaches, flies, and even home dust may contaminate bread. The lid must not be too slack, allowing pests and contaminants to enter the box.
Take additional actions after purchasing a bread box for the greatest outcomes. Instead of keeping your bread box on a countertop that is exposed to kitchen heat and direct sunshine, put it in a dark, dry, cold location that is free of excess moisture or humidity.
Will Other Methods Keep Bread Fresh?
A nice bread box is the finest location to store your handmade bread. While bread is not intended to be stored for an extended amount of time, bread boxes keep bread fresher longer than other common storage options.
A common example is a plastic bag. Bread in grocery shops is packaged in plastic bags, but even with preservatives, it rapidly becomes stale or moldy.
If you use this method with handmade bread, the natural moisture of the bread will be contained inside the plastic. This will impact the texture of the bread, particularly the crust. Your bread won’t taste as good as it should.
Some people use paper bags. While this method is prevalent in bakeries, you will be disappointed with the outcomes of your handmade bread. Air will leak into the bag if you use paper. If not consumed right away, the bread will turn dry or even stale.
A third blunder is putting bread in the refrigerator. You may believe that since it is chilly, it will remain fresh, but refrigeration has the reverse effect.
Refrigerating bread accelerates starch molecule retrogradation and dehydration. Bread may get hard and stale six times quicker if stored in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature.
Bread boxes, on the other hand, are not intended for long-term storage. There may be occasions when you do not intend to consume the bread within a few days.
You could want to create many loaves, or you might want bread for a particular supper or function. While freezing bread should be done only when absolutely required, you may have wonderful, fresh loaves for any occasion.
Check that the bread has fully cooled so that it does not turn soggy or moldy. Wrap each individual loaf in high-quality plastic wrap.
Next, double-wrap the bread in freezer paper or foil. Although double-wrapping will keep it fresh, it should be consumed within 6 months. Freezers are not designed to keep food permanently, and handmade bread is no exception.
It is simple to defrost frozen bread so that it preserves its freshness. You may defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or toast it right away in the toaster. It will be tasty and ready for your lunch or dinner party.
Why Should You Buy A Bread Box?
Bread boxes are logically intended for bread, although other ways are not. It is one item that is absolutely necessary when making your own bread at home.
Choose one that is visually attractive while keeping its functions and goals in mind. It is well worth the minimal expenditure to have healthful, flavorful, fresh bread on hand at all times.
Consider your baking practices as well as the reasons you desire the bread when buying for a bread box.
While it is feasible for frozen bread to taste and have a pleasant texture, freshly made bread is always superior.
You may make a loaf now and serve it tonight or tomorrow. Make great sandwiches for your children to take to school in their lunch boxes, or one for yourself if you bring brown paper bag lunches to work.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly baked bread. From the scent to the flavor and nutrients, it is much superior than store-bought bread.
Storage does not have to be an issue if you do not intend to consume it as soon as it comes out of the bread machine or oven.
You can select a suitable location for your wonderful new bread box. It will nearly taste like it came straight from your bread maker or oven.
You may brag about it to your friends and inspire them to start making homemade bread as well.