In this article, we will answer the question “How long can bread last in the fridge?”, and how to tell if the bread has gone bad?
How long can bread last in the fridge?
Store-bought bread that is kept tightly sealed in the fridge will stay fresh for 7-12 days. Homemade bread, on the other hand, will only preserve its freshness for 5-8 days in the fridge if stored correctly. Read on if you want to know how to store bread in fridge, freezer and at room temperature.
The shelf-life of bread
The following table shows the estimated shelf-life of different types of bread under different storage conditions.
|In the pantry||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Store-bought bread||5-7 days||7-12 days||3 months|
|Homemade bread||3-5 days||5-8 days||3 months|
|Baked goods (rolls, bagels, pastries, etc.)||Expiration date + 2-3 days||Not recommended||Expiration date + up to 6 months|
Types of bread and Its ingredients
Sandwich, loaf, or bakery breads available in the market contain preservatives to extend their shelf-life by protecting against microbial growth. Calcium propionate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid are commonly used aspreservative for bread.
Gluten-free bread is sold in frozen form because it contains high moisture content with comapartively lesser amount of preservatives.
Dried bread products like bread croutons and breadcrumbs, that have the lowest moisture levels, last the longest.
Refrigerated dough that can be made into biscuits is also susceptible to spoilgae due to the added oils that can go rancid when exposed to air.
Homemade bread does not contain any preservatives plus contains perishable ingredients like eggs and milk. This places the homemade bread at high risk of spoilage especially if handled carelessly.
How to store bread?
At room temperature
If the bread is unopened, storing it in the pantry or on the kitchen counter is a good option. Once opened, keep the bread tightly sealed. If sealing is not feasible with the original packaging, transfer the bread to a breadbox or a plastic bag. Keep it sealed at all times.
Freshly baked bread can be stored in a brown bag which can be sealed using paper clips. The rule of thumb is to keep the bread away from heat sources like stovetop and sunlight.
In the fridge
Contrary to the myths, bread can be stored in the fridge. However, if the bread is not tightly sealed, it will dry out and stale. As long as the bread is stored in the freezer bag, original package, or in a plastic bag and left untouched in the fridge, it will preserve its freshness.
Yes, bread can be frozen. It is recommended to slice the bread loaf before freeze-storing it so that it is easier to thaw as much bread as you want at a time. Plus cutting the frozen bread will damage the crumb. Unopened loaves of bread can be kept as is in the freezer.
Leftover bread loaves have to be transferred to a freezer bag before freezing, squeeze out all the air from the bag before storing.
How to defrost frozen bread?
On the countertop
Spread the frozen bread slices on a plate and leave it on the counter for 10-20 minutes to defrost completely.
In the toaster oven or sandwich toaster
Bread slices can be defrosted by either of the two appliances. If you do not want a toast, you can turn on the appliance, turn off the heat and then let the bread warm up in the residual heat. Defrosted bread comes to room temperature quickly.
How to tell if the bread has gone bad?
Stale bread that is dried out and tough is not bad or spoiled. It is just not up to the mark of quality parameters. Such bread can be heated in a toaster oven to freshen it up.
- Visible mold growth in the form of white, blue, green, and black spots or patches is an obvious indication of spoilage.
- If the bread gives off a vinegar-like, yeasty, or alcoholic odor, it is bad and must be discarded.
- The bread that states sour is bad and must not be consumed.
Risks of eating expired bread
Rhizopus, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Mucor, and Fusarium are the most common types of fungus that spoil bread. Eating a bread might contain toxins produced by any of these fungi. It can eventually lead to food poisoning or irritate the respiratory tube when inhaled.Food poisoning results in indigestion and weakened immune system.
In this article, we answered the question “How long can bread last in the fridge?”, and how to tell if the bread has gone bad?