Cheat Codes: Helping Bread Last Longer
When you live with a bunch of other people, food tends to disappear rather quickly, and you don’t usually have to worry about it going bad before it gets eaten. But when you’re living on your own or with one other person, the food doesn’t fly out of the cupboard as fast anymore. Things that used to be gone in days can now take weeks to finish. And that can be a problem for perishable food items. You don’t want to end up throwing away food you spent good money on. Luckily there are ways to help a lot of foods last longer. Today we’ll focus on bread.
A lot of loaves of bread sold in stores are fairly sizable, which is a good thing. But unless all you eat is toast and sandwiches there’s a good chance you’ll struggle to get through a loaf before it starts to get stale (which is actually still okay for toast, but that’s another post) or possibly moldy. Luckily there’s a really easy way to solve this problem. Freeze half of your loaves of bread so there’s only half of a loaf out at a time.
Really you could divide it up however you want, but we’ve always done half. Even if you can go through a loaf before it goes bad, freezing bread can help you take better advantage of sales and coupons and the like. Stock up while you can for cheap and rest assured you’ll be held over until the next sale.
You can do this with pretty much any type of bread. You can freeze loaves of sliced bread, or loaves that don’t come sliced, like Italian bread or challah (if you want to make some awesome French toast).
Again, all you need to do is divide up the loaf the way that you think will work best for you. It also works well with rolls and buns. You can stock up on a week or two’s worth of rolls for sandwiches at a time and then freeze them to make sure they last.
You can either freeze them as they come in their bag, or if you’re worried about them getting frozen together, wrap them in plastic wrap or sandwich bags before putting them back in the bigger bag. Rolls usually defrost pretty quickly, so you can just take them out an hour or so before you want to use it. If you need them to be defrosted faster you can always use the microwave or oven/toaster. Just be careful with the microwave to not leave the bread in too long or it can get tough once it cools again.
Same goes for bagels (common, we’re based in NY, you knew I was going to mention bagels). You can usually get a deal if you buy a dozen at a time, so freezing them and taking what you want out the night before so you can have them for breakfast will make sure none go to waste.
A bonus cheat code to help with this is to start saving the bags your bread comes in. You help the environment by recycling, and also have a bag that you know the bread will fit in.
While freezing bread will help it last longer, it still won’t last forever. If you keep it your freezer for too long it can start to get freezer burned and won’t be very pleasant to eat. If you’re worried about losing track of how long something has been in the freezer, stick a note with the date on it in the bag before freezing. Keeping a rotation system in place will help too (oldest in the front, newest in the back).
Some foods are trickier to manage, but luckily bread freezes and defrosts really well. So go, bread lovers! Go buy bread until your heart’s content, and you can rest assured it will be safe and sound in your freezer, waiting to be eaten.