Bakery products, unfortunately, do not remain soft, warm, tasty for a long time. It inevitably turns stale and moldy. Each hostess, in her way, tries to prevent damage, storing it in suitable containers – bread baskets. If it is impossible to replenish the stock daily in hot, wet weather, many will question: is it possible to store bread in the refrigerator?
Why reduce the storage temperature?
Sanitary standards establish the period when yeast baked goods are suitable for consumption. The sale of a food product weighing more than 500 g differs from the type of raw materials used. Pastries from rye or rye-wheat flour should be eaten for 36 hours. Wheat bread is suitable for no more than one day. Small-piece bakery product (weight up to 200g) is allowed for sale within 16 hours.
The shelf life and storage of bakery products is determined from the time of exit from the production oven. Products baked at home on household equipment in compliance with the technological process remain as fresh as much.
To maximize the saving of consumer characteristics of bread, we should achieve a temperature in the room from 20 to 25 ° C. Optimal humidity ranges from 75%. But can we always create such conditions in hot weather or the rainy season? Being outside the city apartments, away from the shops, is it possible to keep bread in the refrigerator? After all, according to logic, a decrease in temperature slows down the vital activity of pathogens that cause spoilage of the product. Let’s approach the study of this issue objectively.
Can bread be stored in the main refrigerated chamber?
For a freshly baked yeast product to remain tasty, helpful, experienced people are advised to put bread in the freezer. However, they do not recommend storing it in the cold compartment. There are many different smells (even if the products are in bags or containers). And all this will absorb your baked goods if stored correctly – in paper or a linen bag.
As an exception, temporary storage of bread in the refrigerator is allowed. Set the device’s operating temperature at around +3 ° C. Take into account another parameter: humidity inside the refrigeration equipment. It is lower than the humidity in the apartment. The content of water vapor in the air mass of the unit ranges from 50 to 90%. The same average percentage in a fresh product is about 50. By balancing these indicators, you will get slow evaporation of moisture and longer shelf life.
There is another – the best and most expensive way. This is a novelty of recent times – a vacuum cleaner, a vacuum packer or a unique silicone bag with a valve for pumping out air (the option is slightly cheaper). There is no oxygen inside, which means that the product does not oxidize, pathogenic organisms do not multiply. White bread in the refrigerator can be up to a month, black – up to three. But, of course, only for the sake of storing bread, such an expensive device no one buys.
Why is the cold store not suitable?
Taking the stale, mouldy bun out of the refrigerator stale, mouldy bun out of the refrigerator, we accuse the bakers, allegedly selling us low-quality goods. However, the real reason is different: the fridge is a technique that does not involve preserving the properties of yeast products. Slightly cooling the product, we get both benefits and harm.
Freshly baked bakery products have an average humidity of 40 to 50%. This indicator of moisture content provides the product with the elasticity of the crust, the density of the crumb, a small number of crumbs. The provided temperature in the refrigeration compartment varies from 0 to +5 ° C. At this temperature range, the internal moisture of the product evaporates quickly. Starch crystallizes, the loaf stale in a day. Therefore, it is pointless to store bakery products in the refrigerator.
Sending the product to the refrigeration stall, we put it in a dense cellophane bag. This is a common mistake. When preparing the dough in bakeries, use pressed yeast. This pure fungal culture has high fermentation activity. Turning simple sugars into ethyl alcohol with the release of carbon dioxide, microorganisms loosen the dough, create pores in the finished bread. Yeast retains its abilities in baked products for 24 hours.
We pack the loaf or loaf in a polyethene film that does not let air through. The interior space is filled with carbon dioxide over time. Also, cellophane does not allow excess water to evaporate. Because of this, the humidity inside the package increases. Such conditions are a favourable environment for the formation of mould fungi. Poor ventilation supports an increase in the number of pathogenic microorganisms. Blueness, the green colour of the crust, inform about the presence of mould. Sometimes the fungus looks like a powdery coating.
What do we do? When placing the yeast product in the refrigeration compartment, put it in a paper “breathing” bag or wrap the loaf with a clean cloth. This will reduce the risk of mould and keep the fresh product longer.
Causes of spoilage of bread in the refrigerator
The source of the appearance of mould is the penetration of mould fungi into the product’s pores. Infection occurs not during baking but after the product leaves the oven since fungal microorganisms become unviable at temperatures above 80 ° C. Mass varieties of bread from wheat or rye flour are baked at 200 to 270 ° C.
The ingress of fungus is associated with settling spores on the surface during laying, cooling, transportation, and sale. The lack of required ventilation in the refrigeration unit leads to the growth and development of pathogens during storage. The rate of replication of fungi depends on several factors:
- used recipe;
- method of dough preparation (with or without steam);
- the acidity of the finished product;
- loaf masses;
- duration of storage.
A quality product made of wheat flour will not be covered with mould for four days. Rye product is not subject to decay for at least six days.
Why can bread be stored in the freezer?
The temperature in the freezer compartment of the household refrigerator is -18 ° C. In specialized stalls, the temperature minimum reaches -32 ° C. Such values allow you to save products for one year. If you freeze bread in the freezer for storage – will the taste, beneficial properties disappear?
Scientific studies have shown that freezing keeps bread in the refrigerator and does not deteriorate taste indicators. Finding the product in the freezer compartment ensures the preservation of vitamins A, K, K, group B. These functional elements do not disappear but reduce their concentration. Due to the decrease in moisture in the yeast product, its caloric content slightly increases. Freezing reduces the glycemic index, making the product available to patients with diabetes.
Why is the freezer better?
A suitable method for freezing is “shock” technology. The rapid achievement of a low-temperature regime increases the shelf life of food products. Deciding to freeze bread in the freezer for storage, we carry out three step-by-step actions:
- cooling – bring the temperature of the product to 0 degrees, placing it for 15 minutes in the “freshness zone”;
- freezing – set the temperature at -5 ° C, which allows the loaf to lose 70% of moisture;
- home-building – we reach a storage temperature of -18 ° C.
Three-stage freezing has several advantages. It prevents the development of bacterial and fungal microflora. The intermediate phase – freezing, avoids the formation of ice crystals, which destroy the product’s structure, adversely affecting its taste.
We study tips on how to store bread in the freezer:
- The shelf life of thawed pastries does not exceed one day. Therefore, the loaf is divided into portioned slices (so you do not have to defrost the entire product several times in the microwave). Put in a bag the amount consumed at one meal.
- We send only fresh cooled products for storage. Hot will cause the appearance of condensation, the formation of excess moisture. And the increased temperature inside will not benefit household appliances.
- We take into account that baking quickly absorbs foreign odours. We place the product separately from fish, meat products.
- Health issues require the storage of food products in clean chambers. Monitor the sanitary condition of the freezer.
Duration of storage
A freezer compartment is a suitable place if you can’t buy fresh bread every day. At a temperature of -18 ° C, the shelf life of yeast products reaches three weeks. If the temperature is reduced to -23°C, the bread will be suitable for consumption after five weeks of being frozen.
More extended storage of bread is possible in the conditions of professional freezers.