Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.
Hi Pamela, I've never used those micro-perforated bags, so I can't answer that. When are you serving the bread, or will you be using it as sandwich bread?
I would take the bread out of the bag, let it dry completely, then store it back in a new bag, and keep it in the fridge if it's sandwich bread. I'd rather be able to toast up some cold bread, than some moldy bread left out on the counter.
If you're serving it at a later date, bread freezes really great. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze. Reheat, still frozen and wrapped in foil, in a 350ish oven for about 15 minutes or so, then take off foil and let it crisp up for 5 minutes.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
What kind of bread is it? If it's any kind of whole grain, it will retain more moisture regardless of how long you let it cool. If you live in a humid climate, you can safely store bread in paper bags. If, however, you live in one as dry as mine, you're pretty much relegated to plastic. I agree with Mrs. Larkin about airing it out, then re-bagging it. I respectfully beg to differ about refrigerating it. True, under refrigeration, bread (or any baked good) will not mold. It won't mold because it can't. Refrigeration is a naturally dehydrating environment. At temperatures below 40 degrees, and I hope your refrigerator cools to below 40, starch molecules begin to break down. In doing so, they loose water molecules to the environment. As a result, though it sounds counterintuitive, baked goods will actually stale faster under refrigeration than at room temperature. They won't mold, but they will stale. If you are concerned about bread molding before you can eat it all, perhaps consider cutting the loaf in half and freezing one half. I do that often, as I bake for 1 - myself - and I'm darned if I'm going to let the fruits of my labor be tossed out!
All very true except the staling of bread isn't due to loss of moisture to the environment. If that were true, it wouldn't stale when wrapped in plastic, which of course it does. The moisture migrates from the starch into the gluten. The process can be reversed by heating to 140F. The same thing happens when you toast stale bread -- the inside of the slice softens as the outer part browns. So into the refrigerator it goes only if you'll be using it for toasting or another stale-bread use. Pain perdu? Bread pudding? All is not lost.
Staling is one of the few reactions that continue after freezing; bread won't keep forever in the freezer.
If you want an easy way to increase the shelf life of your bread, incorporate an egg yolk in the dough. The emulsifiers in the egg work pretty much the same as commercial additives.
We live in Texas. I'm selling my wheat and white sandwich bread to our CSA members at the local Farmer's Market. The bread looks great on the counter until I get it outside and that's when it starts sweating in the bag. It looks terrible and unprofessional by the time the member comes
by to pick up. I really don't know what to do.
Um, I didn't mean to imply you shouldn't freeze bread, just that it won't last as long as a pork chop.
I appreciate all of the advice. This is the first time I've posted on this site and should have edited my question. I have started selling some of the bread to our CSA members at the local Farmer's Market. There are other food vendors that are selling baked goods and their bread doesn't sweat in the bags like mine. I have to be doing something wrong but can't figure out what.
I went to the google and, just for kicks, searched "sweaty bread."
lots of interesting info: http://www.mahalo.com/answers...
and then this made me giggle: http://www.thevoiceinsidemyeye...
I've used this company many times. Great customer service and prompt delivery. Here's a bag that might fit your needs: http://www.webstaurantstore...
I assume you're bagging the bread in plastic?
I've never experienced this issue yet I follow the same procedure you describe (which is pretty much standard for loaves where you're not trying to preserve a crispy crust). I don't pretend to be an expert at baking (Cynthia where are you?) but my guess is you've got too much residual moisture.
How are you determining the bread is fully cooked? Specifically, have you measured its temperature with a digital thermometer? Sandwich loaves should be close to 211F. I'd start there then look at your ratios.
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