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No more freezer burn on your loaves of sourdough
While most of us just buy loaves of bread and stick them in the fridge or freezer until it's time to toast them and/or toss them, it seems like worrying about bread going stale might not be a problem anymore.
A company called Microzap claims that their giant microwave can zapa loaf of bread and make it last for 60 days without going stale. "We treated a slice of bread in the device, and we then checked the mold that was in the bread over time against a control," chief executive Don Stull told BBC. "And at 60 days it had the same mold content as it had when it came out of the oven."
Normally, bread will grow mold in around 10 days, the BBC reports; extending the shelf life of bread could cut food waste, and the microwave technique allows bakers to skip the preservatives and other additives that fight mold in everyday bread.
Stull says the microwave device, which introduces frequencies through a slotted radiator, unlike a home microwave, was designed to kill bacteria like salmonella, but it can also kill mold spores in bread in around 10 seconds. And while making French toast with stale brioche might be a technique of the past, something is a little weird about bread that can stay on a shelf for that long. It's like Wonderbread, or Twinkies.
How best to store your sourdough bread
Stale bread in your pantry? Don't turf it. Re-bake it for that fresh-out-of-the-oven experience or use the stale bread slices or chunks in recipes.
Bridget Hugo from BreadBread Bakery in Brixton and Farmdrop reveal how best to store your bread, and more:
How to make sourdough bread last longer
Never know the best way to store bread? If stored properly, traditional sourdough bread (the proper stuff that is, that’s been fermented slowly and is full of natural acidity) can last four to five days.
Founder of BreadBread bakery in Brixton, Bridget Hugo has been working with slow 24-hour fermentation since she created the sourdough pizza base at Franco Manca. Here she reveals her expert tips for storing your sourdough bread loaf and keep it fresher for longer.
Did you know, the natural acidity of sourdough bread discourages bacteria, so it takes longer than yeasted bread to develop mould? Each loaf baked at BreadBread is a ‘slow’ product. It’s been treated with respect and given ample time to develop into the tastiest, most digestible bread. Our slow-made sourdough is particularly stable, which means it keeps especially well.
The best way to store bread is…
Ideally, you should store your loaf in a cotton bread bag or wrapped in a large tea towel, so that the bread can ‘breathe’. Leave your bread in a relatively cool place so it can maintain normal ambient moisture levels.
It is not recommended to store bread in the fridge. A fridge is an extremely dry environment and will harden the bread quickly.
Storing bread in a plastic bag is also not ideal particularly in a warm place as the bag may cause ‘sweating’. Moisture and warmth encourages bacteria.
If you have several loaves to store, wrap them in clingfilm and put in a cool place. For longer term storage place cling-wrapped bread in the freezer.
Try re-baking your bread
No bread is ever ‘fresh’ for long. The loveliest bread is eaten just-cooled, about 2 to 6 hours after it has been removed from the oven. After that, the crust will become either soft and flakey, or dry and brittle or simply tough and dull – depending on the bread type and age of the bread.
Not everyone is lucky enough to live near a bakery offering fresh loaves. However, you can replicate that fresh-out-the-oven experience simply by re-baking your loaf in your oven at home, a much-overlooked trick! Though easy to execute, it takes a bit of planning.
Surprisingly, it takes about the same length of time to re-bake bread as it takes to bake bread from the raw dough, albeit at a much lower temperature. You also need to time for the loaf to cool down again. Hot bread, like crazy paving, is not all it is cracked up to be. The starches, when heated, revert to their original state and are less digestible, so you should leave it at least one hour to cool. This means you will need to get your bread in the oven a couple of hours before you need it.
Re-baking your loaf both refreshes your bread and your options on how you use or present it.
What are the nutrition facts for Ezekiel 4:9 Bread?
One slice of Ezekiel bread is a bit smaller in size than your average slice of bread. It weighs 34 grams a slice. The nutrition facts for one slice of Ezekiel 4:9 bread are:
Fat: 0.5 grams
Saturated fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 75 milligrams
Carb: 15 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 4 grams
For comparison, a slice of Pepperidge Farm Soft Sprouted Grain Bread serves up the same amount of fiber, but contains four times the amount of fat, 0.5 gram of saturated fat, more than twice the sodium, and 40 more calories, ringing in at 120 calories per 39-gram slice.
The icy temperatures of your freezer arrest starch retrogradation, holding the bread in a stable state. To get the most out of your bread, freeze it as soon as possible after baking and cooling, and consume it equally as fast after thawing. Note: The bread needs to be thoroughly wrapped in plastic, and it’s also a good idea to slice it into portions prior to freezing.
Room temperature is ideal for maintaining proper crumb and crust texture. But in addition to proper temperature, you also need to manage your bread’s air exposure—which is done with proper wrapping. The plastic bag is often criticized for trapping moisture—which can speed up mould development—but this truly depends on the type of bread. For common store-bought loaves with tender crusts, plastic bags are just fine. Hard-crusted breads should be kept in paper bags (or, how they’re packaged at the bakery). As a loaf dries, the moisture that is pushed out of the bread is absorbed by the hard crusts, turning them tough and rubbery.
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Keto Cloud Bread
If you're following the ketogenic diet, there's a good chance you're missing bread. Fear not! We've got a super easy recipe for cloud bread that's light on carbs but heavy enough to stand up to sandwich fillings. The best part? No special ingredients needed! Just eggs, cream of tartar, cream cheese, and salt.
Do I need cream of tartar to make this recipe?
Nope! The only function cream of tartar has in this recipe is as a stabilizer. Basically, it helps you get to stiff peaks faster. If you don't have any, no worries! You can totally whip your egg whites without it. You (or your stand mixer) will just have to work a bit harder.
Can I add cheese to my cloud bread?
Definitely! We suggest adding about 1/2 cup shredded cheese per batch of cloud bread. We love a mixture of mozzarella and parm.
How long does cloud bread last?
If you're keeping your cloud bread at room temperature, it'll last about 3 days. If you keep it in the fridge, more like a week! You can even freeze your breads&ndashwe recommend freezing them flat in a resealable plastic bag with parchment paper between each piece. To reheat, toast on a very low setting of your toaster oven&ndashthey burn easily!
Can I use cloud bread for more than sandwiches?
ABSOLUTELY! A few ideas: sop up a delicious soup with a slice or two, cover a slice of cloud bread with keto-friendly pizza sauce, mozzarella and pepperoni and broil for a delicious mini pizza, you could even make some cloud bread bread pudding!
For 100+ more keto recipes, check out Keto for Carb Lovers. Tried this one? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
17 Uses for Stale Bread
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Stale bread is a given in most households even the best-intentioned foodies will occasionally find themselves staring down a rapidly drying loaf of white bread with no idea how to cope. Throwing away food isn't just a waste of money &mdash it's a downright shame. (See also: Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!)
Bread is a varied and delicious staple that is delicious fresh and yet still incredibly useful when past its due date. In fact, one of the better supermarket/bakery deals that can be had is bags of day-old bread. A bakery near my house sells large bags of day-old bread for approximately $2, and it includes things like scones, cinnamon rolls, and raisin bread. Perhaps I could bake these things on my own for less, but considering what an untalented baker I am, these leftover bags are a real bargain. Check with your local bakery to see if they sell or even give away their day-old extras &mdash you might even be able to make an entire meal out of a freebie bag of bread.
Here are some ideas on how to make the most of your leftover loaves.
1. French Onion Soup
You can have French onion soup without a cheesy toasty topper. Well, OK, you can, but no one will want to eat it. Try Alton Brown's recipe for the perfect French onion soup, but remember that your bread topping doesn't have to be perfectly even or perfectly round. You can toss a handful of stale bread on top of your soup and still find plenty of room for the cheese to settle in.
2. Easy Soufflé/Quiche
Stale bread and eggs were somehow made for each other. If you love soufflé but aren't in the mood to worry about it rising or collapsing, use this shortcut recipe for cheese, onion, and bread soufflé that is easy as pie. Love having quiche for brunch? You can even use that healthy, high-fiber bread for a delicious weekend quiche.
Is stuffing too obvious a use for stale bread? It's my favorite, so I can't resist. The only dish at Thanksgiving that I would be heartbroken without, savory stuffing is a sure-fire accompaniment to any poultry-based meal. A small helping of rich, delicious stuffing can save a dry turkey dinner from despair or add some oomph to an otherwise normal chicken sandwich.
Stuffing doesn't always have to be served alongside fowl, though it's also wonderful next to baked tilapia or oysters. Because stuffing has so many regional variations, you are free to branch out and try out all kinds of different recipes. Stuffing is also very forgiving &mdash it will accept the presence of all kinds of other flavors, including squash, broccoli, spinach, sausage, nuts, cranberries, and more.
Just how handy are breadcrumbs? You'll never know until you have your own stash in waiting, ready to top macaroni and cheese and casseroles, to coat your filet of fish or famous fried chicken, to use on top of cakes and cupcakes, or to coat the bottom of a cheesecake when you are low on graham crackers.
Breadcrumbs are incredibly easy to make &mdash just bake your stale bread on low heat (say, 150°F) in your oven or toaster oven until the bread is extremely dry and brittle. Then place the bread in your blender or food processor and churn until you have a golden brown crumbs. Further drying can be achieved in the oven or on the counter.
You can add herbs and salt if you want a savory mix for dishes. Add some brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and coconut flakes for a delicious ice cream topper, or leave the crumbs plain for versatility.
Freeze breadcrumbs in an air-tight container for maximum storage time.
5. Meat Loaf
Probably one of the best-known uses for stale bread, meat loaf can be a family favorite if you make it right. Breadcrumbs are often added to meat loaf in order to add heft and save money, and they can also act to make meat loaf more tender by keeping the protein separated. The best meat loaf recipe that I have ever tried called for crushed saltine crackers, but crumbled stale bread is a logical (and inexpensive) substitute.
Meatloaf doesn't just have to be made out of beef, of course. Salmon loaf (top with dried dill and sour cream) makes a wonderful treat either hot or cold.
Did I forget to mention crab cakes? Like meatloaf, crab cakes are held together by a small amount of egg and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs (also, I've learned that using one chopped scallop per crab cake will add a certain cohesiveness to the patty without changing the flavor). Used canned crab for the best, and cheapest, results.
6. Refreshed Bread
OK, so let's say that what you really want is fresh bread. You can always refresh your stale bread using this trick.
7. Cinnamon Toasts
Think you know how to make cinnamon toast? You probably do. But we're talking about cinnamon toasts. You've never made cinnamon toast quite like this. It's the perfect way to use up fluffy-but-stale white bread, and the results last for days and are a perfect treat to take with you to a party (scroll down a bit for the recipe and pictures).
8. Bisques and Bread Soups
I'm a big fan of bisque as a pre-meal appetizer (slowly sipping a cup of bisque will help you eat less in your main course), and stale bread is a great carbohydrate that you can use to thicken your soup if you lack potatoes or yams. Just toss the bread in and let it get mushy like the veggies, then blend carefully in batches.
If you don't feel like blending, bread soup is big in Italian cooking, so try out a new recipe while using up leftovers.
9. Bread Salads
Bread salad, also known as panzanella, is a nice change from regular old lettuce-and-dressing and often a hit at parties. Remember that the word "salad" comes from the Latin word for "salt," and it refers to salted things, not necessarily to veggies. If you want to throw a can of artichoke hearts, some sliced tomatoes, a few handfuls of stale bread, some leftover chicken, and some dressing in a bowl and call it a salad, you're well within your semantic rights to do so.
10. Bread Pudding
I don't have a big sweet tooth &mdash I can honestly pass on most candy, ice cream, and even pie. But bread pudding? Nearly impossible to resist. Also, it turns out, it's incredibly easy to make. I avoided making bread pudding because I was terrified that it would end up being as tragic as my cheesecake disaster, but bread pudding is delicious and simple. It's a good way to use up dessert-y breads, but don't let the rosemary loaf go to waste &mdash just combine the flavors with complementary tastes, like rosemary with lemon.
Similar to bread pudding (and yet different) is fruit charlotte. A good way to use up both old bread and excess apples, charlotte may not be the healthiest dessert, but it's certainly among the most warming.
11. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hey, half the point of grilling a sandwich is to get the bread nice and crispy, and with dried sliced bread, you're already halfway there. To get a perfect grilled cheese, I lightly butter and grill both sides of the bread before applying the cheese. That way, the bread is extra crispy on both the outside AND the inside, and the cheese melts faster.
12. Open Faced Sandwiches/Bruschetta
Feeling like you want less bread and more filling? Toast stale slices, and then top with anything you like, from olive tapenade to leftover meat loaf. Any variation of bruschetta will do, and the crunchy, toasty base will hold together better than fresh bread in the face of moister toppings.
13. French Toast
French toast practically begs for the use of stale bread, and there's no reason to limit this tasty treat to breakfast time &mdash you can enjoy French toast for dinner, too. I personally love all flavors of French toast, but my new favorite involves spreading one side of the stale bread with a light layer of cream cheese (or chevre), and the other side with a tart jelly (like cherry or marmalade) before dipping it in egg batter and cooking.
French toast doesn't have to be limited to large slices of sandwich bread &mdash a popular snack in my household is French toast bites made of slices of tiny French baguettes that are past their prime.
14. Gourmet Croutons
Nothing can be easier than turning stale bread into delicious gourmet croutons for soup and salad toppings. Simply toss the bread in a mixture of olive oil, dried herbs, and salt and toast until golden brown. You can add parmesan cheese after toasting (adding it before toasting might cause some burning).
Croutons are great for fondue and also to top off a particularly gourmet Bloody Mary.
15. Potato/Rice Substitute
Are all carbs created equal? Could you substitute bread for rice or potatoes? There are some who might disagree, but consider that a very popular Moroccan dish is basically a chicken stew poured over day-old bread. You don't even have to make Moroccan bread to make this dish. Just tear us slightly stale bread into bite-size pieces and smother the bread with your own curry, Irish stew, or whatever floats your boat.
16. Bread Dumplings
Semmelknoedel are German dumplings that are a little bit like Italian gnocchi, but are made using stale bread and milk. Enjoy in a soup, topped with mushroom gravy or marinara, alongside meats and fish, or however you like your dumplings. Create a slightly sweeter version (minus the garlic, pepper, and herbs) and eat warm with honey, almonds, and ricotta cheese.
17. Bird Food
OK, I've heard that bread isn't good for birds and all that. I'm sure that the Audubon Society would have me stuffed and mounted for saying so, but seagulls aren't really birds, are they? No, they are just big, flying cockroaches, and bread won't hurt them at all.
Storing Old Bread
How you store your bread depends an awful lot on the kind of bread it is. When I buy "artisanal" loaves of bread from the supermarket, I do so with the understanding that the bread will last approximately four days on the kitchen counter, wrapped in a paper bag and then loosely in a plastic bag. Regular sliced bread from the bread section of the store (as opposed to the actual bakery) can last for as long as two weeks, so long as the last week is spent in the fridge. Your own storage methods and preferences probably depend a great deal on your climate and your ability to spot the first few strands of mold.
Incidentally, if you see a loaf that is just starting to mold, there is no shame in cutting off the fuzzy part and saving the interior.
The freezer, though, is where stale bread goes to await its reincarnated fate. If you've never frozen bread before, Martha Stewart can tell you how to do that. Much of my bread ends up in freezer-safe Ziplock bags, which seem to do the trick. I don't recommend keeping bread frozen for more than six months, but how long you can tolerate the bags of bready scraps might also depend on your type of freezer and how much space you have.
Storing Bread in a Cabinet
Many store bread/buns on the lower shelf of an upper kitchen cabinet, close to where breakfast or lunch foods are prepared. While this is a good storage option, it takes cabinet space that could be used for glassware. It also looks messy when the cabinet door is opened.
If you have ample upper cabinet space, this may be a good option for you, but keep it tidy and review contents regularly. Note that even though bread bags are secured, crumbs always tend to gather in those areas. Clean routinely to reduce the risk of attracting pests to this shelf.
Uses for Stale Bread
Many recipes and uses have been developed for stale bread, so you never have to throw any of it away. Stuffing, croutons and bread puddings are perfect for day-old bread Italian soup recipes such as pappa al pomodoro were specifically designed to take advantage of stale bread. Using bread just before it goes stale in grilled cheese or other hot sandwiches makes the bread taste fresh again. Slicing stale bread and sipping it into an egg batter to make French toast is perhaps the most popular way to use day-old French bread.