By far the best way to enjoy bread is when it’s freshly baked. Nothing beats its distinctive homely aroma or the warm, soft taste of a slice of just-baked bread. Unfortunately, unless you have a lot of time on your hands, it is not practical or possible to bake a loaf every time you would like a sandwich. What about vacuum sealing? Vacuum sealing food to extend its shell-life has become a ‘thing’. Does it work with bread? Can you vacuum seal bread? And if yes, how do you do that?
What’s the Most Crucial Thing About Storing Bread?
As mentioned before, the best way to eat bread is when it’s freshly baked. If you need to store it, most people rely on the trusty bread box. A bread box will keep air away from the loaf and keep it fresh for a longer time.
Some people prefer to store their loaves of bread in ovens and cupboards, using them as bread boxes. While the oven is a great place to keep bread, it’s not practical if you use the oven often. Frequent exposure to air will not help keep it fresh. Same goes for cupboards.
Therefore, it’s better to look for other alternatives. Plastic bags, paper bags, and refrigerators work well, but they all come with their drawbacks. Let’s look at each one and then we’ll see whether or not you can vacuum seal bread.
1. Plastics Bags
This is how many choose to store their bread, but it’s not exactly the most efficient. Plastic bags work well to keep the food airtight, but they moisture away from the inside of the bread and pulls it towards the crust. This makes the crust soft and spoils the overall texture and taste of the product.
The crust protects the bread and gives the bread its crunchy texture. Additionally, it is also an indicator of how good and fresh a loaf of bread is. You definitely don’t want a storage method that spoils the taste of the bread for you, so plastic bags aren’t the best option.
2. Paper Bags
Paper bags fair better than plastic bags in terms of maintaining the flavor and texture of your bread and its crust. They work like a bread box, and they allow the bread to breathe which the plastic bag restricts. With this, paper bags are not only able to store the bread but also maintain their texture and flavor.
Thus, in terms of maintaining the flavor and texture, paper bags take the lead over plastic bags. However, both of these methods can’t keep the bread mold-free for more than a week.
Mold grows in moist conditions, and it’s more frequent in summers as the level of humidity in the air is generally higher. The best way to combat this is by storing the bread in a controlled environment. Refrigerators offer this controlled environment as they maintain the temperature at a low level and keep your food fresh.
You can store the bread in a container or a bag in your refrigerator; it’s up to you. The only drawback refrigerators have is that they can dry out the bread. Hence, although the bread lasts longer, it’s not the best in terms of taste.
Keeping the bread in a cool place like the pantry also works, but that too depends on the general temperature of the place you live in at the moment.
That brings us down to vacuum sealing and how does this method fair in keeping a loaf of bread fresh. Now, we’ll discuss how can you vacuum seal bread and what are its pros and cons.
What Is Vacuum Sealing?
Vacuum sealing is a new way of packing and storing foods. In this method, the air is removed from the package before it is sealed. This method usually uses a cling film to seal and store the food.
Vacuum sealing keeps the food fresh for more extended periods compared to conventional storage methods. Additionally, it is a more organized and efficient way of packaging and storing food.
Can You Vacuum Seal Bread?
Vacuum sealing has been termed as one of the most efficient ways of storing bread. However, there’s one issue.
Bread is soft and has an airy texture, and when it’s vacuum sealed, all the air gets pulled out. That leaves us with a small, flattened block of dough which quite isn’t appetizing.
To counter this, there are two methods with which you can vacuum seal bread, and they are:
Freezing is the most uncomplicated method through which you can vacuum seal bread. All you need to do is freeze your bread before you vacuum seal it.
Take a pan or a tray and place the loaf of bread on it. Pop the tray in the refrigerator and let it deep freeze for two to three hours. When the bread is frozen completely, take it out of the freezer and vacuum seal it.
Freezing the bread earlier prevents it from crumbling when the air is vacuumed out. Thus, you won’t end up with a block of dough, and your bread will be fresh even after weeks of it being baked.
2. Pulse Setting
This method works for those people who don’t want to freeze the bread before vacuum sealing it. The “pulse setting” is an option available on most vacuum sealer machines.
It works by controlling the amount of air removed from the bag. In this way, the machine removes air little by little as regulated by the user. All you need to do is keep a check on the bread and stop the vacuum before it crushes the bread.
Nevertheless, the exact method you’ll employ will vary from machine to machine. As such, it’s important that you refer to the user manual of your machine.
Whatever procedure you pick, the cost of vacuum sealing bread over it losing its freshness or getting covered by mildew is definitely worth it. Vacuum sealing not only helps to store your bread for more extended periods but also keeps it fresh, which the other methods fail to do.
Therefore, you can vacuum seal bread. Just make sure to keep in mind the above points, and you’re good to go.