Whether it is your peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, or BLT sandwich, bread is one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world. Tracing back to even biblical times, as an expectation of “give us today our daily bread,” this type of food has been a necessity for centuries. Along with biblical importance, there are numerous reasons why bread is essential for human consumption.
According to LiveStrong, bread is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, fat, protein, and vitamins and minerals. For carbs, it becomes a main source of fuel; for fiber, it blocks bad cholesterol in one’s bloodstream; the fat is essential for maintaining the cell membrane, as well as absorbing certain vitamins; the protein portion maintains muscle and a healthy immune system.
The vitamins and minerals in many types of bread assist with better metabolism, healthier skin, maintaining liver health, dealing with stress, synthesizing sex hormones, and reducing birth defects during pregnancy. It also supports mental health, and assists with proper oxygen transportation.
While these perks of bread are important to the human body and brain, there are ways to lessen the positive impact that the food has.
Epicurious listed the top 11 foods that should not be refrigerated. At No. 4, bread was named. The reasoning behind it is due to bread drying out faster when refrigerated.
Since bread is known for becoming stale quickly, Serious Eats actually recommends to not refrigerate it at all. As explained, a loss of moisture is only part of why bread gets stale. The other portion is retrogradation and recrystallization of starch.
In fact, a test was done to see where bread gets stale the most, as pieces were placed in room temperature, a refrigerator, and a freezer. Each was also separately wrapped in plastic, enclosed in a paper bag, and wrapped in foil. In addition, two pieces of bread were placed in a microwave, one unwrapped and one in paper.
The results concluded that the plastic- and foil-wrapped refrigerator samples were noticeably more firm than the room temperature samples. This indicates that it is susceptible of becoming stale quicker.
Thankfully, there is good news. Numerous reports state that, if placed in the freezer, bread can get back to its original level of moisture when unfrozen. Otherwise, it should not be refrigerated, but consumed within a few days.
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