Shelf-Life of Gluten Free Bread
Bread is a staple food item for most people around the world.
What is less well-known is the shelf life of gluten-free bread.
The shelf life of any food can vary depending on a variety of factors, including how it is stored and how it is transported.
Bread can easily accumulate moisture, as it has a lot of starch. If the moisture isn’t properly distributed, it can lead to mould growing on the outside of the bread.
As the bread’s shelf life is affected by different factors, and there are a few things that affect the shelf life of gluten-free bread – the most prominent of which is the type of flour used.
Freshly baked gluten-free bread, like other regular everyday bread, are best used within 5 days, but that is only if you store it in a suitable closed breadbox or in plastic bag breadboxes. If you do not have a breadbox, consume it within two days.
To ensure freshness, keep your bread refrigerated. Gluten-Free bread has a shelf-life of about 3 to 6 months when in the freezer.
For optimal taste and freshness, Gluten-Free bread should be stored in the freezer section of your refrigerator.
Why Does Gluten Free Bread Have to be Frozen?
Freezing gluten-free bread is a staple in many gluten-free diet plans. But is it really necessary?
Let’s take a look at this common question: Why does gluten-free bread have to be frozen?
This type of bread dries out over time. Freezing it can help to extend its shelf-life.
Freezing bread helps retain its freshness and taste, and it keeps your bread values intact.
Freezing a gluten-free loaf of bread helps prevent it from going stale. You may want to freeze the baked bread to store it longer, especially if you only use slices of bread at a time.
Unlike regular wheat bread, gluten-free bread producers use oats to enhance the texture and flavour of their bread. Oats have naturally occurring gluten.
When the bread is not frozen, the gluten causes the bread to become soggy and turn bad fast. The freezing process keeps the bread fresh and prevents loss of moisture.
If bread is left out too long in the open, it begins to mould and stale. If it is stored correctly, you can have a fresh loaf of bread for a long time.
Freezing bread can cause moisture to become trapped in the loaf, causing it to become hard and stale.
This happens because the starch molecules in the bread absorb the moisture from the air and crystallise.
How to Store Gluten Free Bread in the Freezer
It’s easier to keep gluten-free bread fresh for longer when you store it in the freezer.
Gluten-free bread especially home-baked gluten-free bread is amazing and taste even better when they are fresh, but they can quickly lose their shape and texture if you leave them out at room temperature.
Freezing your fresh bread makes sure that it stays fresh for longer and keeps moisture at bay.
Here are ways on how to store this type of bread:
- It can be stored in a freezer bag or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil.
- To store gluten-free bread in the freezer, wrap bread in a layer of wax paper or plastic wrap if you don’t want it to get freezer burn.
- To store gluten-free bread in the freezer, you can wrap the bread in cling film, a Ziploc or similar plastic sandwich bag, or place it in a Tupperware-like plastic container.
- Label the bread with the date frozen.
- Always store the bread in an air-tight container.
- Make sure your bread doesn’t come into contact with other food, which will contaminate it.
- When storing store-bought bread, label the bread with type and place it in the freezer immediately after purchasing.
How to Defrost Gluten Free Bread
With bread, there is one thing that has to happen in its journey from your freezer to your table: it has to defrost.
Just like cooking frozen food, defrosting bread reduces its water content, making it drier.
Therefore, you need to defrost frozen bread before you eat it.
And if you are like me, you will be eating it in the middle of a busy workday, so you need to defrost it quickly.
Gluten-free bread can be tricky, especially when you try to thaw out some frozen bread. Using the right technique can help you defrost your bread without going crazy from the stinky smell.
Thawing bread can be tricky, but we have some simple tips to defrost bread safely.
You need to defrost frozen bread because it is sealed in a vacuum package and the bread will stay stale if it isn’t allowed to defrost.
A toaster oven can be used to defrost bread, but you must pay close attention to the defrosting process to avoid over-toasting.
To defrost gluten-free bread using the oven:
- Turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place frozen bread slices in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Allow the slices to thaw in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Use another baking sheet to move the bread to a wire rack to cool.
Frozen bread is easier to work with and lasts longer than regular bread. You can also thaw frozen bread quickly in your microwave.
You may find frozen bread easier to slice than bread at room temperature.
To defrost gluten-free bread using a microwave:
- Remove bread from freezer.
- Unwrap it from the freezer-safe wrap and place on the counter.
- Let stand 10 minutes.
- Cut bread into pieces or slices.
- Place the bread on a microwave safe plate to prevent staining or mess.
- Put it in the microwave oven for about 15 to 20 seconds on high.
Unfortunately, there are some serious downsides to frozen gluten-free bread, the most common of which is that it can end up being less nutritious than fresh bread.
As a matter of fact, frozen gluten-free bread can actually be more unhealthy than its fresh counterpart, since it isn’t as fresh as your typical loaf of bread.
From a health perspective, eating gluten-free bread is a great idea.
It’s not only because of the potential health benefits of avoiding gluten—gluten can cause a range of autoimmune diseases including Celiac Disease.
Properly storing bread can be a challenge for many.
The challenge is often having to store bread for a long time in a refrigerator that is not properly air-conditioned. This can cause mould or mildew to form on the bread.
Over time, the bread will develop a musty smell that will be difficult to remove.
When the bread is not stored properly, enzymes in bread break down the starches during baking and the bread becomes less stiff and tastes unpleasant.