How long does sourdough bread last? If you’re like most people, you probably have a love-hate relationship with sourdough bread. You love the taste, but you hate how quickly it goes bad. But what if we told you that there’s a way to make sourdough bread last longer?
The smell of freshly baked sourdough is one of the most delightful things. Almost anyone can make homemade sourdough bread thanks to the widely available ingredients.
In this article, we’ll share some tips on storing sourdough bread and how to extend its shelf life. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy that delicious sourdough flavor for weeks to come!
Put simply, sourdough bread uses a sourdough starter as a natural leavening agent, unlike other kinds of bread that rely on commercial yeast. Because of this, it undergoes a slow and long fermentation process that breaks down gluten, making it easier for the body to digest and absorb.
Sourdough bread undergoes two phases of fermentation. During the first phase, the yeast in the bread rises, creating air pockets and holes in the bread. In the second phase, lactobacillus does its thing and creates a tangy flavor and a lasting shelf life.
Typically, the sourdough loaf can last from 2 days to 3 months, depending on the type of bread and the method you use to store it. After all, several factors affect the shelf life of bread.
Sourdough bread stay fresh and lasts longer than other bread types because of the lactic acid bacteria that slow down the staling process. Additionally, its acidity prevents the growth of microbes.
Another factor is storage because the way the bread is stored influences the shelf life of the bread. Finally, the climate also affects how long bread is good for. The dry weather makes it very easy for bread to lose its moisture. Conversely, a humid environment exposes bread to too much moisture, making it a good breeding ground for mold.
The best way to test if the bread is still fresh is to do the knife test. Get a serrated knife and slice through the bread.
Determining whether your sourdough bread is still good to eat or not is crucial when it comes to food safety. For this reason, it is best to know the signs that sourdough bread has gone bad. If you have doubts about its safety, it is always best to throw it and not take any risk.
Three Sings Of Bad Sourdough Bread
1. Presence of molds
Probably the most apparent sign that sourdough bread has gone bad is the presence of molds. Immediately throw away moldy bread because it is not safe to eat anymore, even if you cut the moldy portion away.
Remember that just because bread doesn’t have molds doesn’t mean it has not gone bad. Check for other signs of spoilage, like a funky smell and a bad taste.
2. Off smell
Another way to know if sourdough bread is not fit for consumption is when it gives off a foul odor that is far from enticing. If it does not smell like it smelled when it was fresh, it is best to throw it out.
Again, if your sourdough still smells great, it does not automatically mean it is still good. Check for mold growth and foul taste.
3. Foul taste
Yet another one of the signs that sourdough bread has gone bad is when it actually tastes terrible. To be safe, proceed to taste the bread only if it smells fine and does not have mold.
Take a small bite, just enough for you to taste the bread. If it tastes terrible, instantly spit it out, rinse your mouth, and throw the bread away.
Drying and staling in sourdough bread can be confusing. People use these terms interchangeably, but they are two different bread conditions.
Drying simply refers to dehydration or the loss of moisture that occurs when bread is exposed to air or heat.
On the other hand, staling happens when the starch in the bread that was formerly gelatinized through the baking process recrystallizes, resulting in a rigid and firm texture.
Staling is a reversible process, so having stale bread doesn’t necessarily mean it’s spoiled, and you have to throw it out. Sourdough bread can still be revived if it does not have any of the above-mentioned signs.
Here are two ways to revive stale sourdough bread:
Splash some water over the top of the bread to dampen it. Set the oven to 250°F and place the loaf of sourdough bread inside for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch it closely; leaving it for too long in the oven will dry it out.
Dampen a towel and wrap it around the sourdough bread. Place the bread on a microwave-safe dish and place it inside the microwave for ten seconds. The sourdough should be warm and soft after 10 minutes; if not, do it again until you achieve desired results.
Maintaining the bread’s moisture optimum is the key to keeping it fresh. Here are some tips to keep sourdough bread fresh:
Storage is crucial for sourdough bread because where you store it will ultimately impact its quality.
Here are 4 ways to appropriately store sourdough bread:
Keeping bread in the freezer is also a great way to store them. Do it properly, and you can enjoy sourdough bread for a long time. This is recommended if you have multiple loaves and you know it will take a long time before you can consume them all.
Bread boxes are specifically made to store bread because they keep it safe from too much moisture while allowing adequate airflow that prevents it from drying out.
That being said, storing bread in a bread box is the best way to keep it if you know you will be able to eat it quickly.
If you plan to leave sourdough loaves on the counter, you should store them in an airtight container. Before doing so, ensure the bread has reached room temperature first.
In the absence of a bread box, an airtight container can keep the moisture in and slow down the process of the bread staling just as well.
If you don’t have access to a bread box or an airtight container, keeping the bread in a plastic wrap or heavy-duty freezer bag will help retain the moisture and avoid drying. This works exceptionally well in dry and humid environments.
Freezing sourdough bread is one of the best things you can do to prolong its life.
In the freezer, sourdough can maintain its freshness, and the flavor will continue to develop inside. Depending on how long the bread has been in the freezer, you will be surprised that some will taste better than when you first tried it.
Here are the steps to freeze sourdough bread:
Throwing out leftover bread without any signs of spoilage should be the last thing on your mind because there are plenty of uses for sourdough bread even after it has gone stale.
Here are a few ways to use stale bread:
Yes, sourdough bread does last longer than ordinary bread. It contains substantially more lactic acid than other types of bread due to the fermentation process that the sourdough starter underwent, which is unique to sourdough bread. Because lactic acid inhibits mold formation, sourdough bread resists mold better and has a longer shelf life than other kinds of bread.
Throw out your sourdough bread if you notice any of the following:
Sourdough bread can last for a very long time because it has special properties brought about by the unique fermentation process that it goes through. For this reason, sourdough bread can still be good after 5 days at room temperature. When frozen, it can last for up to 6 months.
Despite its incredibly long shelf life, sourdough bread can still go bad, especially when not stored properly. Check for signs of spoilage closely before consuming it. When in doubt, don’t put yourself at risk – just throw it away.