Baked goods are amongst the most widely wasted in the UK and bread at the very top of the list. There are several possible reasons for this, including the easy availability of mass produced loaves and the fact that people tend to stick very closely to best before dates. One problem is people don’t want to run out of bread so they always tend to buy more rather than thinking closely about how much they will actually use. This can easily end up with a large amount being wasted.
Storing bread in the right conditions is important if you want to maximise its freshness. Many people put it in the fridge but this will actually cause it to go stale much faster. Instead you should leave it in a cool, dry place, preferably in a bread bin or a cloth bag.
The best before date is designed as a guide and does not mean that bread will instantly be unusable when the date on the label arrives. In fact, loaves can last a few days beyond this and you can freshen them up by moistening the crust with a little water and putting it in the oven to gently reheat for a few minutes. With careful storage a fresh packaged loaf could last for up to six days.
As long as the product is not mouldy you can still use it. In fact there are even a few uses for stale bread that hasn’t developed mould. This is the best for making breadcrumbs because it will hold together better. You could also use it for bread pudding.
Bread can also be frozen for later use and will last for up to six months in the freezer. It is better to freeze individual slices rather than the whole loaf so you can defrost pieces as and when you need them. This will dramatically cut the amount of wastage.
We specialise in bread and bakery supply throughout the North West, offering a fantastic range of bakery products for shops. We know how important is it to offer a reliable service to these clients so they can pass on the best goods to their customers. We aim to achieve just that by keeping a close eye on all of our services and investing in the supply chain.