How to Keep Bread and Cakes Fresh
Let them breathe
Bread and cakes need to have a little air circulating around them, so don’t store them in completely airtight containers. Condensation and mould will quickly develop if air is unable to circulate.
Biscuits, on the other hand, will stay crisp longer if stored in an airtight tin or jar.
Throw bread away as soon as you notice signs of mould. Scald the inside of the bread bin with boiling water to destroy any mould spores that could contaminate the next loaf.
Cakes and biscuits
Store cakes and biscuits in separate containers: a moist cake makes for soggy biscuits.
Storing a rich fruit cake
Don’t let your special cake dry out while its flavour is maturing: turn it over before you store it away, pierce the base several times with a skewer and then pour over a few tablespoons of sherry, brandy or whisky. Wrap it in greaseproof paper, and cover with a double thickness of foil. It should stay moist for several months.
Bread’s gone stale?
Freshen up stale bread by splashing it with a little cold water, wrapping it in foil and giving it about five minutes in a hot oven to crisp the crust.
• Dry pastry mixes, such as crumble toppings without added water, store well for one or two weeks in a fridge or up to two months in a freezer, simply wrapped in a plastic bag.
• Most biscuit pastry will also freeze well. Shape the mixture into a roll and slice it into rounds or place cut out or piped biscuits on a baking tray.
Freeze the uncooked biscuits on the baking tray until solid, remove from the tray and store in a rigid container.
Unrisen dough can be stored in a home freezer for up to a month. For best results, use one and a half times as much yeast as the recipe recommends. Thaw the dough for five or six hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge, allow to rise, and bake.
Use a food processor to turn leftover bread into breadcrumbs, or grate it into crumbs by hand. Store the crumbs in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.
Tired of soggy sandwiches?
Try putting mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, tomato, cucumber or other moist ingredients on the inside, and meat or cheese next to the bread.