Keep bread for as long as six months with Tesco’s clever method

If you’re tired of throwing away half loaves of bread, try a very simple trick from major supermarket Tesco.

Fresh bread can go stale within just two to three days, while store-bought bread lasts a maximum of one week.

Unless you’re living with a few other people, it can be difficult to use up a whole loaf of bread before its best-before date.

Tesco Real Food stated: “Wondering how to keep bread fresh? When bread is stored correctly, it’ll last much longer. You can save spare slices for a club sandwich later by popping them in the freezer.”

With this freezing method, you don’t have to compromise on taste either. The supermarket continued: “It’s cost-effective and simple, and best of all, keeps your bread crusty on the outside yet soft on the inside.”

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How to freeze bread

If you have a whole sliced loaf you’d like to freeze, put this straight into the freezer in its packaging. Tesco explained: “The plastic wrap will prevent it from drying out, and from absorbing other odours and flavours.”

If your loaf is from Tesco’s in-store bakery, or you’ve made your own at home, wait until the bread is completely cool – and you don’t want to eat any more for a while – then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or an airtight freezer bag.

Tesco added a top tip: “You can freeze it like this if you’re short on time, but it’ll store far longer if you then add a layer of foil on top of the plastic.

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“This locks all the freshness in, prevents the unpleasant taste of freezer burn, and stops ice crystals from forming.”

According to the supermarket, bread wrapped in a single layer will keep it for one month in the freezer. Double-wrapped bread “will keep for as long as six months”.

Martha Stewart also provided a how-to for freezing bread, which matches up to Tesco’s hack. According to Drew Gimma, the director of operations for Bread Man Baking Co. in Houston, Texas, you should slice your bread before you freeze it, “so you can thaw just as much as you need and not the whole loaf”.

“After slicing, place slices in a plastic bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing or tying shut.” The website added that you can also wrap all the slices together in plastic wrap before placing them in a resealable plastic bag, for extra protection from freezer burn.

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How to defrost bread

According to the supermarket, defrosting bread “couldn’t be simpler”. Take your bread out of the freezer, remove any plastic wrap and leave it to thaw on the kitchen counter.

If you’re looking to make a tasty toasty, frozen slices can be dropped straight into the toaster and heated as you would normally. However, you might need to whack your toaster up to a slightly higher setting so the bread fully defrosts.

For those who have frozen a whole loaf, these can be defrosted in the oven. Put the bread onto a middle shelf, sprinkle it with a little bit of water and heat at about 160°C for 20 to 30 minutes. Tesco said: “This re-gelatinizes the bread’s starches, keeping the inside chewy, while the water will create an extra-crusty crust.”

Tesco Real Food also has guidance on how to freeze and store homemade bread for the budding bakers out there.

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