Storing your bread and maintaining freshness for a few days isn’t easy. In three days, it may go stale due to spores and mold growth. And though you might not see the spots or taste the staleness, consuming the loaf can make you sick.
You might want to test a bread box! But your question is, do bread boxes help with humidity? Depending on the design, bread boxes can help with moisture. The most authentic ones should prevent your bread from molds while keeping it fresh and moist. You can use ceramic, stainless steel, and high-quality plastic boxes or freeze your bread. That is if you aren’t consuming it within two to three days.
If you stay in highly humid areas, your bread box must be well-ventilated and shouldn’t be made of cardboard material. It absorbs moisture and causes molds, spores, and bacteria growth. This guide on bread boxes helps you keep your bake fresh.
Do Cardboard Boxes Absorb Humidity?
Have you ever soaked a cardboard box in water? It gets flimsy and may barely hold together. Also, leaving the cardboard outside for several days becomes discolored and defaced.
The reason is cardboard materials are absorbent and change in different conditions. They will soak and disintegrate in the rain, while in dry conditions, they discolor and get defaced.
Boxes comprising cardboard material suck in moisture from the environment, including the surface you place them on. The air in your room is humid, and so is the floor. It will not spare your cardboard box.
The cardboard material is hygroscopic. That means these boxes are porous and allow moisture absorption and release.
So, regardless of the material, your cardboard box will absorb humidity with time. The rate of absorption will depend on features such as;
- Moisture level: The higher the moisture level, the more your cardboard box will absorb humidity.
- Temperature: High and Low temperatures affect the absorption rate. At low temperatures, absorption will be low and vice versa.
- The structure of the box: Some cardboard boxes consist of rigid material, while others are flimsy. Also, other cardboards have extra thickness. The smaller the thickness, the more absorbent the material.
- Exposure time: If you leave a cardboard box outside on the floor at night, it will absorb less humidity than one lying there for a month. The weakening of the structure happens over time and may damage your items.
Cardboard boxes are great for packaging and making bread boxes. If you want the best outcome, keep them in a non-humid environment. Avoid using the bread cardboard boxes if the humidity levels are high. Otherwise, it will be a breeding zone for bacteria and molds.
Read more: 10 Best Bread Boxes for Humid Climate
Do Cardboard Boxes Attract Humidity?
Cardboard boxes consist of paper pulp material that comes from wood. Also, some manufacturers use recycled paper, wood chips, and lumber mill shavings. These materials attract and absorb humidity, especially if exposed to such an environment. The cellulose wood fiber absorbs moisture, thus disintegrating the box and causing damage to the content inside.
By humid, we mean moisture in the environment, including enclosed spaces and outside. The humidity causes the cardboard to become flimsy and may not hold together items in it. If you store bread in the box, it becomes moist and a growing ground for bacteria and molds.
Conversely, extreme heat causes the box to stay dry but can cause discoloration. To prevent humidity absorption, manufacturers provide silica gel packets to help absorb moisture when storing items.
If you have a cardboard bread box, beware that the material attracts humidity and may cause molding and spore growth.
Does Bread Rise Better In High Or Low Humidity?
When making bread, you may get confused about when it rises better in high or low humidity. The fact is the dough will grow more in highly humid conditions. The humidity levels determine the fermentation process in bread. However, too high humidity isn’t healthy for your dough as it causes excess sticking and drying. The latter causes crust formation, thus preventing the dough from rising.
There are other factors that can determine the raising. These include;
- The raising agents
- Type of bread
- Recipe requirements
- Personal preferences
Over and above these factors, the relative humidity when baking should be between 40-60%, while the fermentation process needs at least 75%. Some doughs will require a higher moisture level depending on the type of bread you are cooking.
While too high humidity isn’t ideal for bread, too low affects the quality of the dough. It creates crusting and slow rising. Low humidity is still helpful if you want your dough to ferment longer and have great flavors.
You can determine a favorable humid environment for your dough. First, determine the recipe requirement but keep it between 60-70%. This will allow your dough a conducive environment for rising to your preference.
Will Bread Rise In High Humidity?
Bread rises in both high and low humidity levels. The dough will stay moist in high humidity and improve its rising process. The humid air prevents your bread from crusting, which prevents rising.
However, a too-humid environment isn’t ideal. When making your dough, ensure that the air is not too humid, as it will cause stickiness. Sticky dough is difficult to work on as it doesn’t roll smoothly. You will find it sticking on the surface. Also, a higher humidity extends the baking time, so 35 minutes won’t be enough to bake your squares.
If baking in a higher humid environment than 70%, you can help improve the situation. Lower the humidity to a favorable level by;
- Using cold water (ice-cold)
- Proof the dough in the fridge
- Chill your bowls and pans in the refrigerator before making the dough. The bowls chill your dough.
- Run a fan in the room
- Cool your tools
- Use moisture-free storage containers
- Reduce water and other liquids
- Add baking time
- Store baking ingredients in the fridge (they absorb less moisture)
- Use a marble board to roll your dough
- Use a dehumidifier or close the windows to prevent humid air from entering your kitchen.
- Rest your batter at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
To avoid guesswork, use a hygrometer to check your room’s humidity level before baking. The most important tip is determining a perfect humidity level matching your recipe. You can keep adjusting to get to an ideal balance. Good luck with your baking experience.