How Do You Store Bread In A Humid Climate?

Storing bread in a humid climate for a few days can be heartbreaking. Your favorite snack might grow molds and get stale. The reason is moisture levels are high. Your bread will absorb the dampness, speeding up the growth of molds. 

The best way to store bread in a humid climate is in a bread box or paper bag or freeze it; you can preserve its freshness longer. Freezing keeps the bread fresh for up to three months. But you must wrap it in foil or polythene paper. In addition, be careful not to store your bread in the refrigerator if you intend to consume it in a week or so. The loaf will stay cool, flake out, and become chewy. If you live in a humid climate, there are more tips for storing your bread;

  1. Use A Bread Box

One of the easiest ways to store your bread in a humid climate is in a bread box. The enclosed container is a specific design to keep your bread fresh. Though simple, the box maintains the proper humidity for your loaf. So, you won’t have to worry if you are in a low or high-humid climate.

If the box comprises a suitable material, it will keep your goodies fresh for longer. There are different bread box designs. Pick a size and design that suits your needs and kitchen decor. There are top-most consideration that guarantees a great bread box for storing bread in a humid climate;

  • Ventilation

Proper ventilation is critical in a bread box. The holes ensure circulation and inhibit mold growth. Also, the air vents keep your loaves and other baked goods fresh for longer. Your bread will also remain bread soft and not chewy.

  • Material

Bread box materials differ, but the choice depends on your pocket. The most common materials comprise wood, metal, ceramic, and plastic. Make a choice that matches your budget and your kitchen decor. You might want to try stainless boxes as they are stylish and highly durable.

  • Size  

Bread boxes come in different dimensions. The most common one measures 40 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm. This size fits two medium loaves of bread. Other sizes can hold a bigger size of loaf and other baked goods. Hand-pick a compact size that doesn’t consume much of your countertop space. Also, you can consider your family size when picking a bread box.

  • Design

There are dozens of bread box designs. Some are sleek and unique with a shiny surface, moreso the stainless-steel ones. Choose a design that fits your kitchen decor while ensuring the budget does not go overboard. 

2. Use Paper Bag To Store Your Bread 

Here’s another way to keep your bread in a humid area; slip the bread into a paper bag. It is an excellent alternative to a bread box. Your goodies remain fresh and do not form a crust or get chewy. So, if you haven’t acquired a bread box, the bags are ideal and absorb excess humidity.

The bags are unique and allow air circulation. Note that the paper bags are not the same as plastic bags. Plastic bags are not ideal for storing bread as they trap humidity, causing your bread to go stale. Also, bags enhance mold and spore growth. Most paper bags are handmade custom pieces. They are available and affordable in most stores near you. 

3. Use The Freezer To Store Bread

 Freezing your bread is another way to keep your bread fresh in a humid climate. Note that it is not in a refrigerator but in a freezer. Frozen bread stays fresh for days. You can even have it after three months. It is easy! Wrap your loaf in an aluminum foil or a plastic bag. Put it in a freezer bag and defrost it in a microwave. Let it sit at room temperature and thaw naturally on your countertop. 

4. Do Not Refrigerate Your Bread

Refrigerating bread does not keep it fresh. Cool (not cold) temperature dries the bread, making it chewy. In humid climates, it is worse. Your bread will turn out to be dry and tough. Just store the loaf in the freezer. 

5. Keep Your Bread Unsliced 

One of the easiest bread hacks is to keep it unsliced. The hack ensures that you do not expose your bread to air. If you slice a loaf, a larger surface area is open air. That speeds up the drying out. You can protect the interior by leaving the bread unsliced and moist for longer.

In addition, when you slice your loaf, it speeds up its staling process and changes its texture and flavor. A whole loaf of bread in a freezer, paper bag, or bread box ensures the perfect humidity for the bread.  

Read More:  10 Best Bread Boxes for Humid Climate 

What Could Happen To Bread If It Was Stored In Warm Humid Conditions?

Bread in warm and humid conditions becomes stale and moldy within a few days. The flavor and texture will also be different, but there are several other changes to watch out for.  

  • Your Bread Becomes Stale 

Naturally, food will become stale in warm conditions. It is worse for bread, especially if the climate is humid. These two conditions speed up moisture evaporation. The bread becomes crumbly and stale. Also, your delicacy may become hard and dry, making it difficult to chew and less flavorful.

  • Mold Grows In Your Bread

One of the favorite conditions for mold growth is warm and humid conditions. Not only molds but also bacteria and other pathogens. Warm and damp environments promote spore growth. Usually, the crust becomes green, white, or blue. Your bread may become smelly and fuzzy if you don’t use any preservatives. Such food is unsafe to eat.

  • Loss Of Flavors

Regardless of the flavors you use on your bread, a warm and humid environment will rip them off. The bread will develop strange flavors and have a different taste. That’s a clear indication of bacteria and mold growth. 

  • Short Shelf Life

Bread in warm and humid conditions has a shorter shelf life. You may not store your favorite meal for over a day or two on your countertop. It sucks the moisture and becomes stale in two days. Suppose your climate is warm and humid; spare space in your freezer to store the loaves. It is the surest way to lengthen your bread’s shell life. Otherwise, you must bake a loaf daily or enough to feed your family without leftovers.

What Problems Do Bakers Have On Humid Days?

Whether commercial or baking for home use, you might face several challenges as a baker. One of those is baking on humid days. You need to learn some of the problems you will likely encounter and how to deal with them. The issues shouldn’t spoil your baking experience. Avoid baking on such days, or follow a few tips here. Here are the shortfalls of baking on humid days:

  1. Dough Hydration Problems

The first challenge you will encounter when baking on humid days is dough hydration difficulty. When there is a lot of moisture in the air, your dough absorbs it. In such weather, it isn’t easy to gauge the proper humidity levels, affecting your dough’s quality.

Your dough becomes too sticky and difficult to roll on your countertop. The problem is the opposite of what happens to your dough on a dry day. It becomes tough, and the bread is also dry and tough.

2. Sticky Dough

During humid days, there is extra moisture in the air than usual. If you do not have a dehumidifier, the air in your kitchen is also wet. The wetness adds water to your dough, making it extremely sticky. Unless you add more flour (which changes the recipe requirement), you will find it difficult to shape and get a perfect final product.  

3. Proofing Time takes longer

Dampness can slow down the yeast reaction in your dough. Your dough will, thus, take longer to rise and proof. That happens when you cover your dough with a wet cloth. The same slow proofing occurs on humid days.

Sometimes, it might not be easy to determine if your dough has risen maximally. If it takes a long time to proof, over-proofing can happen. This causes the dough to crumble and not maintain its structure. It becomes dense, thus a heavy bread.

4. Longer Fermentation

High humidity can slow down your dough’s fermentation or rising process. If the process takes longer than usual, it is difficult to determine if it has risen to full capacity.  

5. Uneven Baking

Just like moist air affects the dough, it can tamper with your oven’s temperature. The result will be uneven baking with a tough and chewy crust.  

6. Spoilage

Other than flopped bread, high humidity causes spoilage in pastries. The baked goods become stale quickly. The reason is the fast growth of bacteria and old. Spoilage accounts for a higher percentage of losses in bakeries.  

Does High Humidity Affect Baking Bread? 

As a baker, some factors will affect your outcome from your baking process. These include recipes, experience, baking tools, time, preparation, etc. Most people ignore the humidity aspect. High humidity in your baking environment affects baking bread in various ways. Take a look

  • Slow Rise

If you observe your dough on a highly humid day, you will find that the fermentation process is slow. The bread rises more slowly, affecting the texture and flavor of your favorite snack.

  • Sticky Dough

 High humidity is a recipe for a sticky and difficult-to-bake dough stickier. The reason is the extra moisture in the dough, making it too hard to shape and bake.

  • Softer Crust

The higher the humidity, the softer the dough and the less crispy the outcome. Excess prevents the formation of crust, thus affecting the texture of your bread. Also, the outcome may not be appealing as the soft dough is difficult to mild.

  • Dense Crumb

If your dough is dense, you can place the blame on high humidity. It happens when you work in a damp kitchen. Due to excess moisture absorption, your bread doesn’t rise properly and causes a dense crumb.

  • Spoilage

High humidity is a cause of most baked goods spoilage. When moisture gets into the bread, it causes a fast growth of mold and bacteria.

How To Fix Baking Issues On Humid Days?

  • Measure humidity levels and use a dehumidifier to reduce dampness in your kitchen.
  • Adjust recipes.
  • Use less water.
  • Adjust your baking techniques 
  • Air conditioning your kitchen
  • Store your dry ingredients in air-tight containers and the refrigerator
  • Bake in a cooler and drier place
  • Adjust your baking days to a day when the air is not humid

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