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I have an issue with the bread we make in our bread maker. My wife claims it is not fresh enough to eat if it is more than 1 day old; however, she will eat shop brought bread that is 2 days old. This leads to the birds in our garden getting fat!

Is there a way to make (or keep) the bread so it is perceived by my wife to be fresh so we can use it on a 2nd day?

  • How are you storing it? In the fridge? on the counter uncovered? – renesis Jan 21 '16 at 15:30
  • @renesis, it is uncovered on a rack to cool overnight, then put in a "freezer" bag in the morning. – Ian Jan 21 '16 at 15:32
  • @Optionparty, my wife says "stale" and "dry", but I think it is still ok :-) – Ian Jan 21 '16 at 15:42
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I assume you're trying to extend shelf life for a couple of days, not weeks. One possibility is dough enhancers, many of which improve shelf life. Most can be very easily incorporated into an existing bread machine recipe.

There are a variety of possibilities, and you can also buy commercially available dough enhancers that combine various helpful additives for you. I'd personally buy a dough enhancer formulation first, see if it made a difference in how my spouse liked the results, and then start experimenting with other (less expensive!) additives such as lecithin, gluten, powdered ginger, potato flakes, buttermilk, or more.

Searching for "dough enhancer recipe" brings up lot of suggestions which I can't personally vouch for, so I won't include one here :)


Changing the storage method can also help improve the longevity of a loaf. This is covered in another question; suggestions include covering the cut end (moisture escapes more easily there than from the crust), and pre-slicing and freezing the portion you know you won't get to.

  • Thanks, we just use a bit of vitamin c at present, as our yeast does not contain it. – Ian Jan 22 '16 at 17:26
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    My favorite dough enhancer is pectin. I add one tablespoon of bread pectin to 4 cups of flour and it works wonders. Bread pectin doesn't have any added acid, so it doesn't taste tart like the pectins usually sold for making jams and jellies. Also, it's a high methoxyl pectin, which works much better for bread than low methoxyl pectins. There aren't many suppliers for it. I like Pacific Pectin (pacificpectin.com). If you call them, they'll be glad to send you a sample, which should last you a while. I wish they sold it in smaller quantities (minimum order is ten pounds). – mrog Jan 22 '16 at 17:29
  • I emailed Pacific Pectin to see if they sell a smaller size (10 pounds is the smallest size listed on their website). They said they also sell a 5 pound box. It has a shelf life of two years. – mrog Jan 22 '16 at 17:45
  • Some notes on ascorbic acid Why put things in bread that do not belong there, if you can do the same by just letting it rest? "AA is an unnecessary artificial additive, which can weaken the gluten in longer-fermented doughs". You are really destroying the texture and diminishing the taste of your bread. sustainweb.org/realbread/ascorbic_acid – Marc Luxen Jan 22 '16 at 19:27
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Leaving the bread out uncovered overnight is likely one of the larger issues with staling.

All bread will start to stale immediately after it's come out of the oven -- commercial bread simply has other ingredients to help slow this effect. (and I know we've had a question on this topic) They also package the bread in plastic to hold moisture near the loaf to slow the staling.

You might want to consider how you're storing it. If you're in a dry area where bread stales (rather than going moldy), consider getting a bread box, or bagging the bread before you leave it out overnight. At the very least, wrap it loosely or place in a paper bag to allow steam to continue to escape, but still keep moisture near the loaf.

And before you throw the bread to the birds, you can either revive it by placing it a damp paper bag in a medium low oven, or make it into any number of things:

  • french toast
  • bread pudding / strata
  • Panzanella salad
  • fondue
  • stuffing / dressing
  • panade for meatballs or meatloaf
  • bread crumbs
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Do you use any fats in your mix? On this page there is the suggestion that adding some fat -- say, 50g of butter or oil -- can extend shelf life.

Fats (butter, oils, milk, eggs). Fats enrich and flavor the bread. They also soften the dough and preserve it: whereas a fat-free loaf of bread like a French bread goes stale after only a few hours, a loaf of bread with a small amount of olive oil or butter (like a sandwich bread) retains moisture and will stay fresh longer. Fats increase the bulk of your bread. Rarely do you get the kind of large, irregular holes inside an enriched bread as you do in a fat-free bread.

  • We use about 25ml of olive oil – Ian Jan 25 '16 at 17:12
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A few options:

  1. Add a bit (or a bit more) sugar to the dough.

  2. Use a sourdough starter instead of yeast. The ideas in Sourdough in Bread Maker? might be helpful.

  3. Add lupin flour, as mentioned in "Why add lupin flour to white bread?"

  4. Store in a paper bag.

If you're not using a breadmaker, leaving the dough overnight to have the yeast really do their job would also help.

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    How can (2) or (3) be done with a bread-maker? – Ian Jan 21 '16 at 17:57
  • 2) Leave it overnight in your breadmaker or in bowl 3) put a sourdough starter in the machine instead of yeast – Marc Luxen Jan 22 '16 at 10:59
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    Not all breadmakers have a dough cycle, and not all breadmakers will bake prepared dough without mixing first. – Erica Jan 22 '16 at 14:22
  • @MarcLuxen, the point of using a break maker is that you just put everything in it, press 1 button and then remove the bread when it is made and baked. So getting nicer/cheaper bread then from the shops without having to spend time making the bread by hand. – Ian Jan 22 '16 at 14:45
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    As it stands it's not clear how all of your suggestions would apply to the question as asked. Specifically your post needs more details on how your suggestions would be followed when using a bread maker. – Ross Ridge Jan 22 '16 at 18:59
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I would like to share some tips for crispy bread and keep it for a long time

  • Letting a few slices of sliced apples or a few slices of potatoes together with a loaf of bread will help keep the bread longer than usual.

  • To get inside a plastic bag containing one to two stems of vegetables, tighten the mouth of the bag. To do this, 2 to 3 days of preserved bread is still delicious.

  • Pack the bread in a covered nylon bag and put it in the freezer of the refrigerator. Keeping this way can leave bread all month long.
  • Want to save bread for a long time but still soft, should use oil paper or nylon bag, tightly packed inside to have a lump of sugar and then to cool.

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