Bread is a staple commodity for many households thanks to its vast culinary applications. For most people, bread completes an early morning breakfast. Some love its soft, white, or brown color and lightweight form that squishes under a butter knife, while others love it toasted.
The resulting crispy, brown toast is tastier, crunchier, and firmer, making it easy to spread savory toppings like butter, jam, and margarine. Toast bread is sweetest when warm out of a toaster, but if you prepare it for later use, you may wonder -- how long does toast last?
Does it retain the crispy and crunchy taste after storing it for hours, and what’s the best way to store it? The next part answers all these questions, so read on.
Toast bread lasts 20-30 minutes when stored at low temperatures, but if you want to keep it fresh longer, seal it in an airtight container or bag and refrigerate it. The container keeps off any moisture that could make toast bread go bad, keeping it fresh for up to 24 hours.
In the case of French toast, it depends on the type of bread used. Typically, French toast lasts two hours at room temperature, three days if refrigerated, and three months if stored in a freezer. If using low-quality bread, it lasts one to two months in a freezer.
Essentially, the toasting process removes moisture, amino acids, and sugars, giving it the characteristic brown color and flavor. This process is called the Maillard reaction, which occurs at high temperatures of 120-160 C, which the toaster provides. The reaction occurs in many daily items, including French fries, condensed milk, sweet potato, roasted coffee, and more.
Even so, the flavor is bound to disappear if the toasted bread isn’t stored correctly. Bread toasted in conventional toasters sweats when served, causing water to collect on the surface when the steam condenses. Proper storage is critical to maintaining its flavor and crunchiness.
There are three ways of storing toast bread depending on when you plan to eat it:
This method comes in handy when one toasts bread but isn’t ready to eat it. Simply place it in the oven directly on the rack and set it at the lowest temperature. The rack allows air to circulate the bread, keeping it dry longer while the heat keeps off moisture.
The slice won’t be as crispy as freshly made toast but it’s pretty tasty. Be sure not to leave it in the oven too long because it will become dry and brittle. This method is most effective when storing the toast for a short period, usually 20-30 minutes.
Sometimes you need to store bread longer than 20-30 minutes. Since leaving it in the oven isn’t an option, you need to refrigerate it. Refrigeration prolongs its shelf life for up to 24 hours but you may be wondering -- is toast frozen bread healthy?
If stored correctly, frozen toast bread keeps pretty well. This means allowing the toasted bread to cool down before refrigeration and placing it in an airtight container during storage. If stored before cooling down, moisture collects on the surface making the bread lose its crunchiness and become mushy.
Note that this storage method is most effective when storing leftover toasted bread; not sandwiches. The ingredients soak up the bread making it impossible to store it for extended periods.
The method is most effective when storing sandwiches for later use. Toasting bread slices first is the best way to prevent them from soaking up moisture in the ingredients; otherwise, you end up with a soggy sandwich. Here’s how to do it:
Here are some of the frequently asked questions concerning how long does toast last.
Toast keeps fresh for only two hours after sitting out of a refrigerator. The USDA recommends disposing of food sitting out of a fridge after two hours. Once taken out of a fridge, it attracts bacteria due to temperature changes. Some argue that reheating toast makes it healthy for consumption but if it’s after two hours, it’s best to dispose of it.
If you want to toast bread and eat it later, place it in an oven at low temperature or wrap it in a paper towel and store it in the fridge. Both methods prevent it from getting mushy.
Toasted bread can last up to 24 hours if stored correctly. Refrigerating it prolongs its life allowing it to keep fresh longer. Stale bread develops a foul smell and an unpleasant taste. It may also become moldy bread.
Toasted bread is good the following day if refrigerated. You must allow it to cool and wrap it in a paper towel before placing it in a jar for refrigeration.
Bread toasted in an air fryer stays fresh as long as one is toasted in a regular toaster. If not eating it immediately, place it in an oven at low temperature to retain its crunchiness -- otherwise it becomes mushy.
In the case of French toast made using an air fryer, it may last four to five days if refrigerated. However, when reheating it for consumption, avoid using an air fryer; rather use an oven or a toaster.
White bread, Texas toast, and sourdough are the best for toasting. However, you aren’t restricted to these bread types -- you can use any that you prefer.