A bread box may not be the first item you will think of when it comes to kitchen essentials, but it is undoubtedly one of the most underrated and underutilized elements in today’s kitchens.
What was once a common sight on every kitchen counter for decades together, the bread box fell out of favour around the 1980s when the popularization of mass-produced bread began to take over, and many consumers abandoned fresh-baked bread.
Fortunately, the bread box has made a comeback as people realize why it was so useful. The reason: commercial bread was full of preservatives. While home-baked bread lasted longer, they came at the expense of quality and nutritional value.
Fresh-baked bread is now more accessible than ever, which is a significant reason as to why many are making the switchback. These types of bread require a different storage method than commercial bread, and that is where the bread box makes its entry. Ellementry explains all you need to know about bread boxes.
Also, Read – Boxes that are Essential for your Kitchen
What is a bread box?
A bread box is used to store bread and other baked items so they are safe from pests. It helps keep bread fresh by trapping moisture and preventing it from becoming stale. Mostly, these boxes are tightly sealed and so help maintain clean kitchen surfaces. By keeping contents at room temperature, these boxes prolong edible storage time. Furthermore, they allow enough airflow, thereby reducing condensation, which helps prevent mould formation.
The box helps the bread retain its original characteristics-a crispy exterior, a delicious chew, and a moist crumb. It creates the humidity required to keep bread in its tastiest form for three to four days.
Generally, people store bread loaves in the fridge, assuming that keeping them cold will lock-in moisture and prevent them from going stale. In contrast, the opposite occurs, and the loaves tend to go stale in the fridge after a single day. Staleness takes place as starch molecules crystallize on account of a process called retrogradation. As it occurs faster in the low temperatures of standard refrigeration, the fridge becomes a bad choice for storing bread.
Most bread boxes utilize an oval shape to accommodate the bread easily. Some models may be taller than others, depending on their capacity, but the oval shape is the most common. Some speciality bread boxes may have more of a square shape that caters to specific types of bread.
Types of bread boxes
There are many kinds available in the market so that you may find models that will fit in any kitchen decor and personal style preference. At Ellementry you will find a bread box that can not only store bread, but also baked cakes, bagels, and buns.
Wooden bread boxes are usually the kind most people first think of when they hear the term. Vintage wooden bread boxes are highly sought after these days and contain old-style designs and lettering that offer a throwback feel.
Wood-metal fusion bread boxes from Ellementry are quite useful to store freshly baked bread. Its newer versions often have a more contemporary look but have the same functionality. Its lid serves as a chopping board where you can slice your bread.
Ceramic bread boxes have been fairly prevalent since ages. Several people who have them use them as a decorative piece on their buffet or counter. These boxes can be quite heavy and fragile. Regardless, they work just as well as other types.
Why choose the box?
The primary goal with any bread, fresh-baked or not, is to keep it fresh. This doesn’t only mean preserving it for as long as possible but also retaining its best characteristics.
Majority of people want to keep their bread chewy and moist, with a crispy crust too- only a bread box will help achieve that. When you store bread in a plastic wrapper or bag, it may stay relatively soft, but it will still have a dry feel to it, and the crust certainly is not crispy. If you leave bread on the counter, it will be as hard as a rock by the next day. The same is true if you leave it in a paper bag.
So, we at Elementary, recommend you to store it at room temperature in a container made to retain moisture-a bread box.