Nothing lasts forever… or can it? It is possible to have your cake and eat it whenever you want, you just need to follow a few basic rules of food science.
There are several ways to extend the shelf life of a baked good, including:
- Storage: Proper storage is key to extending the shelf life of baked goods. Baked goods should be stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out or becoming stale.
- Refrigeration: Some baked goods, such as bread, can be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life. However, refrigeration can also cause certain baked goods to become dry or lose their texture, so it’s important to consider the specific type of baked good before refrigerating.
- Freezing: Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of baked goods. Most baked goods can be frozen for up to 3 months without affecting their quality. To freeze baked goods, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store them in an airtight container.
- Preservatives: Some baked goods can be made with preservatives, such as citric acid or potassium sorbate, to extend their shelf life. However, it’s important to note that some preservatives can alter the taste and texture of baked goods, so it’s important to use them judiciously.
- Reduce moisture content: Moisture can cause baked goods to spoil quickly, so reducing the moisture content can help extend their shelf life. This can be achieved by reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe, using dry ingredients like powdered milk or milk solids instead of fresh milk, or adding absorbent ingredients like oats or bran. Adding more sugar, salt, or sugar alcohols (if you want to watch carbs) have water activity lowering capabilities as well.
- pH adjustment: Some baked goods can be made more acidic to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. This can be achieved by adding acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or sour cream to the recipe. However, it’s important to note that adjusting the pH can also affect the taste and texture of the baked good.
It’s important to keep in mind that while these methods can help extend the shelf life of baked goods, they will not make them last indefinitely. Baked goods will eventually spoil, so it’s important to use your best judgment and follow food safety guidelines when determining whether or not to consume them.