Why do my tortillas and English muffins last so much longer than my other bread?

Thread title says it all. I buy a loaf of bread and it goes moldy faster than I can eat it. I buy a package of flour tortillas or English mufins and they last forever and remain edible.

What is the difference here?

Totally WAG: salt content and density. A slice of bread, a medium-sized tortilla, and and English muffin contain a lot more salt than you would think, but the tortilla is flat and dense, and the muffin is pretty small and dense. The bread OTOH is very porous, which gives it a ton of surface area and the salt is spread out more thinly.

And that’s the cue for someone to explain why I am completely wrong.

I don’t know about salt, but my first guess was that the bread has a higher moisture content. It might be a combonation of the two.

Also, keep your bread in the fridge. You’ll be able to get at least an extra week (or two) out of it with no problems.

dryer products i think.

Bread goes stale faster in the fridge. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/08/bread-goes-stale-about-six-times-faster-in-the-refrigerator-than-at-room-temperature/

Is this what breadboxes do? Keep bread under conditions that optimize its longevity without allowing it to dry out?

And what is it with corn tortillas? They last even longer than flour ones. I buy a big bag of them, throw them up on a shelf out of sight and mind, and three months later the damn things are still edible.

I’d go with lower moisture content. For tortillas the minimal surface area exposed should help too. Maybe the corn tortillas have enough lime in them to deter bacterial growth. English muffins don;t make a lot of sense by those criteria though, except maybe more preservatives in them.

It could also be a difference in sugar content. A lot of bread is made with sugar, honey, corn syrup or other sweeteners. Tortillas and English muffins are not.

BTW, bread stored in a warm, humid place will turn moldy pretty quickly. It helps to keep your bread away from stoves, ovens, heating vents, sinks, sunny windows, etc.

It might depend on where you are buying your bread, too. If you are buying fresh bread from a bakery, it is unlikely to contain preservatives, which may mean that it will go bad sooner. If you buy your tortillas and English muffins at the supermarket, then they likely contain some preservatives.

One thing that I do, which I swear makes bread last, is to avoid reaching into the bag or touch anything but the slice I remove. Your hands can contaminate the bread. Same thing applies to strawberries - easy to bruise and contaminate.

many decades ago bread boxes where more common because bread was unwrapped (plastic or waxed) and unsliced. there was a certain amount of holes to allow enough ventilation to let moisture out to hold it between damp-and-moldy and too-dry.

bread boxes now maybe more decor items.

The article may say that but my personnal experience says otherwise. I routinely keep a loaf of bread about 3 weeks in the firdge. Different brands behave differently but if kept out of the fridge I experience either molding or sogginess most of the time toward the end of the second week. I have not experienced bread going stale in a very very long time.

I don’t know about english muffins, but tortillas have a lot of fat from frying while being low in water moisture. Bread goes stale from losing its water while the the “moisture” in a tortilla is mostly fat, so that’s not going to seem “dry” until the fat itself loses the power to communicate that mouthfeel (ie, The fat becomes oxidized/rancid).

I know in breadbaking, you can make bread without fat and its just fine the day you bake it but it goes stale really fast. If you make flour “tortillas” by baking them they’re really more like naan, which in my experience gets dry/stale almost instantly.

I think molds generally do need water and some molds don’t like salt, so I can see low water + saltiness as factors that also inhibit mold.

In my experience, bread from local bakeries rarely gets moldy. It goes stale faster than does bread from the big commercial bakeries, but that’s a different problem. Yes, some of the big bakeries use anti-mold preservatives, but maybe that’s because they need them.

There are some types of bread that never seem to go moldy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen mold on French bread, for example, or on sourdough. As I said before, breads with added sweeteners seem to develop mold more readily than those without sweeteners.

I don’t think the OP was talking about fried tortillas. Tortillas are cooked on a hot, flat, dry surface (in a home kitchen it would usually be a dry skillet). You can buy fried flour tortillas in the form of chips, but they’re not common. Flour tortillas do contain fat, but they’re not fried.

BTW, corn tortillas usually contain little to no fat.

You haven’t been looking hard enough. Both of these breads mold.

Well dang I thought corn tortillas were cooked on an oiled surface. So much for that theory.

However, if flour tortillas do contain fat, it is consistent with my theory, and consistent with my experience that bread with fat stales slower than bread without fat.

Correct, I’m talking about flour tortillas straight from the package. As for fat content, the Mission brand I usually buy uses vegetable oils. Salt is listed under the “Less than 2%” section (since others have mentioned salt content).

My corn tortillas, uncooked and stil in the package, don’t spoil for months. The only ingredients are grouind corn and lime – no preservatives, no salt, no oll,s nothing. Just corn and lime.

It is important to not touch the contents that you leave in the bag after taking some out. Same goes for dairy. Yogurt and sour cream will last for many weeks, months, after opening, as long as you never touch the contents with anything but a clean spoon. Lick the spoon and put it back in, and it’ll go bad in a few days. Milk will stay good for many weeks after the best-by date, as long as you don’t drink out of the jug. Yes, it will get sour, but will still taste excellent, just add a bit of sugar if you need to. But if anything unclean touches the milk, it will quicly go BAD (not the same as sour) and is undrinkable.

I store bread in the freezer (sliced up beforehand) and toast a slice or two at a time when desired. Otherwise the bread almost always goes bad long before I get to finish it, even in the fridge. It still tastes perfectly nice when unfrozen.