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

It doesn’t take a lot of salt for it to act as a preservative.

jtur88, Lime (Calcium Hydroxide) is a fungicide.

Flour tortillas contain fat. True Mexican tortillas (the ones you get around here) use lard. Corn does not.

And salt is almost always in the “less than 2%” section, because salt is extremely powerful as a seasoning. Some foods that most people would consider to be very salty:

[li]McDonald’s French fries: 266 mg/117 g = 0.2% salt[/li][li]Doritos, Nacho Cheese flavor: 310 mg/50 g = 0.6%[/li][li]Dill pickle: 1181 mg/135 g = 0.9%[/li][li]Ham: 1.2%[/li][li]Spam: 767 mg/56 g = 1.4%[/li][/ul]

By comparison, seawater is 3.5% salt.

The staleing process refers to a specific thing - the mechanism where soft bread goes hard - even if it has not lost any moisture content. It isn’t either drying or going mouldy or any other process - it refers only the way nice fresh bread ceases to be fluffy and soft, The linked article describes very well what happens. How the actual internal structure of the bread changes over time. A lot of cheap factory breads have agents in them that slows this process, some to the point where bread will go mouldy first. But really good artisan bread doesn’t have these additives, and you get fantastic bread when fresh, but bread that will be clearly stale in only a couple of days, and even faster if you put in the ordinary refrigerator. Either freeze or room temperature preserves such bread the best. My favourite bread is nectar of the gods the day it is baked, but suitable for toasting only after three days.