2018-10-13 TotallyChefs 448 448 Jennifer The truth is that baked goods are at their prime the moment they come out of the oven — especially bread. As soon as your loaf begins to cool, its quality

5 Ways To Keep Your Bread Fresh

5 Ways To Keep Your Bread Fresh

shared by Jennifer

1. Stale bread is caused by time and air exposure

There are two main culprits of stale bread. The first is a chemical change with a particularly fancy name: starch retrogradation. As soon as bread is removed from the oven, the structure of the starch molecules changes and they begin to crystallize. This crystallization forces water out of the bread and the result is a nasty staleness. The second contributor is a loss of moisture due to air exposure. Hint: Once it’s cool, wrap it up

2. Storing bread in the fridge preserves it, but at a price

Starch retrogradation occurs most rapidly at refrigerator temperature. The fridge, therefore, is one of bread’s prime enemies. Even still, there’s one benefit to refrigerating a loaf: it delays the development of mold.

3. Storing bread in the freezer prevents bread from going stale

The icy temperatures of your freezer arrest starch retrogradation, holding the bread in a stable state. To get the most out of your bread, freeze it as soon as possible after baking and cooling, and consume it equally as fast after thawing. Note: The bread needs to be thoroughly wrapped in plastic, and it’s also a good idea to slice it into portions prior to freezing.

4. Different styles of bread require unique storage styles

Room temperature is ideal for maintaining proper crumb and crust texture. But in addition to proper temperature, you also need to manage your bread’s air exposure — which is done with proper wrapping. The plastic bag is often criticized for trapping moisture — which can speed up mold development — but this truly depends on the type of bread. For common store-bought loaves with tender crusts, plastic bags are just fine. Hard-crusted breads should be kept in paper bags (or, how they’re packaged at the bakery). As a loaf dries, the moisture that is pushed out of the bread is absorbed by the hard crusts, turning them tough and rubbery.

5. A partially stale loaf can be refreshed

This can be accomplished by heating it in the oven. Heating it in the oven for a few minutes will help to draw the moisture out of its crust and enhance its quality. The loaf should be consumed immediately afterwards.