The warm, crusty bread that comes out of the bakery's oven is a real treat for the taste buds. And it's a real shame that the same bread, which was hot and crusty, can become, after a while, elastic, dry or hard. It is important to know that the quality of the bread starts to deteriorate as soon as it comes out of the oven and its temperature drops. The scientific explanation lies in the fact that the structure of the starch, contained in the bread, changes and crystallizes when the bread is cooled. As this crystallization takes place, the water is expelled from the bread and it becomes progressively dry, until it ends up being stale.
Every self-respecting bread lover should know how to store it, so that you can enjoy its full flavorand for as long as possible. Here are our tips and tricks for all those who love to eat good bread:
1. Do not put it in the fridge
Contrary to what many people think, putting bread in the refrigerator does not help to keep it longer, nor to preserve its texture. On the contrary, bread goes bad six times faster in the fridge than at room temperature (normal). Bread is not a food like any other, and the cold accelerates the crystallization process of the starch, which it contains in large quantities. That's why putting it in the fridge is a bad idea, if you want to extend its life.
2. Buy bread with a nice crust
The crust, apart from giving the bread its crispness, plays a crucial role in its preservation. It forms a kind of envelope around the bread, which prevents the air from penetrating inside and drying it out. It is no coincidence that bread with a thick crust (such as country bread) keeps longer than thin bread (such as a baguette). You can therefore, even if only from time to time, put aside your classic baguette for a more rustic breadthat you can enjoy for longer.
3. Do not buy it pre-cut
At this point you should know that the crust of the bread protects it from direct contact with the airand that the air weakens and stimulates the degradation of the bread. When buying sliced bread for example, each slice will be exposed to the air on both sides, and your bread will be at risk of lose its freshness very quickly. Whether it is a baguette or a loaf, only buy pre-cut bread if you plan to eat it within the day. Otherwise, it is better to buy it in one piece.
4. Cut out only what you intend to eat
Just as it is not advisable to buy pre-cut bread, if you wish to make it last, it is preferable to take pieces of your bread as you go along and according to your needs. A basket of small pieces of bread, if not consumed quickly, risks losing its freshness more quickly than an opened baguette.
5. Protect it from the air
As previously explained, bread is sensitive to air contact. To prevent it from drying out, it is best to wrap it. For example, you can wrap it in a clean napkin or store it in a kraft paper bag. Your bread will be well protected and its freshness preserved even longer.
6. Eat it quickly or freeze it
If you don't plan to eat your bread within 24 hours, freeze it. Freezing is by far the best way to preserve breadIt stops the crystallization process of the starch present in the bread. However, don't wait too long before putting your bread in the freezer, the sooner you freeze it, the better it will be when you defrost it.
A handy tip: before freezing your bread, consider cutting it into pieces or slices to make several servings, and put each serving in a separate freezer bag. When you get hungry, you can take out only one portion to satisfy your hunger. This way, there will be no waste and you can enjoy fresh bread longer.
7. Reheat it in the oven
For find the flavor and the crispness of fresh breadPut it in the oven. Five to ten minutes will awaken its greedy side. However, you must keep in mind that bread reheated in this way must be consumed quickly, and will not be able to go back into the oven a second time. Since the heat from the first baking will have dried out the bread and completely removed its water.
The trick to resurrecting stale bread
Take your stale chopstick and run it under a thin stream of water. To do this, you can open your faucet slightly and quickly slide the baguette underneath. Then, once your bread is rehydrated, you just have to put it in the oven at the right temperature. After 5 or 7 minutes, you can take out your baguette will be crispy and ready to be eaten. The only drawback to this method is that your bread will not be able to withstand a second run in the oven and this tip is only good for one time.