There has been many a heated debate about where to put your bread. Should it be kept in the fridge for ultimate freshness or should it stay firmly in the bread tin?
People have deliberated over this issue for many years and we can now reveal that bread should not be kept chilled, but instead left to languish on your shiny kitchen counter - or wherever you like to store your loaves.
According to Harold McGee’s book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, the reason that bread goes stale is “a kind of settling and strengthening” that happens to its starch molecules, resulting in “toughening effects that are undesirable” - AKA the bread going dry.
But the drying out process happens more quickly in higher temperatures, surely? Not so, apparently.
“Water moves from starch granules in the bread into the spaces between the granules and this changes the nature of the starch, causing the molecules to crystallise and turn the bread hard,” explains Professor Adam Hart, expert at University of Gloucestershire and author of bacteria book ‘Life of Poo’.
“This can occur more rapidly at lower temperatures so storing bread in the fridge can speed this up.”
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