The Senseless Act of Letting Bread go Stale

by Rice on September 17, 2017 - 7:03pm

On Juin 6,2014,Daniel Gritzer a Culinary Director,from Serious Eats wrote about how you should store bread to slow down the process of going stale. In this article he extensively explores this phenomena, that has recently taken on a lot of interest. He first introduces the science behind bread going stale. Gritzer explains that there are two factors that cause bread to become hard. The loss of moisture in the bread, and the “the retrogradation and recrystallization of starch.”, aka: the changing molecular arrangement of bread. He further develops on this phenomena, explaining that when the bread is baked, the original structure of the starch breaks down and absorbs water from the air. This absorption, in turn causes the bread to develop a non crystalline structure and become soft. As the bread cools down it returns to its original hard, crystal state by progressively releasing the water that was previously absorbed as the cooling happens. However this process of recrystallization generally takes a few days to happen. Consequently, Gritzer explains, when bread is kept in a cold environment the bread hardens much quicker than if it was kept unwrapped on a counter. He concludes, with the fact that “keeping bread in a refrigerator is really bad!” and that something has to change, soon.


Personally, I can identify several people who allow and promote this senseless act of wasting bread. You might be wondering, what is the importance or the relevance of stale bread?  Well, according to new research published in The Guardian, “50% of all US food produced is wasted.”. From another study, consumers said that “24% of all the food that is thrown out is bread.”  And that the average household wasted 400$ worth of bread each year (Food Starter). This leaves me to believe that this simple problem is actually a serious epidemic. This is bigger than anyone could have ever imagined and is of the greatest concern. There are many solutions available to us and the fact that we let bread become state cannot be ignored. I understand the idea behind keeping bread cold (but it is not the right logic). A few months ago I discovered one of my best friends was keeping his bread in the refrigerator. Actually he would also keep bananas, vinegar and certain types of crackers in his refrigerator, so I knew this was a prevalent problem. From my own experience, I found that the best way to fix this kind of behaviour was to first start by beating them senselessly. No, it actually starts by taking the time to explain scientifically, how keeping bread in the refrigerator has devastating consequences. I  also found it very useful to for example, create an experiment. This might take time but it is worth it! Basicly you separate a loaf of bread in two, leave one in the refrigerator and the other one on the counter, wait 12 hours then eat the two different loaves.I Guarantee you they will understand immediately!


Original Author:
Daniel Gritzer Culinary Director
Additional sources:




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