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This Simple Trick Will Keep Your Bread Fresher Longer


Fresh loaves of bread from the bakery are both delicious and often free of the preservatives that come with buyingsliced, bagged bread off the supermarket shelves. However, these same loaves of bread tend to become stale much more quickly when sliced. It’s quite the dilemma, especially for those who want to avoid throwing away and wasting stale bread (or are tired of turning said stale pieces into breadcrumbs or croutons).

The science behind staling involves the structure of starch, which is an essential part of bread. Starch, in its natural state, has a stiff crystalline structure. When this starch is introduced to water and heated (baked as a loaf of bread), the starch undergoes a process called gelatinization. In other words, the starch swells, stretches, and loses its stiff structure.

Amylose and amylopectin are the primary components of starch. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Image by Noel Haegens/Bread and the Technology of Bread Production

As soon as the bread starts to cool, however, the starch slowly starts to regroup into an organized crystalline structure again. This gradual return to structure is the primary reason for the tough, firm texture of stale bread.

Exposure to air speeds up this recrystallization process; therefore, the trick to keeping your bread from going stale for longer is to maximize the benefit of the


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