Why It's Such A Bad Idea To Store Your Bread In The Fridge

sliced loaf of wheat bread
sliced loaf of wheat bread - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

One of the best parts about buying a loaf of bread, or baking fresh bread at home, is that you typically have quite a bit left to enjoy after the initial meal using the bread is finished. Once you learn how long bread lasts, you can use your leftover bread to make sandwiches, casseroles, bread pudding pie, and toast, among many other dishes. Saving your bread for future meals requires you to store it properly so that it maintains its freshness, flavor, and texture. Your refrigerator may be a great place to conveniently store lots of food items, but your store-bought and homemade bread should not be left in the fridge.

Bread gets lots of its tasty flavor from its moisture. The cool and dry environment of the refrigerator will strip the bread of its moisture, making the bread spoil faster. If you place your bread in your refrigerator, the cold temperature of your refrigerator will catalyze a chemical process in the bread that makes it become so dry that it will turn stale and unpleasant to eat.

Read more: The 18 Unhealthiest Store-Bought Sliced Breads You Can Buy

How Refrigerators Can Make Bread Turn Stale

Water and wheat flour
Water and wheat flour - Alvarez/Getty Images

The chemical process that will make your bread go stale in the fridge is pretty straightforward. The dough for your store-bought or homemade bread is made of several ingredients, notably wheat flour, which contains starch. The organic molecular form of the starch in that wheat flour has a crystalline structure. When bread dough is prepared for baking, water is blended with wheat flour to help create the dough. As wheat flour combines with water, and as the dough bakes, the crystalline structure of the starch in the wheat flour disintegrates, causing the starch to become shapeless without any defined form.

When you place your bread in the refrigerator, which should ideally have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the starch in the wheat flour will regain its crystalline structure as the bread cools. This process of recrystallization in the bread causes the bread to toughen, dry out, and eventually become stale. Instead of storing your bread in the refrigerator, pick a smart kitchen space to store fresh bread, one of which includes a compartment that's attached to the refrigerator -- your freezer.

Bread Can Be Stored Safely In The Freezer

Bread in a freezer
Bread in a freezer - EatDrinkRunFun / 'X' formerly known as Twitter

Unlike what will happen if you store your bread in the refrigerator, storing your bread in the freezer will actually preserve its texture and flavor. However, you must freeze and thaw bread properly so that the cold temperatures of the freezer do not burn your bread and it tastes fresh once you're ready to eat it again. Simply wrap your bread in plastic wrap twice over, then put it in a freezer bag that you can seal up tightly, leaving no air in the bag. You can keep the bread in the freezer for three months.

When you're ready to use your bread again, take it out of the freezer, but keep it in the bag. Let the bread cool to room temperature on a table, counter, or cutting board. As the loaf thaws, water will form inside the bag that the bread will absorb, providing moisture to help give the bread its original texture and flavor.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.