Should I store bread in the refrigerator?

Lots of questions about bread today! Reader Trey, you definitely should not store bread in the refrigerator. Low temperatures speed up — dramatically speed up — the rate at which starch crystallizes. Unless the bread gets below the freezing point of water, at which point is slows down dramatically, most likely because the water between the starch molecules hardens, keeping them from stacking up and forming crystals. So: at room temperature or frozen, nowhere in between. The exception to this rule is a really moist bread like a pumpernickel, which stays supple as a result of all the pentosan (seed coat) gums it contains, and the fridge will keep it from getting moldy.

6 thoughts on “Should I store bread in the refrigerator?”

  1. So then what is the best way to store bread? I find in the summer I definitely have to store bread in the refrigerator as it will go moldy very quickly (I usually end up toasting it so that it at least tastes decent).

    1. Hey Janet!

      Frozen is the way to go, absolutely. It’s not that convenient unless it’s sliced of course, but that keeps it fresh the longest.


      – Joe

  2. Hey Joe, what about cities with an average temperature of 85F, and 80% humidity? I’m currently living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and would like an alternative to putting bread in the fridge — other than just eating the bread in less than 2 days. 😀

  3. The freezer is best place
    Put bread in when still fresh then each time u need
    Snap a few sliced pcs off to toast or just leave at
    Room temp for few mins
    Don’t put bread in after only u can’t finish

    1. Yes, that’s exactly right if you want to limit staling and prevent mold at the same time. Thanks for the comment!

      – Joe

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