Get That Bread Out Of Your Refrigerator

For us, bread use seems to hit spikes and valleys.  I take my lunch to work every day, and while I normally take a sandwich, there are times where I take leftovers or a frozen meal.  If these situations happen for multiple days straight, sometimes bread will sit for a while.  At the same time, there are occasions where you use bread like it’s going out of style.  Toast for breakfast (or better yet, french toast, yummm) or grilled cheese as part of dinner, and you’ll go through a loaf in no time at all.

Even with all this, we rarely ever have any bread go stale.  And, we have learned a big lesson, which is to keep bread out of the refrigerator.

Multiple Loaves At A Time

It’s not uncommon for us to buy multiple loaves of bread at a time. We like the wheat bread available at Costco, which comes in a two-pack (and since the loaves are bigger than those you typically get at the grocery store, it’s probably closer to three loaves).  Sometimes sales at the grocery store (or coupons) will have you buy multiple loaves at once.

Keeping these out for the length of time necessary to use them would likely result in some of it going stale.

Many people will combat this by putting their bread in the refrigerator, and I admit, I used to be guilty of this, but as it turns out, bread really shouldn’t go there.  I’ve read multiple notes indicating that keeping bread in the fridge actually speeds up the process of the bread going stale.  Also, what I’ve noticed is that when bread is refrigerated, it just feels different even after it’s brought back up to room temperature.  It has a different consistency, and not one that I would consider enjoyable.

Where To Put Bread

So, the question becomes, where do you put bread that you’re not going to eat for a while?  The answer is simple: Keep out what you need and put the rest in the freezer.

The freezer will keep your bread intact and will stop the clock on the time that your bread has before it goes stale.  You don’t want to keep it in the freezer for more than a couple of weeks because it will start to attract ice crystals and such that will ruin the bread, but if you keep a loaf or two in there, and get to it in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll enjoy the bread a lot more.

But It Gets Wet When It Thaws

I had tried freezing bread in the past but it always freaked me out that, during the thawing process, the bread and the bag seemed to get wet.  As it so happens, this is natural, and once the bread is thawed and returned to room temperature for awhile, this will go away and you’ll never notice the difference.

Oops, I Too Soon

One of the things I wondered about was whether you could re-freeze bread.  From what I’ve seen on the Internet, it looks like it’s perfectly acceptable to change your mind.  So, if you take a loaf out, but then realize you’re going to go a few days before you actually get to it, don’t be afraid to put it back in the freezer.  I wouldn’t do this too many times, but from what I’ve seen, one re-freeze seems to do no harm.

What do you think, readers? Do you put your bread in the freezer or the fridge or do you go through it so fast that you never have this issue?

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38 thoughts on “Get That Bread Out Of Your Refrigerator

  1. I learned that cold promotes the crystallization of starch leading to quicker mold production by watching the Big Bang Theory (so TV doesn’t always rot the brain!). Even before that, I never kept it in the fridge as I hated eating hard, cold sandwiches and didn’t always have the patience to wait for it to come up to room temp. But, no matter how many times I tell my parents or anyone from older generations, they claim it does keep fresher that way. They still say that going out with a wet head will cause pneumonia too, but I guess it’s hard to make people change the way they think after they’ve been doing it for their entire lives.
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    • We keep ours in the pantry. If we keep it on the counter, the cat chews through the bag and eats the bread.

      • Some people do not give much thought to a cat scratching around in a litter box with all the urine and feces and then walking around on the surfaces where they eat and prepare food.

  2. I bake my own loaves, usually 6 at a time, and freeze them whole. Then I took one out, wet my hands and rub it, and put it 5 minutes in the oven before eating.
    If I have a loaf of slice bread, I just take out the slices I need and toast them, the toaster will thaw and toast at the same time.
    When preserving a fresh loaf outside I leave it in a towel, not a plastic bag, it needs to breathe or will get all soft. Excess dry bread gets into french toast or pudding.
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  3. Your first line cracked me up because I have the exact same problem with bread. Our use of bread is definitely a roller coaster! I’ve never tried freezing it so thanks for the tip!
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  4. Sometimes my wife throws a loaf in the fridge, thinking we’ll go through it quickly and it’s better off in the fridge than on the counter. But, like you’ve discovered, it goes stale pretty fast.

    That’s good that you can re-freeze the loaf because my daughter goes through phases of eating toast for breakfast, but then she’ll switch to eggs or cereal and then we don’t go through the loaf as quickly.
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    • I’d say it’s better in the freezer than on the counter if you’re not going to use it up.

  5. We use the freezer and the fridge, depending on how much bread we are using. Like you said, it varies. I tend to toast any bread I eat, so it tastes fine either way. Our five year old could care less as long as it’s covered in jelly, and my husband usually eats sandwich type stuff on tortillas. We actually don’t use lots of loaf bread. French bread is another story. That stuff disappears faster than cookies in my house.
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  6. The bread I buy comes frozen from the store and I keep it that way. I like fresh bread for sandwiches so I only use my bread for toast.

    When I have a big project on the go and don’t have time to cook I make a big sandwich to eat over a few days. I slice a whole baguette in half the long way and add roast beef and baby spinach leaves and wrap tightly with foil. I rip off as much as I want to eat at a time and just add mustard.
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    • I think I’ve tried that but can’t remember for sure. I will have to give that a try because it does ring a bell as something that turned out very well.

  7. White or whole wheat bread is best stored in the freezer, and yes we just take out what we need, a few slices at a time. And we usually toast frozen bread and it is fine. Rye bread can be stored in the fridge for up to 8 days and every slice will still taste great.

    For a while we were baking our own bread and freezing half and keeping the other half in the pantry. And yes I LOVE grilled cheese!

    About 2 months ago we stopped eating bread completely just to see how all of the wheat was affecting our health.
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  8. Growing up, my parents always kept it in the fridge. When I moved out on my own, I stopped that tradition. I agree that it is just better out of the fridge. We keep ours in our pantry closet. We do freeze extra loaves, and you are right about needing to use it within a few weeks. We had buns taste like freezerburn before.
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  9. We’ve been avid freezers of bread since I can remember! I have found that if the bread is newly thawed, put it in the toaster for a short time and it will be dry. One problem with freezing bread is that with the moisture, you tend to get moldy bread if you don’t let the moisture escape.
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  10. I grew up with people keeping bread in the fridge but I read you should’t and have always stored it on the counter. I must admit we do freeze it though as we don’t eat it very often. We haven’t found it gets soggy when it thaws just moist like fresh bread would be.
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  11. I actually just noticed that on the French baguettes at Costco, the label actually tells you to freeze the bread that you don’t use right away and reheat in the oven at 325 F. I think the bread gets dry much faster in the fridge, but I still keep it there if I’m going to eat it within a week or two because it takes forever to toast!
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