Why It's A Bad Idea To Refrigerate Bread

Man might not be able to live by bread alone, but he can hardly live without it. Bread is a critical component of your favorite sandwich. Butter wouldn't be the same slathered on any other food. Not to mention, bread is the much needed element for your panzanella salad. You can't have your favorite French toast without it, and bread pudding and your Thanksgiving Day stuffing would certainly be lacking without this substantive ingredient. 

According to the South Florida Reporter, Americans really do have a propensity for bread, eating an average of 53 pounds of this grain-based food on an annual basis. Referred to as the Staff of Life, bread is an important part of our diet and has been so for over 14,000 years, per NPR. The Smart Bread Maker notes that humans have been kneading, baking, and dipping their bread in wine and honey for centuries.

However, as much as we love bread — store bought or homemade — there are weeks where it can be tough to use up an entire loaf. Sure, you can throw your bread in the freezer and defrost it as you need it, per All Recipes, but you shouldn't store your bread in the refrigerator and there's good reason why.

The bread will get stale quicker in the refrigerator

While it might seem like the right move, per Good Housekeeping, it's a bad idea to put bread in the refrigerator. The publication explains that putting your bread in your fridge will actually speed up the process that makes it go stale. So, what is the best way to keep your bread fresh? Bread does best at room temperature. If you've bought a sliced up loaf of bread from the store, they suggest it is in the best interest of your bread to keep it in an air-tight plastic bag, just not in the fridge. They also note that if you have a loaf from the bakery that came in a paper bag — hello baguettes — you should wrap it in plastic wrap or cut it up and put it in ziplock bags and store it at room temp. 

Why can you put bread in the freezer but not the refrigerator? It is a little confusing, but Serious Eats says while the freezer slows down the process of bread going stale, the refrigerator speeds it up. This is because the starches go back to their crystalized state as they cool off, and the refrigerator is the perfect place for this to take place, making your bread hard and not so delicious. So, stick to keeping your bread at room temperature or in the freezer if you don't plan on eating it before the use by date.