Homemade bread fresh out of the oven is absolutely delicious. However, before you dig in, you will want to know how long to let bread cool. Though it can be tempting to eat bread right after taking it out in the oven, you will want to let it properly cool first.
Letting bread properly cool is an important step that you do not want to skip. No matter what type of bread you are making, whether it is brioche, sourdough, or ciabatta, you don’t want to rush the process. The cooling time will vary by type and size bread.
How Long To Let Bread Cool
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The smell of fresh bread out of the oven is one of the best smells. However, to ensure your bread tastes delicious, you want to make sure you let it properly cool first. The amount of time it takes to cool bread will vary by the type of bread and the size.
Rolls and baguettes will take around 30 minutes to cool. Smaller loaves of bread will take around one hour to cool and larger loaves and sourdough can take up to two hours to cool. Quick bread will take around 30 to 45 minutes to cool.
For rye bread, the longer the cooling process the better, as this is especially important for its texture and flavor development. In fact, it is best to let rye bread dry for up to 24 to 48 hours if possible.
How to cool bread
After taking your bread out of the oven, you will want to place it on a wire rack to cool. The wire rack allows air to fully circulate around the bread, which allows it to cool faster.
For bread baked in loaf pans, you will want to let them cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. You can then carefully remove the bread from the pan and let it finish cooling on the wire rack.
Not only does a wire rack help cool bread faster, but it also helps prevent it from becoming soggy. You do not want to cover your bread as it cools, as this can trap in excess moisture from the steam causing soggy bread.
Your bread should be only slightly warm or completely cool to the touch before you slice it. The cooling process to bread is important for both taste and texture.
Why Does Bread Need To Cool Before Slicing?
To achieve the best possible texture and taste from bread, it needs to cool before slicing. Slicing your bread too soon and you might find that it has a gummy, sticky texture and a less flavorful taste.
If you cut into bread too soon after taking it out of the oven while it is too hot, it will cause the steam to release too quickly. When this happens, your bread will dry out much faster than normal.
By letting bread fully cool while whole, the steam is able to release naturally and slowly. By waiting, the freshness and moisture will be sealed in the bread.
Gelatinizing starch molecules
If you cut into the bread right away after taking it out of the oven, you may notice that it has a sticky, gummy texture. This is due to the fact that bread undergoes a starch retrogradation process as it cools. Cut into the bread too soon and it will not have completed the process.
As the temperature of the bread reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the starch molecules begin to absorb in the bread. This process is what gives bread its hard, dry texture. When bread starts to cool and the temperatures drop below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the starch retrogradation begins.
During the process, water continues to move outward, which dries the bread and firms up the crumb. So, if you cut into the bread while it is still undergoing this process,t the texture won’t be set and it will likely be gummy.
Letting your bread cool will further enhance the flavor. As the bread cools, its flavor continues to develop. For some types of bread, such as rye and sourdough, cooling is especially important for flavor development.
How To Properly Store Bread
The best way to store bread is in a bread box, as this helps keep excess moisture and air out. In addition, you can also store bread wrapped in plastic wrap, in a bread bag, paper bag, or airtight container.
It is important to keep bread covered, as it will go stale if you leave it uncovered. Store your bread at room temperature, in a cool, dry area. If properly covered, it will last for around three to five days.
You can make bread ahead of time and freeze it for later. First, allow your bread to be completely cool before freezing. Bread will last in the freezer for three to six months when properly stored.
For crusty loaves of bread, cover each loaf completely in aluminum foil and place it in your freezer. When you are ready to eat, let it thaw at room temperature for one to three hours, until it is thawed out. Then, warm up the bread in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
For soft bread and quick bread, you can freeze them in an airtight container, a plastic bag or wrapped in aluminum foil. When ready, allow your bread to thaw at room temperature for around one hour. You can then warm up slices in the microwave for 10-30 seconds.
Letting Your Bread Cool
It is important to let your bread fully cool before you slice it for the best flavor and texture. Depending on the type, that can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or more.
Do you have any questions regarding how long to let bread cool? If so, please ask any bread questions in the comment section below.
How Long to Let Bread Cool Before Removing From Pan?
Allow your bread to sit in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Then, return the bread to the wire rack to let it fully cool.
How Long to Let Sourdough Bread Cool?
Sourdough bread should cool for at least one to two hours. If possible, let it cool for six to eight hours for the best flavor and texture development.
How Long to Let Bread Cool Before Wrapping?
Bread should be fully cooled before wrapping. If the bread is still warm when you wrap it, it can cause moisture to become trapped, leading to sogginess.
How Long to Let Bread Cool Before Slicing?
Bread should be mostly or completely cool before slicing. Depending on the bread, that can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.