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Currently it is -27C/-17F outside.

Would putting a loaf of freshly-baked bread outside to cool off (quickly) be a good idea or a bad idea?

To clarify, this is for the purposes of cooling it down enough to eat right away, and not for some sort of flash-freezing long-term storage or anything like that.

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    Depends, what are you trying to do to it?
    – Sneftel
    Jan 13 at 19:53
  • Good question -- I've made an edit to clarify; thanks.
    – Roger
    Jan 13 at 19:55
  • Surely you could try it and find out? What do you think would happen? Jan 13 at 21:00
  • Yes, try it. I can speculate, but experiment beats speculation.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jan 14 at 4:28
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    Bread doesn't conduct heat very well. In those conditions it's possible the outside would freeze while the inside was still warm. But you might start cooling outside
    – Chris H
    Jan 14 at 7:55

2 Answers 2

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Does the dish where you want to eat the bread require cold bread? Otherwise I would say you can eat the bread essentially right out of the oven. Probably put on a glove while cutting it but then the maybe 5 minutes between pulling it out of the oven to the first bite are generally sufficient to get to a temperature where you don't burn yourself. I don't think it will safe you any time to bring the bread outside first and then get it back in almost immediately afterwards.

Note that if you want to freeze the bread for long storage, quick freezing by bringing it outside can be a good idea.

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    Bread doesn't cut nicely until fully cooled. I slice mine to sandwich thickness in the evening, and even after a couple of hours out of the oven, it tears much more than when fully cooled. Slicing it hot is really only if you want big chunks
    – Chris H
    Jan 14 at 15:48
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    @ChrisH A sharp bread knife helps but you are correct that bread fresh out of the oven doesn't cut easily. Personally I consider the flavor of warm oven fresh bread easily compensates for mishapen slices but I guess that is a personal judgement.
    – quarague
    Jan 14 at 16:48
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    If I want bread to eat as soon as it comes out of the oven, I make rolls.
    – Chris H
    Jan 14 at 17:02
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I have an outdoor brick oven in NE Canada and I try not to bake when the temp is -20c or less. This is for the baker not the bread . Because of the aerated structure of bread it will freeze on the outside before it cools on the inside at -27c. I find even after cooling bread indoors if you put it in the freezer too soon the loaves will curl and collapse a bit as the air inside the loaf shrinks . I bake until the internal temperature of the loaf is around 208f so the bread is still cooking below the crust when it is removed from the oven .Rapid cooling will shorten the time the loaf has to set internally and you can end up with a gummy middle.

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  • Thank you for this! Very helpful.
    – Roger
    Feb 5 at 1:47

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