1

Something I noticed - I bought fresh bread today from a Polish bakery/deli. It was still warm when I bought it, so it probably just came out of the oven. When I got home and tried it, it was amazing. Just this incredibly satisfying CRUNCH with every bite. Same thing with a fresh baguette, really.

I have a hard time not downing the entire loaf, because in a few hours the crust stops being so satisfyingly crunchy. Why does this happen? Does freshly baked crust become more elastic? Absorbs water?

7

It is not absorbing water from the atmosphere, rather, moisture is migrating from within the bread. Basically, as soon as a loaf of bread is removed from the oven, moisture migration begins to happen. It doesn't take long (hours-days) for that moisture to impact the crustiness of bread. Moisture migration accelerates staling (which turns out to be more complicated than simply drying out, but that was not your question). The good thing is that heat can effectively and temporarily delay or limit moisture migration. Just reheat your bread in the oven or toaster, and it should regain much of its crunch.

1

I believe the humidity in the air is causing your bread to become elastic. I have lightly wet the surface of baguettes and reheated in an oven to bring back the crunch.

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