How Long Should Bread Cool?

How Long Should Bread Cool?

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I know that waiting for baked items, particularly bread, is the most challenging aspect of the process. Having said that, you should always let your bread cool for around one hour on a rack (this number can change based on the type of bread).

Hi! My name is Shea, and to say I love bread would be an understatement. I like all types of bread, whether it’s a zingy lemon delight for morning or a hearty loaf for preparing sandwiches. That being said, I bake and chill a lot of bread, and I’m happy to share!

Allowing your bread to cool is an important step in the baking process, so understanding how long to wait is essential. This page will tell you how long to let bread cool depending on the kind of bread you’re baking, as well as some other interesting bread chilling facts.

Let’s grab some cold bread.

How Long Should You Let Your Bread Cool?

The length of time your bread takes to cool is entirely dependant on the kind of bread you’re making. Here’s a ballpark figure.

Small Rolls/Loaves 20 Minutes
Bread baked in loaf pan 1 Hour
Large free-form loaf 1 to 3 Hours
Sourdough loaf 6 to 8 Hours
Rye flour loaves 24 to 48 Hours

The idea is to let your bread to cool for as long as possible. Of course, two days for Rye bread to chill is a lot to ask. These are only ballpark figures. It is totally OK to begin slicing the bread as long as it is at room temperature.

Why Does Bread Need to Cool Before Slicing?

I understand how tough it is not to cut into your freshly cooked, deliciously warm bread. But, you will be doing your bread a harm by doing so. The truth is that bread must be completely cold before being sliced and eaten for a number of reasons.

Natural Steam Release

Cutting into a warm loaf of bread allows steam to escape quickly. What does this have to do with your bread? It may dry out far faster than you would want.

Allowing the bread to cool allows steam to escape gently and naturally. This locks in moisture and freshness, providing you with a lovely texture that may last a few days longer than the latter.

Increased Flavor

Did you know that many of the great tastes of bread develop after baking rather than during? Flavors emerge more as the bread cools. This is especially true for sourdough and rye bread, which have complex tastes.

Gelatinizing Starch Molecules

What? I realize this seems like you’ve walked into a sixth-grade science class, but I’ll break it down for you.

  • Starch molecules in the bread absorb at around 150F.
  • Starch retrogradation, or the release of moisture, occurs below 150F.

In essence, your bread will begin the starch retrogradation process as it cools. This procedure guarantees that the bread has the proper texture. Slicing during the starch retrogradation process will block the process and result in gummy, sticky, or otherwise unattractive bread texture.

Where Should Bread Cool?

Now you know how long to let your bread cool and why it is critical to allow it cool completely before slicing and eating. Nevertheless, where you chill your bread is equally critical.

If you leave your bread in the pan while it cools, you risk getting a wet crust (yuck!).

Instead, place your bread on a wire rack to cool. A wire rack circulates air throughout the whole loaf of bread rather than just the top. By doing so, you will allow the bread to cool and crisp up like it should. (Yum!)


Naturally, cooling bread is an important element of the baking process. If you’re still wondering how long to let the bread cool, have a look at the commonly asked questions below.

How do you cool bread after baking?

It’s actually rather straightforward. Just lay your bread on a cooling rack and set it aside for the appropriate period of time. After the bread has reached room temperature, begin slicing it. Let the bread to cool completely before reheating a single piece in the oven.

What happens if you don’t Cool bread?

If you don’t let the bread cool completely, it will be gummy or sticky and flavorless. It will also dry out more faster than bread that has been properly cooled.

Should I wait for bread to cool before storing?

Yes, absolutely! Bread that has not completely cooled might get mushy and have an unpleasant texture if stored. Wait for the bread to cool before slicing and storing it. For optimal results, store it in a bread box or brown paper bag.

How long can bread sit out after baking?

Bread may be stored at room temperature for four days. But, it should not be left on the counter. Fill a bread box or brown paper bag with it. Wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container before freezing to keep moisture in and prevent freezer burn.

Should you cover bread while cooling?

If you cover the bread while it cools, it will absorb too much moisture and become soggy. Some bakers believe that laying a clean dish cloth over the bread is OK, but I do not.

Final Words

Allowing your bread to cool completely is critical for the final taste and texture. The time it takes for your bread to cool varies based on the kind of bread. Most bread, on the other hand, will need at least an hour, and the longer you wait, the better.

Do you bake your own bread? How long should it cool?


How long do you let bread cool before taking out of pan?

Step 4: Let the bread to cool.

Let the loaf to cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing it from the pan. To release the bread, run a spatula or butter knife between the pan sides and the loaf. To remove the baked bread, invert the pan.

What happens if you don’t let bread cool before cutting?

If you cut into the bread while it is still warm (i.e., before the procedure is finished), you may discover a doughy, gummy, and sticky texture because the molecules are still thick and water-logged. You’ll end up with crushed and sticky slices rather than crisp and airy ones.

How do you cool bread after baking?

To fully cool your loaves, remove them from the oven and place them on a wire cooling rack to cool until they are approximately body temperature. The air that flows around the bread prevents the crust from getting soggy, which is an important step in achieving the ideal crust.

Can you leave freshly baked bread out overnight?

Can I leave fresh baked bread out overnight? Most fresh made bread may be left out at room temperature for a few days with no danger of mold development or staling.

Why do you cool bread on its side?

SARAH SAYS: I prefer to chill my loaf loaves on a wire baking rack on their side. This allows the hottest area of the bread, which is the bottom, to be exposed to the most air, avoiding soggy loaves on the bottom.

Does bread soften after cooling?

When the loaf cools, any moisture that remains in the loaf escapes as steam through the crust, causing the softening. Reduce the water content of the bread to help avoid this from occurring.

Can I cool bread quickly?

Let fast bread loaves to cool in the pan for a few minutes (per recipe guidelines), then gently transfer to a wire cooling rack. The steam that condenses while standing makes it simpler to remove these fast breads from the baking pan.

How do you cool bread if you don’t have a cooling rack?

It is simple to “bake” off any baked items using a frying pan and parchment paper. You may also use the edges of the baking pan as a cooling rack by laying it on top of your counter or cutting board, but leave enough space beneath for air to flow.

Should you cover bread while cooling?

You should not cover the bread as it cools. Water evaporates from the inside crumb as the bread cools. If you cover the bread, the moisture will condense on the crust and cause it to soften. We want air to flow over the surface of the crust to keep it beautiful and crispy.

Why does my bread shrink after cooling?

Some ovens run hotter than their settings, while others run cooler. If the oven temperature is too high, the loaf will be golden and crispy on the exterior but doughy in the inside and may collapse as it cools. When bread is cooked at a low enough temperature, it does not rise enough in the oven, resulting in a thick and sunken loaf.

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