Microwaving Bread Produces Different Results – Why?

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How come *some* bread gets dry and crispy when you microwave it, but other bread gets soft and moist?

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2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Unless it’s stale bread that’s been left out to dry, pretty much all bread has enough moisture to stay soft. That said, microwave times are very different for what seems like similar breads and it’s easy to overheat and cause all the water to steam up and escape, and 10 seconds can be the difference between hardtack and soft goodness.

Anonymous 0 Comments

So bread being “dry” and bread being “stale” are actually two different things.

Bread, meaning baked flour products, have a specific kind of chemistry going on where grain molecules absorb/react with water. When you freshly bake a bread the moisture is spread through-out the crumb (the white part of bread) as water, separate from the baked-grain bits.

Over time some moisture will leave the bread sure, but it will also recombine with the baked-grain bits causing “Staleness”. The important part is that staleness can be reversed, if you head the bread back up in a microwave or toaster you bring the moisture back out and get fluffier bread than you put in. That’s why stale bread gets “refreshed” when reheated.

But dry bread means the water has left, that’s like toasted bread that you left sitting for a half-hour. You got the moisture out of the baked-grain bits, but then it evaporated and left the bread entirely. You can’t really fix that, just like you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.

that’s why the microwaving/toasting trick to save stale bread only works once.