The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Serving Time and Temperature

shakleford's picture

Serving Time and Temperature

Hello everyone,

Based on some reading I've recently done, I was wondering how long everyone lets their bread rest after baking before serving it.  Similarly, what temperature do you serve it at?  I have often read to let the bread cool before slicing, but I always thought that that was just to avoid squishing it.  However, in Whole Grain Breads, Reinhart says that the flavor will be most apparently at room temperature.  He also recommends letting bread sit for a day for best effect, and I know that I've read at least one recipe recommending that the bread sit for two days (for volkornbrot, I think).

I realize that this isn't a matter of right/wrong so much as personal preference, but I was curious what everyone typically does.  I almost always eat bread warm, and especially enjoy it fresh out of the oven.  I have noticed a difference in taste after a few days on a few occasions (the sour corn rye recipe from Laurel's Kitchen comes to mind) and a difference in texture slightly more often (usually in breads with a high percentage of rye), but usually I don't see much or any difference.  Then again, I have not yet reached nearly the level of complexity that many of you here have.  What does everyone else do?


LindyD's picture

I personally find the taste of the crumb is best the next day. I've tasted the same loaf while it was still warm and the next day, and I find there is a big difference. So I let my bread cool completely. If I want to serve it warm, that's easy to do just before it goes to the table. But as you suggested, it is all a matter of personal taste.

nbicomputers's picture

How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootse pop...

1...2...3...crunch  three

to heck with book i can't wait i cut it while its still warm   i have no willpower

Paddyscake's picture

My husband will agree with you! I do know that my sourdough's flavor increases during the week. It's more of a nuance (sp?)..not strong, but tangier.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL more apparent when cool.  I make tons of cookies  and very seldom eat a single one before it's cooled, and I find the same goes with bread, though for some strange reason, a piece of fresh warm bread with fresh butter smeared on it and melting into it, sigh, can't beat that!

shakleford's picture

It's funny you mention cookies - I like them best fresh out of the oven too!  Just the same, this is interesting.  When I try my first sourdough, I'll have to compare heated and room-temperature slices.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it might have been half an hour out of the oven. My son came into the house, smelled bread and attacked the loaf. Fresh warm bread is very appealing and satifying whether the crumb has set or not. Half of it was gone by 2pm Sat.   Tip:  if you want your loaves to cool properly, time them to be baked NOT at mealtimes, and if you want them to disappear....

Mini O