AskDefine | Define staleness

Dictionary Definition



1 unoriginality as a result of being dull and hackneyed [syn: triteness]
2 having lost purity and freshness as a consequence of aging [ant: freshness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The property of being stale.

Extensive Definition

Staling is a chemical and physical process in bread that reduces its palatability. Stale bread is dry and leathery.
Staling is not, as is commonly believed, simply a drying out process. Bread will stale even in a moist environment, and stales most rapidly at temperatures just above freezing.
Although the precise mechanism of staling is still unknown, one important mechanism appears to be migration of moisture from the starch granules into the interstitial spaces, degelatinizing the starch. This results in stale bread's leathery texture.

Culinary uses

Specifically stale bread is an important ingredient in many dishes, some of which were invented for the express purpose of using up otherwise unpalatable stale bread. Examples include skordalia, bread sauce, croutons, haslet, gazpacho, french toast, and flummadiddle.


Stale bread can be partially destaled by heating to 60 °C (140 °F) in an oven. This re-gelatinizes the starch granules.

See also


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