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As old-fashioned is called the state no longer fresh, but still edible baked goods , where the changes in appearance, elasticity of the crumb , taste significantly affect and other benefit value. The process of aging baked goods is called “becoming stale”.

The pastry is stale by the following processes:

  • Flavoring substances that occur in gaseous form in freshly baked bread, partially evaporate through the bread crust or are constantly enclosed by the helices of the amylose or absorbed by proteins.
  • Liquid migrates from the crumb to the crust; the crust loses its crispness (crispness) and becomes soft before this moisture evaporates, after which the crust becomes hard. The product is losing weight.
  • The crumb becomes firmer, loses its juiciness, losing elasticity. The water evaporates and the baked goods lose weight. The crumb becomes crumbly at first, then brittle and hard.
  • The retrogradation of the starch sets in, with the gelatinized flour starch swelling; it changes from an amorphous to a crystalline state.

The aging of cereal products is strongly influenced by storage conditions such as temperature and humidity as well as the recipe. The retrogradation is three times faster in the temperature range from –7 ° C to 7 ° C, whereas it is four times slower between 21 ° C and 35 ° C. Whole grain products and products with a high proportion of rye or sourdough also age more slowly. You can partially reverse the aging process by baking, whereby the addition of moisture improves the effect.

Colloquial use

Altbacken is also a colloquial, derogatory term for "no longer up-to-date, unfashionable, old-fashioned".


  1. ^ IREKS Arkady Institute for Bakery Science (ed.): IREKS ABC of the bakery. 4th edition. Institute for Bakery Science, Kulmbach 1985
  2. ^ Museum of Bread Culture Ulm. FAQ / 5,2009 Ulm
  3. Belitz, Grosch, Schieberle: Textbook of Food Chemistry , Springer, 2007, ISBN 3540732012