How To Make Stale Bread Taste Like It’s Fresh Out Of The Oven

Reviving Stale Bread

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I rediscovered the magic of good crusty bread from a bakery. As a mom to 4 kids, my consumption of bread was mostly limited to the loaves of white sandwich bread that were a staple at our house. (Of course, that was before my son Kell was officially diagnosed with celiac disease, but I digress.) Sometime after my kids became capable of making their own sandwiches, I quickly fell back in love with crusty baguettes, boules, and other delicious artisan breads.

Related: This Is The Easiest And Best Homemade Bread You’ll Ever Make

But since I was the only one eating them at the time, my delicious bakery breads would often become stale bread before I was able to finish them. But then I was introduced to a genius trick to revive stale bread, and my problem was solved entirely!

I was skeptical that it would work, but I was honestly shocked by the result! I was able to take stale, nearly inedible bread and transform it back into soft, chewy bread with a beautifully crusty exterior.

Reviving Stale Bread

This is a must-know trick for anyone who enjoys good, crusty bakery bread like I do. (The emphasis here is on “crusty bread,” because since this method involves water, it won’t work well on soft, spongy types of bread.) It’s also great for entertaining. Impress your guests with “fresh out of the oven”-tasting bread with dinner!

How It Works:

Over time, the starches in bread undergo what is called retrogradation, which means the water in it works its way to the surface of the loaf and evaporates. This causes the bread to become hard and brittle. However, by adding water and heat back into the bread, this process can be reversed—at least temporarily.

YouTube video
Revive less-than-fresh loaves in minutes with this cool trick!

Give this stale bread-reviving trick a try, and I’m sure you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised as I was! :-)

Reviving Stale Bread

How To Soften Stale Bread

You’ll need:


Reviving Stale Bread

Run the loaf of bread under water to moisten the outside. (If the bread has been cut, try to avoid getting the cut end wet.)

Reviving Stale Bread

Next, wrap the loaf in a piece of tin foil.

Reviving Stale Bread

Place the loaf in a cold oven, and set it to preheat to 300°F. Once you’ve turned on the oven, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Reviving Stale Bread

When the timer goes off, remove the foil from the bread and place it back in the oven. Bake it for 5 more minutes to allow the exterior to get nice and crusty.

Reviving Stale Bread

Then eat and enjoy! I have found that “revived” stale bread is best when eaten within 30 minutes of reheating (and when smeared with a thick layer of butter, of course!)

Reviving Stale Bread

How It Works:

Do you have any tricks for reviving stale foods? Share it with us in a comment below! :-)

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • This is a great informative site. But, it wears me out the amount of advertising. You start reading and think “Is this all there is?” No, there are so many ads to muddle through, Jilly must be getting rich every time we scroll.

  • Tired of throwing away stale bread, I now keep a loaf of sliced bread in the freezer and, depending on what I use it for, I quickly thaw it in the microwave or pop it in the toaster.

  • I revive muffins and pastries that are dried out by placing them in the microwave with a shotglass of water. Just one minute later they are fresh and moist.

  • when your cookies get hard soften them by placing a slice of bread and seal in plastic.. Bread comes out hard and cookies, brownies or whatever are soft…..

  • I have tossed a couple of loaves of brick-hard bread. Sounds like a great trick. I never would have thought! I have revived old crackers that have lost their crunch with a quick trip through a low oven.

  • A dairy farmer friend discovered that his daughter could drink milk from their farm because their cows were genetically different and produced a predominately different protein than store bought. (Protein A vs. B.) I wonder if the same is true for wheat? Current wheat varieties were bred for disease resistance, drought and yield. So perhaps an heirloom variety might not produce the same celiac problems. Just thinkin…

    • I read an article that said the lactose changes when pasturized. Lactose intolerant people may be able to drink raw milk, and milk products. (BIL is organic farmer. I often read the newsletters and magazines when there.)

      • I grew up on raw milk. But remember the risks involved. Today you have many alternatives. So many recommendations are based on casual observation. Don’t trust all of it.

  • I heat soft taco shells in the oven for 5 minutes after brushing each side with water, stacking them, and wrapping them in tin foil. I’m curious why the bread needs to be put into a “cold” oven. How does that help?

  • This is interesting . We’ve never done this at our house. I’m kind of trying to watch it on the regular bread products. I think I might be Celiac- from talking to others. My folks still eat regular bread.

  • I revive stale rolls by placing them in a small brown paper bag that I’ve wet, and then place them in the toaster oven @ 300 degrees for a few minutes.

  • I love to make biscuits. They are stale the next day. I learned to wet them and wrap is a moist paper towel and heat in microwave for a few seconds. Good as fresh made!

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