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.
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.
Check out my video at the end of the post to see this bread hack in action!
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.
Give this stale bread-reviving trick a try, and I’m sure you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised as I was! :-)
How To Soften Stale Bread
- A loaf of crusty stale bread
- Tin foil
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.)
Next, wrap the loaf in a piece of tin foil.
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.
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.
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!)
How It Works:
Do you have any tricks for reviving stale foods? Share it with us in a comment below! :-)