When considering how to make bread more tender, it is helpful to consider not one but two distinct kinds of bread.
There are crusty loaves of bread, such as a baguette, French bread, or a loaf of sourdough, which may be purchased.
There are other pieces of bread, such as sandwich bread (think of brands such as Sunbeam, Mrs. Baird’s, or Wonder).
Both types of bread may typically be resurrected and made more edible by using different methods, which vary according to the kind of bread that is on hand.
You will find that we have included directions on how to soften bread loaves as well as how to soften bread slices further down in this article.
For whole loaves of bread or baguettes:
- Put dry bread in the oven to make it more palatable.
- If you are short on time, you may use the microwave to make stale bread more palatable. This is an acceptable choice.
For slices of bread:
- Make bread slices more pliable by using the microwave.
Reheating crusty bread is the most effective method for bringing back its soft texture, despite the fact that it may seem odd. The secret is in understanding how to reheat it in the correct manner.
You will be dissatisfied with the results if all you do is grab a piece of bread and heat it up in the microwave. You may, however, bring that bread back to life and create that delicious grilled cheese sandwich by following the simple procedures that we have outlined below.
Here is a quick rundown on how to soften bread:
This is a brief rundown of the strategies that we recommend using to make bread more tender. (To see the complete instructions, scroll down to the section that contains the step-by-step guidelines.)
- To make bread loaves more pliable, you need first moisten the bread’s crust. Put the bread in the oven for five minutes to get it nice and toasty.
- To make a piece of bread more pliable, just wrap it in a paper towel that has been dampened. It just took five seconds in the microwave to heat it up.
Can you soften stale bread slices?
You can re-warm crusty bread pieces in the microwave or oven, but the texture of the bread will never be the same as it was when you originally got the loaf from the shop.
Reheating them requires just bundling four or five slices at a time, sprinkling them with little water, wrapping them in foil, and placing them in a low-heat oven or toaster oven.
Be aware, though, that even if you go for that loaf of bread and discover that the bag wasn’t properly closed when you first bought it, you don’t necessarily have to throw it out.
Just keep in mind that even though the bread could become softer, it might not get its fresh taste back.
Can you soften stale bread?
Good news! It is possible to refresh stale bread, but once you do so, you will want to consume it as soon as possible. Once the bread has become stale, it will never again be nearly as tasty as that first loaf of freshly baked bread was when you first tried it.
Brown paper bags with open tops are often all that are provided to transport those lengthy baguettes to your house. In such containers, how are you expected to preserve the food from becoming stale?
By adhering to a few critical measures, you will be able to bring your lovely baguette back to life in no time at all even if it has gone completely rigid.
Why does bread go stale?
Drying out causes bread to become brittle and stale, but there is a little bit more to it than that; a loaf may go stale even when it is stored in damp circumstances. What exactly is the deal? Once the bread has cooled, a natural process known as “staling” takes place in which the water and starch molecules, which were produced spongy during the baking process, begin to rearrange themselves in a different configuration. The water finally makes its way out of the interior of the loaf, where it migrates towards the crust and then into the air. The starches re-congeal, and then all of a sudden, poof! Bread as hard as a rock. This process is sped up by colder temperatures, which is why you should never put bread in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. (Freezing, on the other hand, is a very other matter; more on that later!)
How to soften stale bread
It is necessary to reheat a loaf of bread that has become stale so that the starches may reabsorb the water that has been released from them. The important fact to keep in mind is that this reabsorption begins to take place at around 131 degrees Fahrenheit and continues up to approximately 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
The important thing to remember is that you need to do it at a temperature that is not too high. If you try to heat bread in a microwave, you will probably get it too hot, which will cause the starch granules to explode, and the water will evaporate into steam as it cooks away. This will cause your bread to be soft for about 30 seconds, but it will then quickly become even more brittle than it was before.
The trick is to gradually get the temperature up. How to do it:
- Turn your oven’s temperature up to 300 degrees.
- Wrap your bread in aluminum foil as firmly as you can so that you may retain as much moisture as possible. Before you wrap your bread in plastic, give the exterior a little brushing with water if it is very dense.
- Then, warm it up on the middle shelf of your oven for approximately half an hour for a whole loaf, or for 15 to 20 minutes for a portion of a loaf or a baguette-style loaf that is long and thin.
- If you want the bread’s crust to be extra crispy, now is the time to remove the foil and return it to the oven for another five minutes; if not, feel free to cut it into slices. You will have bread that is warm, fresh, and soft—at least until it loses its heat and goes through the process of retrogradation once again in an hour or two.
However, there is no valid reason why you cannot carry out this step once again. Because there will be less water in the bread as a result of your repeated actions, the effectiveness of the method will decrease.
However, it is something that is worth attempting. It’s possible that it won’t function, but that’s the worst-case scenario. In such situation, you always have the option of turning your stale bread into croutons: Cut it into cubes using a knife with a serrated edge, throw the cubes in a little amount of olive oil, and then bake them on a sheet pan for a few minutes, until they have a light toasted flavor. Alternately, you might prepare breadcrumbs by simply pulverizing the stale bread in a food processor.
How to soften bread in the microwave
In the microwave, you may thaw out whole loaves of bread or baguettes by following these steps.
This method will work well for you if your loaf of bread has been sliced, but it is still mainly in one loaf and has a crusty outside.
If the loaf of bread has been cut into slices, you will need to follow the instructions that are provided below for softening individual pieces.
- Prepare a fresh dish towel by soaking it in water. The towel need to be damp, but not dripping with water. If your paper towel is leaking water, all you need to do is give it a little push to remove the extra moisture from it.
- Place the loaf of bread, which has been wrapped in the wet towel, inside of the microwave.
- Warm the bread in the microwave in intervals of six seconds each until it is ready to eat. Depending on the size of the loaf, this shouldn’t take more than fifteen to twenty-five seconds at the very most.
As a general rule, baked products should not be reheated in the microwave for longer than necessary. It makes the edges more durable while heating the remainder of the object unevenly.
The bottom line
With the help of some damp paper towels and a microwave, you may give that stale loaf of bread a second chance at life.
Do you want to learn more about reheating bread? You may learn more here.
If you want your baguettes to have a crusty outside, the oven technique is the way to go if you have the time.