How To Soften Hard Bread

There is nothing better than the smell of a fresh loaf of bread in the home, which tastes delicious.

Unfortunately, nothing can stay fresh for long, and after a couple of days, a fresh loaf of bread can start to become stale and hard.

No one likes to eat hard bread. Therefore, you need to know how to soften stale bread, so that you can enjoy your loaf of bread for longer, and don’t need to throw it away.

In this article, we will be discussing how you can soften your hard bread.

Why Does Bread Go Stale?

It is a common issue for fresh bread to become stale. This is because bread contains starch that is formed from two different types of molecules, including amylopectin and amylose.

The starch in your loaf of bread will absorb water once it is heat is applied. This causes the starch to swell and when the bread is taken out of the oven the starch will then begin to cool and thicken.

However, over time, the starch will begin to give back some of the water they have absorbed. This water makes its way to the surface of the loaf of bread and evaporates. Therefore, you will start to produce brittle and hard bread.

Softening Stale Bread

It is quite simple to soften stale bread, all you need to do is heat the bread. This will then allow the starch to reabsorb the moisture that it needs.

You only need to use a low temperature to reheat your bread. If you try to microwave the loaf of bread, then you are likely to get the bread too hot. You need to be careful with this method.

Then the starch will burst, and you’ll cook all the water out. Thus, your bread will be soft for around 30 seconds before becoming even more brittle.

How To Turn Stale Loaf Of Bread Into Fresh Bread?

If you have a loaf of crusty bread, then you can easily make it soft to eat again using this method.

  • Begin by running your stale loaf of bread under some running water, or you can use a spray bottle filled with water. This will help to moisten the outside of the bread. However, if the bread is already sliced, then you want to avoid cutting the cut side wet.
  • Then you wrap your loaf of bread in a piece of tin foil and place it in the oven that has been preheated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the covered bread in the oven for 5 to 20 minutes. The timing will depend on the size of the loaf that you are trying to soften.
  • Once time is up, get the bread out of the oven, but allow it to cool still into the foil. This will allow the bread to contain the steam that has been created, so the moisture stays within the bread. Then, once cool, you can serve the bread.

How Do You Make Hard Bread Soft In The Microwave?

The microwave is the fastest way to soften your stale bread and is really suitable for small rolls or sliced bread. The bread only needs to be heated for a few seconds.

How To Soften Hard Bread
  • Get a paper towel and moisten it with some cold water. Try to remove as much excess water from the paper towel as possible, as you don’t want the damp towel dripping wet.
  • Then wrap your bread, whether that is a slice of bread or a small portion, in the damp paper towel. The bread should be covered.
  • Now, you can place the paper towel-covered bread into the microwave, and heat the bread for 10 seconds.
  • After that, take your bread out and serve.

How Do You Soften A Stale Baguette?

When it comes to french bread, like crusty baguettes, they can become stale quite quickly. However, it is quite easy to revive stale bread like a baguette. For a baguette, you will want to use the oven method.

With your baguette, drench it in cold water and wrap it tightly in foil. Place the baguette into the oven. You don’t have to preheat it beforehand and set it to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Allow the bread to heat up for up to 15 minutes. After that, take the baguette out of the foil and place it into the oven for another 5 minutes. This will allow you to revive your stale bread, and keep your crisp crust.

How To Prevent Stale Bread?

To prevent producing a stale loaf, there are a couple of things you can do. It is all about how you store your bread. Therefore, if you know how to keep your bread soft, you won’t have to keep softening it.

The main thing to do is store your bread in an airtight container. This is because if air gets to your bread, it will increase the chances of your bread becoming hard quicker. In addition to that, you may want to freeze your fresh bread. This is a way thing to do if you don’t get a lot of bread regularly.

Also, you can use a bread bag to help keep your bread as fresh as possible. Try to use a paper bag instead of a plastic bag. As plastic bags make your bread go harder, much quicker.


There is nothing worse than stale bread. However, it is easy to soften stale bread, by reheating bread in either the oven or microwave. You need to add some moisture to your stale bread in the form of running it under some water or wet paper towels and wrapping the bread. These methods work well for sliced bread or crusty bread.

We hope you have found this article useful, and now know what to do with your old bread that has become hard. You can now enjoy eating your delicious crusty bread for much longer.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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