have you ever bought baguettes or french bread and couldn’t finish the whole loaf, then stored it in the paper bag it came in, only to find it disappointingly stale and stiff the following day? guess what?! i learned how to revive dead bread. here’s the back story:
since this past spring we’ve been getting a constant stream of visitors, friends, and family staying at our place. in may, a family stayed with us to attend their son’s graduation and help him move home. while they were here they went to visit boudin bakery in sf. they came back with more bread than what three families could possibly consume in one sitting.
some of the bread went into ziploc bags but some of the bread stayed in their paper bags. i was sad to think that all this beautiful bread would end up in the trash in a day or two. but the father prepared fresh bread for us every morning (they stayed with us for a week)! i was baffled how we got warm crunchy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside-bread every morning–even when the bread had been sitting in the paper bags for 4 days.
apart from fresh bread in the mornings for a week, the father was gracious enough to share with me his secret to reviving dead bread (this works for bagels too):
- *pass bread quickly under running water from the faucet two or three times.
- vigorously shake the excess water off the bread. (also a key step, because too much water will make the bread soggy.)
- bake in oven (uncovered) at 350-400F for 4-7 minutes depending on size of loaf and your oven.
- ta-dah! your bread is now resurrected and is as good as new, just like when you bought it from the store…or maybe even better since you might not have purchased it right out of the oven.
- this trick works best if the entire loaf of bread hasn’t been cut or has as little of the soft bready center exposed (but i’ve also tried it with a half loaf–just don’t get the inside wet).
- this works for bread that either has a shiny or matte crust.
since learning this trick i have saved many loaves of bread (and money too!). so this was one of the simplest and best tips i got in 2014.
hope you have a wonderful new year and spare many loaves of bread from being prematurely tossed into the trash in 2015!
update, 21 march 2015: this works for naan too! (and if it works for naan i think it might work for pita bread too!) if you’ve tried this trick on other kinds of bread and revived it let me know!