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Fresh bread is a must in my house. Luckily, we live near a Whole Foods that lets us bag our own baked goods. Otherwise, we make our own. The good part about fresh baked bread is that it’s usually free (or low) in preservatives, but that means it doesn’t stay fresh very long. Baguettes seem to harden overnight. Bakery/homemade sliced bread molds in less than a week unless frozen. And freezing bread is still a viable option. When I lived in the U.K., freezing bread was the norm, because it didn’t last long otherwise. I suppose they didn’t pack their loaves full of preservatives like we do. And you can literally take your bread from the freezer directly to the toaster and make some delicious, fresh-tasting toast.
But that doesn’t usually work for baguettes, or fancy French or Italian style loaves, that seem to go stale the second you bring them home. So should we just toss them in the compost? No!! They can be revived! And they will taste warm and crusty and fluffy just like when they came out of the oven the first time.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
- Take your stale bread and lightly coat the crust in tap water. Don’t sprinkle water on, and don’t dunk the bread either, but enough so that each end, top, bottom, and sides, are wet. I just run the bread under the tap for less than a second, each side, and that seems to do the trick.
- Place in the oven for 3 minutes, turn over, and bake for 3 more minutes. If it’s still a bit soft, go for an additional minute.
That’s it! Crusty, crunchy outside, soft fluffy, steamy inside.
This trick has worked on 7-day old baguettes and still came out great! This is one of the best ways I have found to avoid wasting bread. Give it a try!
Written by Madison MacLeod
Hack: Minimize waste, Kitchen