How to Make Stale Bread Taste Delicious Again

This simple technique will soften that rock-hard loaf in no time at all!

Male hands cutting wheaten bread on the wooden boardShutterstock / Lithiumphoto

Welcome to my worst nightmare: I prepared my favorite dip for a potluck party. As I’m getting ready to leave, I discover my beautifully soft baguette became rock hard overnight. My mind is racing with all the ways I can repurpose a stale loaf of bread by making croutons or breadcrumbs, but I need ready-to-eat slices of bread now!

This nightmare scenario doesn’t have to end with buying a new loaf on my way to the party because we know a hack for how to fix stale bread. It really couldn’t be easier! This simple technique will soften even the crunchiest of bread, reviving that foregone loaf into like-new slices of bread again. Once you know how, you’ll want to tell your friends—you’ll be the lifesaver of the party!

How to Soften Stale Bread

You’ll need:

  • One loaf of rock-hard or stale bread


  • An oven

Step 1: Wet the Loaf

I know this seems counterintuitive – won’t wet bread be soggy? – but trust us: You actually do want to stick that loaf of bread underneath the kitchen faucet. Turn the water on so it’s running in a slow, steady stream (it doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold). Position the cut side of the loaf away from you and run the stale loaf of bread under the running water. The goal is to moisten the crust without getting too much water on the interior.

Step 2: Bake It

Set the oven to 300-degrees F and place the moistened loaf directly on the rack. The low temperature will heat the water, causing the bread to steam inside the crust. After 5 minutes, give the loaf a gentle squeeze. You’re looking for a crunchy-crusted bread that has some give when you compress it. You may need to bake the bread for up to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf and how much water it absorbed.

Step 3: Enjoy Your Like-New Bread!

Just like that, your bread is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside!

Now that you know how to refresh bread, you’ll never have to throw away a stale loaf of bread again! Use your revived bread to make lunch sandwiches, slice it and use it for bread appetizers, or serve it up with your favorite compound butter or spread. If you’re suddenly inspired to make your own bread, put your skills to the test with ezekiel bread and our basic homemade bread recipe.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.