How to Soften Hard Bread (The Complete Guide)

soften hard bread

Nothing tastes better than freshly baked bread, however, it can be disappointing to discover that your bread has gone stale. Your first response to it will probably be to dispose of it, we however are here to tell you that you can make your stale bread soft and it will be just like you made or bought it fresh.

Using your stale bread for something else is also an option, however, sometimes, you just want to eat bread, the way it is. But first, why does bread become stale?

The process of bread becoming stale is a normal occurrence and surprisingly it begins the moment you pull out your bread from the oven. it happens when the molecules of water and starch that were mixed begin to rearrange themselves.

The starch hardens and the water moves out of the loaf, into the air and the bread goes hard. It is even faster when the bread is placed in cold temperatures like inside the fridge unprotected. What was lost in the process of bread going stale is moisture and heat. Does this mean when moisture and heat are restored, your bread can go back to being fresh again? Yes!

Related: Is EATING Pineapples Good For Cholesterol?

How do you prevent the bread from getting hard or stale? 

It is impossible to keep the bread from getting stale forever, however, you can still make them stick around for some days, and this can only be done when you store them properly. You can wrap your bread in plastic wrap and store it at room temperature.

If you have more than a few loaves and will like to keep them for a very long time, then you can wrap each one of them as tight as possible in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag and then freeze them. This way, you can be sure your bread can last for 2 months or more.  

How to soften bread? 

Image: Envato Elements

There are two known methods as to how to make your bread softer again. While one method is popularly known, the other method is not. If you are seeing this here for the first time, we are glad to be the first to bring it to you.

1. Microwave reheat

This is the most known method on how to make your bread soft and in fact, it has been proved to soften the bread and restore the bread to if not its original taste then a very close taste. Contrary to opinions, warming bread does not make the bread crispy it makes it soft, depending on the heating methods.

Using a microwave, just place the bread in the microwave and turn on the heat for a minute or two, remember you only need the bread to warm up, leaving it in the microwave for a longer period can make a mess of it or you wrap the portion you want to eat in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10 – 15 seconds.

This method can also be used for sliced bread. Also, you should eat your bread as soon as you take it out of the oven, leaving it to cool can make the bread get harder. You should also only heat the amount of bread you can finish.

2. Oven reheat

Using a microwave is good and convenient, however, you cannot be certain your read still retains its nutritional values. The oven provides you a better way to soften and warm your bread. Start by preheating your oven to 200-degree F.

When the oven is warm, wrap the bread in a damp towel, make sure the towel isn’t dripping and place it in the oven, on a baking pan. Leave for about 5 minutes and check the bread to see if it is soft to your taste. If you notice it is not as soft, you can leave it in the oven for few more minutes. Do not let it overcook or burn. You should also consume it immediately it is out of the oven or it will get harder than it was.

Making your bread soft isn’t as hard as it might sound, you also do not only have the option of disposing of your stale bread, when it comes to bread, there are endless questions people have, we have decided to answer some of the questions you might have concerning preserving bread.

Why does my home bread dry out so fast? 

Commonly, home-made bread dries out faster than the ones bought. This is because home-made bread, although delicious, lacks the preservatives added to most bread that is sold. If your homemade bread is not properly preserved, it will dry out fast. You may not be able to keep your bread fresh forever; however, you can have it preserved for a long while.

Does bread last longer in the fridge?

Keeping your bread in the fridge can be both good and bad for your bread. This is because refrigerating is a known way to preserve your bread, but your bread will only be preserved if it is first wrapped properly or tightly and then placed in the fridge. Putting your bread in the fridge prevents it from molding quickly.

Can I eat moldy bread?

When the bread has mold on it, it means it is bad. You should not eat any bread that has visible spots of molds on it. eating bread with molds can make you sick or cause some breathing problems. Freezing your bread can help prevent it from molding.

Why is my bread crust so thick? 

If you discover that your bread crust is thick or hard, then you have made the mistake of overbaking or baking at a high temperature. You might need to check your recipe and cooking method and make some adjustments.

How long is bread good for?

Your bread can be termed good for three to five days after opening, you may also be able to eat it even after 5 days, however, you should dispose of it the moment you notice or see mold growth on it.

how to soften hard bread

Final thoughts

There is so much to learn on how to preserve your bread, how to recognize if it is turning bad and what to do with it when it is hard. Now you can keep your home-baked bread with you for as long as you want, as long as it is preserved.

It is, however, important to pay attention to your bread, if you notice any spot of mold, even when it’s not visible, kindly dispose of the bread, consuming mold on bread leads to food poisoning.

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