This Too-Good-to-Be-True Trick Revives Stale Bread in Minutes

Save, don't scrap.

French baguettes
Photo: PicturePartners via Getty Images

When certain foods (okay, baked goods) are exposed to air for too long, the starch molecules crystallize, dehydrating their gluten molecules. In other words, those foods go stiff and stale.

A real life example: Buying a nice, crusty loaf or baguette, leaving it partially open, and finding it is stale the next day, just as you planned to enjoy some with your lunch. Nobody wants to waste that food or that money.

Fortunately, stale bread is actually an easy conundrum to fix, and the only ingredient you'll need to add is water.

No, we aren't joking. Rinsing bread seems like a one-way ticket to ruined bread, but a little bit of water can replace the moisture your loaf lost when it started going stale. If you bake the rinsed bread, then the water will evaporate, and your bread will be good as new.

How to Revive Stale Bread

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Lightly rinse your stale loaf under a trickle of water.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes at 325 degrees F, and let cool.

You can experiment with lower temperatures and longer baking time if you don't like the final texture of the loaf. Of course, the best way to avoid stale bread is to store it properly, and prevent it from going stale in the first place. But the second-best way is a little rinse.


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