How To Revive Stale Bread

Bread is great, until it isn't — and it always seems like there are just a few slices that do not get used before the loaf starts to get hard and stale. Luckily, there are several ways to bring stale bread back to life. It is worth noting, though, that moldy bread is too far gone and cannot be revived (via Bon Appetit).

If you simply want to use your stale bread, then there are tons of options and seemingly endless recipes. Things like croutons, french toast, bread crumbs, stuffing, crostini, and bread pudding are all good options. Many of these recipes can be customized to include what you have on hand and what you prefer. Use the already stale bread as the base for these recipes and mix up what you use to top your french toast or bread pudding (via The Spruce Eats).

Many of the recipes can be used in so many other dishes like the bread crumbs or crostini. Bread crumbs can be used for everything from stuffing mushrooms to topping casseroles. Crostini also has many uses, like making mini pizza bites, with cheese and deli meat as a charcuterie board, or even brushed with garlic butter and dipped in marinara as an Italian-inspired appetizer.

Freshen up stale bread

If you'd prefer to freshen up your stale bread, though, you do have a couple of options. The first is in the oven, and the second is in the microwave. Both methods are valid, though it depends on what is most important — saving time or getting the best result.

The oven method will yield the best, crispest result. To do so, hold the bread under running water, be it hot or cold. It's best to just wet the crust, but if an exposed or cut edge gets wet too, it isn't a huge deal. Most importantly, though, you'll really want to get the crust wet. Next, place the bread in the oven right on the rack. Use the "warm" setting if you have it. Otherwise, you can set the oven to 300 to 325 degrees. Leave it in the oven for six to seven minutes, though it will vary with the size of the loaf. Try 10 to 12 minutes for loaves that got really drenched with water — particularly the interior. What you should get is a loaf that has a crisp crust and a moist interior.

For those in a time crunch, you can instead use the microwave. To use this method, wrap the loaf of bread in a wet paper towel. Place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat it using 10-second intervals until the crust feels right or springs back a bit at the touch. Be careful not to overcook the bread, and don't let the paper towel catch fire (via The Kitchn).