How To: Revive a Stale Baguette Using the Miraculous Water Trick

Revive a Stale Baguette Using the Miraculous Water Trick

Everyone talks about how great sliced bread is, but there's nothing better than the taste of a just-baked loaf of crusty French bread. Like most beautiful things in life, however, the beauty of the baguette doesn't last. The next day, it's rock-hard, and good for very little except for croutons or breadcrumbs. But there is a trick to make it like fresh again.

When my editor asked me to try out this food hack, I was more than a little skeptical. I love bread, so I didn't think that there would be a miraculous reviving trick that I didn't already know. But this water-soaking method works really well, and I tried it with three different stale loaves of bread.

The most stale loaf, the one pictured here, was also the one that was already cut and over two days old. So I know this method works, and it's a game-changer! (You can check out the original tip here.)

Step 1: Run Your Stale Bread Under Running Water

Don't be shy here. Put your water on full-force and get the crust completely wet. If you are reviving a cut baguette, then concentrate most of the water stream on the crust. But it really doesn't matter if the cut side gets wet, too.

Step 2: Wrap Your Wet Baguette in Aluminum Foil

Use a generous amount of aluminum foil to wrap up your soaked baguette.

Step 3: Place Your Wrapped Baguette in a Cold Oven

Don't preheat your oven. Place your wrapped bread in a cold oven or toaster oven and turn it on to 300°F.

Step 4: Heat Your Baguette for 10-12 Minutes

For a full baguette, heat it for the full 12 minutes. For a half or partial loaf, heat it for 10 minutes. After the allotted time, remove your loaf and unwrap it. If you press it, you'll see it's now soft. According to Bon Appétit, the water and being wrapped in foil helps to steam the bread back to life.

Step 5: Heat Your Uncovered Baguette for 4-5 Minutes

Return the bread to the oven and heat for an additional 4-5 minutes, uncovered. This is the step that makes the baguette nice and crusty again.

Step 6: Enjoy!

And be amazed at how your rock-hard baguette has come back to life as a "fresh" loaf.

Step 7: Eat Within 15-20 Minutes

Revived bread has a much shorter shelf life than freshly baked bread. Enjoy your now-delicious bread, but don't expect it to last much longer than half an hour. Revived baguettes start hardening quickly and will return to their hardened form.

Get More Life-Changing Bread Tricks

Learn how to make stale cookies fresh again with a slice of bread, or how to always get the freshest loaf of bread at the grocery store. And if you're a lazy cook, you can actually make bread in a rice cooker!

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Photos by Naomi Imatome-Yun/Food Hacks

3 Comments

This is one of the best kitchen hacks EVER! Tried it tonight and I could not believe how awesome the revived bread was!

My baguette didn't come out as expected. It was soggy inside and out. I followed the instructions as indicated. Maybe next time. It was half of a baguette.

I revive dried (bread) rolls, baguettes, etc. in a similar way but use the microwave. If there is no cut surface wet it under running water. If there is a cut surface, I spritz it with a small spay bottle of pure water (I did a couple of mushroom kits a while back and saved the spray bottles they provided for watering. DON'T use any spray bottle that had chemicals or even soap, it is almost impossible to get all the "ick" out...). Then I roll it up in a microwavable plastic wrap - there are several name brand and store brands that work, just look that it says "microwave safe" because it IS a different plastic than the cheaper stuff - not just thicker - then the important part: put a pin whole in each end. NOT a large cut, just a pin hole. I often use a toothpick. Microwave on high for 15 5to 40 seconds depending on the size of the piece. you will know you got it hot enough if the plastic is puffed out. Remove carefully from microwave - it's gonna be hot and should be soft. Let it rest until nearly cool to the touch. If you forgot to punch holes, you will see it shrivel as it cools. Of course this method does not allow for re-crisping the crust, but in any case we prefer "chewy crusted" rolls and breads to hard crunchy crusted ones - just out personal choice. But alas as with the oven softened ones, not much water wants to stay in the bread and in about 20-30 minutes after you unwrap it, it starts to shrivel and get hard again (yes, you can get a couple hours out of it if you used enough water, and leave it wrapped until needed). There is a way to make restored bread that is good for a couple days, and you don't do it in an oven or a microwave - use your vegetable steamer - but that takes a whole page to tell how to make it work...

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