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.)
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.
Use a generous amount of aluminum foil to wrap up your soaked baguette.
Don't preheat your oven. Place your wrapped bread in a cold oven or toaster oven and turn it on to 300°F.
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.
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.
And be amazed at how your rock-hard baguette has come back to life as a "fresh" loaf.
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.
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!