TIP OF THE DAY: How To Soften Stale Bread | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food AdventuresTIP OF THE DAY: How To Soften Stale Bread | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
Stale? Not for long! Photo of ciabatta loaf by Vincent Talleu | Wikimedia.
Most people believe that when bread goes stale, it’s because the moisture evaporates. It’s more complex than that: Bread will go stale even in a moist, humid environment (details).
Refrigeration doesn’t help: According to Bread.com, bread goes stale most rapidly at refrigerator temperatures—around 41°F/5°C. So keep bread at room temperature rather than in the fridge. (Refrigeration does delay the growth of mold.)
Toasting is a solution for slightly stale bread, pound cake and other non-iced baked goods. But if the product is more than a little stale, it’s time to bring out the “heavy artillery”:
THE MICROWAVE TECHNIQUE
If the bread is just slightly stale, slice and toss it into the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
If it’s very hard, wrap it in a damp paper towel. We place it right on the microwave turntable—no additional dish needed.
If it’s still hard, repeat for another 15 seconds.
Warning, though: once the bread cools off, it will revert to being hard. So enjoy it while it’s warm.
THE OVEN TECHNIQUE
If you don’t have a microwave but do have an oven, use it to freshen bread, rolls and other baked goods:
1. PREHEAT the oven to 450°F/250°C.
2. WRAP the bread, muffins, pound cake, etc. in foil.
3. HEAT for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. SERVE immediately. Keep the bread wrapped in the foil until ready to eat.
STALE BREAD DISHES
For millennia, cooks have repurposed stale bread, resulting in dishes that are quite wonderful. Popular recipes include:
Bread crumbs—just pulse stele bread in a food processor; add optional seasonings