If you want to recover the original texture of the bread there are many tricks, however, it all comes down to: heat and humidity. Yes, the action of both things recovers the original characteristics of the bread, as you will see below.
But why do you get the stale bread? Because this food contains a lot of moisture, which is lost by coming into direct contact with air during prolonged exposure. Therefore, its texture changes, hardens and dries out. Check out three most common and effective alternatives that we share in RecetasGratis to know how to soften hard breadWhich one will you choose?
How to soften hard bread in the oven
If you want to recover the original characteristics of the bread, this classic option will delight you, since it is very easy and also its result is proven.
- Pre-heat the oven. Place the oven at 230 ° C and wait 5 minutes before introducing the bread.
- Moisten the bread if the crust is hard. If the bread is dry but the crust doesn't feel as tough, you can skip this step because those pieces of bread still retain moisture as the starch molecules bind together and trap the water, so you can skip ahead to the next step. On the contrary, if the crust is very hard, you should moisten the bread by immersing it in cold water completely for 4 seconds or placing it under cold tap water.
- Wrap the bread in aluminum foil. Once the bread is moistened, cover it completely with aluminum foil. With this you avoid the loss of steam during baking, as moisture is trapped inside the bread.
- Bake the bread. Put the moistened bread in the oven and, once inside, lower the temperature of 230 ° C to 150 ° C (300 ° F). Bake the bread for 5 minutes if it is a small piece (dry or slightly wet). On the other hand, if you bake a large, and / or wetter bar, you can leave it from 6 minutes to 15 minutes.
- Check the texture of the bread before removing it from the oven. Since the baking time varies depending on the size of the loaf of bread, the amount of water it absorbed and the characteristics of your oven, check every 5 minutes removing part of the aluminum foil and checking its texture. Continue like this until you achieve the desired texture.
- Eat the bread soon. During baking the heat breaks down the structure of starch molecules in order to release the trapped water. Consequently, the bread is softened but for a short time, since its hardening process is also accelerated. For this reason, the effect achieved with the bread only lasts a few hours, so preferably you should eat it as soon as you take it out of the oven.
In this way, you will have the hard bread as freshly made, you will see! But if you want to know the keys to obtaining a spongy bread from the beginning, assuming that your hard bread is due to a baking or kneading error, don't miss our article on How to make homemade bread.
How to steam soft bread
If you don't have an oven, don't worry! You can soften the hard bread with steam. This method is also very effective, since humidity is very beneficial for hard or dry breads, so you do not need to soak them previously. In fact, in Asian cuisine some breads are steamed.
- Boil water in a steam pot. Deposit water into a steam pot and wait until it reaches the boiling point. At that time, remove the saucepan from the heat. If you don't have a steam cooker, do the same procedure using a regular saucepan.
- Put the bread into a basket or strainer. Place a basket with the bread inside the steam pot and cover it with a lid. If you use a common casserole, improvise with a strainer and cover it with a lid. In this case, place the lid so that it fits with the strainer and the casserole is well closed, since the steam must not escape (you can also cover the pot with a clean cloth).
- Wait until the bread regains its texture. Allow 5-15 minutes before taking out the bread.
How to soften hard bread in the microwave
If you want a quick snack, you will love this method, since in 10 seconds you will get the desired results. The downside ?, you have to eat the bread as soon as it comes out of the microwave, otherwise, after a few minutes it acquires a rubbery and hard texture (even much harder than before applying this method). The procedure is very simple, it consists of only two steps, the rest is to taste.
- Wrap the bread in a damp towel or place a glass of water. Completely cover the piece of bread with a damp paper towel, a damp tea towel or put a glass of water next to the bread. Perhaps the most effective method is the towel (either one), since it traps the steam from the bread and thus keeps it softer during the process.
- Heat the bread for 10-30 seconds. Put the microwave on full power and heat the bread in 10 second intervals, until you get the desired result. Remember that the time used also depends on the power of your microwave.
What to do with hard bread
If after applying the previous methods the final result does not convince you, you can always take advantage of the hard bread by grating, toasting it or cutting it into cubes to fry them and obtain some homemade croutons. Likewise, the following recipes you will surely love:
- Bread pudding
- Grandma's French toast
- Onion soup with bread
If you liked the article How to soften hard bread, we suggest you enter our Cheats and techniques category.