What To Do With Stale Bread

Like me, you’ve most likely experienced this on numerous occasions- having too much of a loaf of bread, forgetting about it or not knowing what to do with the rest of it and days later, it’s too stale to do anything with but use as a weapon against not-so-dangerous intruders. Two weeks ago, I cooked dinner for a friend and bought a large French baguette. Why a big one, you ask? Because that’s typically how baguettes come in the United States- large.

Between my friend and I, we barely ate 1/3 of the baguette. In the following days, I would pass the remaining loaf in my kitchen, pondering what on earth I should do with it. Croutons? French Toast? But as days tend to do- they passed, and passed, until it was two weeks later. How hard was the baguette? Well, let’s just say that my granite countertop couldn’t make much of a dent in it no matter how hard I tried to whack it.

Today, feeling like having a simple lunch of bread, cheese and olive oil, I decided to try out a technique that I knew worked on a few days old bread but had never tested on bread this old. Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drench your remaining baguette with cold water. I just took mine and ran it under cold water in the sink for a few seconds on all sides.
  3. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and into the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until warm/hot and the water has evaporated.

What were the results? The baguette came out super soft as if it were day 1 again. A couple of things to note with this technique. You’ll have to eat the re-livened bread as soon as it comes out of the oven. If you leave it out too long, it’ll become rock hard again. And finally, you’ll get the best results if you had placed the leftover bread in a zip lock bag after first using it. Now you’ll never have to throw away perfectly edible bread again!