Bread is a day-to-day staple food. It appears in every meal, including breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.
While you can eat hard bread, it will not always taste the best. Below, find out how to soften hard bread with our easy tips and tricks.
Why Is My Bread Hard?
Why do baguettes become stale so fast? There are a few reasons: while some people assume that the paper bags wrapping the food are not tight enough, others think the surface of the baguette is too big. However, the main reason lies in the ingredients of the baguettes.
Since baguettes contain almost no fat, which allows moisture to remain longer, they lose their moisture and dry up much faster than other types. The moisture in the crumb of your baguette stands no chance against the exterior atmosphere.
Although kaiser rolls are not as big and long as baguettes, they are still made from wheat flour, which is the reason they are easily turned hard.
When the food is still hot, its moisture is still preserved, but when it begins to cool, the inside of the flour layer appears sticky. Even in wet conditions, this phenomenon can normally occur.
How To Soften Hard Bread?
Dry bagel makes us feel unappetizing and makes us feel bad when eating.
Therefore, many culinary professionals and chefs have offered specific methods to soften hard-rock bread. This section will give you the details of these methods.
#1. Heating In The Oven
The most common way to soften it is to put it right in the oven. To soften hard bread using the oven, you need:
- Loaves of hard bread.
- An oven. 😉
- Pieces of foi
Here is the process:
- Step 1: Spray a little water onto the food to moisten its surface.
- Step 2: Wrap the food in the foil.
- Step 3: Place it in the oven. Then, set the heat to 300 °F for 10 minutes.
- Step 4: After heating, open the oven, remove the foil, and put it back in the oven. Bake it for 5 more minutes to make the exterior excellent and crusty.
- Step 5: Enjoy your meal!
#2. Steaming Method
How to rehydrate bread? The answer is simple: by steaming it. If you use this method to soften bread, we recommend using a bamboo steamer. To steam rock-hard bread, you need:
- A bamboo steamer.
- A frying pan submerged in water.
- Stale bread.
Here is the process:
- Step 1: Add an inch of water inside your steamer basket and close the lid. Notice that the water level should be above the bottom rim of the steamer.
- Step 2: Turn your stove to medium-high heat.
- Step 3: Place the slices of stale bagel in the steamer basket and cover with a lid.
- Step 4: Steam your bagel for about 5 to 10 minutes until it’s soft.
- Step 5: Your food is ready to enjoy!
#3. Microwaving Method
A microwave is one possible appliance to reheat hard bread. If you do not know how to soften bread in the microwave, let us help you. Necessary items include:
- Two or three slices or a loaf of dried bagel.
- A microwave.
Please follow these steps:
- Step 1: Wrap the slices of dried-out bagel in a damp towel.
- Step 2: Put the food in the microwave and place it on a microwave-safe plate.
- Step 3: Set the microwave for 10-15 seconds.
- Step 4: Close the microwave and wait.
- Step 5: take your food out and check it.
#4. Using An Electric Rice Cooker
If you don’t have an oven or microwave, an electric rice cooker can be a perfect alternative to make hard bread soften. Here are the quick steps:
- Step 1: Wrap hard bread with foil.
- Step 2: Put it in the rice cooker.
- Step 3: Turn on the cooking button and remember to check it. It’s okay if you see the bagel bulging.
- Step 4: Press the button off.
- Step 5: Take the food out and enjoy it.
#5. Using A Pot
This is the easiest way, as most people have pots in their kitchen.
- Step 1: Wrap the food thoroughly with foil.
- Step 2: Put it in a pot, and cover it carefully.
- Step 3: Put the pot on the stove to heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Step 4: Check your bagel and enjoy it.
Remember to always carefully observe it during the process because even a small mistake can make the crust of the hard bread thicker. Furthermore, do not cook for too long because it will not be good for your health.
How To Prevent Bread From Hardening
You should know that a bagel can only stay fresh for a short time before it becomes hard. Therefore, we offer the best ways to prevent rock-hard bread.
- Consider when putting your bread in the fridge: although refrigerators can make the food remain moist, it can cause the bagel to become stale three times faster than at room temperature.
- Wrap your bread in foil: store it in aluminum foil and leave it on the counter overnight. It will help keep the food from going stale. You can also use a plastic bag to preserve.
- Store Your Bread in a breadbox: a breadbox will balance humidity and provide ventilation so that your bagel can maintain its moisture as well as its crispy crust.
- Freeze the bread: this is the most optimal method for preventing the bagel from hardening. It would help if you froze store-bought and homemade bagel in plastic freezer bags or heavy-duty foil.
- Thaw the frozen bread: after freezing it, take it out and defrost at room temperature. Remember to remove the freezer wrapping.
How To Make A Softer Crust
Below, find out how to make a softer crust.
- One of the most simple ways is adding extra ingredients to the dough before baking. You can add a slice of butter, a little milk, or water to the dough as they will reduce the hardness of the crust.
- You can try warming up your finished product after it’s baked by putting it back in the oven. Spend some minutes for the crust to soften again, and when you take it out, it’s ready to eat.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing the surface, as this will cause adhesion, making the crust harder.
- When you use electronic devices such as ovens, make sure the steam function is off because the amount of water added while baking will cause the breads to recrystallize, which leads to a hard crust.
This is due to the crystallization process, during which the bread loses its moisture when placed in the air.
How To Freshen Up Stale Bread?
As mentioned, there are many ways to freshen up stale bagels. You can heat them using an oven, a microwave, an electric rice cooker, or even a pot.
Does Preserving Bread With Fresh Potatoes Or Apples Work?
The answer is yes. Potatoes are also important in baking tasty and tender slices of bagel. Potatoes are rich in potassium, and they can cause yeast to rise faster. Potato starches hold more water than wheat starches and help to boost the moisture range in baked goods. Combined with bagels, yeast dough is easier to shape and handle.
As the baked bread cools, starches crystallize and trap water, causing it to harden and dry out. When the food includes potatoes, the potato starch molecules make it harder for the wheat starches to thicken, maintaining the freshness and softness for a longer time.
Should We Put The Bread In The Fridge For Storage?
As mentioned, you can use the refrigerator to preserve your food. Although breads out of the refrigerator can take a long time to spoil, it is easy for mold and mildew to appear.
However, putting them in the fridge can make them stale faster. It would be best if you only used this for a short period, as the temperature in the refrigerator can make them less soft or even hard.