Yesterday, you made the most delicious bread in the world. It was flavorful, chewy, and moist. There’s nothing better than fresh bread.
Then, the next day, you woke up to a loaf of rock-hard bread that was anything but appetizing. You thought about throwing it out, but you’re totally against food waste. Besides, you worked hard on that now-stale bread! Is there anything to do to save it?
We’re going to take a couple of minutes here to tell you the best methods for reheating bread. There are some simple steps you can take and different methods to try. Don’t throw away leftover bread. With a little help, your bake will go back to being soft, warm bread that you can enjoy.
How to reheat bread
First of all, don’t touch your microwave if you can help it! There’s a much better way of reheating a loaf of homemade bread that preserves the moist bread while protecting the crust from burning.
To reheat bread, first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, wrap the loaf in foil and place it on the oven rack. Let it cook for about fifteen minutes. The inside will reheat without continuing to cook thanks to the foil. Moisture stays trapped inside, and the crust won’t burn.
These heating instructions are for a standard artisan loaf. If you have slices or dinner rolls, leave them in for only a few minutes. For larger bread, leave it in a bit longer. Use your baking instincts. The most important thing is to not let the entire loaf of bread dry out
How to reheat bread based on bread type
Let’s talk more about the type of bread you’re reheating and how that plays into the technique. The standard method won’t change too much, of course, but there are some things you should know about reheating bread based on bread type.
Thawing a frozen baguette
A totally frozen baguette can be a challenge, especially if you forgot about thawing it until the last second! Garlic bread from the store often comes frozen, and it’s handy in a pinch for spaghetti night. If you need to serve dinner fast, here’s how to thaw a frozen baguette.
To thaw frozen bread, place it directly in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat it in the oven for 30 minutes, and watch it closely. If it begins to brown in a way you don’t want, place foil on top of the bread to protect the crust. Let it cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
Always take frozen bread out of the freezer bag, plastic bag, or plastic wrap first. Plastic should never go in the oven.
Epicurious warns us not to leave a baguette on the counter to thaw at room temperature or it’ll go stale. And, if you thaw it in the microwave, it might turn to mush. The oven is the best way to thaw or reheat frozen bread.
Reheating sliced bread
Reheating sliced bread is not ideal because it will dry out quickly, although that’s kind of the point if you’re making toast. If you don’t want to make slices of bread into toast, what can you do? Here are a few different techniques.
- Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for a few minutes
- Grill or press bread in a panini press
- Fry bread in a pan with butter or olive oil
Of course, if you have the option of a panini press, there’s only one kind of bread that tastes better reheated this way.
Reusing old pita bread
Do you have leftover pita in a packet from your last Greek dinner night? Or is there a single, sad garlic naan bread still in its foil from that time you ordered takeout? Here’s how to reheat old pita bread.
To reheat pita bread, wrap it in tin foil and place it on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pita for 6-8 minutes or until it is warm to the touch. Reheated pita bread is great with hummus, salad, or as a wrap for other leftovers. Try dipping it into some soup.
You don’t need to suffer through cold bread with soup just because you don’t know the best way to reheat bread. Just a few minutes in the oven, covered in foil, will be best for most types of bread. Keep an eye on pita though. It’s thin, so it’ll heat quickly!
Best temperature to reheat bread
You’ve heard us say 350 degrees Fahrenheit a few times now. Is that really the best temperature to reheat all kinds of bread, though?
The best temperature to reheat homemade bread is between 325 degrees and 350 degrees Fahrenheit. A higher temperature will burn the crust of the bread before the inside heats, and a lower heat will take much longer and risk drying bread out. The ideal temperature is a medium heat of around 350 degrees.
Toaster ovens will follow the same rules. They’re simply smaller than conventional ovens, but they don’t work more quickly. They’re more economical and efficient with their energy consumption. But, when it comes to time, still try to be patient.
Where should I reheat bread?
If an oven and a toaster oven will heat bread the same way, does it matter which you pick? And what about steaming or using an air fryer?
Can I reheat bread in a microwave?
A microwave oven is a poor choice to reheat bread because it could dry out very quickly. You need to wrap it in a damp paper towel, but even then, it could become soggy. You could try placing a bowl of water in the microwave with the bread on a microwave-safe plate.
Only leave bread reheating in the microwave for a maximum of thirty seconds. This is the quick way. However, you really ought to choose another method if one is available.
Can I reheat bread on the stove?
Wrap bread in foil and place it in a skillet. Put the lid on and cook it this way for about five minutes. This is an efficient method, especially for dinner rolls or sliced bread.
Can I reheat bread in an air fryer?
An air fryer is a great, quick way to reheat bread. Place bread in the air fryer basket and turn the fryer to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This should only take a few minutes, five at the most.
How to use stale bread
There are ways to reuse stale bread that don’t involve eating toast or yet another dry sandwich. We can use stale bread even after it has passed the point of no return. Check out these fun suggestions for using stale bread.
- Homemade croutons
- Bread pudding – there are endless flavor options!
- Baked crackers
The list truly goes on. And if all else fails, you can use that rock-hard heel as a hammer for your next home improvement project!
Let us know in the comments how you use bread that’s gone totally stale.
Best way to reheat bread – Final thoughts
Homemade bread is one of life’s simple pleasures. But, unless you have a large family, you probably won’t be able to make it through a great loaf of bread before it goes stale.
Freezing fresh bread for later is a fantastic way to preserve it and save it for future meals.
We’ve explored some great ways to heat up fresh and stale bread alike. We tend to pop bread in the fridge for a few days in a resealable plastic bag so we can continue enjoying it without going through the thaw and reheat cycle every other day.
But, if you’ve found other ingenious ways to reheat your bread at home, let us know.