We can all agree that discovering your loaf of bread is stale—the one you were about to make toast with—isn’t the best way to start the day. But good news: If it’s just stale—aka no mold spots in sight, no odor, and no yucky taste—there’s still a chance to revive it. And we have a stale bread hack that will make it (almost) good as new.
Most store-bought bread can last about a week if stored in the pantry. If you refrigerate or freeze the bread, it could last longer. But learning this stale bread hack means you’ll never need to worry about storing it properly again. Better yet, the entire process from stale to soft and fluffy only takes 10 minutes, tops.
The Stale Bread Hack You Need to Know
To bring stale bread back to life, start by quickly running it under water. Yep, we know rinsing your bread is kind of gross, but trust us—it’s crucial in eliminating staleness. With that being said, “quickly” is key. Otherwise, the bread could turn soggy beyond repair.
Next, stick the stale bread in the oven at 300°F for 6 to 10 minutes. After it comes out of the oven, it’ll be soft enough to cut, serve, and enjoy. The taste might not be quite as good as a fresh loaf, but this stale bread hack makes it usable again. (Normally, stale bread is so hard you can’t even cut it.)
Don’t want to deal with the stove? You can revive stale bread in the microwave, too. Just wrap the loaf in a damp towel and microwave on high for 10 seconds. After that, you’re good to go.
Other Ways to Use Stale Bread
There are a few other ways you can use stale bread that’s at the end of its shelf life. One option is composting the stale bread to give it a second life as soil or fertilizer. You can also transform the stale bread into homemade croutons or breadcrumbs.
To turn stale bread into croutons, tear the bread into small chunks that are roughly the size of croutons. Pour them in a bowl and drizzle olive oil over them, toss, and add in the seasonings of your choice. There you have it: sustainable croutons.
To turn stale bread into breadcrumbs, dry out the stale bread in the oven, break it up into small pieces with your hands, and put the stale bread through a food processor. Then, grind it down to a fine, almost powder-like texture.