How To Soften Hard Bread

What can you do with a rock-hard loaf of bread? Besides using it as a doorstop, there are countless recipes that take advantage of stale bread — or you can use one of these simple techniques to soften it quickly...

In the oven: Preheat oven to 200° or Warm setting. Wrap the bread in a damp (not soaking) towel, place on a baking sheet, and pop it in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

In the microwave: Wrap the bread in a damp (not soaking) towel, place it on a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for 10 seconds. Check and repeat if necessary.

In both cases, keep a close eye things so the bread doesn't overcook and the towel doesn't catch fire!

Do you have any other tips for softening hard bread?

Related: Food Science: Why Bread Stales

(Image: Emily Ho)